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Tip: Fixing poor headphone socket connections

In the past week I've had a problem with the headphone connection on both my iPod AND my Smartphone - however the good news is that a very simple fix was required for both (hows that for some interop!)

I got an AirClick unit for my iPod so I didn't have to fiddle about with pulling the iPod out of my pocket/bag to skip the Phil Collins song playing (from my girlfriends music collection I might add) and its awesome, really impressed with it.

I've also just bought a Connect2 unit for my car to allow me to hook up the iPod direct to the car stereo using a 3.5mm headphone jack (I tried an iTrip on my girlfriends mini iPod and they suck)...and its cool having a wireless remote rather than an inline headphone remote as it I can remote control it in the car/house too! :) And with a 3.5mm to 2.5mm jack converter I can also plug in to my Smartphone for WMP 10 TV shows via my MCE/MyTVtoGo setup and also get TomTomMobile SatNav instructions

The Problem
iPod, well the AirClick unit that docks with the iPod introduces another headphone connection into the chain and with the thing bouncing around in my pocket on the way to/from work I was getting very crackly/dropout audio - I tried moved the headphone socket round, pulling it out slightly, cleaning it...nothing improved it. It got to the point where I thought I might have actually damaged the internals connector of the iPod.

Smartphone, I'd been listening to some Podcasts using the 3.5/2.5 jack adapter (as I wanted to use my Sony ear-bud headphones rather than the crap headset ones) and when I took the adapter out the phone remained in "Headset" profile and no matter what I did I couldn't get it to switch to another profile :( This was a real pain as without a headset plugged in you can't make/answer calls!

The Solution
Googled "smartphone stuck in headset profile" and saw a thread on CoolSmartPhone that suggested among other things putting a drop of WD40 onto the headphone jack - this fixed it instantly in both cases. You only need a tiny drop and it must clean up and "refresh" the contacts.

The Moral
Regularly clean and lubricate your jack before sticking it into any sockets to get the best performance ;)

Comments

Owen Cutajar said…
Hi James,

Re the Smartphone problem, I found it usually happens on my E100 if I remove the charger before taking out the headphone jack. I thought this was a software flaw with the phone getting mixed up as to which mode it was in. I'll try the WD40 tip, which might save the phone some damage.

Regards

Owen

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