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5 Reasons Why Your Headphones Only Work At Certain Angles

Why Do My Headphones Only Work At Certain Angles

Headphones are supposed to be plug-and-play devices. 

So, constantly adjusting their angles just to make them work can be annoying. 

But don’t worry. Let me tell you exactly why this problem happens.

And how you can fix this headphone issue in just minutes. 

Continue reading to find out: 

  • 5 reasons why your headphones only work at certain angles.
  • How putting a piece of paper inside your AUX port can stop this problem. 
  • 5 simple fixes for headphones that only work when they’re at a specific position.
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Why your headphones only work at certain angles – 5 reasons

#1: There’s dirt on your headphones’ plug

To understand how dirt affects your headphones…

You first need to know how your audio device connects with other gadgets.

That said, grab your headphones.

Then, observe the number of lines on its plug. 

Now, if you have headphones that have a built-in microphone…

You’ll see that your device’s plug has 3 lines separating its 4 rings. 

And simply speaking, from the tip, these rings represent the following: 

  1. Left audio.
  2. Right audio.
  3. Ground.
  4. Microphone.  

“My headphones only have 2 lines.”

Then, your audio device doesn’t have a mic. Thus, its 3 rings represent these:

  1. Left audio.
  2. Right audio.
  3. Ground.

Here’s a video that explains headphones’ connectors in more detail:

However, regardless of the type of headphones you have…

The rings on your device’s plug need to touch the AUX port directly. 

Or else, your headphones won’t detect the audio signals from the gadget it’s connected to. 

For example, if there’s currently dirt on the first ring of your headphones’ plug…

You’ll notice that the left side of your audio device won’t work correctly.

That’s because the dirt will act as insulation or a barrier between your gadgets.

“Then how come my headphones work when I change their angle?” 

This happens because when you change your audio device’s position… 

You’re also moving the dirty part of the connector.

As a result, other sections of your headphones’ plug will touch the AUX port. And your audio device will detect sound signals again. 

#2: There’s dirt inside your device’s AUX port

If your headphones’ plug isn’t dirty… 

Your gadget’s AUX port may be the part that has debris. 

That’s why your devices can’t connect properly. 

#3: Your headphones’ plug is loose

Usually, it takes years for your headphones’ connector to deteriorate. 

However, if you plug and unplug your audio device several times a day…

Its connector can be loose in just months. 

And when this happens…

The rings on your headphones won’t make proper contact with the port they’re plugged into.

That’s because there’ll be a slight gap between them. 

As a result…

Your audio device will only detect sound signals when you apply more pressure to its plug. Or if you find the right angle where all your headphones’ rings touch their AUX port. 

#4: The wire is broken

Your Headphones Only Work At Certain Angles Because The Wire Is Broken

If your headphones only work when you bend its cable in a certain way…

Then, the wire of your audio device is causing this problem.

Or, specifically, 1 of the strands inside your headphones’ cord snapped.

When this happens, your audio device won’t work until you reconnect its wires.

And you can only do this if you bend your headphones’ cable at specific angles. 

Editor’s pick: Are Wired Headphones Louder Than Wireless? 5 Facts Revealed

#5: Mismatched sizes

Most headphone plugs come at the standard size, which is 3.5 mm.

However, other models have these connectors:

  • 2.5 mm.
  • 4.4 mm.

That said, if your headphones’ plug is smaller or bigger than the port it’s using…

Your devices will only make proper contact and work if you put enough pressure.

Or if you set your headphones at a certain angle. 

You might also be interested: Headphones Hurt Jaws: 5 Reasons + How To Stop It

How to fix headphones that only work at a certain angle

To fix headphones that only work at a certain angle, clean the AUX port you’re using. Then, wipe your audio device’s plug because dirt build-up may be causing this problem. After that, try putting a piece of paper inside the AUX slot. Because this will tighten the space around your headphones’ plug.

For more details on how you can do these solutions, here are the…

5 simple ways to fix headphones that only work at a certain angle

#1: Wipe your headphones’ plug

Let’s start with the easiest way to fix this problem.

And that’s to clean your headphones’ plug by wiping it:

  1. Get a cotton swab.
  2. Damp it with a little bit of isopropyl alcohol.
  3. Lightly scrub all parts of your headphones’ plug.

After doing so, wait for the connector to dry thoroughly.

#2: Clean your AUX port

Step 1: Get a compressed air can.

Soft-bristle brushes are usually too big to fit AUX ports.

So, compressed air cans are the best tool you can use for this process. 

Step 2: Position your compressed air can’s nozzle.

Point the tip of your air can’s opening to your headphone jack.

And ensure that you’re positioning it a bit sideways. 

This way, you’ll push the dirt out of the port, not further in. 

Note: Put an inch gap between the nozzle and the AUX port. This way, the air entering the slot won’t be too strong. 

Step 3: Spray the AUX slot 2-3x. 

Note: Only do short, abrupt air sprays, not continuous ones. And change the angle of your compressed air each time. 

After this process, try using your headphones again. 

And check if you’ve solved the problem. 

#3: Put a piece of paper into your AUX port

If your headphones’ plug wiggles even if it’s connected to your device’s AUX port…

This fix is for you. 

Now, I know this solution is a bit unusual.

But trust me, this has worked wonders for many people, including myself. 

“But how would putting paper inside my device’s AUX port stop this issue?”

Well, the paper will add extra pressure to your headphones’ connector.

And this closes the gap that exists between your audio device’s plug and its port. 

As a result, your headphones will work even if you’re not changing their angles yourself.

That said, simply prepare these items:

  • Ruler.
  • Scissors.
  • White sheet of paper.

Then, follow these…

Steps to fix a loose headphones’ plug:

Step 1: Draw a 17×10 mm rectangle on your paper using your ruler.

Step 2: Cut it out.

Step 3: Fold the paper in half, lengthwise. 

Note: Your paper should still have a length of 17 mm. But since you’ve folded it, its width should only be 5 mm by now.

Step 4: Put this paper inside your device’s port.

Just place it inside the slot in a straight orientation. And ensure that it’s sticking to the sides. 

Note: Most ports are only 15mm deep. So, your paper should still be peeking out once you put it inside the AUX slot.

Step 5: Insert your headphones’ plug.

With the paper still inside the port, plug your headphones into your gadget. 

Then, try playing any song or video to see if your audio device is now working at any angle. 

“What should I do if I can’t remove the paper from the port?”

You can use a compressed air can to push it out of the slot.

Or, you may also use a needle or paperclip to remove it carefully. 

#4: Replace your headphones’ cable 

As mentioned earlier…

This problem also happens if your headphones’ cord has a broken wire inside. 

So, if your audio device has a detachable cable…

Replace it with a new AUX cord and see if this fixes the problem.

#5: Connect your headphones to a different device

Try connecting your headphones to another gadget, such as:

  • PCs.
  • Tablets. 
  • Phones.

This way, you can assess which of your devices is causing this issue. 

That said, if your headphones work when connected to a different gadget…

Then, the original AUX port your headphones were using was faulty. 

So, you should troubleshoot that instead. 

However, if the same issue happens when you try this setup… 

Your audio device is the problem. 

So, you should contact your headphones’ support team or buy a new pair.