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Mag-safe type Audio Connector for Headphones? Answered

Would it be possible to make a Magsafe-like cable for headphones?

I'm always either editing video or listening to music while on the desktop in my family's living room. In order to not disturb everyone, I use headphones. But getting up time after time is very much a pain when I have to pull my headphones off, set them down, then head off to wherever in the house I need to go. (Kitchen, toilet, etc...)

I think I've come up with a solution that would make things a lot easier.
The end of the heaphone cable is normal. Standard 3.5mm. But the other end, which is usually hidden away in the left ear cup all stripped and leading to different speakers, is seperated from the ear cup, and connects and stays on with magnets!

The only problem is that I'm not quite sure what to do to make this...anyone have any ideas?

5 Replies

kelseymh (author)2012-07-02

A problem with doing this is that the MagSafe connector is an Apple proprietary configuration: you can't go to someone like Jameco or Mouser and buy the components. You will have to scavenge them from defunct Apple products.

If you or a friend have a completely dead MacBook, you could strip it for components and remove the female MagSafe from the box, and strip the wires in the male cable. Use a simple continuity test to match each interior wire to the corresponding pin on the connector. Once you know the pinout, then it's trivial to wire up each side of the MagSafe connection equivalently to a normal 3.5 mm stereo jack.

An alternative to this is to look a set of RadioShack headphones I recently bought for my four year old daughter. The headphones themselves have a dongle ending in a female 3.5 mm jack. The package includes a cable with a male jack at both ends. You plug one end into the headphones and the other into your device.

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ccain3 (author)kelseymh2012-07-04

The female jack idea is what I was originally intending to build! But the magsafe idea seemed cooler, and more ambitious, so I had to go for it.

But I wasn't particularly thinking about using ACTUAL magsafe parts...I figured I'd build it somehow from scratch. The design, that's why I'm puzzled.

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kelseymh (author)ccain32012-07-05

I think you're right -- the MagSafe connector would be much cooler.

I just tried a more generic Google search for "magnetic power connector" (instead of "MagSafe"). You might want to check out some of the results.

It looks like there are components available, and I even found an Instructable on how to make one!

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mpilchfamily (author)2012-07-02

It will cost more, but why not buy a set of wireless/bluetooth headphones?

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ccain3 (author)mpilchfamily2012-07-02

For the fun of making it, of course! Lol.
Also, I did consider going the Bluetooth route. But I'm kind of skeptical.
As I said ^up there^ I do a lot of video editing. I really need my audio to be synced perfectly with any video up on the monitor. I could see it's practicality for simply listening to music, which is why I'm thinking of putting a BT receiver in for use with my phone, which I use to listen to music.

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