Introduction: How-To: Xbox360 HDMI & RCA Audio

Picture of How-To: Xbox360 HDMI & RCA Audio

I'm sure I'm not the first to be disappointed by the placement of the output ports on his Xbox360, specifically how the old trapezoidal A/V cable plug blocks the HDMI port on the Elite models.  And Microsoft, being the conniving #$%^ers they are, have come up with a handy $49.99 solution to the problem that just so happens to be entirely irrelevant.

My problem came about because I wanted to hook my 360 up to my 22" widescreen monitor which doesn't have audio.  Obviously I didn't want to play without sound and my attempt to plug the HDMI cable and the A/V cable in simultaneously met with futility.

My solution involves modding the Microsoft Composite A/V cable, which should have come standard with the system.  I realize now, after doing a quick Google search, that there are a few other tutorials online on how to do this so I don't claim any credit for originality.

Step 1: Tools & Materials

You will only need a couple things for this quick mod:
  • Small, thin flathead screwdriver
  • Electrical tape (optional)
Also, to get this to actually work, you'll need the Microsoft Composite A/V cable and an HDMI or HDMI to DVI cable.  I have not tested the MS Component A/V cable so I cannot comment on it's modability.

Step 2: Mod the A/V Cable

Picture of Mod the A/V Cable

This step is so simple it's a wonder Microsoft even thinks they can get away selling an overpriced peripheral when you already have what you need included with the system.

Find the seam on the connector for the A/V cable, wedge the screwdriver in there, twist, and crack that plastic shell open.  You'll probably have to do it on both sides of the connector, no big deal.

Once the shell (and oh, so much empty space inside the plastic that does nothing) is off, use the electrical tape to keep the metal connector attached to the remaining plastic shell.  Note, it will work without the tape, but it's probably a good idea to electrically insulate that a bit.

Step 3: Plug It In!

Picture of Plug It In!

Now take that bad boy and plug it in where it's supposed to go.  Then take your HDMI cable and find that, oh would you look at that, there actually is room for the both of these Microsoft!  Now we just have to hope they don't issue a patch to the operating system that makes this mod unable to work.


BoR9 (author)2016-01-02

Does this still work?

martlego made it! (author)2015-07-12

This is the reason why it won't work with some of the Component/Composite cables, as there is a fair amount of hardware in there, probably to switch between HD and SD, on the X801255-100 cables.

Jae2314z (author)2015-06-20

Can someone help me, cause all i have is a hdmi and my Macbook Pro and i just wanna play my games but i have no clue how to do that. Any Advise?

martlego (author)Jae2314z2015-07-12

Yes, you could do it with a USB video capture card, but I don't know how much lag you would have to do so.

NaKKi3L (author)2014-11-20

Man u r genius, i use hand saw on wider side av cable, cut the plastic top and brush it and hdmi is plugged under...and 1080 video + av hifi thanx

ilyas.amraoui.3 (author)2014-08-27

is it ok to use xbox 360 av cable sd like this one

not using the hd one and taking the case off. as you see the sd is thin.

smok3r (author)2014-04-14

As i am a bit of a noob here... can anyone explain what i need to do from this point to actually get audio from my PC speakers once i have both cables connected?

anthony ajax (author)2012-07-13

Does this still work or have they instated a patch? Also, you have had no issues with the xbox putting out two video signals simultaneously?

rweagle (author)anthony ajax2014-02-16

works on any 360. friend of mine with a slim did the same thing. worked great.

frazeeg (author)anthony ajax2012-07-13

I haven't used this particular hack in a while since I now have an LCD TV to play my XBOX on, but as far as I know it should still work.

anthony ajax (author)frazeeg2012-07-13

Okay, thanks. I"m going to test it in a few days and post back.

rweagle (author)2014-02-16

I used one of the A/V cables from a 360 Slim. easier to pop apart. Worked great Using my HD PC monitor and my PC speakers for sound. I did go an extra step and and plug the xbox sound to the LINE IN and use my leyboard audio buttond to adjust the volume. Thanks so very much for the idea. Now the wife can watch TV and I can still play my xbox whenever I want.

mykehowells (author)2012-11-09

A hundred million thanks!

Biopyro (author)2010-01-23

I had exactly the same problem, so I bought this cable for $7.
So long as you have a 3.5mm extension cable, or your speaker input is nearby, it works very well.

frazeeg (author)Biopyro2010-01-23

I did the same thing too but I found the signal degraded with the VGA connection.  Probably because it's analog and DVI/HDMI is digital.

alex3927 (author)frazeeg2012-06-27

Could also be your display. The VGA connections on my main screens look better than the HDMI.

anthony ajax (author)alex39272012-07-13

I don't think it' his display... On really good screens, digital signals are always better than analog signals.

Biopyro (author)frazeeg2010-01-23

My monitor only has VGA in so this was my only choice - works absolutely fine for me though.

alex3927 (author)2012-06-27

Thank you for this. I had originally thought that tab was there because of potential damage to your console for using both ports (come to think of it, might still not be a good thing if you plug in HDMI and component video at the same time), so I bought the HDMI kit. But now that I know that such is not entirely the case (and that there is actually nothing in that part of the casing), I can mod the composite cables gathering dust on my shelf for this purpose.

asmith433 (author)2012-01-03

Microsoft needs to work on where they put the connections I AGREE REALLY MICROSOFT

alex3927 (author)asmith4332012-06-27

Pretty sure Microsoft set it up that way intentionally, as most will buy a cable before modding a current one. I agree that the placement is evil, but that's Microsoft

hypnotoady (author)2012-02-11

Nice hack, takes all of 2 minutes. I cut off the offending tab with a hacksaw very easily and just re-assembled the connector taped with packing tape. Easiest $50 I didn't spend ever.

timinatorrrr (author)2012-01-23

What would happen if you didn't put any electric tape or anything on it?

yomammah (author)2012-01-07

not trying to be a prick, but why didnt you simply grind off the tab, allowing the plastic casing to keep the internal already insulated?

frazeeg (author)yomammah2012-01-07

It was probably a combination of the fact that I didn't know it was just empty space behind the tab and the fact that I didn't want to get melted plastic all over my grinding wheel.

esudjatmiko (author)2011-11-05

you're great man! i followed your instruction on this and now i can listen to game audio in my PC!

TOMNDAN (author)2010-12-17

There is an HDMI plug but not an RCA plug :(

AndrePOA (author)2010-12-05

Really great. Thank you a lot. Great idea.

Achan20 (author)2010-09-04

dude. you r amazing. now i can hook my xbox up to my hdtv and the surround sound!! thanks!!

nickstewartroc (author)2010-08-05

Btw, i've done this awhile back on my component/composite dual cable from micro$uck and its the same, just abit wider is all

cody777 (author)2010-04-02

 what!!! urs had optical on it mine didnt
(dosent matter not im 100% hdmi)

Cycrolus (author)2010-02-05

Awesome I did not know this was possible. My tv does not have audio out and the speakers are weak. This will totally make Rock Band 100% better.

ac1D (author)2010-01-23

Nice way of saving some buck :)

About This Instructable




Bio: I love to tinker with just about anything but some favorites are woodworking and other crafty things. I also enjoy repurposing otherwise useless things like ... More »
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