About a month ago my beloved Skullcandy TIs suffered the fate of all headphones which had come before it; the wiring (most likely from the extreme cold) went and the sound along with it. Woe was me, I needed to get them replaced again. However since Skullcandy has graciously discontinued the TI series, no swap from Skullcandy. I finally decided to bite the bullet and just fix them myself.
Repair isn’t entirely common with them as it was very difficult to find anyone who had experience, but if you generalize it to search on ‘headphone wire repair’ then you should be able to narrow it down and get the information you need. I knew it was a wire problem because when I turned my or the wire was pressed in an odd way, the sound would cut out. I’m going to warn you however, if you don’t know much about soldering or electronics, then you’ll probably be better off just getting a new pair of headphones. There’s a good deal involved with the TIs because they have the volume control which bisects the wire, although this actually makes repair a bit easier than a single cable.
Also as a bonus, the extension cable they give you is the same wire but with the added bonus that it’s longer. If the wiring problem was on the plug connector, then you have an easier time as you can just swap that section. I had to swap the section between the volume and headphones. Inside the speaker is a bit of a pain in the ass, as they’ve got most of the wires connected to the headphones, however a fourth wire heading over to the right speaker needs to be soldered together (the pain in the ass connection). Volume soldering is fairly straight forward connection of the three wires, just make sure you know where what’s going else you’ll have a bad connection or reversed stereo.
All and all repair took me approximately an hour since I’m not the most experienced at soldering. Again the hardest part will be with the 4th wire connection to the other speaker. It’s also more difficult given the size of the wires you have to work with in addition to their coating. Even if you gob on the solder, you have plenty of room in both the headphone housing and volume control to fit everything back together. It’s all a matter of patience and caution.
Just to be clear, here’s a list of what you’ll need:
- soldering Iron with a fine / thin tip
- solder, be careful with lead based and use in well ventilated area
- three strand colour coated wire (or Skullcandy extension wire packaged with headphones)
- busted Skullcandy headphones
- optional but very useful: ‘third hand’. Has two adjustable alligator clips to hold what you’re going to be soldering together.
- electrical tape or heat shrink: used for covering up the fourth wire’s exposed solder to keep it from shorting out the speaker
- patience and a steady hand
Again it’s not something overly complicated, but it’s best something to do as a last resort and if you have the background experience. If you have a friend who’s done it before, then I would suggest bringing it to their attention and see if they can pull it off. It was well worth the efforts of doing it myself as they sound exactly the same as when they were first put on my head to pump out some killer music.
Best of luck, and a bit of buyer beware with the next-gen of Skullcandy products.