This is my first instructable. I was looking for a how to for swapping iPod earphone cables and couldn't find anything. So I decided to write my own.
This instructable will cover how to transplant your iPod earphones cable into other earphone buds. Whether you like the white cable better or if you need to cannibalize broken earphones to get ones you want without buying new ones. In my case, I needed to do this because my after-market earphones were too long and had too many other obstructions in the cable. Also one side was longer than the other which I didn't like very much.
On the picture you see the iPod OEM earphones on the left, the middle is the after market ones and the right is my modded pair.
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Step 1: Open Up IPod Phones
OK, so the first thing is to take both Ipod earphones apart. To do this just pull the bottom gray piece out and then carefully separate the speaker module from the rest of the earphone body. There is some glue involved here but it's not too hard just be slow and gentle with it and it will come apart without damage.
Carefully unsolder the wires from the speaker. Also you'll need to untie the cable so that you can pull it free of the earphone body. Make sure to do this to both earphones.
Step 2: Taking Things Apart More
Next, lets move on to the new earphones. Most are built the same way so I will cover how I did it with this Panasonic pair. First you'll have to look at the ear bud and look for seams or changes in the plastic.... in my case I decided to take the silver piece out of the back and it revealed the knot and the way the wire comes into the bud.
Next I decided to take the front piece off to have access to the speaker and solder points. Be very careful here, this was tough to do. I had to use a small screwdriver to pry the seam. Whatever you do DO NOT pull or try to use the ear tube as leverage. It might break. There is glue here, a lot like the one on the iPod earphones, but it is a bit stronger. An added danger there is also puncturing the tiny speaker inside the new ear buds. Note: this is the hardest part of the whole process.
Step 3: Half Done
Once you get it apart you'll have access to everything. Because it so tight you'll have to unsolder the wires in this configuration before you can swap out the wires.
Once you have that done, push the loose wires through the back (where the silver piece was) and then untie the wire. Do this on the both ear buds. At this point you should have 2 wires and 2 sets of buds ( one new and one that came with the iPod.)
Next you'll have to put it all back together. First take the iPod wire and slowly thread it into the body of the new ear bud. Tie a LOOSE knot to keep it there and pass the free end through the front of the bud(where the speaker is. (This is important so that the wires can't be pulled out from the buds later.
Next solder the loose cables to the speaker. Be very careful and don't push on the front of the speaker. There is a really fragile membrane and it can be punctured or burned easily. To solder the wires look at my pictures or use this chart:
green wire - left ear bud - tip of plug
red wire - right ear bud - middle portion of plug
gold & - one to each earbud - this is the bottom of the plug
Step 4: Close It All Up
Put the speaker and front back on the bud body there should be enough glue there to hold everything together nicely. Next advance the knot you tied 2 steps ago as close into the body as possible . Then put the silver plug back on the back to make everything nice and clean.
That's it! Now you have better ear buds with a reasonable length cable. I really wish that the after-market earphones would have kept the same configuration on the cable as the original, so that we wouldn't have to do this.