How to repair a headphone speaker

Written by matthew anderson
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Headphone speakers stop functioning properly when the wire connections to the speaker are broken. This problem often develops when the headphone cord gets jerked while being worn. The solder connection might also detach over time if it was not properly manufactured. The wire can be reconnected to the speaker with a soldering iron to repair the headphone. Be aware, though, that headphones are not designed to be user maintained in this fashion. In some cases, it is difficult to get to the speaker due to the casing design.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Screwdriver or butter knife (depending on headphone design)
  • Soldering iron
  • Electrical solder

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  1. 1

    Plug in the soldering iron. It takes a few minutes for it to get warm enough to be used.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the screws holding the headphone casing over the speakers. This step applies only to models that use screws in the casing.

  3. 3

    Insert the end of the butter knife into the seam on the headphone ear pieces. Pry the two halves of the casing apart. This step is performed only on headphone models that do not use screws in the casing.

  4. 4

    Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the electrical solder. A small drop should melt onto the tip of the iron.

  5. 5

    Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the end of the detached speaker wire inside the headphone speaker cavity. Try to get an even coating of solder around the exposed metal end of the wire. The solder solidifies on the wire once the soldering iron is removed.

  6. 6

    Touch the end of the wire to the solder on the metal tab attached to the speaker.

  7. 7

    Touch the tip of the soldering iron to where the wire and tab connect. The heat of the soldering iron melts the solder on the wire and tab together. This repairs the broken connection between the wire and speaker.

  8. 8

    Replace the speaker casing onto the headphone. It should snap back into place for models without screws.

Tips and warnings

  • The tip of the speaker wire inside the headphones might snap off from the rest of the wire. Scrape off the insulation with a wire stripper or sharp knife from about 5mm of the end of the speaker wire to expose it to make a connection.
  • Check to see if your headphones are still under warranty before attempting to repair the speakers yourself. Attempting to repair headphones yourself invalidates the warranty, removing the ability to get them replaced or repaired by the manufacturer.

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