Introduction: Replace Your Proprietary HTiB Connector!
Have one of those fancy HTiB with proprietary connector? Now you can easily replace the cable and use the existing plastic connector. You can even leave the original cable / satellite intact for warranty and other purposes.
Here's a list of what you need:
- Soldering iron + solder
- Long nose pliers
- Female MOLEX pins
- Small flathead screwdriver
- (Optional) Multimeter for checking polarity of wires
- New cables
My HTiB model is Philips HTS3181, and it uses so-called Philips Easy-fit speaker connector (Pic2) mated with tiny 24AWG cables to all of its speakers. I plan to upgrade the cable and satellites altogether, but I do want to keep the original satellite and cable intact, so I can switch it back to original anytime.
The Easyfit connector uses virtually identical female pins found from female MOLEX connector (Pic3). You can buy them off ebay for about $2 for 10pcs.
I don't buy them, I obtained them from old MOLEX fans (Pic4) laying around. I have to cut the female MOLEX connector (Pic5) and remove all pins (Pic6) and the original cable (Pic7-8).
*If your HTiB is not from Philips, you can also try plugging the female MOLEX into the connector and see if it fits. Based on my research, many other HTiBs use similar-sized pins.
First thing to do is to check the polarity of the connector. In my model there is a sign of positive and negative pins, so I can proceed quickly. If your model doesn't include this sign, you will need to open the speakers and check for polarity.
Once all polarity is marked, remove all locking tabs found in the Easyfit connector (Pic2). Use a small flathead screwdriver to push all the tabs, and gently pull the cable from the plastic connector. Repeat to all speakers.
Time to solder the new cables into the female MOLEX pins (Pic9-10). This process takes a lot of time since I have to detach the pins from the MOLEX plastic connector, and then remove the original cable using flathead screwdriver and long nose pliers. Once done, solder the new cable into the pins, remember not to use excessive solder.
Proceed with re-checking the polarity before fitting the pins into the plastic connector. After checking, you will need to unlock the locking tabs at the side of the pins using small flathead screwdriver (Pic11). Gently push the new female pins into the plastic connector until it locks and secured (Pic12).
And there you go, your HTiB now uses better cables and/or satellites (Pic13). Enjoy the sound! I replaced my satellites with Cambridge SoundWorks satellites (Pic14-15). It has greater power rating and impedance so it is now underpowered, but what a huge difference compared to the original Philips satellites.