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Stereo Headset Conversion

Instead of replacing my favorite headset, I figured out how to do a stereo headset conversion.  It was a lot easier than I initially thought it would be.  About $20 worth of parts, a soldering iron, and a little time was all it took.

I had previously converted my headset to Active Noise Reduction (ANR).  So I started my stereo conversion by comparing the directions for converting mono to stereo.  I discovered that all I needed to do was run one wire, replace the plug, and add a second volume control.

Starting headset wiring

I bought a new rheostat for the right earcup, and a new stereo plug.  I drilled a small hole in the right earcup for the control.  I clipped the green wire and connected the ends to the two terminals of the rheostat.

Next, I clipped the wire indicated by the arrow and made sure the remaining wire on the volume control was still covered.  I then ran a new wire up the length of the audio/mic cable, fished it through the hole into the left earcup, and connected it to the wire I had just cut.

I then cut off the old plug, stripped the wires and connected them to the new stereo plug. 

I soldered all the connections and made sure they were all covered with heat shrink.

I installed the rheostat into the right earcup and replaced the rest of the electronics and foam.

Final stereo headset wiring

Finished stereo headsetHere is the final product.  It works perfectly and cost a fraction of what a new headset would have.  All I have left is to find a handle for the new rheostat.  I didn’t realize when I bought it over the internet, that the handle wasn’t included.

Because I was testing it out to see if it would work, I didn’t want to spend extra money for aesthetics.  But now that I know it works, I may go back and buy a new stereo audio/mic cable with the plug already attached.  Getting rid of the white wire and having matching plugs would really dress the entire thing up.

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