I have a pair of these (or something very similar) :

The plug failed so I chopped it off and was hoping to wire it to a plug on a spare pair of iPhone headphones I had kicking around. Both sets of headphones have a button and microphone so I figured it wouldn't be too hard.

I was wrong. The iPhone cable has 6 wires (one white one hiding inside the red/green combo) and the sennheiser only has 4 - white, red and two coppers. I did a very quick test to see if just holding some of the wires together would give me sound in one of the ear-pieces - nothing, though I'm confident both cables are fine.

Is this maybe to do with laminate on the wires themselves? Do I need to connect red to red and a ground? I'm a noob so don't know what a ground does in audio cabling.

I would appreciate any pointers. My plan is to twist the wires together (like this - youtube) rather than solder. I also have some heat-shrink tubing.

There is a diagram of iphone pinouts here -

here are my cables:

sennheiser iphone

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This sounds like a consumer electronics question to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kellenjb
    Aug 15, 2011 at 0:09

1 Answer 1


well, in general, you should have right, left, and mic, with a ground for each on the iphone end, and all 3 will have a common ground. for the headphones, right and left, with a ground for each, and ground is shared.

you will want to remove the protective coating with a microtorch or other heat source, solder and heatshrink, as opposed to twist together. You will also want to look up the pinout for the iphone side of it, and use a continuity tester to identify what each cable usually is.

red is USUALLY right, blue or green is is usually left - the white on the sennheiser is unusual (i double check this either by following the cable to the end, or using a temporary connection with crocodile clips between a prepared, tinned end of the headphone cable and jack).

Red to red, white to green, and 'copper' to 'copper' should do the trick. all 3 have the pesky coating, so you'll need to remove it.

this is the exact process/tools that have worked for me in the past - but instead of the jack, tin both ends, press to check, then solder.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your reply - this page has some labels for the wires. zerologic.com/blog/iPhone-Headphone-plug-pinouts.html \$\endgroup\$
    – codecowboy
    Aug 15, 2011 at 11:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ It also has the comment 'The mic requires the white wire inside the red and green combo to joined separately.' \$\endgroup\$
    – codecowboy
    Aug 15, 2011 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you think this tester would do the job? maplin.co.uk/… \$\endgroup\$
    – codecowboy
    Aug 15, 2011 at 12:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ yup. and multimeters are VERY useful in general \$\endgroup\$ Aug 15, 2011 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looking at the pic in my first comment, do you think its (iphone)red->red(senn), (iphone)green->white(senn), (iphone)red/green & two coppers -> (senn)one of the coppers(needs testing) ? Bit confused about how the mic is going to connect. \$\endgroup\$
    – codecowboy
    Aug 16, 2011 at 5:22

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