I was wondering if someone knows if it is unusually hard to do soldering on a flat headphones cable. I am sorry, I don't know how one is called, which is why I could not even find a replacement or any videos or how-tos. It's for Sony MDR-ZX600 headphones with a 3.5mm TRRS jack. The jack is slightly bent, and I have to use a M-F adapter and flex the cable to get them to work. I've never had to deal with a flat cable like that and don't want to completely break it by trying to solder a new jack to it.

Has anyone dealt with this type of cable and is it as easy to deal with as most low-end round audio cables? I was only able to fix no so fancy XLR mic connectors and inexpensive speaker systems with ripped out cables, etc. Thanks in advance.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you edit the second paragraph? I don't think the parenthetical is intentional... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ looks like a "flat cable" but without seeing inside the sheath it's hard to be certain. Some cables have each conductor as a core of polyester fibres with copper tape or strands wound around it, these are very hard to solder, crimps are usually used instead. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 11:01

1 Answer 1


Yes, it is rather hard to solder to those cables. They are designed for ease of manufacture (using expensive tooling) and flexibility for the user. But those properties make them rather difficult for hand-soldering. You could probably do it if you have extraordinary patience and excellent soldering skills.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Dang, that's too bad. I have limited soldering experience with good accessibility to cables and a iron with one tip. I was thinking to upgrade the iron to do this fix, but not sure now. I suppose I could poke into the headphone itself and see if I can replace the entire cable... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 4:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ How is this cable called by the way? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 4:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ It is generally classified as "ribbon cable" but there are many kinds of which this is rather a minority "specialty" type. It is rather related to the kind of flat cable use for more modern wired telephones. If you are unable to re-terminate the connector, you are left with replacing the entire cable and replacement parts for a rather low-end consumer gadget like that may be hard to find. It would be easier to replace the whole cable if it weren't the kind with a split "Y" cable that goes off to both sides externally. You may be able to find a replacement for some other brand/model and hack. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 4:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the explanation. I think if I decide to mess with them I will try to open the cups and see if I can resolder from there instead. I've done a similar thing with old Sennheisers, but they were way more accessible than Sony's. It really upsets me that electronics are like that - you can only throw them out... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 21:04

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