Geek Stuff: Fixed earphones

Well, I bought these little $14 earphones that hook over the ear. Love em’ since they stay in the ear.

Recently as all head and ear phones are wont to do, the left channel got dodgy.

So off to the electronics store and pay the $1.50 for the 1/8″ stereo plug. Bring it home. Now here’s the clutch part.

The wires are coated with a colored enamel. You have to burn it off before you can solder them. Cranking the solder station up to 650F did the trick.

Looking at the connector you’ll see the big ground connector rising up. That goes to the bare copper wire.

The tab on the left is for the left channel and is connected to the blue wire.

The tab on the right is the right channel and is connected to the red wire.

The trick is, don’t use too much solder else you’ll bridge the contacts for left/right. This means you just made your head or ear phones mono instead of stereo.

I did thread shrink-wrap tubing onto all the leads and once I’d soldered it I shrunk the tubing down to prevent oxidization and to eliminate the possibility of the wires themselves shorting.

Then one bigger shrink-wrap tube over the whole shebang and thread the barrel onto the connector.


Tested out fine. Clear left and right channel separation. Matter of fact it sounds better than with the original connector because it’s gold plated.


The original had just a thin plate on it. I love these $1.50 connectors. I know, I know. I should have just bought a new set what with labor. Job took about 15 minutes so at $80 per hour that means 1/4 of 80 or $20. So it cost $21.50 if you apply the displacement principle.

But I love soldering things, fixing things, and building things so subtract the enjoyment factor (Tickets to a movie are what, over $10 now, and popcorn, say $7, so $17). So total cost now drops to $4.50. Less than the $14.99 I paid.

See, you can justify pretty much anything.


Had to modify it a bit. I just wrapped the wire around the posts and soldered it that way. Better surface area. Also made sure I clamped the cable on this time. That way no strain can pull the conductors out.

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