Introduction: Apple Ipod Headphone Hack

Picture of Apple Ipod Headphone Hack

Well I know most people on the web has complain about apple ipod touch headphone socket. The reason people complain is that only apple headphones work. In this instructable I will show how to hack a stock apple headphone into a adapter lead. This will let you be able to plug any headphone you like into your apple ipod i touch. As well be able to plug you favorite headphone. I have added a addition socket, so your friend can listen to your music as well. This mod can be apply to any headphone that has a dedicated plug for that device e.g Sony Ericsson Mobile phone or any other device.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools


1. apple headphone or headphone that work with your ipod
2. two 3.5mm inline stereo sockets $1.25 each from jaycar


1. sidecutter
2. solder iron
3. multimeter

You can use any socket you like, so if you like the old large headphones use 6.5mm stereo inline socket. I'm unsure how much a apple headphones cost because I got mine for free when I bought my i pod touch second hand :)

Step 2: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together

1. Cut your apple headphones ear buds off. Now strip the cable to expose the cores inside.

You will need to find which core goes to ground, which goes to L and R channels. These important to maintain the correct stereo sound out of our headphones.

2. First tin the cores with the solder iron, this will make it easy to get a good readings with your multimeter.

3. Set the multimeter to ohms scale. There are four cores in total Green (Left channel), Red (Right channel) and the two grounds: copper, green and red. See picture. To make sure you got the right core place one lead of the multimeter onto the tin core and the other to the plug. Check all cores to the tip and the two rings of the plug. If get it correct the multimeter should read 0.00 ohm or beep. See pic 1 and 2.

Alternative means of identify L and R channels of your cable.

Cut your earbuds off your cable, then strip the wire that went to your earbuds
As long your earbuds have a L or a R written on them you can use this to identify your
colour cores inside your cable.

4. Now it comes time to merge the tin cores to the socket. Twist the two grounds together and tin these cores together. Solder these two cores to the ground of the socket.

5. Plug your apple plug into your inline socket to find which pin are left and right using your multimeter.

6. Then solder the left and right channel to the stereo socket.

7. Then simply screw on the cover over the terminals.

8. Final and most important step is to check there is no shorts between left and right channels, then left channel to ground and right channel to ground. Using your multimeter on ohm scale. If there is a short it can cause damage to your electronic device.

Step 3:

Picture of

If you want to add that second socket just cut your lead into two pieces. One will have a stereo socket and the other will have the apple plug. Then you follow steps:

1. Tin your cores of your apple cable and your socket cable
2. Twist the four ground cables and two left and right channels
3. Tin the four ground cables and two left and right channels
4. Solder theses cables to that additional socket
5. Then simply screw on the cover over the terminals.

Final and most important step is to check there is no shorts between left and right channels, then left channel to ground and right channel to ground. Using your multimeter on ohm scale. Once you have done that you are ready to try them out.

You can use this cable as an extension cable, as a adapter, or as a means for your friend to listen to your mp3 or apple ipod using the extra socket :)

Hope you like this instructables, please comment and rate.


jasonZak (author)2013-07-27

As far as i know this is only necessary for the first gen iPod touch and iPhone

Beduk (author)2010-04-30

I have heared that apple use BOSE speakers.Is it true??

Xixfas (author)Beduk2013-07-17

no apples too cheap

maxpower49 (author)2009-04-30

the itouch only uses the apple head phones that just went way down on the list of things i want

Thekodanator (author)maxpower492009-07-28

No the iPod touch uses any headphones you want. I use several pairs of headphones with mine. I have some over-the-ear headphones, and some ear buds. they both work just fine.

Landon531 (author)Thekodanator2010-02-05

 I agree; My friend has had an iPod touch since it came out, and she uses SkullCandy brand ear buds. They are the loudest you can buy!

Xixfas (author)Landon5312013-07-17

no they arent

Xixfas (author)Xixfas2013-07-17

not even close

cody777 (author)maxpower492010-07-23

whats an itouch, is it anything like an ipod touch

maxpower49 (author)cody7772010-07-24

t's just the lazy way of saying ipod touch

J@50n (author)maxpower492010-02-04

 Thekodanator is right ill even add that ANY ipod works with any head phones.

i have a touch my bro had a video my mom has a nano and my mom had a shuffle. they all used different head phones cause apples broke. 

cody777 (author)2010-04-20

are you thinking of the iphone
i use skull candy doubleagents with my ipod touch 
and they wont work with my iphone 2g
dont ask mne why i have both im sick of being asked that

ibfamous (author)cody7772011-02-03

Skullcandy Skullcrushers, nuff said

Xixfas (author)ibfamous2013-07-17

no way sennheiser ie 800s

SasquatchKid (author)cody7772010-07-23

Go skullcandy

cody777 (author)SasquatchKid2010-07-23

your my new best friend

SasquatchKid (author)cody7772010-07-26

Your my friend

cody777 (author)SasquatchKid2011-02-19

its good to have friends

amoreno2 (author)cody7772011-12-05

*you're lol

ventifact (author)2010-11-19

I like your third hand.

Taran606 (author)2010-09-29

is this mono or stereo

rjshield (author)2010-08-25

its just a headphone splitter

dont_unplug_me (author)2010-08-09

You have inspired me to learn about this type of thing so i can create this awesome project of yours.

Thank You! I cant wait to try and make it.

carlos66ba (author)2009-04-29

Don't cut the headphone jack of the iphone earpice. Instead, simply trim the plastic off a regular jack. It works (I have a 1st gen. iphone) and you don't ruin the headphones.

those stock headphones arnt great anyway. especially if you have the original ones.

No I highly beg to differ on that. I suggest you try out some different headphones and you will hear the difference VERY quickly.

i have good in ear philips head phones ($30) great bass, noise canceling, and you can jog with them. i said there not great, i didnt say they were terrible. And i have 3 pairs gathering dust in my desk drawer so for me modding my old first pair would be no loss.

you cant compare philips with apple headphones since the quality of apple speakers are amazinn!!!

calivw78 (author)carlos66ba2009-05-01

This is what I did. This has nothing to do with whether the headphones will work or not. They will all work, it's just that Apple recessed the jack on the first generation. There are tons of adapters out there for under $10, or you can just cut the plastic back like mentioned.

dashingguy115 (author)2009-05-26

I have an apple ipod shuffle..Want to know whether or not there is any way to check out it's original...Bcos, CHINA is mentioned in the earphones.

Beduk (author)dashingguy1152010-04-30

Apple has mentioned that the parts are made in california and assembled in China.So there is nothing to worry about.But if you still want to confirm that 'Is it original'then check out the barcode and the manufacturing code on the back of the ipod case,.

Capt. Kidd (author)dashingguy1152009-06-25

no offence, but the shuffle sucks...

jxxwatevaxxk (author)2009-11-13

so thats the reason ive gone through 9 pairs of headphones.... (author)2009-05-16

Thanks I was gonna have a party and just live with the terible quality but thanks to you I don't have to.

gmjhowe (author)2009-05-02

As others have pointed out, pretty much every pair of headphones will work, i use everything in my 2nd gen iPod touch, from plugging it into my stereo to many headphones, including sony, sennheiser, you name it. I do however see the advantage of doing something like that to the headphones with the built in mic etc.

Sparkington (author)gmjhowe2009-05-03

I know that most headphone will work in my ipod touch 2nd. But you still can use the same step I took. To mod your own headphones with mic built in. A good example of this is your mobile phones headphone or a ipod nano.

madara009 (author)gmjhowe2009-05-02

yeah i see them too, such as getting on ear hean phones with the mic and buttons would be awesome...but would it sacrefice sound quality?

gmjhowe (author)madara0092009-05-03

Not if the soldering is clean and good.

cyrozap (author)2009-04-28

The complaining is only about the 1st iPhone (non-3G). Any headphones will work with an iPod touch (not iPod i touch). Either way, nice job! The end result is very clean, and it's easy.

Sparkington (author)cyrozap2009-04-29

I have a ipod touch 2nd generation and only certain headphones work but thanks for the comment :)

philips go gear works well

jordand (author)Sparkington2009-04-29

I also have a iPod touch 2G and and any headphone will work. There must be something wrong with your iPod touch

Sparkington (author)jordand2009-04-30

There nothing wrong with my ipod, basically the headphones that I have a home don't fit right in the socket. It looks like apple recess the socket back into the ipod touch, so that only certain plugs work.

benz_z (author)Sparkington2009-05-01

r ur headphones half inch jack or quarter inch

Sparkington (author)benz_z2009-05-01

3.5mm headphone jacks are 1/8" and the 6.5mm headphones jack are 1/4" that what sizes I found on the web. The photos in my i'bles is 1/8" stereo jacks, hope this helps.

arashiodori (author)Sparkington2009-05-01

They don't recess it on the iTouch 2nd Gen.

Groxx (author)Sparkington2009-04-30

Out of curiosity, what kind of headphones would they be? I've had trouble with various MP3 players with my Grado SR-80s, and I wonder if the plug problem would happen with them (though they're part of the reason I gave my iPod away... my iRiver has better sound).

Thekodanator (author)2009-04-30

I have an iPod touch 2g and i use these huge freaking awesome over-ear headphones with it all the time..

pineapplenewton (author)2009-04-29

its called a mini jack peitty much only electric guitar players and recording studios use anything else any more

About This Instructable




Bio: I have a lot the projects on the to do list. I like to build useful projects and not so useful projects. Well now I ... More »
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