I am going to quickly run through how to repair a broken volume control button on the remote of a Klipsch S4i headphone set.
A few months back the + volume button on my headphones’ remote appeared to become stuck down. It would not pop up and periodically a connection would seem to be made which resulted in my iPhone jacking up the volume to maximum, as if I was holding down the button. I tried to get the remote open to take a look but didn’t really have the time and didn’t want to break it. This afternoon I plucked up the courage (Ed: surely got sick of being deafened and thought “sod it”?) to give it a proper go.I had thought that the remote is glued shut, but it turns out just to be a long plastic clip down each side of the remote. Nothing is holding the ends where the wires come out shut so this is probably the best place to start pulling it apart. A spudger would have been really useful here, but I resorted to using my teeth and gently biting the gap in between the two pieces until the started to come apart. Work along one side and the case will pop apart.
Inside you will find a circuit board with button termini on one side and the microphone on the other, an insert with the buttons on it and some very thin cables running through and up to the earbuds themselves. The cables are very fragile and in mine one pair was glued to the bottom of the case, so take care not to tear or snap them.
The buttons work by using little metal poppers sat with their edges on the 0V track and their tops hovering over the low-voltage ‘live’ pin. When the button is pressed the popper touches the live pin and closes the circuit. The poppers are held in place by what seems to be a piece of sticky tape running over the top of them and the circuit board. Technical solution to that problem, Klipsch. In the picture we can see that the popper corresponding to my + volume control has moved off centre. Its shape means that it doesn’t constantly close the circuit, but with the right jostling will, hence my periodic deafening.
To fix this, peel back the tape and using some tweezers (they would have been useful…) move the popper back into place and roughly in line with the other two. Re-lay over the tape and make sure it is secure. Test the popper with the tip of the tweezers, and when satisfied reassemble the remote. I found laying the case button side down, putting the board in and then working the earbud cables around the microphone before closing the case up the easiest way.
And that’s that. The button should work again nicely. I have read about this problem in a few places on the interwebz so it seems at least a little common. I guess the problem with using a bit of sticky tape is that the adhesive doesn’t last and then the poppers start to move about.