My iPhone Headset Mod (w/ Pics)

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by lorenwade, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. lorenwade macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #1
    Hello all. I've been talking to Rayfire about doing an iPhone headset mod and finally did it. What I did, along with many other people, thanks to this youtube video, is replaced the earbuds on the iPhone headset. The only reason for this is because some find it easier (and cheaper, for sure) to replace the buds with better ones than to buy a set that comes with a mic and controls. I have not yet found a reasonably priced set of headphones with the iPhone mic and control that suit my needs. Unlike most people, I prefer the earbuds... but with better sound quality.

    I'll kind of make a how-to for those that might be interested in how I did it.

    First, I found a pair of phones that I liked. I have always liked Sennheiser, so I bought a white pair to match my iPhone and wires. I purchased the MX 460s from Amazon for less than $20 shipped.

    [​IMG]

    You will also need your iPhone buds.

    [​IMG]

    Come to find out, I didn't have a soldering iron anymore, so I went to Radio Shack and bought a $9 40-watt Soldering Iron. And with it, I bought solder just in case (which you will not need), and some clear nail polish. The clear polish is to secure the buds closed. I don't like Super Glue because it pretty much melds plastic together and they will be impossible to take a apart. So, the polish makes a permanent close that will allow you to undo it if you need later.

    [​IMG]

    The only tool not shown is the knife I used. I tried a few different ones and ended up with using my pocket knife. This is up to your discretion, but a Xacto knife didn't cut it for me (pun intended). The kind of knife you want is one that has a thick base, so when you slide your knife into the seam, it will pull apart the seem.

    Here's the picture of the both buds unboxed.

    [​IMG]

    Like I was explaining before, you'll need a thicker knife to do this part. The iPhone buds are tricky because of the soft rubber surrounding. Either way, I ruined these when I pulled it apart (I didn't really care about these anyway). You won't want them anymore. Then I did the same with the MX 460s, but I was very careful not to cut the plastic, I think I did a fairly nice job. The insides look identical, but the sound is worlds apart.

    [​IMG]

    Then you need to untie the knot in both pairs. And unsolder the connections. I did one bud at a time so I could remember which wire goes to which bud. Also, the wires were colored similarly, so I followed the pattern without a hitch.

    [​IMG]

    After you unsolder a bud, you will thread it into the new earbud casing. Remember, you're threading the old wires into the new earbuds. Then tie a knot and the wires on. This should be fairly simple, especially if you're good at soldering. I am not, an this was a piece of cake.

    [​IMG]

    Then you simply solder the wires into the new buds.

    [​IMG]

    Then I put a very small amount of clear nail polish along the edges and secured the buds back how they were, just now... I have a headset too! Woohoo!

    Here's the final picture.

    [​IMG]

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask me.
     
  2. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #2
    Wow, that does look good. Nice job!

    Have you tested it against high-mids-low and bass? Does it do fairly well or better than before indeed?

    Now.. you need to do mod mine, just kidding :p
     
  3. lorenwade thread starter macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #3
    You mean compared to the apple buds? The most noticabe difference is the bass. But they generally sound much better than the apple ones. Sennheiser is a much higher fidelity sound than most, like skull candy, apple, and Sony. Most people mod to add IEM buds but I hate them. I've always loved Sennheiser.
     
  4. dubels macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2006
    #4
    Nice job. I was thinking about doing that with a little higher end headphones to retain the mic and button but I just learned to live without it.
     
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #5
    Very, very impressive! I never tried taking the buds apart like that -- I didn't know it was so easy. Tempts me....
     
  6. lorenwade thread starter macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #6
    Thanks guys I appreciate it. If you have any questions, feel free it ask.
     
  7. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    Looks good, I'm just not a big fan of the headset you replaced it with :p ( im a big fan of in ear earphones)

    I chose the Skullcandy INk'd ( make sure its the ink'd, the rest of their sets are trash)


    Cheers

    [​IMG]
     
  8. lorenwade thread starter macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #8
    Those look good too. Thanks for sharing. I personally don't like in-ears.
     
  9. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #9
    So it can be replaced with an in-ear or just a regular bud that you want, as long as you can unsolder and solder it back to one piece - which I'm not good at haha but both of you made it look so easy to do. Hmm..
     
  10. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    its not the easiest soldering I've done, but it shouldn't take more than 45 minutes from start to finish
     
  11. lorenwade thread starter macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #11
    The soldering that I did was very simple. They're small points, but it's not difficult. Rayfire, I know you can do it.
     
  12. Rayfire macrumors 68020

    Rayfire

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
    Location:
    PNW
    #12
    That is if I'm gonna replace it with a Skullcandy INK'd right?

    Will you be able to give me a replacement if I screwed it up :p
    just kidding
     
  13. lorenwade thread starter macrumors 68000

    lorenwade

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    #13
    For the buds that I bought, they're $17 shipped on Amazon.
     

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