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I would love some tips on how to make headphones connected to my phone last longer while listening to music.

The basic issue is that every time I purchase headphones (tried both cheap and expensive ones), within 3-4 months, the sound from either the left of right ear piece starts to break. It usually is fixed by toggling the jack in the mic port. When not in use and out and about, I usually have the headphones wrapped around my phone and in my jeans pocket.

I assume it is because part of the wiring in the jack becomes lose as it is fixed by moving it around. However as time progresses it becomes much worse to the point where that does not work and off I go to purchase another headphones!

Any tips on how to stop this from happening. I would love to have a pair that lasts longer then 6 months!

  • You can learn how to solder on a new connector. That would be worth knowing how to do. It is just 3 wires, and then you can fill it with hot melt glue and other useful improvements. But still cover it all with Heatshrink Tubing. Always. – user13683 Apr 28 '16 at 16:48
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If the connection between your headset and phone is prone to break, add a short headphone extension and use that as a sacrificial part that can be replaced easily once it wears out. Look for an inexpensive extension in the shortest length you can find. They are much cheaper to replace than a high-quality headphone.

Product search: Short Headphone Extension Cables

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The connection between the wire and the headphone plug is a very high-stress area, so the degree of flex the wire experiences at that point is substantial. Better-quality headphone will typically include a rubberized extension along that connection to spread out the load, but if that does not solve your problem, you can make a more substantial reinforcement yourself.

You can use heat shrink wrap tubing to build a longer, more-flexible reinforcement.

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To make the joint stronger still, I would suggest doubling over the cable near the plug before you shrink wrap the entire bundle. That will make the flex point substantially thicker and and less prone to premature wear.

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And if you want to get really fancy, add a pen spring before you shrink wrap it to make a really strong, flexible connection.

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Related bonus tip:

If you don't have shrink wrap on hand, you might want to invest in something like this product called Sugru (product search). Sugru is a moldable/shapeable, self-setting material that turns into a strong, flexible, waterproof rubber overnight. It's more expensive than shrink wrap, but you can use it for fixing, modifying, and making many things that are broken or need this type of modification.

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  • It is generally called Heatshrink Tubing, or shrink tubing. Shrink wrap is a film for covering large objects. (Shrink rap is when you sing to your Therapist.) You can use two or more layers of heatshrink tubing of different lengths to make a strain relief that is strong but still flexes in a uniform way, with not too small of a bend radius. – user13683 Apr 28 '16 at 16:45
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I used to have the same problem, but now it's solved. If you've been getting the headphones with straight mic jack, and you like to wrap it around your phone, I suggest you getting your new headphones with an "L-shaped" mic jack. This way, even if you wrap your cord around something, it follows the direction at which the mic jack is bent by the L-shape. enter image description here

  • Helpful choice, but eventually the stress point will still flex too much. Heatshrink still works, over the little flex-guard part and a bit longer than that down the cord. +1 for pink cord. – user13683 Apr 28 '16 at 16:39
  • One other point: The angled connector / plug is very helpful to prevent any forces on the cable from being applied to the connector in the device (laptop or whatever). The long straight connector is susceptible to being "bashed" or leaning against things, which could damage the jack inside your expensive device! Angled connectors were created mostly for this reason, not so much to save the cord. So they are an excellent idea anyway! – user13683 Apr 28 '16 at 21:43
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think this has been answered but if you wrap a bit of electrical tape around the stress relief this helps alot.. also depending where the output is... on the top or the side should affect what type of head phones you get 90 degre jack for side or straight for top or bottom of device... there is only a very thin non conductive film coating on the wires that stops it shorting out with the wire next to it..

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