Sometimes, headphone cables fray away, get exposed, or break due to frequent tugging, bending, or yanking. The reasons can also include the presence of a furry animal at your home, who loves to bite the wires.
The fix to an exposed headphone wire is different from fixing a broken headphone wire. Therefore, before you start, identify the problem carefully.
Skipping to the question, how to fix broken headphones wire?
Here is a quick look at how to fix broken headphones wire:
Step # 1: Using a wire stripper, strip the wire to reveal the inside.
Step # 2: If you see shredded wires inside, cut the wire.
Step # 3: Sand off the wires to expose the copper.
Step # 4: Twist the copper wires together and then solder.
Step # 5: Carefully, wrap the wires with electrical tape.
How to fix headphone wires that are beginning to fray
If you know how to save a fraying wire, you will not have to spend time learning how to fix broken headphones wire. The part closer to the plug is usually at a higher rate of fraying. Therefore, taking special care of headphone wires can save you sweat.
Here are some common fixes to the wires that are beginning to fray:
- Wrapping an electrical tape around the frayed area
- Using a heat shrinking sleeve
Wrapping an electrical tape around the frayed area
You might already own an electrical tape. This tape can be used as a quick and easy fix to save your headphones wire.
Here are some easy steps to follow:
Step # 1: Preparation
Before you tape the headphone wire, it is essential to ensure that the headphone wires are clean. Sometimes, there can be traces of dirt or oil that needs to be cleaned. If they are left as is, there is a chance that the wire does not stick to the wire properly.
Use a clean cloth and pour some rubbing alcohol on it. Now, wipe the exposed area and wait till it dries.
Step # 2: Cutting electrical tape
Before you start wrapping the tape around your wire, cut it to your desired/required size. It is recommended to not cut the tape after you have wrapped the wire with it.
Step # 3: Wrapping electrical tape
Straighten the wire, and wrap the electrical tape around it. Make sure that the tape is not loose.
The above-stated method not only protects the wire from further fraying but also works as an insulator.
2. Using a heat shrinking sleeve
If you are looking for a more durable solution, a heat-shrinking sleeve is your way to go. These sleeves are common for providing protection against abrasion, scuffing, and cutting.
Usually, these sleeves are made up of polyolefin or PVC. Polyolefin has a great tendency to withstand high temperatures up to 125°C – 135°C. Whereas, PVC is better known for its tensile strength and good resistance against abrasion.
Follow these steps in order to use a heat shrinking sleeve:
Step # 1: Choosing the right size
Heat shrinking sleeves come in varied sizes. Therefore, choosing one that matches the cable of your wire is important so that it fits. The sleeves, based on their material can shrink from ½ to ⅙ of their previous size.
The recommended size for headphones wires includes the sleeves that shrink up to ½ of their diameter.
Step # 2: Preparation
Before you use the heat-shrink sleeve, make sure that you remove all the excess oil or dirt lying there. For this purpose, you can use a clean cloth with some rubbing alcohol poured on it and then let it dry for a while.
Step # 3: Insertion of heat-shrinking sleeve
Now, carefully insert the heat-shrinking sleeve up to the frayed area.
Step # 4: Apply heat
Heat the sleeve using the heating device that comes along with the kit. However, if you do not own it, you can use a lighter or a hot air gun. Take precautionary measures before you apply heat to avoid any disaster.
How to fix broken headphones wire
If your headphone wire is severely damaged or broken, you must know how to fix broken headphones wire.
Important: Before you follow any of the given methods, make sure that you check the warranty of your headphones. If it is still valid, the damage will be recovered by them.
However, if your warranty is not valid, read on.
To fix a broken headphone wire, you can use two different methods: with and without soldering. If you are wondering what to do with broken headphones, here is the solution:
Repairing with soldering
To repair your broken headphone wire with soldering, you will need the following apparatus:
- A soldering kit
- A cutter/knife to strip wire
- An electrical tape
- A lighter
To solder, follow these fool-proof steps:
Step # 1: Strip the wire
Use a cutter or wire stripper to strip off the insulation. Strip until the broken part of the wires is revealed. Now, using the same cutter, remove the outer shield of the wire to see the colored wires. These wires are usually of red, blue, green, or copper color.
Step # 2: Cut the wire
Now, cut the headphone wire from the broken or shredded part.
Step # 3: Sand away the coating
To expose the copper wire, sand the thin enamel coating present on the wires. If you do not have sandpaper, burning the wires slightly can work as an alternative.
Step # 4: Solder the wires
For this step, twist the wires together and then solder. Soldering the wires will leave a thin coat of iron over the wires. After you are done, leave it to set and cool.
Step # 5: Use electrical tape to cover
To finish, wrap electrical tape on the exposed part. Doing this will help to avoid any short-circuit situation.
Repairing without soldering
If you are not comfortable with soldering, we still have you covered. Follow the steps below.
- A cutter or wire stripper
- An electrical tape
- A lighter
Step # 1: Remove the covering
With the use of a cutter or wire stripper, remove the outer covering to expose the stripped wires. You will have to be extra careful so that you can avoid cutting through the wire.
Step # 2: Differentiate the colored wires
Separate the colored wires to differentiate between them. This can be done by twisting and moving the wires.
Step # 3: Burn the thin enamel coating
Once you are done separating the wires, burn the thin layer of enamel off the wires with the help of a lighter.
Step # 4: Braid the wires together
Braid the colored wires together and then secure them using electrical tape.
Are frayed or exposed headphone wires dangerous?
Generally, frayed or exposed headphone wires are not dangerous. Although the headphone wires conduct electricity, the voltage level is too low. However, there is a chance of short-circuiting. Therefore, it is important to cover them.
You do not have to throw out all the broken things. Sometimes, you can fix them easily as well. This guide sums up how to fix broken headphones wire to save you from throwing your headphones when you can repair them.