[Quick Guide] How to Fix A Loose & Worn Out Headphone Jack

Do you have a pair of headphones that you absolutely love but just cannot understand why they don’t work when you plug them in. headphones are really important and are one of the things that we use every single day. Listening to music, or just blocking out the world, really helps many people get through the day. However, the day seems twice as long when your headphones suddenly stop working. 
If you are plugging in your headphones but the audio seems to be distorted, or your device does not recognize them, it may be that you have a loose or worn-out headphone jack. Before you head over to a forum and ask others, my headphone jack is loose. How can I fix it? Give this article a read, and you will never have to ask anyone about fixing a worn-out headphone jack.

What makes a headphone jack work?

A headphone jack is a point that connects the output audio from a device and channels it to a user’s headphone speakers. In the past, the headphone jack was standardized to a 3.5mm jack. This jack was used in headphones all over the world and could connect with almost all devices. However, currently, there are five different kinds of headphone jacks used in different mobile phones, laptops, speakers, and headphones.

  • USB audio jack
  • 3.5mm mini jack
  • Lightning audio jack
  • Type C
  • Micro Jack 2.5mm
  • 6.3 mm jack

The headphone jack uses a series of channels that transmit sound. Mostly there are 3-4 channels depending on the type of headphone jack you have. Commonly the first and second channel is reserved for left and right speakers, while the 4th is reserved for ground. If your headphone has microphone capabilities, then you will have an additional channel. 

The channels or the grooves are each connected to the wire running through the capable. As you connect your headphone jack to your device, each ring clicks into place to establish a secure connection. The headphone jack is also covered with a conductive layer. The thin layer of metal completes the connection and allows for the headphone to work effectively. 

If the sound headphone is leaking and you do not understand the problem, you can read, What is Headphone Sound Leakage and How to Fix It?

What makes a headphone jack work

What stops a headphone jack from working?

A headphone jack works mainly due to two main components. The conductive thin metal coating and the grooves or rings on the jack. If you plug in your headphone jack and cannot hear the sound through the speakers, one of two things may be the cause. It might be that my headphone jack is loose and cannot properly align with the rings on the headphones jack. Or it may be that your jack has malfunctioned. 

If you think that your jack is the issue with your headphones not working, you should read on how to fix a damaged headphone jack

What stops a headphone jack from working

Is it better to use a gold- or silver-plated headphone jack?

It is common understanding to consider items involving gold or silver plating to be of higher quality. The same, however, cannot be said for headphone jacks. Gold- or silver-plated headphone jack scratches easily, which makes it not durable. 

Most people plug and unplug their headphones at least a couple of times daily. A normal headphone jack will have a life cycle of 5000 plugins and outs. If nothing else goes wrong with your headphones, like fixing a worn-out headphone jack, you can easily use them regularly for 3 years.  

Using gold- or silver-plated headphone will reduce your headphone’s life. It is always better to use the jack, which has a thin metallic covering. This way, the headphone jack can resist oxidation due to a humid climate and increase the life of your headphones.

How to fix a damaged headphone jack?

A damaged headphone jack does not mean that you have to buy a new pair of headphones. It may well be that what you consider to be damaged is something else entirely. Regardless as you read on, you will find the possible problem with your headphone jack that you can solve easily. You can always get a professional to help you out. But following the instructions correctly by yourself will also fix loose aux port or headphone jack.

damaged headphone

Not snapping into place

The most common problem with headphones is that it does not always snap into place. It becomes extremely difficult for users to fit the headphone jack into the part of the device they are using. This can be solved by checking for blocked debris in the port or residue on the jack itself. You need to be careful while cleaning the port or the jack as the parts are extremely sensitive. Do not force the jack into any socket or use metal surfaces to clean. Most professionals use a can of compressed air to blow out any dirt or clog in ports, making it easier to clean.

How to Fix A Loose Headphone Jack and replace worn out parts?

The first step to opt for when looking to fix a loose headphone jack and replace worn-out parts is to check for a warranty. If your headphone is still within the warranty period, you should be doing nothing to them. Most likely, the manufacturer will replace or fix the headphones for you. This will save you a lot of time. However, if you do not have a warranty on your products and are looking to replace the headphone jack for yourself, then the steps below should help you do so. 

Note: being able to understand the technology of headphones is a plus point when replacing the headphone jack. It is important that you can identify which wire connects to which part of the audio jack. At the same time, you should also know how to use a soldering iron.

Replacing headphone jack

  1. The first thing you should do is to get yourself replacement parts. (look for them online)
  2. Use a wire cutter to cut and remove the headphone jack along with half an inch of wire. 
  3. Use the wire cutters to stretch the insulation on the wire back. 
  4. Match up the wires to their respective leads and solder in place.

Replacing the jack port

  1. Order a new port that is compatible with your device
  2. Open the device to access the area where the port is located
  3. Discard the old port and replace it with the new port
  4. Snap it in place
  5. Close the device
Replacing the jack port

Is it better to leave headphones plugged in?

Depending on the use you have, it might be better to leave headphones plugged in. one of the best ways to never have to know How to Fix A Loose Headphone Jack is by not disconnecting the headphone jack. If you are someone who uses headphones on a computer or in a studio, it might be a good idea to leave the headphones in. Most people don’t travel with their headphones which is why keeping the headphones plugged in might be perfect. 

However, if you do have to remove your headphones every day, it is important that you remove them with caution. A lot of the headphone jacks break or get damaged while the user is removing the headphones from their device. A little caution could go a long way in making sure that your headphones have an increased lifespan.

If you have a lot of issues untangling your headphones due to storing them in your bag, it might be a good idea to give How to untangle headphone cords a read.


Fixing a loose and worn-out headphone jack requires a little technical knowledge of how they actually work. However, it is not something that you cannot do on your own. If your headphones are still covered under warranty, you should always have the manufacturer repair the product. But if you have to do it yourself, you can easily do so with the instructions in this article. Moving on to newer technology is crucial, but sometimes you just need to replace a faulty part to an otherwise perfect pair of headphones. That is where this article can help you out.

Photo of author

Atakan Kara

I am addicted to music. This is not a problem, per se, but it can be hard to keep your music addiction in check when you don’t have the right tools. A good headset is key, and that’s why I’m so passionate about sharing my experiences through this website.

Leave a Comment