Once you’ve exhausted the other possibilities, it’s time to take a look at your headphones for signs of physical damage or wear.

  1. Inspect the ear pieces and connection ports (if applicable) for dirt and debris, which can build up over time and cause distortion or physical connection issues. If you suspect dirt, carefully clean your headphones using gentle sprays of compressed air or by delicately digging blockages out with a dry cotton swab or a toothpick (be super careful if using a toothpick).
  2. Water damage (either from moisture buildup over time or a more direct encounter with water) can also cause irreparable damage to some headphones. If you’re fairly certain water damage is the problem and your headphones aren’t rated against moisture (check your documentation to verify this, if possible), repairing the damage is unlikely.
  3. If your headphones use a wired connection, check the cable for signs of damage like tears or fraying. If you do see damage, you can attempt to fix it by first cleaning the exposed area with a small amount of isopropyl alcohol (to remove dirt), then when dry wrap the damaged section with electrical tape.

While blockages and physical damage can sometimes be fixed, depending on the severity (and capabilities of your headphones) it’s not a guarantee. If you’ve identified the cause, whether it’s damaged wires, internal shorts from water, etc, and your audio is still off even after you attempt to fix it, buying a replacement set is advised.

By mrtrv