What I see after stripping the cable is this:

copper-red and yellow on right channel

green and stripped red-gren on left

Whose are for ground and whose for signal ?

(edit: I'm asking this for ep-630 but the question I intend is more generic, first to all creative headphones, second, to all headphones, that is if is there a standard for color-coding in such products)

  • \$\begingroup\$ This would ordinarily be closed as "too localized", but it's gotten good, universally useful answers, so I'll leave it. If anyone (especially the answer authors) could edit it to be more generic and searchable, that would be great. \$\endgroup\$ Dec 11, 2011 at 4:56
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ possible duplicate of Headphone wire color coding \$\endgroup\$
    – clabacchio
    May 23, 2012 at 12:01

4 Answers 4


There are no industry standards for that kind of thing. The colors are unique to that product. Therefore, it is unlikely that anybody will know, remember, or care. The best way to figure things out is to carefully disassemble the headphones, noting what is connected where. From that info you can put it back together the same way.


Many people would probably feel it doesn't matter all that much if you get it backwards.

If you are really concerned about inverting the phase you could probably use a microphone placed next to the earpiece to measure the phase of sinusoid, though it may be easier to compare it to the same test against a "known good" pair (or at least get the left and right the same) than to figure out in isolation what it is supposed to be.

Electrically it is possible the cable is coaxial and EMI/RFI arguments might be made that the outer conductor would be better grounded, but you would probably have noticed this when stripping the cable. You might also determine it with a capacitance meter measuring each conductor relative to something outside the cable. But again, few people would worry about this.

Or you could just strip whatever is left on the plug end and see what parts of the plug the various colors correspond to.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The absolute phase doesn't matter much, but if you get one earpiece out-of-phase the stereo imaging is affected in an unpleasant way. (Human ears use phase to localize sound at low frequencies.) This is readily audible with a DPDT switch in one lead to reverse the phase. \$\endgroup\$
    – markrages
    Dec 14, 2011 at 0:54

Use the continuity test on a multimeter to single out which wire goes to which contacts. Then look up which contacts do what on the internet.

The wire that shows continuity with the sleeve on the plug (connection closest to the plastic) is ground. One of each pair of wires should have continuity. The others are then signal.

Most headphones have a sleeve, ring and tip. The sleeve is ground, the ring is right and the tip is left. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRS_connector for more info.



copper-red is a right signal and yellow is a GND

green is a left signal and red-green is a GND

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to EE.SE - please site the source of your information, even if it is to say "I buzzed a set out myself, and..." \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrew
    Nov 1, 2012 at 18:42

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