Make a PC Gaming Headset to Xbox 360 Adapter

Ever been playing Xbox Live with a few friends and gotten frustrated over the quality of voice being broadcast via the Xbox Headset? Or have to purchase a whole new headset ($50+) because your wires are giving out?

Have a perfectly good headset you use for PC gaming but that doesn't quite fit into your Xbox Controller?

Heres an EASY STEP-BY-STEP Instructable that will show you how you can spend under $20 (in parts) to make that nice PC gaming headset compatible with your Xbox 360 controller.

Step 1: Gather Tools

First, you'll want to make sure that you have a few handy items to complete this project. Everything we're using can be picked up at your local Radio Shack or similar Electronics parts store. You'll need: solder, a soldering iron, wire cutters, a blade of some sort, and wire strippers (if you're not able to use a blade).

Note: you'll also need a very small piece of wire you can solder on as a bridge. But more on that in a later step.

You're also going to want a safe place to solder and you may like to use gloves if you're skin is sensitive to cutting or burning...

Step 2: Go Shopping!

Unless you have these just laying around, and believe me, I know some people who do, you're going to want to purchase the items listed below. As I said in the beginning, as long as you have all the materials listed in step 1, these parts cost less than $20. The {part numbers} are the Radio Shack part numbers if you choose to go there

You'll need:
(1) 1/8" to 3/32" Adapter {PT# 274-373}
(1) 4" Stereo Headphone Cable Y-Adapter {PT# 42-2570}
(1) 2 pk Solder-Type Stereo In-Line 1/8" Phone Jack {PT# 274-274}

And that's it!

Step 3: Preparation of the Y-Adapter

Cut the existing ends off only the top to arms of the "y" adapter.

You want to get as close as possible to the jack to leave yourself plenty of wire to work with.

Remember, only cut off the top two arms of the adapter, leave the bottom piece intact.

Step 4: Start Stripping!

1) Very carefully score about 1/2" of the black insulation off the arms of the newly cut "y" adapter.

2) Using your wire stripper or some pliers, Pull off the 1/2" of black insulation you just scored to expose a bundle of foil wrapped wires.

3) Using your Xacto blade, slit open the foil shielding to expose the Black (headset), Metal (ground), and Red (microphone) wires.

Notice in Picture 2 how the colors of the wires match up with the headphone and mic jacks on your gaming headset

4) In Picture 3 you'll see that we've slipped the plastic housing from the 1/8" phone jack over the exposed wires so after we solder we can screw it all together.

Step 5: Start Choosing Sides.

Determine which side, left or right you want to be your speaker. Don't stress too much about this as you can always flip it over and left is right and right is left!

1) On side A, strip half of the exposed Red wire.

2) On side B, strip half of the exposed Black wire.

3) {here's the tricky part} On BOTH sides, thread the ground (the silver metal wires exposed w/o stripping) through the small hole at the base of the metal jack and curl it around the base.

4) On side A, connect the Red wire to one of the terminals. You DO NOT want this to touch both terminals.

5) On side B, connect the Black wire to one of the terminals. Here, we'll be adding a bridge to connect the two terminals. A bridge can be any small piece of wire you have laying around. You only want the bridge to connect the terminals, not touch the rest of the jack. (see next step)

Step 6: Ready, Set, SOLDER!

1) On Side A (red), solder your ground wire from the back where it was threaded through, all the way around.

2) On Side A (red), solder the point where the red wire connects to the terminal and snip off the remaining black wire ensuring that none of the black wire will come in contact with any of the other wires or solder.

3) On Side B (black), solder your ground wire from the back where it was threaded through all the way around.

4) On Side B (black), solder the point where the black wire connects to the terminal and snip off the remaining red wire ensuring that none of the red wire will come in contact with any of the other wires or solder.

5) On Side B (black), create a bridge out of a small piece of wire and connect both terminals together. Note, this is only done on the BLACK side. This is going to cause you to have pseudo Stereo sound as you're really diverting the mono signal to go through both sides of your head phones.

Step 7: Time to Play!

With both sides soldered as instructed, you should be able to slide up the plastic housing and screw the jack into it.

You may want to mark which side is Headphones (black) and which side is Microphone (red) so it will be easy to hook up.

Attach the 1/8" to 3/32" adapter to the bottom of the newly modified "y" adapter and plug into your controller.

If you're having trouble with interference, try hot-gluing around your solder work to isolate the connections.

You can also use this set-up to connect your gaming headset with most cell phones too as they take the same jack.



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    99 Discussions


    4 years ago

    I went to get a 1/8 to 3/32 today and they said they didn't make them anymore. What should I do?


    4 years ago on Introduction

    how does it work if its one of the jacks that has the mic built in to the audio(like the one with the 3 strips of plastic)? Is it possible?

    Headphone Jack.jpg

    9 years ago on Step 5

    Excellent how to. 

    I just did two of them today.  For one I used a 3 way splitter for 1 mic and 2 headphones, so a friend can listen in on coversations.

    FYI, if you use a 3 way splitter from radioshack, red is audio positive and white is for the mic positive.  The colors are different, with white instead of black and reversed.

    Also, you can bridge the mic leads to both tabs with no issues.


    1 reply

    I ordered the Xbox 360 PC Headset Adapter - Use PC Headset with Xbox 360 Live, Dual 3.5mm to 2.5mm (PC35-Xbox360) from It lists for $9.95. With shipping it came to $14.10. I just tested it and it works fine.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey All!,
    So i haven't been on here in a very long time and i'm blown away at the comments you guys have up here. They're great!

    Just an update on my part, I recently started playing again Halo Reach/Anniversary and rarely MW3) and i'm still using the SAME adapter you see in the picture there. it's still going strong. I'd say that's pretty good!

    I've started doing my tutorials on my blog site now ( and on my youtube channel ( and would love for you guys to take a look and let me know how I can improve.

    Thanks a TON for all the inspiration and improvements! Keep Creating!


    10 years ago on Step 7

    this is a great idea, notto mention the only place on the net that i cout find something like this. i just finished one tha i made for my friend tonight after seeing this yesturday. although i didnt make mine with the extra adapter on the end. i just had a male to male 2.5mm cable that i cut in half and split to the two 3.5mm jacks. essentially the same thing but a little less bulk and hopefully a little less dangerous to use during more vigorous gaming. definately glad someone posted about this. great job

    3 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the link to Triangle Cables plus they are on sale for $3 + s/h. Think that this will work with the Plantronics Audio 370 pc headsets that I bought on Woot for $5.99 to use with Xbox 360


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    well, i'm replying to this very, very late. As I'm sure you've already found out, the cables you linked in above only split audio out. They won't work for Mic in. Correct me if i'm wrong though since i haven't actually tried that.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great tutorial, though I have some improvements on the budget side… even though you do require a little bit more experience on soldering and peeling cables:
    See you don’t actually need to buy the in line phone jack… you just need to:
    1. - peel the cable of the Y adapter instead of cutting it (preferably in the middle).
    2. - then when you see the 3 cables (red, black, peeled) you just cut the red cable on side A and the black cable on side B.
    3. - then peel the little black cable on side A and solder the red cable coming from the female jack (being careful not to solder the ground, and this is why you need more experience).
    4. - then isolate the wires so no short circuits are left. And you are done ;)



    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hi there I'd first like to thank you for the tutorial it's easy to follow. There's only one problem I've come across which is my mic not working. I've boiled this down to 2 things: 1) My 3.5 to 2.5 is slightly different and might be the reason. It has 3 grooves in the male connection instead of the 2 shown in the picture. 2) I messed up the soldering on the mic connection. When I was doing it my hands became shaky and I got some of the plastic from the black sleeve mixed in the solder so I may have to clean it out. Any input on what I should try to fix first would be nice.


    7 years ago on Step 5

    Ok idk what i did wrong but my mic works perfectly and im getting no sound. The headphone side looks just like yours but ive got no sound. And the red wire isnt interfering because ive got it covered with electrical tape. Any ideas????


    8 years ago on Introduction

    There's a part that already does what this does and it's cheaper than buying all those parts from radio shack and making it yourself...

    But a nice instructable nonethless.

    nk dtk

    8 years ago on Step 6

    on this picture, is the black wire on the left and the red wireon the right cut down and un used?

    1 reply
    poolgirlbluenk dtk

    Reply 8 years ago on Step 6

    correct. one side is mic, the other is audio. you isolate one on each side so that you can plug in the mic(red) and the headphones(black).


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Alright so Im interested in doing this. But i only want to use a mic. I bought an adapter and when my mic is plugged in it doesnt work. Any suggestions? its a stereo adapter, do i need a mono one? Thanks.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    ok i can hear everything i just can't talk back. anyone else have this problem.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks to poolgirlblue for this article. Not having done any electrical stuff for years, this inspired me to have a go.
    In the UK it is not so easy to get a "headset buddy" as the US websites have. So I had a go at building a 4-pole 3.5 jack spliter with success.
    I have full stereo, and by building a test piece for a 3-pole jack I was able to test the connections though my Nokia mic attachment and identify which pole uses the mic & phones.

    I ruined 2 4-pole jacks in the process but the learning experience was invaluable.
    Thanks again.