• Don’t be an idiot:Never solder headphone cables

    Illustration by Parliament of Owls
    Date:21 July 2012 Tags:,

    WITH ENOUGH flux, patience and time, any two wires can be soldered together. But my experience on a recent Saturday
    exposed the folly of trying to experiment with modern earbud cables. I wanted to join my high-quality JH Audio in-ear headphones with the highly useful inline controller found on the cord of iPhone earbuds. So I snipped the earbuds off Apple’s cable and stripped back the sheath, which revealed stranded wires of such gossamer thinness that a stray breath could move them out of position. Stripping the JH Audio cables released a similar spiderweb of thin wire. What was intended to be a 5-minute project turned into a 45-minute mess of frayed wire, melted insulation, shaky hands and sloppy soldering. Now I have nothing to show for my work except two destroyed sets of earbuds. Bummer. – GLENN DERENE

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