Hands-free Tunes





Introduction: Hands-free Tunes

Assemble a switch box to switch from listening to music on head phones to listening to answering your phone with your left ear, while music continues in the right.

(requires some electronic components, and basic soldiering skills)

Step 1: Explanation:

Hokai, so I was getting tired of having to take off my head phones when having to take a call, and I was wishing I could listen to music while on hold or on a boring call.

So the idea was born and after a quick trip to my local electronics store, so was the final product.

Step 2: The Diagram:

My apologies for the poor quality, but this crude diagram should be all the info you need to assemble this project.

The bottom right is the mic line, this is where you plug in the microphone for your phone conversations.

Second from the bottom on the right is the phone plug. This will require you to obtain a female 2.5mm stereo jack and get a male to male 2.5mm stereo cord to plug into your phone. I used a 3.55mm female stereo jack on the body, and made my own male 3.55mm stereo to male 2.55mm stereo cord.

Third from the bottom on the right is the auxilary plug. This is where your music comes in from. Basic 3.55mm female stereo jack.

Top left is obviously where you plug in your headphones.

Step 3: Topology

I recommend setting the jacks and the switch in a cardboard model of the altoids tin (with just two sides) so that when you soldier the topology of jacks is maintained. My first version was in a regular sized altoids tin, and had the jacks facing up. This was easier to wire, but wasn't as nice.

Suprisingly, this rats nest wasn't too hard to soldier together, and held it's shape once removed from the cardboard test housing.

Just remember to PLAN AHEAD!

Step 4: Troubleshoot:

If you get music but can't hear your phone or vice versa, doublecheck the connections on the diagram made in pencil (I noted them).

Also note that the mic doesn't have an "off" switch. It's always on, so if you're on a call, being bored, and are tempted to switch back to the music in both ears, the mic will still send your voice over the phone! (read: try not to sing along...)

Also if you're experiencing odd problems and have doublechecked your connections, make sure none of the soldier points are touching. And don't forget to try to "jiggle" the connections to see check if the soldier is becoming lose.

Keep in mind that the plugs that will go into the jacks have girth, and may interfere with other plugs if you put the jacks too close together! (like me)

Step 5: Enjoy!

Flip the switch when your phone rings! (don't forget to set the auto answer on hands-free mode unless you want to have to flip the switch and press the button to pick up the phone)

Enjoy your possibly boring phone conversations by supplimenting them with music!



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    27 Discussions


    3 years ago

    i know nothing in soldering... but a bit curious... wanna make a spliter for sharing music... where can i buy two 3.5mm audio jacks? from my circuit knowledge in physics class... do o just solder two jacks in paralled to a 3.5 plug head? and how much does it cost to buy audio jack with decent listening quality? also can it handle surround sound or will it be mono? sorry to ask such a long question...

    What would you recommend doing if the headphones already have a mic?

    1 reply

    Depends on how the mic is attached.

    What mic plug comes out of the headphones? Regular mono 1/8"? Or is it combined into one plug like a hands free headset?

    brilliant i ra across this along time ago and have been trying to find it ever since. i just modded my helmet to let me put some speaker elements out of a pair of headphones from the 70s and im thinking ill add a mike and run it all to a pocket on my jacket

    this idea is genius!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 reply


    WHERE DID YOU GET THE SOUR TOIDS GUM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 reply

    TARGET!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!1!11ONE1!2211 By the way, the stuff is like candy. Not recommended as gum :)

    Since all your grounds are hooked together anyway, couldn't you just use a SPDT switch instead of DPDT?

    2 replies

    Not sure. I think technically, yes, but I haven't tested that, nor do I understand the full impact of doing it. I'm of the mind that there should be as few things connected to eachother as possible. But if you try it out (or I test it out) let me know, and I'll update the instructions.

    I have been trying to find a plan on how to make something like this for my desk phone. Apparently the technology isn't as nice and compatible as it is between a cell phone headset and a pc/music headset. Does anyone know if this would work if I added an input like the one on my desk phone headset, and how the cables would be set up?

    2 replies

    Your best bet would be to take apart or otherwise discover the connections on the headset, and splice the wires together accordingly. I actually have a plan in the works for one of these for my work phone using the rj11 connector and my quality headphones and a mic attachment.

    I hope you make an instructable when you execute the plan that is in the works :-)


    12 years ago

    seems like a good idea to make a line in into a mic to record music clearly.


    12 years ago

    seems like a good idea to make a line in into a mic to record music clearly.

    I can hack together an in-line music volume control, but don't want to have to mess with housing. Time to hit the 99 cent store again, and see if they've got a mic/volume control hands-free...

    neat i quite like is too bad i have to get a bluetooth ear peice as a slight mod for earbud users: have one ear be used for a mic tho one would have to pull one earpeice out and hold it as a mic tho depending on the sencitivity it ma be able to be clipped to a collar??

    1 reply

    Do-able!! Though the original idea was to be able to use your better headphones, you could hack together some headphones and a phone earpiece so one headphone wire could use one of those in-line mics, you'd just have to split off the leads, and probably make your own 3.5mm stereo jack, and mic jack as well.