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August 25, 2005 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to fix a crackly-headphones problem that I always always have with walkmen and mp3 players?

I have a creative zen micro mp3 player. If I jostle or jiggle the part where the headphone cord plugs in to the device, half the sound cuts out. I replaced the headphones twice and have the same problem, so I'm pretty sure the problem is with the player. Is there any way to fix this? I've had the same problem with walkmen, but I always assumed it was a headphone issue. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.
posted by jennyjenny to Technology (4 answers total)
I think it is a headphone issue (I've had the same experience you have). I think the plug interfaces are simply very vulnerable to the stress of constantly being tugged in this direction or that; the interior wires seem to lose a solid connection with the plug itself. I don't think it's the players, becuase I've had this happen on several models of player throughout my lifetime, and also to my miniDisc recorders.

That being stated, I don't have any further answers. But I would just love to know if there is a brand or style of headphone that had a longer life than the others.
posted by Miko at 1:31 PM on August 25, 2005

Jenny, I feel your pain. This happens to me all the time.

I've actually had both problems, unfortunately. Usually buying a more durable pair of headphones solves the problem, but I've also had soundcards where the actual port on the back of the card was busted. That said, the headphones being the problem is still much more likely.

If it's the player, you may need to send it back to Creative for repairs.

The one kind of headphones I've never had a problem with re: this issue is Sony "street" style headphones (the ones that wrap around the back of your head). They don't have fantastic sound, though.

Have you been buying the same kind of earphones each time? You might want to try a different brand/model just for kicks.
posted by selfnoise at 1:53 PM on August 25, 2005

I have had the same thing with headphones a number of times. It is always the headphones, as I have tested them on other outlets and get the same problem. I figured out that the problem was that when I was not using my walkman I was wrapping the headphones round it quite tight for easy storage, and this was putting stress on the weak spot where the cable enters the jack and causing damage. i now make sure that I leave a loop of cable when I wrap it round the walkman so there is a little bit of give and movement and I have not had any problems for a long time.
posted by juniorbonner at 2:55 PM on August 25, 2005

Best answer: Maybe it's a stupid thing to do, but I find that I can usually fix this (at least until it happens the next time) by licking the headphone plug and putting it back in.
posted by fuzz at 5:33 PM on August 25, 2005

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