Resurrectionist: Earpollution Earbuds

I love old music gear because it was built to last. Modern crap seems so fucking disposable. Why even bother? Sometimes, it’s worth a quick bother because I can’t be assed to go out to the store and plunk down even $10 when I know I can do something myself. Such was the case with a cheap ass pair of Earpollution Ozone Earbuds.


I got these at a truck stop to wear in the van while on tour. The rubber tips completely block out the inane chatter of my beloved bandmates when I just don’t have the patience. They actually sound killer with a boomy bass. I was wearing them at work when the cord got smooshed in a printing press. Only one earphone worked after that. While I was recently packing for a personal trip, I pulled them out and said, “Fuck this shit, I throw nothing away until all other options are gone.”

Easier said than done. I traced the broken earbud to the area where it got was obviously damaged. I carefully plied apart the cord with an X-Acto blade. Inside the tiny casing, I found the grounding wire, clearly obvious, and a bunch of little red hairs that had been split. I figured those were insulating the positive signal wire, so I started to unthread them.


I couldn’t find anything obvious that I could solder back together. As it turns out, all those tiny little red hairs ARE the signal wires. I took them and placed the tips of both sides against some conductive metal; sure enough, the earbud got a signal again. I’m not sure what these petite, copper m-fers are coated in, but it doesn’t conduct. Twisting the wires together and soldering them was a no go.


I twisted the severed halves back into shape and stuck their ends really close together on a piece of electrical tape. I’d already proven to myself the severed tips would conduct signal, so it was just a matter of putting down a small drip of solder to give the electrons a path on which to move.


I laid a tiny bead of solder down quickly with my Weller Digital Soldering Station set on a very low temperature. I sealed up the tape, wrapped it around the cord, and applied some heat shrink to seal the package.

heat shrink

And my Earpollution Ozone Earbuds worked again! Score one for not wasting a perfectly functioning device, no matter how cheaply I could replace it. Let’s end the age of waste, let the bass boom, and party rock.

ross sewage ipod

4 thoughts on “Resurrectionist: Earpollution Earbuds

  1. if it's anything like magnet wire, magnet wire is coated with a varnish. it has to be carefully scraped off with a blade to expose the copper. a microscope will come in handy for this.

  2. Could you do a blog on modding a bass cabinet into the TARDIS? Or building your own Sonic Screwdriver pitch pipe?

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