Fix my headphones or let them die?
January 11, 2007 8:31 AM   Subscribe

My venerable Sony MDR-V500DJ headphones have finally, after 6 years, lost sound in the left ear. Is there a way I can repair the cord and the now faulty wiring?

Twisting the cord at the base makes the audio occasionally come back, so I know the problem is at the plug and not the ear end. I also know that this means the 'phones are likely at the end of their life cycle, so I'm not opposed to radical surgery. Do people fix these things, even on an unofficial basis? Has anyone tried?
posted by awenner to Technology (5 answers total)
Just get a new plug from Radio Shack. It would be best if you solder it on. The tip of the plug is the left channel, the middle portion is the right channel and the base of the plug is the ground from both channels. You may even be able to take your existing plug apart and fix the wiring without getting new one, but new ones are cheap.
posted by caddis at 8:55 AM on January 11, 2007

Yeah. It's fixable. If you know which end of the soldering iron gets hot, you can probably do it. I've done it myself a few times. I've also repaired the middle of a cord once.

Don't forget to put some heat shrink tubing on before you attach the new plug. Heat shrink makes a great strain relief.
posted by chairface at 10:31 AM on January 11, 2007

FYI, Sony coats the wires with some kind of invisible polymer so you need to hold the exposed wire over a flame for a second before you solder it. That will burn off the coating. Try not to inhale.
posted by spakto at 11:06 AM on January 11, 2007

If you're going to do this, make sure to be careful when you take apart the speaker assembly. If you break any of the plastic tabs or whatnot on the case, then it will be difficult to put back together properly. Having recently junked a pair of headphones that were technically working just fine, I speak from experience.
posted by Drunken_munky at 2:03 PM on January 11, 2007

Arg, misread your question. I'm talking about repairing a connection to the speaker, not the plug. Apologies, sir.
posted by Drunken_munky at 2:05 PM on January 11, 2007

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