A phone connector known as a headphone jack or audio jack is a family of electrical connectors typically used for audio signals. The headphone jack is cylindrical, with a grooved tip or rounded one to retain it. Typically, in its original audio configuration, it has two, three, and four or five contacts with TS, TRS, TRRS, and TRRRS for their respective number of grooves on the jack, where the T stands for the tip, R stands for ring and S stands for the sleeve. The most commonly used jacks are the 3.55 mm jack which stands for the outside diameter of the jack.
Most music fans, love listening to music using earphones or headphones to get their tunes closer to their ears. But these gadgets are prone to wear and tear due to the frequent insertion and removal in their port. The jack can sometimes become loose or bend due to pressure when inserted into its port. If you encounter such an issue do not panic. Below are some steps on how you can handle a bent headphone jack.
This process should be done cautiously since any wrong move may damage your headphone jack forever. Consider that manually fixing your headphone jack will void your warranty with the headphone jack company.
If you have never manually repaired something, it’s best to check first with an authorized personnel or repair shop to help you replace your jack.
First, you will need repair tools
- a pair of thin pliers
- straight ruler
- brute force
These two steps for manually realigning the jack are as follows:
- First, take the bent pin and hold it with the thin pliers.
- Use your fingers and gently squeeze the pin from its handle
- While pressing the jack back to its position, you should not forget to f hold the pin.
- It is advisable to firmly but gently twist anticlockwise from the motion of your hand, it allows the pin to realign itself in its previous position
- Steadily wrap your fingers on the pin and apply gentle pressure.
- You will now notice that the pin is straight.
The second process is as follows:
- Using the same thin pliers (his time using two of them).
- Take these two thin pliers onto your hand.
- Hold the tip of the plug using one plier.
- With the other pliers firmly hold the middle of the ring section of the jack.
- Bend the plug(pin) using a firm but gentle force.
- Check against a straight ruler to make sure the plug has straightened.
- If not, keep applying gentle pressure until you have the desired result.
Doing this might break your jack, and the jack pin may get straightened but not respond afterward. DO IT AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Replacing The Jack
In this section of the guide, I will look at the two simple ways to replace your jack using simple and get the best result with your audio output.
One needs to note there are two points where one can replace the jack. The first is from the wire that leads out to the earpieces while the second is from the jack at the middle point.
You will need the following tools:
- soldering iron
- soldering wire
- soldering flux
- wire strippers
- source of heat (candle or lighter)
- new headphone jacks
- petroleum jelly or some lubricant
It’s vital to remember that headphones are intrinsically analog devices because they are transducers. AC (alternating current) voltages are all that analog audio signals are. Electrically conductive wires are used to transmit these signals.
The internal matching of a headphone cable’s wires to its plug’s distinct conductors also applies to the audio source jack’s conductors, each of which conveys a different signal.
To allow the analog audio signals to flow from the source through the cable and to the proper headphone drivers following the wiring schemes, it is necessary to make contact between the jack and the plug conductors.
Without disassembling the connector, we can rarely truly see the physical connection between a headphone plug and a jack. The universal jack requirement, generally used by the CTIA (cellular telecommunication and internet organization), a widely recognized regulator, specifies the TRRS, which is the 3.55 mm jack. Therefore, we will discuss the 3.55 mm jack replacement in our guide.
The following are the steps to be taken when replacing headphone jacks using the soldering iron
- First, you have to remove the bent jack from the cable.
- Using wire-cutters, cut the bent jack from its wires just before the connector.
- You can also use scissors if you do not possess any wire cutters.
- Expose the cut wires by removing the cable’s outer jacket revealing the three wires inside; [White: for the tip or the left channel – can also use blue or green] [Red – for the right channel or the ring] [Bare-ground – can also be in black]
- Turn on the soldering iron, and let it heat up.
- Once ready, apply some solder on the ends of your bear wires, known as tinning.
- Wrap the ground wires of the headphones with those of the jacks before you tin them.
- Remove any solder bits that might have accumulated on the iron, and use a damp sponge. (this will prevent any short circuits)
- Place the heat shrink on top of the wires.
- It will provide insulation as well as protection for the wires.
- Unscrew the casing of the new plug. Make sure to insert the tinned wires in the case.
- Use a helper tool to hold the plug in place. It makes it easier to attach it to the plug.
- Start with the ground wire and insert the end of your wire into the contacts for the new plug.
- Proceed with the right and left wires.
- You can also hold the wire in place for several seconds to ensure they fit.
- Let the solder cool off.
The heat shrink wraps the wires around the case and then screws them into the plug. Test your new headphone plug.
How To Avoid Bending Your Headphones
It is easier to stop the breakage and bending of your earphones rather than fix them. Below are ways you can follow while using your earphones to prevent them from damaging.
- Do not pull the wire, but the plug.
- When not in use, take your headphones out of the jack.
- Disconnect the cables.
- Purchase headphones with a right-angle plug.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on headphone issues and their diagnostics:
1. How Can I Repair My Headphones At Home?
Grab some copper wires into thin pieces, and open the headphone jack, noting different headphones or earphones have different ways of opening the jack plug or cabin. Check where the wire is attached to the headphone jack and ensure there is space, if none create a hole until you see the wires.
2. How Can I Make My Headphones Sound Louder?
To protect your internal ear, the smartphone can include volume limiters. You can adjust the volume limiter by manually increasing the volume and bypassing the prompt message on securing your hearing on your device.
3. Why Is My Headphone Jack Not Working?
If your headphone jack is not functioning, it might be due to damage to the jack itself or the headphone. You should thoroughly examine to check for any physical harm on the headphones that could interfere with the functionality of your device.
A software error or outdated driver may also be an issue on the device you’ve connected your headphones. Remove your headphones to check the problematic application or update your sound and audio drivers to resolve this issue.
4. What Jacks Do Headphones Use?
The most common jacks used for the standard headphone pin are the 3.5 mm jacks found in most audio players like laptops, smartphones, tablets, and field recorders, among other commonly used audio players and distributors. Headphones typically use the TRS 3-pole 3.5 mm connectors whilst headphones with a microphone use the TRRS 4-pole 3.5 mm connectors.
5. Do I Need Open Or Closed Style Headphones?
The closed style usually closes and seals the ear to the headphones, this helps create a good bass response and blocks external interference, this might be good for short time use, but during long sessions it might be discomforting and may damage the inner ear of the user. Open headphones have a comfortable and simple approach thus they sit on the ear easily while allowing ambient noise, therefore it is advisable to use open headphones while outside to allow better interaction with your surroundings.
6. I Need DJ Headphones. What Features Should I Consider?
The most significant feature is a sufficiently high sound pressure level (SPL) to hear vividly above the external player or the external sound system. Though having a closed-back design with good ambient noise reduction and rejection can allow monitoring of the sound at lower volume levels. For a DJ a replaceable and washable ear cushion can come in handy in maintaining your headphone longer.