6 Things to do with old and or broken headphones

Headphones are a vital tool for most millennials today. You need them to listen to music, watch your favorite videos on your smart devices, and so forth. But what happens when you one day realize that one of the speakers is not functioning or the headphone jack is broken? Do you just throw them in your dustbin?

Trashing your pair of headphones may not be a good idea after all. Manufacturers use plastic to make most of these audio devices. That makes them hard to break down, and they can pollute the environment.

Hence, if you are looking for things to do with those broken or old headphones, we will list six things we think would be ideal to do in this article. So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Here are some ideas on what to do with your old headphones.

1. Try to fix them first

Before you do anything else, the first thing is to try to fix the broken headphones. Issues such as broken jacks, cables, or plugs, are easy to solve. Examine where the problem lies first. For instance, start by checking the headphone’s battery or twist the cable to see if you can fix the problem without the need of tearing the headphones apart.

If you know nothing about fixing the headphones, consult an expert. You can also research ways to fix the issues online if you want to do it yourself. By the way, some of the solutions require usual tools such as soldering wire and machines. For old headphones, you can buy a replacement for components that are no longer functioning.

2. Donate them

If your headphones are just old, but everything is functioning okay, the other option is to donate them. You can hand them over to your relative or friend who may need such headphones for school projects, leisure, or other things.

Additionally, you can donate your old headphones to local thrift stores or non-profit organizations that would like to supply them to low-income communities. Some non-profit organizations often provide receipts, which you can use for your tax return.

3. Give them out to a local recycling facility

Headphones are made of plastic, which is non-biodegradable. Trashing a broken headphone in your garbage may cause soil pollution if the garbage company discards it in a landfill. In that case, you should reach out to a local recycling facility (otherwise known as e-waste programs) near your county or area. You can use the Earth911 app to find recycling centers around you if you don’t know of any.

A few headphone manufacturers also have recycling programs where you can mail the broken headphone to them. They will recycle the functional components and give the rest to recycling centers for proper disposal. 

4. Sell them via a Trade-in Program

If most of the components in your old headphones are functioning well, you can sell it. Although you may have to sell them at a lower price, it can be an excellent way to get some money in your pocket. But how do you get a good seller?

The internet has numerous platforms where you can find people willing to buy used electronic goods. A good example is eBay and Amazon. Also, forums such as Reddit are good places to market the headphones. Some headphone brands will also offer a voucher or a gift card for the headphones if they have such a program.

Alternatively, if you don’t trust the internet, you can look for local stores that accept such gadgets. They might also not buy it at your desired price, but it’s better than throwing them away.

5. Re-use functional components

For those who feel that recycling or selling your old or broken headphones is not an option, you can tear them apart and re-use the functional components. For instance, you can use the speaker cone or headphone jack as a replacement in another device. Also, if the battery is functional, you can save it for future gadgets.

Turning your headphone speaker into a stereo speaker is also another alternative. You can also use the headphone’s microphone (if it has one) and turn it into a DIY lavalier microphone for video conferences. The internet has many tutorials on how to do this professionally.

6. Make jewellery pieces or clothing items

Art lovers can repurpose different components of their headphones. For instance, the speaker cones can make some unique jewellery, such as music-themed earrings. You can also braid the wires into bracelets or chokers.

The headphone cables can also make unique wires to pin your favorite photos on your wall. Online websites such as Pinterest can be a great place to get DIY ideas.

Relevant FAQ you may have.

What are the components of headphones?

For a pair of headphones to work, it needs to have the following components. They include:

  • Jack – It connects your headphones to your device
  • The Cable – The wire that runs from your speakers to the jack
  • Speakers – These are the two headphone’s drivers, which relay sound to each ear. Speakers consists of copper coils, magnet, and cones
  • Earbuds – They are the headphone’s padding or cushioning, which enhance comfortability to the wearer.
  • Headband – It’s the hard piece that runs between the two speakers and helps you secure the headphone on your head. Usually, they are adjustable to suit different head sizes.

Are headphones e-waste

Any unwanted or dysfunctional electronic product can be regarded as electronic waste; in short, e-waste. Most E-waste recycling facilities accept old and broken headphones. Therefore, it’s okay to refer to headphones as e-waste.