What to do with broken headphones

Things become lost, misplaced, and smashed against walls because of our carelessness. It’s a shame that even some of our favorite and most useful gadgets, like headphones, fall victim to this trend!

With this lesson, we’ll help you determine the extent of the damage, whether it’s repairable or not, and how to dispose of the headphones in an environmentally-friendly manner. Let’s skip on what to do with broken headphones. 

What to do with broken headphones?

A broken pair of headphones can be used to make a speaker or microphone, among other possibilities. To properly do it, you must first ensure that the headphones are destroyed and then disposed off.

What are the many parts of a headphone?

If you know what goes into your headphones, you can not only mend them better, but you can also recycle or properly dispose them if you need to.

Miniature speakers are placed behind the earcup circuitry of headphones. These speakers, also known as drivers, use a complex system that transmits sound to our ears to hear and understand the music.

what to do with broken headphones

The following components are found on most headphones:


This robust and flexible synthetic plastic component can adapt to a wide range of head sizes. However, this type of plastic is rarely recyclable. Consider selling it or donating it to an organization that can use it to its fullest potential.


The ear cups are often made of hard plastic or silicone-coated leather or foam or combine the two materials. Because they’re too old, these objects can’t be recycled. Contact the manufacturer to see if your product may be returned and reused.


As we said earlier, each pair of headphones includes an ear speaker incorporated into the ear cup. Copper coils, diaphragms, and magnets are used to construct these drivers. These materials may be reused, and you can even repurpose your damaged headphones into speakers by removing the drivers from the earcups.


Headphone cables are made by encasing aluminum or copper conductors in rubber or cloth. There are recycling centers where you may take these products.


Your headphones connect to your smartphone via a jack made of copper and metal. These materials may be recycled. However, if the jack is encased in PVC, it cannot be recycled, whether it is a 3.5mm or 1/4′′ jack.

Used headphones repurposed for another purpose

Now, what to do with broken headphones?

If you can find a recycling center in your area using a site like Earth 911, which allows you to search for recycling facilities by zip code, you can recycle your headphones. Some materials in headphones are not recyclable.

You may recycle old headphones by donating them to a charity. Alternatively, you may give your headphones to companies that manufacture headphones and offer environment-friendly recycling programs.

Do Not Use These Earbuds!

Take into account, selling them to a firm that takes headphones as payment if you are confused about what to do with broken headphones. Based on the kind of goods and the quality level, you may search for headphones on Amazon. Depending on how bad they are, you may be able to sell them for a profit if they still work. There is no economic value in recycling them, but you don’t have to worry about storing them forever or improperly disposing of them.

Whether or not a pair of headphones are truly broken is the first step in deciding what to do with them. Donating or recycling your headphones if they’re still functional would be a shame.

While wondering what to do with broken headphones, you will have to determine what is causing the problem to identify it.

Could it Be that the Cable Is Faulty?

The most common issue with wired headphones is damage to the cable’s internal circuitry. If your headphones are subjected to excessive wear and tear, poor construction, or faulty wire coiling, they might be damaged as a result. A defective cable can be repaired with the following tools:

  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder remover
  • A screwdriver
  • A replacement cable

Replace a faulty cable by following these steps:

  • Using a screwdriver, carefully detach the ear cups of your headphones.
  • Discard the damaged wire after removing it from the headphones’ circuitry.
  • With your soldering iron, warm up all of the old solders where your headphones came into contact with the old wire.
  • Remove the old solder from the contact points with your solder remover.

Remove the jacks that connect to the headphones on the new replacement cable, but keep the one that connects to a phone or computer in place. Use a wire stripper to get at the hidden wires. After disconnecting the copper wire from the red or green wires, twist them together. After the wire has been coiled, remove the coloring using sandpaper.

The colored wires should be soldered to their respective connectors. When you put the jack into your device, you can see if it is working correctly.

The cable might also be water damaged, for which you will have to see how to fix water-damaged headphones.

Make Your Headphones Into a Speaker System

Still thinking about what to do with broken headphones?

It is possible to transform your damaged headphones into stereo speakers before throwing away or giving the remainder of the components. Check to see if you have any of your broken headphones, Bluetooth speakers, or soldering iron.

Another way to reduce the amount of waste you produce when disposing of your headphones is to disassemble them and save the parts that are still usable. To recap, headphones are made up of many parts, each serving a specific function. A broken component in a newly purchased pair of headphones can be replaced with an element from a broken pair of headphones.

It’s a great way to save money if you break a portion of your headphones and don’t want to buy a new set. Put another way. You don’t have to abandon ship just because one of the headphones’ components is broken. Following these will resolve all your issues about what to do with broken headphones.

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