Fixing headphone cable

  1. element72
    Hello Head-fi community!

    My headphone jack got bent. I tried to bend it back in place and the bottom ring (the ring closes to the cable and furthest from the tip of the jack) fell off.

    I'm using the audio technica ath-ad700x. IIRC the right side of my headphones will sometimes lose sound unless I adjust the headphone jack by twisting as it is connect to my PC. I have the cables in a stiff stationary position, so this help me listen to my headphones normally. However, I would like to repair the jack as an experiment. :)

    Is this an easy fix, and does my problem have to do with the ring that broke off?
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
  2. Pars Contributor
    I assume you are talking about the 3.5mm plug and not the 1/4" adapter?
    Mangled plugs are no good and normally aren't worth the trouble of trying to save.
    Do you have a meter (DVM, DMM, etc.)? Soldering iron? Do you know how to solder?
    If these were mine, I would cut the plug leaving some wire at the plug end (2-3"), strip the wire on the plug end (hopefully color-coded), and determined what wire was what by ohming it out to the plug (sleeve = gnd or signal -, ring is R+ and tip is L+). Many of these cables use varnish or other clear coating on the wires which you have to melt or burn off, and they are often small.
    Once I had determined what is what, install a suitable new connector.
    If the wires are not color-coded, then the headphones themselves would need to be opened up to decide what is what.
    Note also that the cable could be 4 conductor (2 +, 2 -) and suitable for rewiring to balanced if desired.

    Maybe someone who actually has these phones, or has at least done this on recent AT phones will chime in.
  3. element72
    Thank you so much. Your answer exceeded my expectations. I did a little research and you gave me additional info I didn't know about. I actually just bought DMM 2 days ago for my own reasons, and I know how to solder. Should I get those soldering clamps that people use? Or is it possible to do without it? I don't understand the part of how to test it with the DMM. Can you please recommend me a new plug for my headphones? I don't need the best quality, hehe.
  4. Pars Contributor
    I don't use 3.5mm connectors much at all anymore, but when I did, I usually just used Neutrik NYS231s. I'm sure there are many FOTM connectors here (at least there were when I hung out here much), but I haven't kept up on them.
    A stand such as the helping hand things helps quite a bit when dealing with soldering cables, and are cheap, so I would recommend one. You can do it without it but it will be more difficult to keep things lined up to solder.
    You will also want some heatshrink of some type (small) to cover the soldered connections. You could use nail polish or electrical tape, etc. though.

    As for the DMM, what you are doing is measuring resistance/continuity, in ohms, which is the unit of measure for resistance. 0 ohms is a dead short, and open is infinite. A set of leads like the Pomona mini-grabbers would be what I would use for this. Something like these:
    Set your DMM to the resistance range. If it is manual ranging, something sub 100 ohms will be fine. If you are trying to determine which wire is which, clip one lead onto the wire you are checking, and touch the other end to the 3.5mm plug sleeve, ring and tip, and note which one goes to 0 ohms (or close). Work thru the wires noting color code for each and go from there.

    If the cable has 4 wires, there will be 2 that go to the sleeve. Once you get to installing the new plug, for single ended (SE) connection such as you have, it won't make any difference which is which on those 2. If you were wiring it for balanced, then you would need to determine which is L- and which is R-, which is done by ohming out one of the + leads to the - leads. The one with some resistance will be that channel's -; the other should show open (infinite, or OL is how most meters show that).
    Last edited: May 7, 2017
  5. element72
    I was able to do it successfully. My first try wasn't that good, but it worked heh. My next question is can you also repair some IEM headphone cables? I have one that is not detachable and it uses a Y connector in the middle, if you know what I mean. Can I buy something to repair the Y connector? because poor cabling is coming from that section.
  6. rellik
    My suggestion would be to bave it factory serviced. This would help to keep the resale value.
  7. element72
    I don't plan to resale it in the future, since the rubber on each ear piece is starting to wear out.

Share This Page