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What to Do If Your Headphones Break?


Being cautious with your belongings is more aspirational than practical if you're anything like me. Things get dropped, misplaced, and banged up against walls. Regretfully, this applies to some of our most enjoyable and practical gadgets, such as headphones.

If you happen to have a broken pair of headphones and are unsure about what to do with them, this guide will offer you some advice on how to evaluate the damage, maybe repair it, and/or dispose of the headphones in an environmentally responsible manner.

How to Handle Damaged Headphones?

Broken headphones can be recycled, donated, traded in, or modified to function as a speaker or microphone, among other options.

Verifying that your headphones are indeed broken and then following the proper procedures to dispose of them responsibly are crucial components of any audio device's life cycle that you are discarding.

What Constitutes Each Headphone Part?

Understanding the various parts of your headphones on a basic level will not only help you figure out how to fix them but will also provide guidance on how to recycle or properly dispose of them.

In essence, headphones are tiny speakers housed inside the earcups' circuitry. Through a sophisticated procedure, these speakers, also known as drivers, transmit sound to our ears so that we may hear and comprehend the audio being transmitted.

The following parts are found in headphones:


This sturdy, flexible piece made of synthetic plastic may be adjusted to fit a variety of head sizes. But often, this kind of plastic cannot be recycled. Consider donating or selling it to companies that can repurpose the content.

2.Ear cups

Usually composed of hard plastic or silicone covered with leather or foam, ear cups are used. It is not possible to recycle these materials. To find out if the manufacturer will accept your broken product back for reuse, try getting in touch with them.

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Every set of headphones, as I just explained, has tiny speakers inside each ear cup that produce sound for your ears to hear. These drivers consist of copper coils, diaphragms, and magnets. You can recycle the materials if excessive bass does not harm them. If your headphones are broken, you can even attempt turning them into speakers by taking the drivers out of the earcups.


Rubber or cloth are used to enclose copper or aluminium wiring, which makes up headphones. You can bring these recyclable products to a garbage drop-off location.


The metal and copper jacks are used to connect your headphones to your device. These materials are recyclable, as I have stated.

Reusing Headphones

While some materials included in headphones are not recyclable, you can recycle the items you do not want to keep by dropping them off at your local recycling center. You can find the recycling centre nearest you by using Earth 911.

1.Contribute headphones to recycling initiatives

Another option is to consider giving your headphones to businesses that not only make headphones but also have green recycling initiatives. JLab's Recycling Programme, which takes in headphones of any brand and determines where and how to properly dispose of them, is an excellent resource for recycling headphones.

2.Give in your headphones

Try selling your headphones to companies that will take them back. You can choose the headphones' quality and do a product-type search. You might be able to get some money back for your trade-in items if they are low quality but still functional.

You won't be concerned about holding onto them indefinitely or disposing of them incorrectly if your only plan is to recycle them. However, they won't have any monetary trade-in value.

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3.Do your headphones truly need repair?

It's critical to determine for sure whether a pair of headphones are truly broken before determining what to do with them. If your headphones may still be salvaged, it would be a shame to throw them in a donation box or recycling facility.

To find the best solution, try identifying the root cause of the issue.

In case you're wondering how long headphones should last, we've covered everything in this post.

4.Is there a cable issue?

Damage to the internal wiring of the cable and audio cut-out are the most frequent problems with wired headphones. Long-term wear and tear, shoddy construction, or incorrect wire coiling when removing or storing your headphones can all lead to this damage.

The following equipment is required to replace a damaged cable: wire clippers, wire strippers, soldering irons, solder removers, screwdrivers, and new cables.

5.Switch the headphones to speaker mode

Before discarding or donating the remaining pieces, you can attempt converting your headphones into stereo speakers if the speakers are still functional but the headphones themselves are damaged.

Ascertain that you have a soldering iron, Bluetooth speakers, and your broken headphones.

To convert your damaged headphones into speakers, do these steps:

● Remove the headphone enclosure so that the circuit board and the headphones are the only things remaining.

● To take the headphones out of the circuit board, unsolder the speakers.

● Disassemble the Bluetooth speakers.

● Test it after soldering the Bluetooth speakers to the headphone circuit board!

Over-ear Headphones Wireless

6.Save the remaining parts for replacements

Taking apart your headphones and saving the parts that are still functional is another approach to reducing the amount of waste you are making when you dispose of them.

As I mentioned before, headphones are made up of multiple components, each of which has a distinct purpose.

Take out an old pair of broken headphones and see if you can repair any parts if your relatively new headphones have a broken component.

If you break a part of your headphones and don't want to buy a new pair, salvaging replacement parts is a terrific way to save money. Put another way, you don't have to abandon ship just because a single part of the headphones breaks.

● Headband

You never know when you could break the headband on a new pair of headphones, so if your headphones break but the headband is still in place, cling onto it.

Even though headbands from reputable brands are often made to last, it's still true that they're one of the parts of over-ear or in-ear headphonesthat are most easily broken. By holding onto the headband of a pair of headphones that would otherwise be broken, one might prevent future frustration.

● Earcups

Due to the frequent contact that earcups have with your body when wearing headphones, they tend to degrade over time. This is particularly true if you use headphones for exercise or other activities like audio production or mixing.

Your headphones may become rough and unusable due to splits or tears in the leather or foam material covering the earcups. If the earcups on your current pair start to come apart, consider using the earpads from a broken set as a backup.

● Jack

Jacks frequently break, which can be an annoying reason to have to throw away an excellent pair of headphones. You never know when you might need the functional jack on an otherwise defective pair of headphones, so make sure to cling onto it.

● Cable

As I previously indicated, the cable is most likely the cause of your broken headphones. Because of their length and tendency to be handled incorrectly, headphone cables are the most susceptible to typical wear and tear.

If you're lucky, some companies may even include extra replacement cables in case the one you have breaks. In any case, you should definitely hold onto the cable if your headphones break, but it's still in good condition because you probably won't want a replacement during the listening session.


All of us are humans. We damage objects. However, this does not mean that we have to waste things because we break them. However, you may want to read this post if you are someone who damages headphones all the time.

In addition to learning some do-it-yourself tips and possibly saving some cash, we can truly help stop the flow of electronic waste by recycling, donating, or finding other uses for our broken headphones!

Everyone has experienced the sensation that something is broken, and we should just attempt to move on as soon as possible. However, before discarding your headphones, check to make sure they're truly broken.

Spend some time getting to know your listening partner and looking for strategies to maintain its functionality.

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