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Help/advice to repair Jaybird SB2 bluetooth headphones

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by tensorproduct, Jul 17, 2013.

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  1. tensorproduct


    Jul 17, 2013

    Three months ago I purchased a pair of Jaybird SB2 bluetooth headphones.

    These are great, everything I want from a pair of headphones, except that they are now broken. The headphones were under warranty, but that is well voided by now, as I'll detail below.

    First symptoms: the unit should stay in standby mode while connected to a bluetooth transmitter (e.g. my laptop or phone), but about a month ago I noticed that when I stopped the audio playing and took the headphones off my head then they would switch off immediately. This didn't affect my experience at all, so I didn't worry about it.

    Serious problem: As can be seen in this image, the earpieces can extend from the headband by about 2cm to provide adjustable sizing. I have a large skull, so I need both earpieces fully extended in order for it to fit comfortably over my ears.


    Last week, a fault appeared that would lead to the unit powering off if the right-side earpiece was extended by more than, say, 5mm. With the extender fully retracted, i.e. in the closed position, it would function normally. This meant that I could only use one earpiece at a time, and even that was uncomfortable.

    Investigation: I peeled back the rubbery cover on the headband where the earpiece connected to it. Within that I found a square plastic panel screwed to the body of the headband. Unscrewing that, I found a flat cable that was loosely folded inside.

    This cable was folded in such a way that it could uncoil slightly when the earpiece was extended. Through some simple experiments putting pressure on different parts of the cable, I found a small section that when folded would cause the unit to turn off. This section would be put under maximum strain when the earpiece was extended.

    Aside: Before doing this and almost certainy voiding my warranty, I investigated what it would take to get a replacement. The company that sells the piece is based in Utah, I'm in Ireland, and they quote a thirty day turnaround for replacements. Plus shipping, that could have been two months without headphones. I didn't really want to do that, and I was feeling cocky, so I decided to go it alone... maybe not the best idea.

    My fix: I re-coiled the cable in such a way that the weak section would stay flat against the casing while at maximum extension. This required folding it in such a way that contracting the earpiece wouldn't really work, but I took a chance on my head not shrinking any time soon and went with it.

    This worked very well, and I was proud of myself. I ordered some sugru putty online, which I intend to properly re-seal the rubber covering, and to fix the earpiece in the extended positon and I thought that would be the end of it.

    Second problem: The other earpiece (the left-hand side) failed. At first it seemed faint, then it cut out completely, while the right-hand earpiece continued to function normally. The left hand side will now work intermittently, but I can't find a configuration that will ensure functionality.

    I repeated what I had done on the right-side: peeled back the rubber, unscrewed the panel where the earpiece would retract into, and played with the wire to try and determine a single point of failure, or a shape for the wire that would consistently work.

    I was unsuccessful.

    Can anybody offer advice on how to proceed? My guess is that the cable is just not that sturdy, and these problems will continue. Would it be feasible to find and install a replacement cable? Photo attached, with link below (which might not be working).


    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. If I haven't been clear on anything, or if any more info would help, please let me know.


    Attached Files:

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