Simple earphone and power cord repair – hockey tape

Roll of Hockey Tape

That’s right.  It turns out that hockey tape is better than electrical tape.  I can’t speak for the non conductive properties of hockey tape but it’s definitely stickier than electrical tape and just about as cheap.

For non-Canadians, hockey tape is tape that is wrapped around a hockey stick on the blade where the puck makes contact and sometimes at the top end to aid in grip.

I cut a small strip and wrapped it around the end where the wire is attached to the jack.



  • It’s sticky
  • It’s strong
  • It’s black
  • It’s cheap


  • It looks a little cheap
  • Require’s a little bit of work and dexterity

So far it has been about six months and it’s holding up quite well and seems to stronger than the original.  I may want add this preventively to cheap headphones on the other stress areas such where the earpiece connects to the wire and on the ‘Y’ joint.

I have also applied hockey tape to the frayed cover on a cell phone charger.

Frayed Cell Phone Charger

Repaired Cell Phone Charger

Dollar store earbuds – plus

I found a new pair of earbuds at Dollarama called “Hype Stereo Earbud”. These are the most expensive ones they have at $2.50. They are so far, well worth the money. These are strictly earphones and don’t have a microphone for cell phone use.

Hype Stereo Earbud

Other cheap earbuds I have purchased haven’t seemed to fare as well as this one. Overall I’ve been fairly pleased with this one.

Price – 2/5
At $2.50 it is not in true dollar store category but low enough to not to be concerned about experimenting.

Quality – 3/5
I wasn’t expecting high end audio and I didn’t get it. What I did get was some bass and an OK sound. Vocals were still a little tinny though better than other dollar and discount store models I’ve tried. What was most impressive with these was the volume. I typically do not get enough volume out of cheap earphones. With these there was enough volume for music and podcasts, and in addition phone calls were also quite audible.

Overall – 3.5
I give these well over a passing a grade. The only real compromise is on sound quality. As such I can easily recommend them for anyone mainly looking to save money on earphones.

Pricestar star star star
Qualitystar star star
Overallstar star star half-star

Dollar store earbuds

These are basic Dollarama earbuds at $1.25. They are branded as “Electra Tech Sound”.

Electra Tech Sound Earbuds

These ones are not too bad for the price.
Price – 5 / 5 At just over a dollar it can’t really be beat. So full marks here.

Quality – 2.5 / 5
The sound quality I would rate ast fairly decent for the price. OK for music and podcasts. These earbuds don’t have the extreme tinny sound you typically get with cheap headphones. In addition, they come with a pair of foam covers. These covers are a little thin and hard to attach but improve comfort so it’s worth the effort. They also feel reasonably sturdy. Where these fall short is in their low volume.

Overall – 3 / 5
These earphones get a positive recommendation. I only hesitated to recommend them fully if you need to use them where you need a good amount of volume such as for noisy areas and for cell phone use. I leave these at work on my computer and I have been reasonably pleased. I can just leave them around because they are cheap enough to be replaced.

Pricestar star star star star
Qualitystar star half-star
Overallstar star star

Discount store replacement cell phone earphones

One problem to consider is the earbud earphones that come with your smartphone. Earphones are often subject to physical damage and as such I am often on the lookout for economical alternatives. The one I am looking at now is an unbranded (no-name) pair of earbuds from a discount store.

Price – 4 / 5
At 5.99, its not exactly dollar store territory yet its cheap enough to experiment with.

Quality – 2 / 5
These earphones have a slightly tinny sound quality, which is not too surprising given the price. It’s slightly better than dollar store models I’ve used. I wasn’t expecting much on the sound but what was really disappointing was the low volume. On music or spoken word podcast it wasn’t too bad but on phone calls it was especially disappointing. Unless I was in quiet room I couldn’t hear a thing. The person on the other end also had trouble hearing me but not as much trouble as I had hearing them.

Overall – 2.5 out 5
There is nothing here for me to recommend or not recommend since I couldn’t find any brand name or manufacturer. What I do is provide general thoughts on this class of earphone. The type you may buy maybe of better quality but it is was poor enough to recommend avoiding a purchase if you can. You may only want to take a chance on this one as an emergency replacement. The lack of volume on calls prevents me from giving them a better overall score.

Pricestar star star star
Qualitystar star
Overallstar star half-star