iPhone Headset Hack: Custom In-Ear monitors from LiveWires

My LiveWires are due on Tuesday, but they will only come with a “regular” cable for music playback. One of the reasons I chose LiveWires was that they come with replacable cables.

I ordered four connectors here from Allied Electronics – they are MCX Plugs rated at 50 Ohms and will be soldered to my earphone leads from Apple.

Total cost, delivered: $29.05

See all of the related posts by clicking here.

Today I hacked my existing iPhone headphones, lopped off the ends and soldered on MCX connectors:

Step 1: Crack open the crappy earbuds on your iPhone headset. Note wire colors, since you’ll need to strip them back a little to get a good fit.

Step 2: Cut the wires below the knot (Easier to keep a straight cable)

Step 3: Strip back the outer case around 1/4 of an inch and then use a blob of solder on the end of the iron to melt the resin insulation that is on the stranded cables. Cutting those cables is tough since they “fray”.

Step 4: Use Alligator clips to feed the Tip leads through the MCX connector, hold in place and solder. Do not touch the outer MCX case, or bad things with heat sinking happen – just touch the inner pin.

Step 5: Solder the ground leads to the MCS casing.

Step 6: Use hotglue to seal things up as neatly as you can.


All works perfectly!

PS: Just hacked a set of Ultimate Ears (Single driver non-custom) to make a second pair.


Update: With my solder job and these connectors I see a drouput in the 80-200Hz range. So I suppose I will be listening on the original cables for now.

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