Water damage is a common reason for a set of headphones to stop working and can happen without warning. Luckily, there are several ways you can fix your water-damaged headphones, many of which take very little time or effort.
Before we get started with how to fix water damaged headphones, you must understand why water damage is a problem in the first place.
Water damages headphone speakers by corroding and rusting metal parts inside them, making it difficult or impossible for sound waves to be appropriately interpreted.
This means that your headphones will likely have distorted sound while this corrosion takes place, but it also means that they may stop working altogether. The corrosion usually takes longer than the distortion to set in, so you may not notice it for some time.
Knowing this, you must respond quickly if your headphones get wet.
1. Stop Using Them Immediately
The first step is to stop using them immediately after they become wet and unplug them from all devices. If the cord is detachable, remove it as well to avoid any further damage.
2. Remove All Electronic Parts
The next step is to remove any electronic parts from your headphones, such as speaker systems and cables. This includes all detachable parts, such as ear pads and cords.
You will also want to remove any small screws or other pieces that can detach and ensure no small components are leftover. Having these loose electronic components can be very dangerous and can cause damage to any electronic devices that they come into contact with.
Note: If your headphones have a detachable cable, it’s helpful to label where each wire goes using an ink pen, so you don’t get confused later on. Doing this will help ensure that the cable is put back together correctly when we get to step four.
3. Dry Headphones
The most crucial part of fixing water-damaged headphones is drying them out and preventing further damage. There are several ways to do this, but we recommend using a fan, dehumidifier and dish rack for the best results.
To dry your headphones, place them on top of a dish rack with the speaker facing down, away from any electronics. Next, place them under a fan and point the fan’s airflow towards the headphones to help speed up the drying process.
You will want to leave your headphones out like this for at least two days before moving on to step 4. If they are not dry enough after this time, continue to leave them out but check on them every few hours.
4. Finishing Touches
If your headphone cables are detachable, then you can skip this step. However, if they’re not, you’ll need to remove the line from your headphones and clean it separately using rubbing alcohol or vinegar water (50/50 mix).
Note: If you have a detachable headphone cable, it’s best to remove the line from your headphones and clean them using a soft cloth. You will also want to dry the inside of the jack with a damp paper towel before plugging them in again to ensure that no moisture remains.
After cleaning both parts thoroughly, you can put them back together and plug your headphones into a device to ensure they’re working correctly. If any distortion or sound problems remain, there may still be some corrosion in the speakers from the water damage.
If this is the case, we recommend checking out any of these articles to find a new pair of headphones: