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Repair of earphone cable

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by u0362565, Feb 23, 2015.

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  1. u0362565


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'd like to attempt to repair some cheap earphones-no sound comes out of one of the ear buds. They're pretty cheap and nasty, looks like a dry solder joint and the wire is incredibly fragile and poor quality-such thin wire makes it difficult.

    My question is, if i wanted to replace the wire from the 3.5mm jack to the bud, what is the technical name for this kind of audio cabling used? Inside the current wires to each bud is a copper wire (earth?) and either a green or red wire (incredibly thin gauge). If i search for audio cables on the web i get lots of stereo 3.5mm to phono leads, is this the right kind of wire if i just chop the phono jacks off? I'd prefer slightly wider gauge wire as its easier to manipulate but heavier i suppose.

    The other issue i have is the soldering itself, how do you remove old solder if you don't have a de-solder pump/gun?

    I also find i don't have enough hands to do this, i need to hold the earbud, solder, audio wire and the soldering iron! Can i apply solder to exposed copper wire first, this then means i only need to hold the earbud, wire to solder to the earbud and the soldering iron, thats still one more hand than i have!

    The earphones were very cheap and almost easier to buy new ones but i'm just interested in trying a repair if its not too much effort or cost.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    We see this question here every other week. You'll find helpful information in a seach of old posts on this website.
    You CAN save your ear bud set, but it's a lot of careful, tedious work. Frankly, it's better to just buy several cheap sets and discard them when they die.
    The wire is deliberatly very delicate for the purpose of flexibility. If you use another type of wire, you'll lose that flexibility.
    I repair my old ear bud, headphone sets, but it's no picnic and a lot of time-intensive work.
  3. u0362565


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi yes i've even seen some tutorials online instructing how to do it, but they never clearly define what kind of wire is used and where you can buy it. I'll take a look back through the posts.

  4. Tha fios agaibh

    Tha fios agaibh

    Aug 11, 2014
    Probably best to just buy a cheap earbud and steal the cable off it.
    Another option is to buy an audio extension cord to use. They are often a better grade cable.
    As far as the tech name, I would call it 2 pair shielded audio cable. This cable is a bit more stiff with a neoprene or pvc outer jacket, but will have the larger conductors you want.
    When you solder the connections try using tape to hold the wire where you want it. Better yet buy a 3rd hand devive (inexpensive) that will hold stuff with an alligator clip.
  5. u0362565


    Nov 27, 2013
    Ah thanks for the info, a third hand device would be useful to have actually, didn't know they existed.
  6. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    You'll probably find old posts of mine on the subject if you search for "litz wire" on the forum.
    Tha fios agaibh likes this.
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