It seems like manufacturers conspiracy, but I go through 3-4 pairs of earbuds a year, just because of the broken cable. They just won't make them last or detachable. I discovered recently that there's a standard for this, named "mmcx connector", which seems to target that exact problem. But after I bought a pair of earphones with mmcx-es and went through 2 cables with them, the left earphone just degraded itself (lost 70% of volume). I received a replacement, and the same story repeated itself. All within a year!

So what would be a solution for this. I need decent sounding earbuds, with detachable cord that would be more or less durable, without going crazy-expensive.


2 Answers 2


Use hot glue on the wire leading into the 3.5mm male jack, and stiffen it with 5-10mm heatshrink. The heatshrink will compress onto the jack and hot glue, making it highly tug-resistant.


I have a pair of earbuds that have lasted 6 years after receiving this treatment.

Edit: It’s worth mentioning that the rubber on most earbuds will naturally decay in strength by the joints - they’ll break even if you don’t tug them.

  • wow. looks somewhat ugly because of color, but why dont they do it on-factory.... Oct 13, 2017 at 9:06
  • You can have any colour. Pink, if you prefer. It’s not applied anywhere but by the lightning/3.5mm jacks. Apple et al could protect earbuds better, but they’re a huge source of revenue.
    – user2497
    Oct 13, 2017 at 11:43
  • Now all the women who go to the mall start shopping for pink heatshrink tubing. I have outputted 1 petalol into the wide world.
    – user2497
    Oct 13, 2017 at 12:04
  • Heatshrink can also be applied to various bodyparts.
    – user2497
    Oct 13, 2017 at 12:05

The only lifehack solution I heard for this problem was a father who braided a leather cover for his sons earplugs.
Where the 'naked' earplugs usually broke within a few weeks to months, the covered ones lasted for a few years.

If you can not braid leather you might be able to cover the wire in a different way. I am thinking sticky tape, or feed the wire through a cord.

There are many sites with instructions to braid, leather, paracord with and without a core and other string on the web, I think it is the best to search images (if you want stills) or videos (if you prefer moving instructions) and try out a few. But here are a few to start with, the kind of braid you need is not always at the head of the page and I have not (always) been able to link to the right bit.

I have never seen instructions for covering headphone wires, so you will need to use your own imagination as well.
Never having seen the covered headphones, this is what the father told me he had done. The earphones were the kind with separate buds for each ear, when covering he did have them together, (in this sketch, the bit between the red rings,) and the actual wire would come out a 10 cm/4" from the bud and the braiding would go round the neck, taking the weight of the braid as well as the music player which was on a connection near the Y in the wire.
a basic sketch of a set of headphones with the wires side by side in the back.

  • Please provide braiding links.
    – user2497
    Oct 13, 2017 at 12:11

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