Introduction: Built-in Headset on PlayStation 3 Controller
Hey folks, here's a controller mod that will allow you to use your phone headphones with your controller for in-game voice chat. PlayStation 4 has this kind of thing built into its controller and it is pretty neat. PlayStation 3 does not have headphones port therefore you have to carry (and charge!) a separate headset. That got me upset a while ago so I've done this mod.
Materials: screwdriver, soldering iron, glue gun, BT headset, 4-pin phone jack, a button.
Cost: BT headset - $2-10 ebay, 4pin phone jack - $2.5 /10pc, button - $2 /10pc. Total: 6.5-16.5$
Beware that you need to cut some of plastic guts away. If that does not scare you – read along.
Step 1: Prepare the Headset
If you already got your headset there isn't much choice, but if you going to buy one – make sure it is as small as possible. We won't need battery, microphone or any other parts of it, just the board. So, the smaller the board is – the better.
This $2 headset was bought off ebay. It has really crappy battery life, awful microphone and much worse speaker. Good thing that we'll be throwing those away anyways! So, once you got your headset – crack it open and strip the unnecessary stuff. You might want to keep the battery attached for a while now, because it makes testing the audio plug little bit easier.
In the last picture I've attached the audio plug, but that's unnecessary at this point. I did it because I found out that markings on the headset motherboard are lies. Yes, there was microphone attached with black and red wire, but it turned out the colours on the microphone were lies too! So if you got your headset from ebay and it doesn't have any brand at all – test the pinout. You might be surprised.
Step 2: Prepare the Controller Motherboard
There is a quartz resonator sticking out of controller motherboard right in the space where the headphone jack will be. We would need to relocate that! It is pretty easy, even easier if you have soldering fan and tweezers.
Make a flexible connection and place the quartz aside. Make sure you've soldered it right – it is double sided.
Step 3: Cut Some Holes!
You need to cut a round hole where the audio jack will come out. I used sharp knife, but fine file or a tiny drill would make it even easier.
Make sure the hole you've made lets the plug to lie flat on white plastic thing inside. Since glue is the only thing that holds the plug – the contact area should be as big as possible.
Next, solder long (10cm) 4-wire tail to the audio jack. Glue the jack to the white plastic guts of the controller. Do not glue white guts and the controller shell! That's a terrible thing to do: you won't be able to get to the buttons and the only way of un-glueing these parts would be acetone, which will melt and\or decolorize the controller shell. So beware not to spill too much glue on the white plastic guts.
Solder the other end to headset board. Switch it on and test if it works.
Now you need to cut some plastic away at the right side of white plastic guts. There is a protruding circle that holds the buttons on the other side. It is okay to cut some of it – we only need to cut about a half of it's height. Try the headset board inside – it should fit perfectly. Mince had volume control buttons on one end, makes life easier a bit: I just needed to place the board right next to the plastic shell edge so I could cut tiny holes for those buttons.
If everything works – pour some glue from glue gun here and there. You can't see in the pictures, but I've put some glue underneath the audio jack. Pay close attention not to block the daughterboard connection bed. If you pour too much glue to the right pillar – controller motherboard won't touch the pads on connector and some buttons won't work.
For switching headset on and off I've put a button on the side of the controller. I've cut tiny hole just the size of the button cap and put some glue on it. It perfectly fits right between a plastic pillar on the shell and the shell edge.
Step 4: Wiring
To power the headset we would need to find a spot on controller motherboard that gives at least 2.5v when controller is on and 0v when controller is off. This won't let the headset drain the battery when you're not playing and you won't need to switch it off manually every time.
My controller motherboard revision is MSU_VX4_0.09. There are couple different revisions out there, so basically you have to google for yours or just use multimeter to find this spot. Mine was TP42 on the left, next to the battery connector. I've used GND ground point near where headset board sits.
Again, before closing everything – test it. There are couple of test points on controller board that would reset your controller if you drain too much power from them. Make sure headset switches on and off with the controller correctly. Make sure you can hear sound from both ears on your headset. Make sure someone can hear you.
If your audio is noisy or other side does not hear you – check the audio wiring. Constant rattling in both ears mean you've shortened it with mic or +. If mic doesn't work – try it in reverse polarity. iPhone headset mic can withstand that. My BT headset was a no-name from china and had all the polarity marking messed up, so I had to fiddle before I found it right.
After everything is cool – close the shell.
So yeah, after applying this mod to your controller you can just press PS, press tiny power button at the side and start the game. Voice chat is built into your controller! Neat!
Of course you have to first pair it to your PlayStation 3. Go Settings, Devices, Bluetooth. If you would need a pin-code for pairing – it's probably 0000.
Let me know how it goes and\or what you think in the comments below!