Headphones (without mic) work only in some devices

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by rambomhtri, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Headphones are driving me nuts. I've repaired many of them (replaced the plug). For whatever reason, some of them only work in certain devices. By the way, they all are headphones without mic, so it can't be a stardard OMTP or CTIA compatibility issue.

    In example, last headphones I've repaired work fine in my PC and in my mobile phone. I "abuse" them by twisting the cable, pulling, etc... and I don't hear any sound abnormality, everything is continuous and flawlessly playing.

    Nevertheless, if I try them in a smartphone of a friend of mine, or in an old smartphone of mine, they work really bad, the sound goes off many times, and if you spin them or twist them, the sound is really weird, like a weak connection. Now here's the fun part. If I use an adapter (simply a 3.5mm jack conductor, extension cord), magically the sound is fixed. I abuse the adapter and the jack of the headphones, and the sound is as fine as in my gear.

    Other headphones work fine in both my gear and those 2 phones.

    I've tested continuity in the headphones and it's fine, 20 ohm headphone to ground and 40 ohm headphone to headphone. Plus, in my gear they work perfect, no matter how abusive I am with the cable or connection (without breaking it, of course).

    So... what in hell is going on?
    This is getting on my nerves!
    I don't understand what can it be, if a pair of TRS (3 pole) headphones work in one device, they should work in any other device, right?

    Could it be the coating, that some devices only work with gold coated jacks?
    Cause if you use a silver coated jack, the connection is weaker and it doesn't work?
    But that wouldn't make sense cause then, why are they working fine in my PC, or in my smartphone?

    It happens to be that the headphones I have that work in both my gear and those 2 smartphones are gold coated, but the ones that don't, have a chinese jack that is silver coated. It also happens to be that my 2 different extension cords that fix the issue are also gold coated. Some mysterious sh*t is going in here, damn... I'm about calling a priest, god dammit.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  2. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
  3. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    "Permitted connection
    • Generally speaking, it is perfectly fine to connect a TRS stereo headphone —without a microphone— to your smartphone or tablet which has a TRRS socket. As you will see by looking at both TRRS standards, there is an overlap of standards, so the TRS aligns perfectly to the proper connectors in the outer portion of the socket."
    Which happens to be what I have. The title says no mic, I also said in the first message that I'm working in headphones without mic, so all of them are TRS. Two things happened: or I missed your point, or you did not read my post, neither the title of it.
     
  4. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    Generally speaking means not always. I've no idea what type of resistance sensing vs jack spring contact arm vs plug sleeve size configuration you have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2016
  5. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    I've resoldered right now again the chinese jack to the headhpones. The headphones work just fine in my smartphone. It's 17.9-18.5 ohm between sleeve ground and headphones, and 35.5-36.5 ohm between headphones.

    Now I'm 100% sure the soldered connection is alright and clean. Nevertheless, the same problem is happening again with my other smartphone. I connect the headphones to it, and it sounds as if I made a terrible job and the solder joints are just bad. Which is not the case. This is really weird. It's weird because if I MOVE the plug, the audio changes and there are "magical spots" where the sound works fine. If it was because a compatibility issue, as the joints are clean and well done, I should hear always the same "off" sound. Nevertheless, I'm still able to move the plug and spin it to find magical spots where the sound is just as it should be. It doesn't make any sense. Of course, the smartphones work great with other headphones.

    If I connect my headphones to any smartphone out there, as my headphones have a TRS plug, it shouldn't matter at all if the smartphone has a jack that reads 4 pole plugs in CTIA or OMTP, as all of them will be touching the ground of my plug.

    What else can NOT be compatible?
     
  6. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    5,773
    1,103
    The springiness of the contacts in the jack will probably be different in the different devices, and manufacturing tolerances may mean that the socket diameters vary between devices too, so that the plug fit is sloppy or good.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  7. tranzz4md

    Member

    Apr 10, 2015
    139
    27
    Actually measure the outside dimensions of the different plugs and also the depths of insertion. Measure to the 10th or 100th of a millimeter, or 1000th of an inch. And if you measure from the shoulder, you must get insertion to that depth. I think you'll learn something.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  8. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Thank you,tranz and alec. I'm coming back from a technician shop, and that was exactly it, the dimensions are minimal, but "big" enough to make a good contact in some phones and bad contact in other phones. I'd never thought that could it be, but you know, everyday you learn something new.

    So, problem solved, the 2 phones that don't work with the headphones have a "low quality" jack that can only recognize perfectly sized plugs. Plus, the plug I was using also has some measurements different, it's not standard. So it was a mix of issues.
     
  9. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    The moral to this story, buy quality products not junk.
     
  10. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    8,741
    759
    Or buy quality Junk. :D
     
    nsaspook likes this.
  11. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Amm... I buy whatever the hell I want, and I like those plugs, they work and they are cheap. Only 2 smartphones have failed to them. The alternative is buying a Neutrik $13 plug. It's a nice strategy to buy it if you want to repair $9 earbuds. :rolleyes:
     
    nsaspook likes this.
  12. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    Nothing is stopping you but you are the one that posted.
     
  13. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Yeah, I've discovered with the help of a technician that it can only be a problem with tolerances in the process of making the plug, BUT also the poor quality of the jack connector in both smartphones. It's everyone's fault, hahaha, as the headphones work great in every other device and every other headphone work fine in those 2 smartphones.

    What is not nice or not very clever is saying I should not buy junk. I mostly repair headphones of my friends, and they are like $7-15. So I have 2 options:
    1. Chinese $0.7/unit plug pack (shipping included)
    2. German made $13 plug (shipping included)

    I am not buying a $13 plug for a $10-15 earbuds, obviously. Well, actually not me, buy my friends.
     
  14. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
  15. KeepItSimpleStupid

    Well-Known Member

    Mar 4, 2014
    1,138
    200
    Just some comments:

    My understanding is that there are 4 and 3 conductors. e.g. http://www.markertek.com/product/30-701a/3-5mm-trrs-4-conductor-all-metal-audio-video-plug

    The 4 conductor would be used with a mic. There are known issues with nasty sounds when plugs are inserted.

    You have both low and High Z headphones.

    There are adapters. The headphone I use for my laptop which has 3 conductor headphone and IDK what kind of mic jack uses USB for the MIC input and power for it's little box with mute, volume, expansion and a few other things.

    See what's appropriate.
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  16. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
  17. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    So you buy 10 for the same shipping charge and charge a little extra for the top quality 'Neutrik $13 plug' repair. ;)
     
    rambomhtri likes this.
  18. rambomhtri

    Thread Starter Member

    Nov 9, 2015
    150
    23
    Well, the thing is my friends know their headphones are worth $10, so they would be like "da hell" if I tell them something like:

    - Sure, let me fix it for you. The plug itself is $13, and I'm gonna charge you $20 for the job. Wait, you're my friend, let it be $10. So $23 in total
     
    nsaspook likes this.
  19. nsaspook

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 27, 2009
    2,907
    2,163
    Have you ever been in sales?
    You tell your friends that with the new plug the headphones are worth $30 because the new plug makes them sound like $40 headphones. ;)

    If your friends won't buy it then find friends with more money.
     
Loading...