Introduction: Laptop Silencer

Picture of Laptop Silencer

The point of this project is to keep your laptop quiet. Have you ever been on a plane or in the library and when you went to boot up you couldn't turn the sound off till the OS was loaded and by that time all the fancy loading music had been played loudly? In less than five minutes you can make a device to silence you laptop!

1. Old pair of headphones you don't mind destroying
2. Scissors, for destroying old pair of headphones

Step 1: Picking a Pair of Old Hadphones

Picture of Picking a Pair of Old Hadphones

For this project I chose a pair that came with my sansa, they were crap and stopped playing after 4 months, a perfect candidate. You don't have to use the same ones as me, any pair will do.

Step 2: Cutting the Headphones

Picture of Cutting the Headphones

This is an extremely easy step, move you scissors to where the headphone jack is and cut off. See pics below for more detail. You should now have something that looks like the second picture.

Step 3: Testing It

Picture of Testing It

Plug your new silencer into the headphone jack on your computer and try playing some music or something with audio. You should,'t hear anything. If so then you did it correctly. If not I have no idea how you could mess something this simple up.


turtle keeper (author)2015-09-11

Nice instructable and great idea but be careful the copper wires might touch each other and destroy your laptop try keeping the wires longer and wrap some thing around them like tape to avoid short circuit

JavaProgrammer (author)2015-06-01

very neat idea.

The nerdling (author)2011-05-26

computers are food

blodefood (author)2011-05-07

Why not use a headphone adapter without plugging in the head phones?

Shadowpom (author)2010-04-08

There is an easier way MUTE your come BEFORE turning it off it will be silent then 

biggunner (author)Shadowpom2011-01-12

but what if you dont want to mute it? what if you want to be creative and make this?

Shadowpom (author)biggunner2011-01-13

my idea is for people who are cheap(me) and dont want to spend a few dollars on headphones


biggunner (author)Shadowpom2011-01-13

what if u already have some? or find some? then its free.

zer0_da_hero (author)2010-11-14

I saw a 1/8 plug at radioshak for like $2.99. Perhaps, that works better.

MerlinTheGreat (author)2010-11-05

Neither the output voltage nor the current would kill you. But if the copper of the wires touches one another you can fry your notebook's amp.
Short circuits aren't good for these things.
It might be a better idea to leave the wires a bit longer and properly insulate them. Then you could bend them to position them aside the plug body and put some insulation tape around the whole thing to keep it together.
It would be somewhat safer for the amp.

Or you could just go to an electronics store and buy one of these plugs. They aren't that expensive. ;)

Oh BTW, nice idea!

Lance Mt. (author)2010-02-28

 Hehehe, Hope I'll hear it again some day.

Lance Mt. (author)2010-02-24

GUi is like butter yeah? Makes it torable? Hmmm. More food/PC cross-overs.

Foaly7 (author)2009-09-28

Okay. You make sense. Not technically BIOS, but close?

cannedtomato (author)2007-06-25

i agree, it is AWESOME, but you can turn down the volume of your start up by accessing your BIOS. 1) Access your BIOS 2) find the right category that has "start up volume" 3) turn down your volume 4) save settings and shut down

Foaly7 (author)cannedtomato2008-12-05

Mac doesn't have BIOS. Or does it? :p

funky monk (author)Foaly72009-08-29

Every computer has a BIOS, it might not be called BIOS but it does exactly the same thing. A computer would not boot if it had no BIOS, I can garuntee that it's there although you might not be able to access it. I'm not a mac user so I eouldn't know but I'm guessing there will be some key combination you press at startup to get into it, either that or you can access it through a prompt in the main OS although I boubt this since if you cannot get into your OS you won't be able to change what could be causing the fault in the first place since it could be a problem with the BIOS, for example it could have been told to boot from a USB

Foaly7 (author)funky monk2009-09-02

I'll Belive mythbusterma

funky monk (author)Foaly72009-09-02

I'm serious, every sinlge computer you ever saw (appart from calculators and things) has a BIOS, it's just a fact. Live with it

Foaly7 (author)funky monk2009-09-03

AGAIN I BELIEVE mythbusterma!!!

mythbusterma (author)Foaly72009-01-02

no but it has a GUI similar to BIOS but the name escapes me

tanmanknex (author)mythbusterma2009-07-11

I think the thing you're thinking of is OpenFirmware.

andrew101 (author)cannedtomato2007-06-26

well some people think this is so much eaiser

qwervz (author)andrew1012007-11-22

Ruining a pair of earphones and risking damage to your laptop. Clicking a few buttons when you boot your computer. (Usually f8 or similar) Hmm... I wonder which is easier?

Sandisk1duo (author)qwervz2009-01-26

impossible to ruin your computer by shorting the headphone jack!

Lonnie W (author)Sandisk1duo2009-06-04

Not so. The components in the audio amplifier are designed to work into a specific load (the speakers or headphones). Operating the computer into an open or shorted state could cause the audio stage to overheat and/or fail.

Sandisk1duo (author)Lonnie W2009-06-04

but the amount of power that is put out by the amp is only like 50mw

andrew101 (author)Sandisk1duo2009-06-05

exactly what alex said. plus if you make a clean cut it is impossible to short it out.

Lonnie W (author)andrew1012009-06-07

I didn't say anything about shorting it out, though that's a possibility if you aren't careful. Chances are you could use this plug on your computer and not have any problems for a while, or maybe never. It IS hard on the audio amplifier though, weather you believe it or not. I won't be doing it on any of my equipment.

sardines454 (author)qwervz2007-11-23

this doesn't ruin earphones is they're already broken and how does this risk damaging my laptop?

ReCreate (author)sardines4542009-01-09

It does not damage your laptop Headphones and any speaker work with resistance so even if they were shorted out it would do nothing

Coffee bean (author)qwervz2008-11-25

more chance of damaging you computer in bios than using so already broken headphones

andrew101 (author)qwervz2007-11-23

how does this damage your computer? it cant even if the wires shorted out the voltage isnt enough to cause any damage and if it did you have a very shitty laptop! ive gone through like 50 pairs of broken earphones so if i take one pair of those it will work the same

macca4life (author)2009-05-14

ok i dont like being a smart arse or anything but if you cut them it leaves a small piece of copper wire that can shock you so cover it up with insulation tape and you are shock free

so..... You're saying that 7+ volts is going to shock you?

rofl more like 7k volts..... the sound system of any computer or sound based device is kicked into the kilo-volt range, to test this hold the end of an ampliefied speaker system ( one that plugs into a wall) and put ur finger so it touches ONE end.. the voltage traveks through the floor through you and into the system.

where would they stick that kind of transformer into a laptop? it would be a monster. also, what if ur headphones fried? they would catch fire in your ear! also, i have some really heavy duty oxygen-free audio cable, its max rating is 300v, that's nowhere near 7kv

a few things, as my understanding of electricty shows, voltage is not what destroys wires, it is instead, amperage, hence, i could put 1 MV through a car jumper cable with no effect, but only 300 amps, and the wire shorts out, aside from the its not a probably not a transformer, my guess would be a step up converter ic. aside from that, if the circuit "fried" or failed, it wouldn't burn your ear, it would simply spark (once or twice) then no more electricty would travel, hence the lack of a circle (circuit) to have the electricty to travel on.

Your understanding is off a bit. Neither voltage nor current destroy anything, its resistance plus a combination of the other two. The resistance causes the electrical energy to change into heat, causing stuff to melt/explode/overall fail. Now if it was a superconductor(no resistance whatsoever) then it could handle whatever you threw at it(ok, not literally, but you get the idea) therefor, the power rating would really tell you what your electrical stuffs could handle. You're somewhat right about putting megavolts through your jumpers, but you could also put 300A through them as well since thats close to what their designed to handle (just not at the same time, but that would be a fun sight to see though). Now, your guess about a dc-dc converter that could up low current 3.3v/5v/12v up to 7kv???? wow, send me a link dude, I want it! that would make some beautiful micro tazers that plasmainia would post in a hurry(unless I beat him to them) Third, I presume you're talking about the lopped 3.5mm plug here right? Simple sparking would happen here yes, but I was referring to headphones/earbuds that fail in your ear, 7kv would spark to you since you'd be the quickest path to the ground(even with the overall resistance of your body)

Ahh, earbuds would hurt, in ear electrical shorting = not fun, dc-dc is not yet up to 7kv, but through out my guess fo teh tecnology

funky monk (author)The Ideanator2009-08-29

I love the amount of n00bs we have on the internet who think they are big and clever by spreading BS, I'm not accusing you of being one btw :P -"Oh yeah, I'm so cool, I just told some guy on instructibles" -"you told me rubbish" -"........... :( "

osgeld (author)itsthatsguy2009-08-04

since when does a headphone jack produce the same amount of voltage as a neon transformer ? hook a headphone jack up to a volt meter, and measure it, please

its not the voltage that kills its the currency

lolololololololololol! yup. On average, money kills more things then voltage.

funky monk (author)freerunnin12009-08-29

Yes, that is true provided the voltage is high enough to get through the skin. Firstly the voltage that goes into headphones os nowhere near enough to go through the skin and secondly the amount of current you can draw from a headphone jack is increadibly small, as in a few miliamps, if it were anything significant then the wires for your headphones would melt. Have you actually seen how thin the wires are?

ScubaSteve (author)freerunnin12009-07-31

The money?

first of all there is nowhere enough current in a speaker system to make a shock that anyone can feel and even if you could feel it it would just go in and out your finger or whatever

it doesnt really matter about voltage more about ampage

SpaceDucky (author)2009-08-08

ummm why don't you just hit the "mute" button?

Lonnie W (author)2009-06-07

It's the fact that the audio amplifier is putting out current with nowhere to go that can potentially damage it. I never claimed that it would instantly blow the amplifier, just that it wasn't good for it, I also didn't invite your obscenities. So much for the "be nice" policy. At any rate, I'm done with this thread.

deathsmileyinc (author)2009-06-04

ermmm... you can turn the volume down when you log out, I always do that, every time i log in i can turn it up if i want to listen to music or just keep it down cue its rude to make noise in a library or school. but i think this wont work for other (older) laptops

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