Introduction: Turn Broken Headphones Into an AUX Cable

I always have old broken headphones lying around, so I decided to finally turn them into something useful.

Step 1: What You Will Need

  • A wire cutter
  • A wire stripper
  • Wires (the thinner the better)
  • Solder (thinner works better)
  • Soldering iron
  • Hot glue gun
  • Preferably a way to measure conductivity, like an Arduino or a multimeter
  • 2 broken headphones

NOTE: I will not be using the wires within the headphones because if you take them apart, they have some kind of strange coating on that makes it impossible to solder them(shown in the picture above). If anyone knows how to remove that coating please let me know in the comments.

Step 2: How AUX Cables Are Wired

The metal piece that you plug in into your phone to listen to music generally consists of three segments:

  1. The tip is usually the left channel, so your left ear piece.
  2. The middle segment is the right channel, so your right ear piece.
  3. The last segment is the electric ground.

The AUX cable just connects each segment on each end together. So the left channel on one end is connected to the left channel on the other end. The ground on one end is connected to the ground on the other end.

Step 3: Cut of the Ends

Using wire cutters, gentry remove the end of both of your headphones so the metal pieces with some plastic on it remain.

Step 4: Solder Wires to the Channels on One the Ends

When you cut off the end of your headphones, you should notice a few bulges with solder on them. Those are the channels. Attach your wires to it. To figure out which one is which you probably should use a multimeter or arduino. However, most headphones are made such that the bulge with solder at the end is the tip(left channel) and the middle bulge is the middle section(right channel), see diagram in step 2 for a visual.

Step 5: Solder Wires to the Other End, and Hot Glue Each Side

Now solder the wire that connects to the right channel on your first end to the right channel on the other end, etc.

After you are done, hot glue each side, to make sure the wires are electrically isolated, and so that you have something to grab onto when you plug in and plug out the AUX cable.

Step 6: Plug It Into Your Speakers

And now you have a new AUX cable!

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