Rico’s tweet a couple of days ago reminded me of my drawer full of perfectly fine earphones — the only reason I can’t use them is that they have worn connections on their plug causing only one side to work. (Actually, both sides can work but you have to hold the wire near the plug at exactly the right position. Move a bit and one side loses sound.)

This got me wondering: is it easy to replace a busted earphone plug?

A quick Google search told me the answer was “yes“. This Instructables article on replacing the jack on a pair of headphones only required a cheap replacement plug and some basic tools.

Seeing this as a good opportunity to procrastinate on my current projects, I bought a 3.5 jack at my friendly neighborhood hardware store when I went out to lunch today.

busted jack and new metal jack

Here it is beside the busted earphone jack.

soldering tools

And here are the tools I used:

  • wire cutter – for cutting and stripping the wire
  • pliers – to hold the jack in place while soldering
  • lighter – to burn the wires’ insulators prior to soldering
  • soldering iron and solder – for soldering, obv
  • tissue and water – I can’t find my soldering stand with sponge so I had to improvise the latter; it’s just a quick solder so no need for a stand

As much as the smell of molten solder can be kinda nostalgic, I moved my workspace from my enclosed air-conditioned room to the open living room for safety.

wires soldered to jack

After an hour or two of trial and error, mostly in threading the wires into the pins and testing stability of the connection, here’s the wires soldered to the pins. The actual soldering took only around 5 minutes and I was surprised that it didn’t suck like my soldering in high school.

finished product

And here’s the fully assembled jack. A quick test confirmed that both sides are working properly even when playing around with the wire.

Total cost: P25 for the plug, ~2 hours for research, prep, and assembly.

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2 Responses to Fixing broken earphone plugs

  1. Beng Ling Wee says:

    hi, where did you buy the plug here in the philippines? thanks

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