Turn an Old Telephone Handset Into DJ Headphones!

Introduction: Turn an Old Telephone Handset Into DJ Headphones!

These cool old phones are easy to find and cheap to pick up, we got this Brown Beauty at the local Salvation Army for $7 which was a complete ripoff. Shame on you Salvation Army. If I was an evil rich, would I be shopping at you?

Anyway, these old brutes look good and sound good, but often don't really cut it as a home telephone unit choice. The connection is bad, the numbers are sticky... Time for retirement? NO! Time to show your DJ boyfriend you care about him by making him an extra cool DJ monitoring headset while he's away in New York City!

You'll need:

-An old telephone handset with cord attached
-A soldering iron and some solder
-A mono male phone plug (yes, they are really called phone plugs baby)
-A sharp utility blade

Step 1: Cut the Cord

First things first, chop off that cord as close as possible to the telephone base.
Now you have a cordless phone and a phoneless cord!

Step 2: Expose Some Wires

Now carefully remove about 1/4 inch of cable jacket from your cut end with the blade to expose four wires. Two white ones, one red one and one black.

You can trim off the black and red wires, we won't be using them here. They carry the signal from the mouthpiece back to the base. You can hook these up to a simple electret preamp and have your own telephone microphone instead.

Carefully remove about 1/8 inch of cable jacket from the ends of the two exposed white wires. Be extra careful because in this case anyway, the wire inside was just this flimsy flat copper coil stuff.

Step 3: Make the Connection

With the soldering iron, tin the ends of the two white wires. Slip the jacket of your mono plug onto the cable and you're ready to hook this sucker up!

As per the diagram, the speaker ground line will be opposite the red wire and the hot line will be opposite the black. Solder the white hot line to the tip of the plug, and the white ground to the ground. Obviously.

Step 4: You're Done!

Plug your new headset into any stereo or mono output jack and for the first time use the phone without any obligation on your part!

Use it to cue up tracks when DJing and intimidate people into thinking you're 'on the phone' and they should NOT try to talk to you! This REALLY WORKS!



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54 Discussions

NEED HELP WITH WIRING! I'm ready to go but I have a little problem, which is I don't have 2 white wires,black&red ones but instead 1 white, 1 red, 1 blue and 1 green so which ones do I have to remove and which ones iron together?! A

2 replies

Have the same color wires. Do you happen to remember the color combination for connecting to the plug?

well, you'll probably have to do some testing with alligator clips and an audio signal like a radio you can plug into. just keep trying every combination of two wires until you have a clear audio signal coming through the phone.

Nice idea !
I wondered whether the telephone speaker is loud enough for Dj use? Since sound levels at most parties here are a lot higher than my average living room call :)

One could by the way use a simple circuit to mix the stereo channels into one mono channel instead of just using one of the channels, since records, especially older ones, can have quite some difference between the left and right channel. I'm not a DJ though, so I don't know if it is that important.
http://www.rane.com/note109.html figure2

I just got three used phones from my boss, but the dont have cords attached. Can you do the same thing with the regular plug in cords? Also. I want to just make iPod headphones, is it pretty much the same idea? Just chop up the headphones and do you think that would work?

Good hint to keep those DJ-talker away, but for a whole set I wouldnt use a handset ;-). Nice Idea!

Hey guys can anyone help me out I have no idea where to get the male phono plug im googling galore need someone who can ship to australia even ebay is not coming up trumps for me. If anyone can give me a heads up would really appreciate!

1 reply

Search for "1/4 mono plug" (a 1/4 inch plug size), it's a very common part...

do u happen to know if there is a way to bump up the volume for the phone?
the sound quality is great, but it's a little hard to hear

Hey, is it possible to cut the phone in half then put plastic or something so that is coveres both ears?

2 replies

it would be a lot more work. this is only hooking up the earpiece of the phone, so sound is only coming from one end... the one with the speaker in it. you could do this, but you would need another telephone so you have two speakers and it would be a little different in terms of soldering. but they wouldnt be that great of headphones, and you should really just spent the time working to earn money to buy a nice pair of monitoring headphones from like seinheisser or something.

yea i already have a pair of bose mixing headphones and i had a bunch of crappy ones sitting around so....

Carrying a cell (mobile) phone around reconfigured inside the shell of an old handset would be cool! But mine can't "ring" like a real old phone; that would be the best! Otherwise, the cases are easy to get into, so any working mic head would work, and with some care and the tons of schematics on the web, any sort of electret head and powering circuit as well (you'd have to fit a battery, of course). OR the guts of an ugly but working phantom powered one. But I think the DJ wants the flat, lo-fi sound of the old mic, so does anyone have a schematic (randofo...?) for how you've done it -- I mean, powered up and used the carbon mic? Of course, if I find it, I'll post it here.

1 reply

As for the ringer, look for a generic ringtone in your cell phone's settings. Maybe you can find a sound effect similar to that of a cheap landline phone.

I think You should put a stereo plug on that because the stereo out put from the dj equipment will have the right output shorted out :( But Gr8 Project