We can all agree these days headphones count as one of the essentials that a person must have because of how much it is used throughout the day. For instance, we as a fast-paced generation enjoy multitasking whenever we can.
In other words, the majority of people listen to music while traveling from one end to the other. It comes in handy for various situations.
Especially during this lockdown, we all can relate to the zoom call meetings and work from home that everyone is experiencing. Headphones are a huge blessing to knock off the background noises while attempting to work from home.
The headphone jack is an essential piece of technology that’s found in a myriad of devices, from smartphones and laptops to sound systems and televisions. As much as it’s a functional feature, it’s also often the subject of issues such as malfunctions or water damage.
In this detailed, SEO-optimized guide, we’ll explore what a headphone jack is, its uses, what to do when it’s not working, and how water damage affects it.
What is a Headphone Jack?
The headphone jack, also known as an audio jack or phone jack, is a small round port where you can plug in headphones, earbuds, or external speakers.
The most common types include the 3.5mm jack and the 6.35mm (1/4-inch) jack, though variations like the 2.5mm and USB-C types are also available. This port facilitates the transfer of audio signals from the device to your headphones, enabling a private or enhanced listening experience.
Uses of the Headphone Jack
The headphone jack is not limited to just facilitating private listening. Its uses are versatile and widespread:
- Private Listening: Ideal for environments where you don’t want to disturb others, like libraries or offices.
- Audio Recording: Microphones can be plugged into some headphone jacks for better audio capture.
- External Speakers: Boost your device’s audio by connecting it to external speakers.
- Audio Splitting: Allows multiple people to listen to the same audio source using a splitter.
- Audio Mixing: DJs and sound engineers often use headphone jacks for connecting to audio mixers.
- Accessibility: Assists individuals with hearing impairments in better understanding audio or video content.
Headphone Jack Not Working: Common Causes and Solutions
If your headphone jack isn’t working, it could be due to several reasons:
- Software Glitch: A simple reboot might solve the problem.
- Driver Issues: Update your audio drivers if you’re facing this problem on a computer.
- Debris Accumulation: Lint or dust could block the port. Gently clean it with a toothpick or compressed air.
- Cable Issues: Sometimes, the problem lies with the headphone cable, not the jack. Try using a different pair of headphones to diagnose this.
- Wear and Tear: Over time, headphone jacks can wear out and may need to be replaced.
- Settings Misconfiguration: Ensure the audio settings on your device are configured correctly.
How to Fix Headphone Jack Not Working on PC and Android
We can all agree every now and now we at least once faced problems with headphones, and it is annoying, which is why we brought you an article which will explain a few steps that can be taken to fix a headphone jack at home and use it on any Android or PC.
Method 1: Make Sure Your Headphone isn’t Broken
The first and foremost step is to be sure that your headphone jack is not broken. In other words, if your headphones are not working in a particular device, then try to plug it into a different device to see if it is working.
Different devices here refer to a variety of devices such as laptops, TV, etc. With a 3.5mm jack, they can be used to check if the headphones are working. After you plug the headphones into any given device and still can’t hear any audio, then you have spotted the problem.
The solution for this would be that you replace those headphones with a new one. However, if they’re working fine with a different device, then we for sure know there is another problem. Down below are some other fixes that you may find helpful in fixing your headphones.
Method 2: Check to see if the smartphone is connected to a different device via Bluetooth
It could also be possible that your smartphone may be paired with a wireless Bluetooth device, a speaker, or any other device, which may cause your headphone jack to be disabled. A smartphone can recognize when headphones are plugged in and built in a way to work along with the smartphone’s software.
However, sometimes due to some problems, either the smartphone or headphones don’t work the way they are built to. However, the fix to this problem is quite easy, there are only a few steps to fix this problem.
First, you have to open up the settings menu on your smartphone or any other device. Second, you have to find the Bluetooth option and check whether it is on or off.
If it is on, then it likely is paired with any device in your house that has a Bluetooth option. You need to turn off the Bluetooth option. After that, go ahead and plug in your headphones to ensure the problem is taken care of. If it still does not work after all this, please check out the next solution.
Method 3: Clean the Headphone Jack
One of the reasons for your headphones not working could be that it has accumulated a lot of dust and lint over its usage. The accumulation of dust and lint can close up the connection between the headphone and the jack.
It would be wise to check and see if your headphone jack is dirty. A flashlight to check that might come in handy. The next step is to clean the headphone jack and hope that it solves the problem. One of the ways that are advised to clean a headphone jack is to use a cotton swab.
You would ask how to use it? It’s simple; all you need to do is gently insert the end of a dry cotton swab into the jack and clean whatever is in there. Make sure to be very careful while using this technique because it could cause more damages to the device.
You could also damp the cotton swab with alcohol and use it to clean the dust-out but make sure not to use too much alcohol; just a tad bit will go a long way. Another option is to simply blow into the headphone jack and take care of the dust and lint inside the headphone jack.
Once done, check to see how much dirt has been cleaned out of the headphone jack. If it looks like most of it has come out, plug in your headphones to check if it works the way it should.
Method 4: Check Audio Settings and Restart Device
There may be no problem with the jack or the headphone you’re using. However, there could be some problems with the audio settings which may be causing the problem. In that case, it’s an easy fix that will not take much time.
On your device, go to the audio settings to make sure that nothing is muted. Normally, there are many settings like these on smartphones, so in many cases, this is not usually the issue, but if there is a setting like this, then the chances are that you will find it right away.
If the above fix does not work and everything seems to be in order, we have one more solution: restarting your device.
This is something that can solve various problems that smartphones face at any given time. After restarting your device, check to see if the problem is persisting. If you are still not able to find a solution, move on to the next method.
Method 5: Make Sure Your Headphones are Plugged in Properly
There are two steps that you need to consider at this point. First, make sure that you have inserted your headphones into the right jack.
Second, check to see if you can hear any sound from your headphones. If you still can’t hear any sound, then move onto our next fix down below.
Method 6: Make sure the volume is audible
As mentioned earlier in the blog, a lot of the time, sometimes you can’t hear anything from the headphones, and it could just be because the volume could be completely muted.
To make sure the volume is up, you should do this:
Step 1: Hit the sound icon on the lower-right of your screen. Then move the volume slider to however much you want the sound to be loud.
Step 2: Test to see if you can hear anything through the headphones. If the headphone jack is not working on the laptop, please look into our next fix.
Method 7: Make Sure it’s Not A Headphone Problem
It is possible that a broken headphone could be the cause of the inability to hear anything. If that is the case, then please use another pair of headphones on your device to see if it works.
If the other pair of headphones end up working on your device, then you have spotted the problem. You could just use the other pair of headphones on your device. Else, opt-out to repair the old headphones or buy a new one. Whichever option works for you!
Method 8: Set Headphones to Default
Developers have build windows in such a way that allows them to automatically identify any headphones and set it as the default playback device whenever you plug it in. However, sometimes it requires us to manually set default devices to make sure it is working the correct way.
Here is how you would do it:
Step 1: Right-click on the sound icon on the lower-right of your computer screen, then click Sounds.
Step 2: Hit the Playback tab, unplug. Then re-plug your headphones into the jack. Then click, OK. That should do it for you.
Step 3: Check to see if the headphone jack is working or not on your laptop. If it’s not working then, move on to our next fix down below.
Method 9: Change in the Audio Format
In some cases, if the format of the audio you are playing is not matching the default setting. Then you might not hear the sound either. Therefore, you can take the following four steps to change it:
Step 1: Right-click on the sound icon in the lower-right of your screen, then click sounds.
Step 2: Hit Playback. Then right-click on Headphones > Properties.
Step 3: Hit Advanced. Then select from the lits one by one. Then, click Test to see if you can hear sound from the selected format.
Step 4: If any of the formats works, then click Apply > OK. If none works in this list, then please proceed to our next fix.
Method 10: Uninstall IDT Audio Device
This solution only works when you have installed an IDT audio device on your laptop.
Step 1: Press the Windows Logo Key and R at the same time on your keyboard.
Step 2: Copy and Paste appwiz.cpl into the box and click OK.
Step 3: Right-click on IDT, then click Uninstall.
Step 4: Check to see if the headphone jack not working on the laptop issue has been solved.
Method 11: Time to call the repairman
If you’re looking at method 5 without being able to fix your device, then it is sure there is a severe problem that needs to be fixed. If you have a warranty for your device, we advise that you contact the retailer or manufacturer.
Explain the problem to them, and go through the procedure to send it back to them for a repair or replacement. This may take some time, it depends on the type of problem you are facing with your device, but the good news is that it’s free.
If you have an expired warranty for some reason, you can contact your phone insurance and claim with your provider. Lastly, there is one more solution, but this solution is probably the most disliked.
You may just have to take the responsibility of fixing the device by having someone repair it who knows what they are doing, which means you will have to spend money, and it may be expensive or not so expensive.
However, this investment may allow you to use your headphone jack again. If you would rather buy a new pair of headphones, then that would do the work as well.
Can Water Damage the Headphone Jack?
Yes, water can severely damage the headphone jack and the device it’s connected to. When water enters the port, it can cause short circuits, leading to both temporary and permanent malfunction. The risk is higher for devices that are not water-resistant.
How to Handle Water Damage
- Immediate Action: Unplug any connected headphones and power off your device immediately.
- Remove Excess Water: Shake the device gently to remove water droplets from the headphone jack.
- Dry the Device: Use a dry cloth to dab around the jack and use compressed air if available.
- Silica Gel Method: Place the device in a bag of silica gel packets to absorb moisture.
- Professional Help: For severe damage, consult a professional for repair or replacement.
No one likes to find that their headphones are not working anymore. We always try to fix it before settling for buying a new one, and with the right steps, maybe you’ll achieve the fix for your headphones. That’s why we have brought this fix to you.