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How to fix a loose headphone jack on a laptop?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
The weight of my Grado 1/4 to 1/8 has taken its toll on my jack and now I lose sound with the slightest wiggle of the cord.
Any one know how to put in a new one?
post #2 of 11
you may be able to bend the pins back into place if you open it up. sometimes the jack may just need re-soldering on one of the channels. good luck!
post #3 of 11
Either broken jack or loose solder joints.

If you do take the laptop apart, document every screw and tape them down to post it notes (trust me). Example, write "Bottom Cover, 6 screws 4mm", "Keyboard, 4 screws 2mm" etc. When you get down to the motherboard, be more specific in your descriptions... "top left corner, 2mm", "middle right, 2mm" etc.

There are an unbelievable amount of screws in a laptop, I repair these things, I know. It can be a nightmare and a major headache when you forget where they went! Stack the post it notes in a pile as you go. When the repair is complete, just go in reverse until the pile is gone. This guarantees 100% reassembly.

After the repair is complete, I would suggest getting a short pigtail and find a means to anchor this pigtail to the body of the laptop. Then plug your headphones into the pigtail. Sure it may wear out, but this is easily replaced.

Your other alternative is to take it to a quality repair shop. They will charge 100 - 200 dollars to fix the jack.

Good luck!

~Zip
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Ok-this is more work than I was expecting.
Not sure I know what solder joints are...
And, what exactly is a pigtail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ziplock View Post
Either broken jack or loose solder joints.

If you do take the laptop apart, document every screw and tape them down to post it notes (trust me). Example, write "Bottom Cover, 6 screws 4mm", "Keyboard, 4 screws 2mm" etc. When you get down to the motherboard, be more specific in your descriptions... "top left corner, 2mm", "middle right, 2mm" etc.

There are an unbelievable amount of screws in a laptop, I repair these things, I know. It can be a nightmare and a major headache when you forget where they went! Stack the post it notes in a pile as you go. When the repair is complete, just go in reverse until the pile is gone. This guarantees 100% reassembly.

After the repair is complete, I would suggest getting a short pigtail and find a means to anchor this pigtail to the body of the laptop. Then plug your headphones into the pigtail. Sure it may wear out, but this is easily replaced.

Your other alternative is to take it to a quality repair shop. They will charge 100 - 200 dollars to fix the jack.

Good luck!

~Zip
post #5 of 11
solder joint is where the solder is applied at the leg of a part in the PCB. Pigtail is wire wrapping plastic material that looks like a pig's tail.

And, as for the repair, I agree with what ziplock said. It can get very expensive. Openning laptop and put it back is not easy for inexperienced person to fix it.
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel View Post
Ok-this is more work than I was expecting.
Not sure I know what solder joints are...
And, what exactly is a pigtail?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaside View Post
solder joint is where the solder is applied at the leg of a part in the PCB. Pigtail is wire wrapping plastic material that looks like a pig's tail.

And, as for the repair, I agree with what ziplock said. It can get very expensive. Openning laptop and put it back is not easy for inexperienced person to fix it.
Sorry, pigtail was kind of vague. What I meant was a short headphone extension cable. That way, the stress would be on the extension cable and the binding point, not on the laptops headphone jack. The whole idea is to save the jack from being damaged again. Does this make sense?

Anyway, it sounds like you might be in over your head on the repair. And the shop sounds kind of scary. Maybe you should seek out a cheap USB sound card? You can get a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage for 30 dollars and it will sound just as good if not better than your on-board sound.

Take a look:

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/micro/home.aspx

~Zip
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziplock View Post
Sorry, pigtail was kind of vague. What I meant was a short headphone extension cable. That way, the stress would be on the extension cable and the binding point, not on the laptops headphone jack. The whole idea is to save the jack from being damaged again. Does this make sense?

Anyway, it sounds like you might be in over your head on the repair. And the shop sounds kind of scary. Maybe you should seek out a cheap USB sound card? You can get a Turtle Beach Audio Advantage for 30 dollars and it will sound just as good if not better than your on-board sound.

Take a look:

http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/micro/home.aspx

~Zip
No worries-I appreciate the help.
So this USB thingy looks interesting...
So it plugs directly into an open USB slot and has a headphone jack in it?
Please forgive the ignorant questions

EDIT-just realized this could potentially solve another problem as well. The current headphone jack is in the front of my computer making it difficult to deal with the heavy wire. If I could plug the headphones in to the back of the laptop where the USB ports are, it would make things much easier.
Why does a USB device liek this improve the sound?
Being that my Grado extension is quite bulky/heavy, will this put alot of stress on my USB port?
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel View Post
No worries-I appreciate the help.
So this USB thingy looks interesting...
So it plugs directly into an open USB slot and has a headphone jack in it?
Please forgive the ignorant questions

EDIT-just realized this could potentially solve another problem as well. The current headphone jack is in the front of my computer making it difficult to deal with the heavy wire. If I could plug the headphones in to the back of the laptop where the USB ports are, it would make things much easier.
Why does a USB device liek this improve the sound?
Being that my Grado extension is quite bulky/heavy, will this put alot of stress on my USB port?
It sounds better because: A) It's external and mostly immune to all the electrical interference found inside of a laptop. Result? Cleaner sound. B) Uses an advanced, highly integrated circuit that most laptop manufacturers would not bother putting into the machine in the first place (cost reduction). Some of the features are a HP Amp, hardware EQ, 3D sound effects, and digital/optical out.

This particular USB sound card comes with an USB extension cable which should help alleviate some of the stress from your headphones. You'll see.

Yes, it has a headphone jack on it.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziplock View Post
It sounds better because: A) It's external and mostly immune to all the electrical interference found inside of a laptop. Result? Cleaner sound. B) Uses an advanced, highly integrated circuit that most laptop manufacturers would not bother putting into the machine in the first place (cost reduction). Some of the features are a HP Amp, hardware EQ, 3D sound effects, and digital/optical out.

This particular USB sound card comes with an USB extension cable which should help alleviate some of the stress from your headphones. You'll see.

Yes, it has a headphone jack on it.
Thank you for your help.
Am ordering one as we speak.
post #10 of 11
No problem, I'm sure you will enjoy it.
post #11 of 11

ok guys, you are a freaken life saver. I've got some Shure srh-840's and right from the get go i had an itching feeling the heavy cable and massive plug would wreak havoc...sure enough, my left cup went out today and i just about had a heart attack as i though the cans were dieing. Thank God after trying the plug in my ipod i found it wasn't the headphones. Relieved from it not being the headphones ..i then moved to the problem of the jack. And as you guys stated i don't have the technical know how to replace or repair something like this. I actually looked for some sort of a jack like the turtle beach thing...and couldn't find one i though i was screwed. So this is a great relief to me.

 

>anyway just a question here. if i were to run a double male cable out of that external sound card could i run that through a dac and from that into an amp (this would be one heck of a configuration buuuut) would that work?

 

>could you leave out the dac and run it straight through an amp? I know amping an already amped signal can be problematic. So is that card really an amp and if so is there a way to turn it off.

 

haha anyway thanks for all the help in advance.

 

NEW INFO: so i found some reviews for the turtle beach on amazon. A lot of people absolutely love the little thing HOWEVER i have found other reviews that say it causes serious distortion as well as a prominent hiss/crackle. Have you experience anything like this? 

 

Ok and one more question (sorry) if i buy a legitimate dac, i can run that out of my computer via dac and into and amp and save the whole ordeal?


Edited by thecansmancan - 6/15/12 at 4:25pm
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