I kept having to change headphones because they wouldn't work and i figured out that the prong things kept widening up and then I tried tightening them, and it worked for a while, but then it broke off and the sound hasn't been the same.
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This problem is common with a lot of MP3 players. It is caused by excessive movement of the headphone jack and causes the headphone jack has worked loose from the circuit board. To fix this problem the MP3 player needs dismantling and the headphone jack needs resoldering onto the circuit board to get the headphone working properly.
the headphone jack would either be a 3 prong or a 4 prong. meaning it was either had 2 contacts on the headphone barrel or 3 contacts and the last prong being for ground. If you desolder the headphone jack you can easily determine this. Then you can goto a radio shack and pick one up for under 5 dollars. Problems that may come into play are is if they used a low profile jack over a standardized. But even if its 3.5mm or 2.5mm radio shack generally always sells them. You could also purchase them online. Most likely the cause is the contacts inside the headphone jack are no longer making contact with the barrel of the headphone plug. But if its not the headphone jack then it is possible the amp inside the unit has broken. also if you open the unit up determine if the solder on the headphone jack that makes the contact may have become cracked. If that is the case just heat up a soldering iron and make circles around the solder, but be careful not to spread the solder and cross connections.
If you need further assistance please feel free to follow up with a comment and i will be here to assist you. If this assisted you please feel free to rate the solution. thanks and have a great day.
I had the same issue. Gradually it became worse and worse (on the sound cutting out more frequently out of one ear or being really silent at best) and I replaced the audio jack by buying a new one on eBay. Or if you are not the do-it-your-selfer and you got money, bring it to an iPod store that preforms repairs. When you order it on ebay, if it is really cheap, it usually ships from China or something and it might take a couple weeks. But saves you some bucks!
My son had a similar issue with his. It turned out that he had damaged the headphone/charger/download/upload jack. There was no way to easily fix it, but we were able to return it to Wal-mart for another one. Why they decided to use this jack for so many different functions, I have yet to figure out. It's really a poor design for an otherwise nice mp3 player. If you can't take it back where you bought it, you are pretty much out of luck, unless you're handy enough to take the player apart and replace the jack. Sorry.
you can try 2 things: first thing: remove the battery from the unit, if it is removable grab some contact cleaner/rejuvinator and lightly coat a headphone plug with it, insert it into the headphone jack on the mp3 player and rotate it a few times, repeat 4-5 times.. then let everything dry for 5-10 minutes, pop battery back in and try it. if you don't have contact cleaner/rejuvinator, you can also use 70% or greater rubbing alcohol.
second thing: if the first didn't work, you can remove the batteries, disassemble the unit, and replace the headphone jack itself. if you do not have experience with de-soldering, soldering, and potentially smd soldering techniques, i don't recommend this option. you may be able to get a local general electronics repair shop (tv/stereo) to replace the part for you for a nominal fee.
The contacts inside the headphone jack are made of a springy metal there is one for the left and one for the right speakers. This happened to my Blackberry and I took it apart and got inside the jack block and re-sprung the contacts. It worked for me... I used a dental pick.
The bad news is that your headphone jack is most likely shot. The soldered connections inside are most likely broken. This is not repairable generally, at least not for a cost that would be reasonable. Music will play through your computer because it can be read off your player through the USB connection.
Use it as a data storage drive and buy a new one, or a used one. I've seen used T30s on Amazon for around $30 to $40.