So, yeah, this is my first question, yay, but I still have a problem, boo. I was on a rummage sale spree, so-to-speak, looking for a new pair of earbuds as yet another cheapie pair has broken. I finally found the (almost) perfect earbud-a headset with a microphone and only one speaker-type part! Hallelujah, I thought, unbalanced sound is a thing of the past! So I got it and when I got home, I realized why the person was selling it for a quarter-the jack was 2.5 mm when most things I have (and apparently the seller too) are 3.5 mm! I cut off the jack from it to cut-n-splice a 3.5 mm jack on, but I was met with a mess of wires! Specifically, a red, a green, a blue, and a whole lot of uncolored copper wires. I tried looking for answers online that I could actually use, but all of them required some sort of microchip, or soldering, or something else not readily about the house! All I want to know is what the different wires do!


closed as off-topic by Matt Young, Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams, placeholder, Leon Heller, JYelton Jun 23 '14 at 15:54

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's infinitely hard to say. Depending on the set you have, maybe you can take a peek and see which wires go to the microphone and which to the speakers as to narrow it down a bit. \$\endgroup\$ – sherrellbc Jun 23 '14 at 15:06

There is no standard color coding for the wires. So you have to find the other end (inside the microphone and speaker casings) and figure out which wire does what with a multimeter.

There should be at least one wire for ground, one for left audio, one for right audio, and one for the microphone.

There are adapters that go from a 3.5mm jack to a 2.5mm jack - and they are cheap. Usually you can find them at a dollar store. But it might be too late for that if you have already cut the jack off and can't reattach it.


There is no standard, as Grant says, but there's the R rule: R as RED as RIGHT, so your red wire is the how wire for the right earbud. The uncolored are probably ground, thus leaving you with only a guess: is left green or blue? If you have a multimeter you can measure the answer out: put it on "resistance" mode, hook the negative terminal to the "bare" wires and probe the others: two of them (the red and another one) should read the same value, something like 16 or 32\$\Omega\$, and these are the earbuds. Or you can just guess, that's not like you are going to damage anything. I'd go green for left and blue for microphone, but that's just because color order is RGB and logic order is RLM... But that's just in my mind.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sadly, a lot of headsets don't even keep the Red=Right rule. It's worth using it as a first guess, but don't count on it. Most headsets I've cracked open seem to just ignore color and use whatever wire they had laying around the factory. \$\endgroup\$ – Grant Jun 23 '14 at 16:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Um, that's great and all, but there is no left/right problem, except that there is one bud, one microphone, ...well, there is a button on it, I forgot to say... so, yeah... \$\endgroup\$ – RoseVerdict Jun 24 '14 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ well that's quite different then. have you got a multimeter or something like that? the kind of thing you buy for 10 bucks \$\endgroup\$ – Vladimir Cravero Jun 24 '14 at 21:02

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