Step 5: Wiring The Headphone Plugs

We need to identify which connections are which solder points on the plugs. Use your multimeter on the resistance setting again, and place one probe on the tip and the other on a solder point. Keep trying until you find the corresponding one, which will register around 0 ohms.

Mark these down on a piece of paper so you remember which is which. As follows:

The TIP is the LEFT channel.
The MIDDLE is the RIGHT channel.
The BASE is the GROUND.

The jack illustration below is from http://www.ehow.com/how_114206_replace-headphone-plug.html

Take your headphone plugs and solder 3 inch lengths of wire to each connection in them. Solder a black wire to the ground connection and two red ones to the left and right connections.

Solder these wires in place on the headphone cable. Solder all three plug ground wires to the single ground wire from the headphones. The diagram below shows the connections.

When I was complete I encased mine in a small plastic container. A large diameter heat-shrink tube would work well also. Plug each one into a MP3 player, one by one, to make sure they work. You should hear some amount of sound in each ear as you test them. If you're worried about damaging your MP3 player, put your multimeter on each jack connection and the speaker itself, and recheck that each connection is only connected once, and that there are no shorts to the ground connections.

another way to test the wires is continuity. most meters have a audible beep when the connection is made
techinally you do not have a center channel. that would be a 7 channel system. 6 channel systems do not have a center. its Front(L,R) Side(L,R) Rear(L,R). this is still surround sound. in case anyone is wondering, when you see .1 at the end it means there is a dedicated sub channel
 very interesting I'ble... I might try this my self.. our i might just get a USB 5.1 surround sound card... not too interested with the headphones...
Just out of curiosity, what's the brand/model of the headphones you used?<br />
I wish I could tell you specifically, but they were only branded as &quot;Mentor&quot;&nbsp;and I have seen a few identical models around the nets since, but never exactly the same brand.&nbsp; Really though, with a touch of know-how, you can do this with any pair that has an in-line unit like that.<br /> <br /> Its just a case of using an ohmmeter to identify the different wires going to each speaker.<br />
Yeah, I wouldn't imagine it'd be very hard to do the same thing with a different pair of headphones.&nbsp; I was asking because a lot of USB headphones have poor sound quality, but since you've verified that those sound pretty good, they would be a good pair of cans to buy.<br />
Wow, nice instructable. the only thing is that isnt the sound card low quality?
Being outside the PC, its relatively free from stray EMI and other signals that interfere with on-board sound cards. Other than less static when using headphones (because of that lesser interference) it sounds just as good as my Realtek on-board sound, if not better.

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