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.

Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

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

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.
1-40 of 49Next »
jasonZak2 years ago
As far as i know this is only necessary for the first gen iPod touch and iPhone
Beduk5 years ago
I have heared that apple use BOSE speakers.Is it true??
Xixfas Beduk2 years ago
no apples too cheap
maxpower496 years ago
the itouch only uses the apple head phones that just went way down on the list of things i want
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.
 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!
no they arent
Xixfas Xixfas2 years ago
not even close
whats an itouch, is it anything like an ipod touch
t's just the lazy way of saying ipod touch
 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. 
cody7775 years ago
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
Skullcandy Skullcrushers, nuff said
Xixfas ibfamous2 years ago
no way sennheiser ie 800s
Go skullcandy
your my new best friend
Your my friend
its good to have friends
*you're lol
ventifact4 years ago
I like your third hand.
Taran6064 years ago
is this mono or stereo
rjshield4 years ago
its just a headphone splitter
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.
carlos66ba6 years ago
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!!!
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.
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.
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,.
no offence, but the shuffle sucks...
so thats the reason ive gone through 9 pairs of headphones....
jj.inc6 years ago
Thanks I was gonna have a party and just live with the terible quality but thanks to you I don't have to.
gmjhowe6 years ago
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)  gmjhowe6 years ago
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.
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?
Not if the soldering is clean and good.
cyrozap6 years ago
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)  cyrozap6 years ago
I have a ipod touch 2nd generation and only certain headphones work but thanks for the comment :)
1-40 of 49Next »