Make Your Headphone Cable Removable





Introduction: Make Your Headphone Cable Removable

The cables on my headphones were beginning to fray near the ear pieces. I had pulled too tightly on my headphones so many times that the plastic wrap around the cable was beginning to break apart!

To fix this I decided to install headphone jacks on each earpiece. This not only fixed the breaking cable, but also acts as a psuedo quick disconnect as well. DISCLAIMER: this instructable will only work if you can open up your headphones ear pieces in such a way that they can be put back together! I have Grado SR60s, which worked perfectly for this.

I didn't think ahead and take a picture of all the tools needed, but here's a list;

   • Pliers and/or wire snips
   • Cable Strippers
   • Dremel Tool and/or Drill + Bits
   • 2 x 1/8" micro mono panel mount headphone jacks
   • 2 x 1/8" mono phone plugs
   • Heat shrink of various sizes and colors.
   • Heat gun

NOTE: I've skipped describing the process of how to actually connect the speaker wires to the connectors and plugs. There are other, better, instructables available that describe the process. Sorry!

Step 1: Disassemble Earpieces

To disassemble the earpieces on my SR60s, I used a heat gun to loosen the glue holding it together. After a few minutes under the gun, I was able to basically twist and pry the two pieces apart. Your results will vary depending on your headphones manufacturer.

Step 2: Install the Headphone Jack

You'll need to widen the hole the cable comes through to install the headphone jack into the ear piece. I used my Dremel Stylus and a grinding tool to widen the existing holes until the jack fit. I also had to thin the earpiece wall so that I could screw the jack into place. You could probably use a drill and bit to do this as well.

Step 3: Finishing Up

Take the male headphone jacks and install them on each cable. I won't go through instructions on how to do that, since there's plenty of resources available online.

I used heat shrink to not only protect the connected cable by securing it snugly in the connectors outer shield but to also denote which connector is left vs right.

Once that's done, you're good to go!

NOTE: After over a year of use, one of my ear pieces started to fall apart. I had not glued it back in place and did not want to. To fix the problem, I used a post-it note to create a shim to tighten up the two pieces of the ear piece. I ripped the non-sticky part of the note off and stuck the sticky side to the inside portion of the ear piece. I put two pieces on it like this, and now it's tight as can be. I think using electrical tape would be a better option (if a bit too thick), but I only had office supplies on hand.



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    41 Discussions

    That style of 1/8 panel jack has become unobtainable. The only thing I can find anymore are the plastic box type.

    4 replies tells me my local store has them in stock.

    I can't imagine not having a suitable panel jack either.

    They have mono, no stereo either in-store or online and that was the same thing that I found with all the online parts suppliers like Mouser. I was able to find some on Ebay from a chinese seller. That took three weeks and they were defective. No holes in two of the solder tabs. Still perfectly usable but indicative that all that remain are seconds.

    Oops. The project in fact uses mono jacks. Mine didn't.

    Great idea! But since I do not any idea how to disassembly my AKG's, I'll be waiting till I broke some of cables and then I try to do something like this. Thanks again for inspiration!

    awesome idea but what if you have a mic attached to your headphones? would you just add another adapter on the headpiece and have a separate cord that goes to mic input? for me that seems logical enough to try.

    2 replies

    Or, if You have one-side-cable, You can use 4-pin jack instead..

    I would probably make whichever earpiece has the mic attached to it use stereo jacks and plugs. That way you can use one channel for the driver and the other for the mic and then avoid having an additional cable to plug in and manage.

    Make sense?

    Well yes, however why you would want your Grados to look like Beats I would never know.

    hi i really want to do this with a pair of akg headphones my dad gave me. they look similar to the grados but i know close to nothing about wiring things like this... my dad would help me out with the actual work but do you think you could post a link to some tutorials regarding this, and if you can, links to the needed mono male and female parts? thanks so much.

    1 reply

    Yay for Grado! I have the SR60i, not sure what the "i" model does when compared to the regular SR60, but they're certainly the best headphones I've ever owned. I don't think I'd have the courage to open them up like you did, so I say, bravo sir, bravo!

    2 replies

    The "i" means they're the newer ones. My dad has the SR60 and they are THE BEST HEADPHONES EVAAR! At least of those I've used.

    Yeah I know that, I meant what the actual difference was, like improved drivers or magnets or something (what hifi says that there is a difference in terms of sound between the two but I can't remember it mentioning what said difference was) :P

    Those Grado SR60's are my favorite headphones! Are those the original foam pad things (whatever they're called) because if so, how have they not fallen apart?

    1 reply

    Oh, and look at these mods!