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Wiring 1/8" Headphone jack to 1/4"
Old 7th May 2006
Lives for gear
Rednose's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Wiring 1/8" Headphone jack to 1/4"

Hello, I have a couple of pairs of headphones that have 1/8" jack that I would like to hardwire to 1/4" in my studio.
I don't want to use the adaptors, they fart out too much.
I cut the wires on the headphones and got a 1/4 stereo cable.
I've tried connecting the wires in all combinations and can't get any sound out of them.
What am I doing wrong? 3 wires to 3 wires, I have the ground correct?
Guess I should of just gone with the adaptors, but I would like to salvage the headphones I allready cut the wires on.
Old 8th May 2006
Here for the gear
🎧 15 years
Originally Posted by Rednose
What am I doing wrong? 3 wires to 3 wires, I have the ground correct?
If you have the ground correct (which should be pretty straightforward), then it's just a matter of determining which wire is left and which is right. Regardless of what you choose, you should still get sound. You may just have to reverse the wires. If you're getting no sound, then try reconnecting the old 1/8" plug (hopefully you cut off the plug with some lead on it) and see which one is which.

I personally have never had any troubles with 1/8" -> 1/4" adapters. I use them all the time with excellent results.

Old 9th May 2006 | Show parent
Gear Guru
tINY's Avatar
1 Review written
🎧 15 years

Take an ohm-meter and make sure you didn't short out or break the wires somewhere. Headphone wires are often pretty delicate.


Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
DeeDrive's Avatar
🎧 15 years
This might sound stupid, but maybe make sure there isn't a coating over the wires or anything like that. Back it school I was trying to wire up a 1/8" connecter I cut off some cheap headphones, and it turned out the wires had a very thin coating over them, to insulate them electricly from each other. A simple ohm-meter across ground and one hot terminal should tell you if you have continuity.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
🎧 15 years
I'm not following why this would ever be warranted.

most headphones I've worked with, if you cut open those wires, you'll see they're coated like somebody said, but also extremely close to each other.

It's not really recommended to wire up something that delicate. Even if you succeed it's likely to short from general use. I've tried to make miniplug after miniplug cable and they always end up shorting if they even make it off the workbench. I'm imagining my problem though is trying to use radio shack tin ass plugs.

if there is any take home lesson today, don't buy radio shack cable ends.

neutrik or switchcraft, always.
Old 10th May 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear
Harvey Gerst's Avatar
🎧 15 years
Ground (shield, sleeve) is common, red is right (tip), white is left (ring). That's pretty standard.
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
Lives for gear
6dyslexicelephnt's Avatar
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Maybe the heaphone cable has been crapping out rather than the adaptors? Unless the cable is broken, this should be pretty standard.
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
Gear Maniac
Chris Nighman's Avatar
🎧 10 years
Check those solder joints. Sometimes you have to use some serious heat to get that coating everyone is talking about to melt off. Do you have the old connector? Use that as a guide for the new wiring.
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