Got one earbud wire ripped out accidentally, but luckily the wire itself was still fine, just had to open the earbud and solder wires again. My earphones are Atomic Floyd super darts, high quality (as far as I can judge :-) ), so I could unscrew it to fix properly, or at least I tried.

Sound is back, but the earbud I fixed has a lower volume than the other one (as well as decreased sound quality). Tried several time, to soldering again several times, swapping wires (in case of), but still the same.

Don't think it would be a ear wax problem (even if I did clean the earbud) as they were working perfectly right before I ripped out the wire, and didn't use them since {~4-5 months).

Any idea why this would happen? Bad soldering? Bad/Wrong tin (Used with 40% lead)?

Thanks for your help. (Sorry if I misused some terms, not English native and not used to electrical engineering language :-) )


closed as off-topic by Leon Heller, Voltage Spike, MCG, Dmitry Grigoryev, DoxyLover Jun 1 '18 at 7:08

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  • "Questions on the repair of consumer electronics, appliances, or other devices must involve specific troubleshooting steps and demonstrate a good understanding of the underlying design of the device being repaired. See also: Is asking on how to fix a faulty circuit on topic?" – Leon Heller, Voltage Spike, MCG, Dmitry Grigoryev, DoxyLover
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  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ It's not the chemistry of the solder for sure. On something that small, it is most likely you overheated the earbud when soldering. I think it's time to replace them, as the only thing in them is likely the voice coil/speaker, maybe a very small passive component or 2. \$\endgroup\$ – Sara Heart May 20 '18 at 21:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It could be flux residue shunting current but more likely you overheated something. \$\endgroup\$ – Dampmaskin May 20 '18 at 21:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ There are a lot of possibilities. I would say probably your solder joint is no good. But there could be lots of other reasons. a break in the wire somewhere else. Or the voice coil could be deformed and not moving in and out freely. Or whatever. \$\endgroup\$ – mkeith May 21 '18 at 2:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Might help to post a picture of the repair. I'd also suggest doing some resistance checks along each wire and between each contact to make sure the repair is good. Either your solder work is bad or the earbud is damaged beyond a simple solder fix. \$\endgroup\$ – Phil C May 21 '18 at 4:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I am pretty handy with a soldering iron and I have never been able to repair a damaged pair of headphones. It is too difficult to match the resistance (you need to keep the solder junctions really low resistance) Do yourself a favor and throw them away and get a new pair (maybe cheaper this time since their easy to destroy) \$\endgroup\$ – Voltage Spike May 21 '18 at 19:09

Agree with previous poster that you probably have a cold (and highly resistive) solder joint. Seriously doubt heat damage to the drivers would -only- lower the output. Heat damage on voice coil/driver that small would distort like crazy.

You can test this (if space allows) by bypassing the solder joint temporarily) with an external shunt on either side of the soldering point. Also, look at the DC resistance of both channels. Cold solder joints are resistive to DC.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks guys for the quick answers. You put the finger on something that made me think I most probably damaged the voice coil when putting it apart. \$\endgroup\$ – Alcaneo May 21 '18 at 9:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ What make me think you're right is the fact that the sound has lost quality significantly on this earbud (on top of lower volume). When trying to open it, I put a needle into this little hole, to see if it would unlock it. I found out after that I just had to unscrew it (stupid me). While I cannot access the voice coil (tons of glue), that's clear that I put the needle on the voice coil and damaged it. That's how you learn I guess :-) \$\endgroup\$ – Alcaneo May 21 '18 at 9:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ As I decided to stop here, I completely removed everything from the earbud, so I confirm I damaged the speaker with that needle :-( \$\endgroup\$ – Alcaneo May 21 '18 at 10:42

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