This is my first time writing a tutorial article. I’m not that knowledgeable in repairing earphones so I will just try my best to show you how I repaired it. Hopefully you could get some info you need.
(Note: If your Skullcandy FMJ has 6 wires instead of 5, please read this article instead.)
I love my Skullcandy FMJ. It has good bass and shiny design. I use it on my Samsung YP-P2 and really love the sounds. However, there were two things I didn’t really like: the symmetrical cable (left ear cable is same length as right ear cable.) and the JACK.
(NOTE: I know there are people who like symmetrical cables and that’s OK too. It’s just that I tend to tug at symmetrical cables more often so for me, asymmetrical cables work better.)
Skullcandy FMJ’s jack is LONG, and when I put my MP3 player in my pocket and walk, the wire connected to the jack gets stressed and bended. Now my FMJ is broken, and I cannot hear any bass anymore.
I didn’t bother using the warranty since it’s my fault that my earphones got broken, and I wanted to do some tinkering too. I bought a pair of earphone jacks at a local hardware store, metal ones, for around It came in twos so I just bought it anyway thinking I have a spare in case I failed at my first attempt to solder.
I snipped off the end part of my earphones and threw the defective jack away.
The first thing I did was insert the spring and main body (sorry I don’t know what it’s called… can you tell me please?) into the cable. I won’t be able to assemble the whole jack if I solder first then inserted these things.
I tied a simple knot at the end to prevent these things from sliding off interfering with my work. I found 5 insulated wires and there were uninsulated copper strands around too.
Now I actually didn’t know which color is for which sound channel, so I tried to experiment by connecting the bare jack into my laptop, and used trial-and-error to determine the correct connections. I also researched through the Internet and found out some important things:
- The jack with 2 black rings is a stereo jack, and it has 3 connections: ground, left channel and right channel.
- Left channel is, if not most of the time, always the red wire.
- In order to determine the wires for left and right channels, I must connect the ground wire to the jack first.
- Not connecting the ground wire results in both left and right channels sounding off to either left or right ear only.
And after a few hours of tinkering (lol too long), I have this:
The wires are insulated with something, so for wires this thin, I had to burn the insulation off. I wrapped a strip of paper around the cord and exposed only the wires I wanted to burn. I then lighted these insulated wires with a match and the flame died as it reached the paper wrapping.
I carefully wiped the soot off the wires with tissue, twisted them and inserted them to the corresponding contact points.
Of course before I made permanent changes by soldering, I tested if the connections work by inserting the jack into the audio player, checking if the wires made contact cleanly and if the wires are connected to the correct channels. I also clamped the wire in place by using long-nosed pliers to save me some frustration if ever I accidentally tugged on the wire and the connections I made gets disconnected.
I also snipped the unknown wires (I have a hunch that those are for the microphone, but I did not want to use the mic so that’s fine with me) using whatever is available in my room– in this case my nail cutter.
Now I soldered the wires in place, and snipped the excess wires to prevent short-circuits.
Remember the spring and main body? The parts that I don’t know what they’re called? I assembled it now to the jack to cover the soldered parts. This metal jack had threads so I just screwed the jack in place.
And actually that’s it! I was pleased to be able to use my repaired Skullcandy earphones. I did not notice any difference in sound compared to when it was brand new (no static, no lower quality sound) so I was really happy.