Headphones are a great invention, giving you privacy while you listen to music, watch movies, or even communicate with other people. They also limit noise, stopping people around you from being disturbed.
Unfortunately, if a problem develops with your headphones, you might be either forced to use speakers or unable to carry on with your tasks at all. This is an extremely frustrating position to be in, but before you send your headphones off for repairs or think about buying some new ones, you might be able to solve the issue yourself.
Whatever problem you have, the first thing you should do is determine whether it's the headphones or device that's at fault. You can do this by either trying different headphones with the device or a different device with the same headphones; if you're able to try both, you can make doubly sure which component is to blame.
Poor quality sound
If you're using your headphones with a computer, this issue could be down to a software problem. Make sure all of your audio drivers are up to date and that your operating system is a current version. Also, check the software you're using for audio and try different programs if you can.
Once you've eliminated computer glitches, or you're using a different type of device, check the headphone jack. Sometimes poor audio quality can be caused by headphones not being properly plugged in, so give the jack a gentle push and see if it will go in further. Take it out and give it a wipe with a clean, dry cloth in case there's dirt affecting the connection.
The audio is only coming through in one ear
Like low-quality sound, this can be caused by a loose or incorrect connection, so carefully check that the headphone jack is inserted properly.
Have a close look along the length of the headphone wires and see if you can find any damage, as faulty cabling is a common cause of one-sided sound.
No sound at all
If the headphones don't appear to be working at all, make sure they're plugged in and that the jack isn't loose. Some headphones are powered, which may mean there's an on/off switch on them, so check this is in the correct position if it applies to yours. If they take batteries, try replacing them.
Finally, make sure there is actually sound output from the device your headphones are connected to. Make sure music isn't paused and that the source is definitely outputting.
For more information on troubleshooting headphone issues, contact an audio visual company, such as Tivoli Hi-Fi Pty Ltd.