Why do I only hear music in one ear?

I know, I know, this seems like a simple case of replacing the headphone jack. But here's the problem, my headphones have a detachable cable; two actually. I've tried both, and I only get sound in one ear, or no ears. I've even tried another cable from around my house, and that didn't work either. My phone and computer both work with my in ear headphones, so the problem has to be the headphones themselves, not the cable. Any suggestions as to how I could fix this would be greatly appreciated.

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It sounds like you have two problems. One with the headphones and one with one of your cables.

First - sound in one ear only is probably that the connection between the jack and headphone speaker is open. Either lack of tension in the spring connector in the jack itself where it touches the plug - (gently try to move plug side to side / up and down whilst inserted in jack and listen for sound in speaker side not working), wire off jack terminal, wire broken between jack and speaker, wire off speaker terminal or faulty speaker. The convention is/was that the "tip" of the plug connected to the left speaker and the "ring" (next connection on plug) connected to the right speaker and the "sleeve" was the common (or earth or return) for both speakers. But sometimes manufacturers do whatever they want.

You will have to open the headphones up and using an ohmmeter do a point to point test of the wiring path to locate where the problem is.

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Next - the cable that gave no sound could have a faulty connection say for the tip (left speaker) and if the headphones had a faulty connection for the right speaker then you would end up with no sound in either ear, which I think you said happened. Of course it could be the other way around or it could be a faulty "sleeve" connection in the cable as well. You could try inserting this cable and the gently flexing it just past the plug at either end of the cable and listen for any sounds. This may tell you where the problem is if the wire has just come loose in the plug. Then again you may not hear anything.

Hopefully this has been of some help

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how do you fix a pair of headphones

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For standard headphones you need an Ohmmeter (function found in a DMM-digital multimeter - adequate ones available from larger hardware stores <$15-$20) to test where the problem is.

Connect the meter test leads between the tip of the plug connector and the 'sleeve' connector (3rd ring from end of plug) you should get a reading.

If not there is a problem with the connection for the left speaker, either in the plug, the cable or the speaker itself.

Next test between the ring (2nd ring) of the plug and the sleeve (3rd ring). You should get a reading on the meter. If not there is a problem with the plug, the cable or the right speaker.

To isolate where the problem is either dis-assemble the headphones speakers to gain access to the wires or cut the cable about 2" from the plug to expose the wires into the plug and back to the speakers and then test each way using the meter.

You'll have to replace the plug, even if the problem is with the cable or the speakers themselves, but this is usually the only way to do it. (cable fractures near where it exits the plug are common as people pull the plug out by the cable and not by the plug)


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