Shortening a headphone cord?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by EricDeB, Apr 26, 2007.

  1. EricDeB

    EricDeB Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey I have a pair of crappy headphones and I plan to use them for a project I'm doing, but I need the cord to be about half as long. Would it be easy to just snip the wire and reconnect the plugin? Is there any instructions on this, because it would seem like a pretty simple procedure but maybe not.

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  2. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    Easy to do. Just cut the wire to shorten, solder the wires together, use some heat shrink to cover. Make sure you match the wire to the right ones.
     
  3. EricDeB

    EricDeB Stunt Coordinator

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    Alright thanks for the response. Some follow up questions:

    1. Should I use the same plug, or buy a new one?

    2. Where do I apply the heat shrink, on the plug or on the wire, or just all over everything?

    Thanks
     
  4. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    it's easier to just connect wire to wire, than get into connecting and covering the plug properly. so you just put the heat shrink where the new connection is.
     
  5. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    headphone cords are usually extremely small though, making splicing them fairly difficult. I would probably just recommend coiling up the extra wire...
     
  6. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    rubber band?
     
  7. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    Well, if you cut just the wire, you would cover the splice with the heat shrink. If you get a new plug, you should cover the wire to plug junction but you'd need 3-1 or 4-1 shrink rate for that. I just shortened a headphone type wire for my sirius install and it wasn't hard at all even with the tiny wire.
     
  8. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    how about a twist tie? i think the green ones are best. you know, like on some bread packages.
     
  9. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    The green ones really impart a mellow tone to the music but the red ones really seem to give the music some heat.
     
  10. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    yeah, the black ones are neutral but flatten dynamic range, while the white ones boost dynamic response at the expense of THD.

    anyone try the blue or yellow ones? i think stereophile's coming out with a twist-tie shootout next issue, but i don't know if i can wait that long...

    i think apple's having some great clear ones coming out around the release of the iphone, but i hear there might be compression issues.
     
  11. EricDeB

    EricDeB Stunt Coordinator

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    If you don't mind me asking, what in tarnation are you guys talking about?
    The color of the tie?

    Anyway, yeah I need to actually shorten the cord for my application, it's very specific.

    So I cut the wire, solder it together, and then put heat shrink over the top, is that correct?

    Thanks
    Eric
     
  12. MaxL

    MaxL Supporting Actor

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    well, of course we're talking about the color of twist ties. anyone who knows anything about high end audio knows the color matters. all color affects sound.
     
  13. bobbyg2

    bobbyg2 Supporting Actor

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    All of a sudden, I feel smart...


    They're just playing around.

    That would be correct, but if it's possible, to coil up the wire and tie it with a tie or a rubber band, go for it.

    Bob
     
  14. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I'm just very skeptical about the ability to splice the wire. Each cord is a complete circuit, so each tiny cord you need to maintain the integrity of both the center conductor and the sleeve and keep them separated or you will short them and it won't work, at least for the ones I've seen. Each is like a tiny tiny coaxial cable, basically. It's not just like a simple wire splice. In any case, I assume these are cheap headphones, as expensive ones probably have removable wires so you wouldn't be asking, so if it doesn't work just buy a new pair of headphones.
     
  15. MarkMel

    MarkMel Screenwriter

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    I've soldered on cheap $3.00 headphones all the way up to expensive sennheiser studio cans. It can be done, you just need the right tip on a decent, not necessarily expensive soldering iron. A low end weller works fine.
     
  16. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Since you can solder, why not just cut the cable to the length you need and solder on a new connector? That would be the best thing to do. That said, headphone cables are pretty delicate and somewhat of a challenge, as others have noted. Use an ohm meter to make sure you keep the channel orientation right.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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