earbud wiringThis is something which is probably pretty simple for those in the know, but I never could find it anywhere on the web, so I had to figure it out myself the old-fashioned way. If you have a set of earbuds (or other earphones with mini-jack) and you want to splice on a new plug, or longer cord, or make your own ipod-to-speaker connector, or whatever, you need to know what part of the little plug connects to what.

So that’s what I figured out, sacrificing an old (non-working) pair of spiffy white Ipod official earbuds.

The little wires are exceedingly tiny, and they’re enameled, so very hard to strip. You can do it by gentle scraping with a razor blade or exacto, or the easier way (which is what I did) is to use a match–the insulation burns right off, producing a wisp of (probably toxic) smoke, and a residue you can wipe off with a cloth. Then you’ve got bare wires to work with.

The wires in the ipod earbuds were color-coded, but I wouldn’t count on that in every set. But here’s how it worked for these (See the picture–click to enlarge–for a better understanding)–

Tip of Plug Green Wire Left Earbud
Middle of Plug Red Wire Right Earbud
Base of Plug Blue Wire and Red/Green Striped Wire Grounds

So the individual buds pair up this way:

Right Earbud Red and Blue (Ground)
Left Earbud Green and Red/Green (Ground)

So now you know! (or at least, now I know. That had been bugging me for a ridiculously long time. Oh, sure, I could have found somewhere to look it up…but now I really know!)