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Old 5th July 2012, 06:27 PM   #1
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Default Headphone cable wiring

I apologize for the newb questions and please redirect if there is anywhere more suited to ask this. I was soldering a new 1/8in jack connector for my headphones and realized that for each channel the signal wire seems to touch the ground wire (no visible coating for each) throughout the cable and yet the headphones work fine. Why isn't there any shortage? Am I missing a basic cable principle?

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Old 5th July 2012, 06:34 PM   #2
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There is a clear insulating material on the wires. I've seen the same.
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Old 5th July 2012, 07:40 PM   #3
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Thank you Frank. Is this insulating material visible at all, as in wrapped around the wires?
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Old 5th July 2012, 10:46 PM   #4
jcx is offline jcx  United States
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enamels, with various resins: nylon, polyesters and urethanes are used on small wires, the coating can be clear and a fraction of a mil thick

Last edited by jcx; 5th July 2012 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 5th July 2012, 11:21 PM   #5
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Ok, I see! Had no idea, thanks guys
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Old 6th July 2012, 12:49 AM   #6
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If you need to get the insulation off you can use a torch and burn it off, but this oxidizes the copper so be careful. Or if is thicker magnet wire, you can use a razor to scrape it off, if you need to solder it.
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Old 12th July 2012, 02:01 AM   #7
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This is helpful. Thank guys!
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Old 12th July 2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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Friends often ask me to fix headphones for them, they always seem have enamel coated wires like the ones you've described. The easiest way for me to work with them has been to melt a ball of solder on the tip of the element (~40w) and run the wire through the solder slowly, this seems to melt the enamel and tin the wire at the same time. Hope that helps!
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