Headphones With Removable Cord

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This project is how I converted my ordinary headphones (ATH-M20x) to headphones with removable cord and how I embedded a 3.5mm audio socket into my table.

Supplies:

  1. Wired headphones.
  2. 2x 3.5 mm audio sockets.
  3. Audio extension cord.
  4. Drill and various drill bits.
  5. Multimeter.
  6. Soldering tools.

Step 1: Components

From ebay I bought two types of 3.5mm sockets. One with metal casing for headphones and second with black plastic to better blend with my desk. These sockets turned out to be pretty good quality so I can recommend them.

I also bought 3.5mm male-male coiled audio extension cord which works fine but jacks on both ends have poor strain relieve and wire insulator quickly came out of the jack casing after few bends. I rectified this by adding some insulating tape and heat shrink tubing.

ebay links:

(Pictures are from ebay sellers)

Step 2: Taking Headphones Apart

In my case this step was simply enough. I just removed ear cushion and 4 self tapping screws (remember to take apart that side of the headphones where audio cord is coming out).

Step 3: Wiring

In the headphones there were 3 coloured wires: ground, left channel and right, channel. To not confuse myself I simply took 3.5mm socket I bought and then put it on headphone jack. With multimeter in continuity mode I tested which socket pins corresponds to which wires, then I made simple wiring diagram.

NOTE

Each channel is connected to ground via low resistance coil, so when you checking continuity it should be dead short, if multimeter shows some small voltage across two contacts that means one contact is ground and the other one is R/L channel.

Step 4: Soldering

Now we can cut the original cord, pull out remaining cord inside the headphone, remove insulating plastic from the cord (~ 1cm) and pre-tin the wires. Each wire is covered in insulating material which is removed by pre-tinning. Finally solder each wire according to the diagram.

PRO TIP

To hold objects while soldering I use BLU TACK, it's more versatile and more easy to use than any clamping device I tried.

Step 5: Putting Headphones Back Together

In my case hole for original cord in headphones was perfect size for the socket, so I didn't need to enlarge it with a drill. I put in all screws and ear cushion and this part was done.

Step 6: Add Audio Cable Extension to a Table

My computer is aside table and I wanted to have easy access to headphone socket, so I decided to add extension socket to my table.

  1. Pick your socket location very carefully, so not to drill unnecessary holes in your table.
  2. Drill one hole for socket itself and one for the wire to come out.
  3. Pull your audio cable through newly made channel in your table (I reused original headphone cable for this, because it was long enough).
  4. Solder socket to the audio cable and add heat shrink tubing or tape for making connection more sturdy (this socket has same pin out as previous so I followed the same wiring diagram).
  5. Place socket in the hole (add some glue if socket is to loose), connect second end of the extension cord to your computer and tidy up the wiring.

That's it :)

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    Discussions

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    techydiy

    7 days ago

    That's a good idea, the cords are forever breaking.