The problem is in the ear-phones, not the player.
Return the phones via warantee if available.
You should be able to wiggle the cord at various places along the cord to find out where the short is. (One of my sansa's phones had a short close to the plug itself.) If you know how to perform basic wire splicing/sodering, and melt a piece of shrink tubing (from Radio Shack) over the splice, you can fix this yourself. The sansa phones I have are real good, and worth saving, however don't be afraid to buy some really good ear-phones (over $50) if you cant fix the cord.
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You can go to the sandisk website and click on support then downloads. Then select your product. Here is a quick link to the downloads page. This is for the drivers and firmware update. Hope this helps you. http://www.sandisk.com/DriverDownload/index.asp
I don't know if you used new earphones but if you did I would try to clean the inside of the mp3 player then reconnect youre earphone. If you still have the problem return to the store, then the hardware in the mp3 itself is wrong.
If you have to adjust your earphone (even if you used other earphones) just to get a normal stereo sound, then the problem is with the player's earphone jacks. If that's the case (and assuming the radio feature of the player also manifests the same problem), then you may need to call the tech support guys at SanDisk for advanced troubleshooting, or possibly replacing that player.
I found their tech support contact number at their website upon consulting prior issues I had with my player.
Here it is: 1-866-726-3475.