Headline only works when headphone cable not fully inserted

Hi, I have a headline which I have connected to my Nac 102 tape in/out socket. It only plays in the left ear of my headphones (mrspeakers ether c) if I plug the headphone jack all the way in. If I don’t fully seat it, about a quarter inch out, both sides play. I’m ok with that unless it might be detracting from the best sound. Does anyone have an idea why this is occurring?

I’m not familiar with the headline but do you have RCA inputs on the headline? If so the headline only needs a line in. No need for an output. Of course if all you have is the Din Plug, can’t help.

It’s a din plug not rca.

Well then sorry I can’t help

Thanks for trying

If you pull the headphone plug out slightly you’ll get the right channel through both the left and right ear cups (effectively mono from the right channel).

A few simple things to try first -

Have you tried the headphones on another device with a Headphone output, or tried another pair of headphones with your Headline just to rule out an issue with either the plug on the headphones or the headphone socket on the Headline ?

Try using a different socket on the 102 - inputs 4,5,6 are suitable to see if this helps. Otherwise check inside the DIN plug on the Headline cable to check you’ve not got a loose connection.


This sounds like an issue either with the headphone jack or the socket on the Headline. As James suggests, have you tried the headphones on another device, or different headphones on the Headline?

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Another simple question.

When you get both ‘ears’ working, do you have stereo or mono…?
Guessing its mono - so 1 channel of the Headline is ‘dead’ - probably because its getting to input from the 102.

Only guessing here, but hopefully with some logik… :thinking:

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Do headphones work with both channels in other devices?
If so it sounds like a channel is down or the jack has broken in the headline.
My money is one of your channels are down… so that will be a case of tracing back to the amp… or contacting your dealer.

Yes, good point, if, when you pull back on the plug slightly you get sound from both ear cups, but it’s in mono, then that could indicate that only one channel is being fed to the Headline HP socket. In which case check the source first, then source i/c, then through to pre-amp and finally to headline.

Is the Headline an original “olive” one? IIRC they had a weakness with the volume pot - it was designed to float (sounded best that way), so was not anchored very firmly, only by the legs to the PCB. If the knob was not treated gently or took a knock then after a while you could get a bad solder connection.


The headphones work properly on a different device. It does seem like I’m only hearing mono when hooked to the headline. It is not the olive headline, manufactured 2007.
I have tried all available sockets on the 102 with no change. It drives my speakers in stereo so I do not think the problem is from my preamp. Also, when I change the balance it makes no change in the headphones.
So the problem must be in the headline which I just purchased on eBay.

Thanks for your help!

Just thinking about it, the balance control test I mentioned earlier won’t make any difference to the record outputs - my mistake and I’ve edited my initial post.

I’d check the wiring in the DIN plug to see there is anything amiss with the wiring. Do you have a friendly dealer nearby you could take the Headline to to try with another Naim amp. At least this would allow you to rule out whether it’s Headline related or an issue with the 102 itself.

I tried it on an old quad preamp I have with the same results. I’ll try to check the din plug

I’m not sure whether the wiring configuration is the same for the Quad pre so perhaps not the best test to check out the Headline. A Naim pre or integrated would be best. Let’s see what you find when you open the DIN plug.

It’s the plug. The red wire disconnected.


Good find. Should be an easy fix then.

You will need to solder on then… :crazy_face:


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