Tips on How to Fix Broken Plastic Headphones

Eric Chan

Headphones have become an integral part of our being because we bring them everywhere we go when listening to music, podcasts, or attending meetings remotely. However, you can end up with broken headphones in no time due to an accident or time taking its toll. In addition, if you exercise while listening to music, you know how real the possibility of a broken headphone band is. Therefore, you need to know how to fix broken plastic headphones to be on the safe side.

Headphones will not all break in the same place or the same way; neither are headphones made of the same materials. We will give you some great tips on how to fix headphones that cover a wide array of situations.

a) Super Glue

Super glue is the only contender to Fix-it-Felix in the real world filled with chaos and plastics breaking left and right. Super glue is what silently holds the world together. When going for glue, you should go for glue for flexible plastic to fix headphones; otherwise, the headphone has the potential of breaking again even after fixing them.

Glue works on plastic at a molecular level and will give you a simple fix to your broken headphones. The good news is most glue options like the cyanoacrylate glue at your disposal will work with plastic. The glue will work if you follow the following simple steps.

Step 1: Clean the Plastic Surface

It is a common rule when working with any glue on any surface that you should ensure the surface is clean before applying the glue. If you apply glue on a dirty or dusty surface, the broken parts will stay broken after a short while. So if you want to fix broken headphones, you want to go for the best method and do it right.

Step 2: Sand the Surface

Sanding the surface of the broken plastic creates serrations that will make the two surfaces adhere better to each other. If the broken parts are too small to sand, glue the parts together is not a bad idea. However, the surface will be too small to sand when making a repair in most cases.

Step 3: Precise Application

You want to apply the glue precisely to the places that are need fixing. You do not want the glue to dry up on all the surfaces on the headphones, making them look terrible. While sometimes you might want to go for functionality and just use instant cement, the best super glue trick is to use it precisely where it needs to go.

Step 4: Baking Soda

You can add baking soda while fixing the broken part. Once you have applied super glue to the broken area, adding baking soda increases the rate of adhesion and the strength of the bond created on the broken parts. The best way to get the headphones fixed is to target exactly where the problem lies most clinically.

Step 5: Press the Parts into Place

Once you have fixed the glue together, you want to press the plastic parts into place to give it a hand in adhering and sticking into place. Applying the glue alone is not all you need to do in such a situation. Giving the little push is all the snapped piece might need in some situations.

b) Soldering Iron

If you want to fix a broken headphone, a soldering iron is your best bet to fix broken headphone pieces. Unfortunately, a broken headphone band is a common occurrence, and you need to know all the ways to go about such a situation. Here is how to use the soldering iron to fix your broken headphones.

Step 1: Fix the Broken Headphones with Glue

Following the steps, we have provided in the first method, fix the headphones with glue first before picking the soldering iron gun.

Step 2: Heat Up the Gun

You will not use the gun cold, and luckily, you do not need much heat to melt the plastic. The broken or snapped piece will melt into place as soon as you put the gun to it. Remember to clean up the soldering iron tip to remove the residue from past work and projects.

Step 3: Melt the Edges of the Plastic

Melt the edges of the broken parts to help them glue onto each other. If the broken parts are too large, you can look for scrap plastic and fill in the gaps due to the different materials used in making headphone plastic.

Step 4: Sand

Once you are satisfied with your work, it is time to sand the surface to have a neat finish. The surface will be charred and uneven after passing the heat on the plastic. Sanding does a great job of evening out the surface.

c) Use Tape

Tape is the most common method to fix a broken headphone band. The tape is neat, and you can pick the color that matches the headphones. The electrical tape, duct tape or scotch tape can fix a small piece that does not require the dramatic use of glue or soldering iron. Your pair of headphones will do just fine as long as there are no wires broken inside the device.

In most cases, the pair of headphones break along the middle section, and the most common reason is that that is the part with the highest tension. You can wrap the tape around such breakage, and the headband will be as good as new. The probable place you will need a tape for wireless headphones is on the broken headphone band as there is hardly any bent headphone jack to hold at a weird angle on the audio device.

The greatest thing about using tape is that it is universal and readily available anywhere you go. The downside of using tape is that it depends on the tape you are using. Some tapes will start losing hold once there is little heat applied, especially for headphones with batteries inside. If you do not hold the proper places, the headphone might end up being slightly uncomfortable to your ear with time. The slightest changes in the physical design can cause the most discomfort at times.

d) Zip Ties

Who would have thought that zip-ties could do such things as fixing broken headphone bands? As long as the sound passing through the headphones is not interfered with, you could sacrifice the looks a little bit. Zip-ties will hold down the headphone band in the most efficient way you can think of. Fasten the zip-tie on two ends as long as the band maintains its original shape. The zip-tie may slightly interfere with the foam piece shape, but that should not worry you. Zip-ties are not the most colourful of options, and you might miss one that has a color similar to the headphone color.

e) Broken Audio

The headphone's physical structure is okay in some cases, but the audio has a problem. You can not dispose of the headphones without a fight in such a case. The problem might lie with the headphone jack, a bent headphone plug, the headphone drivers, or the audio settings. Headphone jacks are the parts that get broken the most when using a wired headset. In such a case, you can not stuff anything or interfere with the ear cushions in an attempt to get the sound back. However, there are some ways to get the audio back when there is none.

Nothing can be as annoying as trying to listen to music, and there are rattling noises. This means a problem with the output, interfering with the sound quality. There could be damage leading to a broken speaker, and you might need to get a new headphone driver. Playing at maximum volumes could push the speakers further than the driver could handle. If the amp is pumping too much power, that could be the issue. Dust and hairs could be another reason. Try and clean up the headphone pads as often as possible.

In cases where there is no sound on your wireless headphones, the problem could be the source of the connectivity. Depending on the headphone model, you might need to go to the phone or pc settings to create a connection between the audio source and the headphones to listen to your personalized content. There are no materials needed for this kind of troubleshooting.

If the sound is only on one ear, the problem could be the headphone jack. A headphone jack has bands on it that direct sound where it should. If the headphone jack is busted, you might have trouble getting sound on both ears. Apart from the headphone jack, the issue could be in the headphone band. A wire passes through the headphone band to the other side of the headphone. If the headphone band breaks, the wire inside could have a problem that super glue or a hair band cannot fix.

You might need tools like two thin pliers that you most likely do not own for headphone jack repair. The best option is always to take a faulty headphone set to a professional. In cases where the original band is badly damaged, ensure the cable inside is fine and the headphone works before you get out your cable ties.

Final Take

There are many ways of repairing broken headphones, from heat shrink tubing to a short stiff wire. However, prevention is always the best possible way to go. Pets are the number one culprits when it comes to biting the cables. Avoid stuffing your headphones with other things in your bag, and you certainly want to avoid sleeping with them. Taking good care of your headphones will see them last for years.

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