Trying to listen to your favorite music with broken earphones is frustrating, if not impossible. The good news is this guide will teach you how to fix broken earphones once and for all. The troubleshooting steps in this article apply to most headsets, including headsets that use Bluetooth to connect to a device.
The causes of broken earphones
Due to their mechanical nature, there are many different reasons why the earbuds may not work. Some of the more common causes include:
- Debris stuck in the headset
- Cable failure
- Cable jack failure
- Could not connect successfully
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Check the audio cable first
Regardless of the problem you are having with the earphones, first make sure that the cable is in good condition (if you are not using the wireless earphones). Check for frayed cables, cracked or split plastic casing, and other problems.
In this case, you will need to repair the cable or buy new earphones. If that's not your problem, you can move on.
How to fix earphones that don't work
Can't hear the sound coming out of the earphones? Follow these steps to troubleshoot.
- Make sure the power source of the earphones is turned on. Some earphones have power sources. If this happens, turn them off and on again, then try listening again.
- Make sure the audio source is turned on or activated. Sometimes weird things happen and we accidentally turn the volume up or down on our devices.
- Check the earbuds for debris. A buildup of dirt or other debris inside the earbuds may not make them work properly. Clean them gently.
- If the headphones are wired, disconnect and reconnect the headphones. Just like turning a device off and on solves many technical problems, unplugging and reconnecting earphones can reactivate the sound. Be sure to check the connection of the audio cable jack when you reconnect the earphones. Gently push the plug of the cable to make sure it is connected to the audio socket. If not, you may not hear the audio.
- If the earbuds are wireless, check the Bluetooth connection. If your headphones use Bluetooth to connect to your devices, make sure Bluetooth is turned on. If you are using Bluetooth headphones, you can also try unpairing and reconnecting the headphones with your device.
- Plug the headphones into another audio source. If you can hear audio from another audio device, your device, the one you're trying to listen to music with, probably needs repair.
What to do when only one earphone is not working
Is only one of your earphones working? Follow these troubleshooting steps.
- Disconnect and reconnect. This could solve the one-sided audio problem.
- Clean the headset. A buildup of debris can cause a lack of sound.
- Disconnect and reconnect the Bluetooth. If the earbuds are wireless, this will restore the audio, which may fix the audio problem.
- Check the side balance on your device. Check that your device does not have the left or right side balance setting.
How to fix static or popping noise coming from the headset
Are your earphones crackling? If so, follow these steps to resolve the problem.
- Disconnect and reconnect the earphones. This can fix whatever problem is causing the crepitus.
- If you are using wired headphones, check the connection of the audio cable jack. Push it gently to make sure the audio cable is fully connected to the device.
- Clean the audio jack on the device. Accumulation of debris can cause popping sounds. Try blowing into the audio jack to remove any dust or debris. You can also use some compressed air to get rid of any debris.
- If you are using wireless headphones, disconnect and reconnect Bluetooth. If you are using Bluetooth headphones, try disconnecting and reconnecting them to see if this solves the problem of static or popping noise coming from the headset.
- Are you close to your device? If not, get closer. This can fix crackling or other sound problems, such as sound coming and going.
- Change your EQ settings. If your device has EQ settings, make sure the bass or treble isn't too loud. Sometimes, this can cause static or popping noise when the sound is at its peak, especially if the earbuds aren't meant for that level of audio.
In terms of audio output, simply reducing the volume of the audio can solve the crackling problem. After all, the earbuds may not be meant to handle the level of audio you're trying to play.
If your earphones still don't work
If none of the above solutions fix the earphone problem and the earbuds are not Bluetooth, the audio jack on your device may need to be repaired. While you can fix them yourself, that's not something I recommend.
You can always contact the store where you bought the earbuds to see if they are under warranty and what you need to do to get them repaired.
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