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earphone cable?

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], May 3, 2005.

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  1. Guest

    Don't know if this is the right group to put this topic in, but I'm
    sure someone will tell me otherwise! ;-)

    Does anyone know the name of the manufacturer, or where I can buy, a
    drum or a couple of metres of the type of cable that earphones are made
    from......I'll re-phrase that ! the wire/cable between the earphone and
    the jack plug.

    I DON'T want a cable assembly (i.e. with some sort of connector on each
    end) I want a drum of the cable.

    I must have looked at a hundred websites and I still can't find a cable
    manufacturer that makes the correct size.

    thanks in advance
  2. Don Pearce

    Don Pearce Guest

    What do you consider the best size? Every cable manufacturer makes
    three core cable.

    Pearce Consulting
  3. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Or, find a surplus dealer and browse his wire department.

    Have Fun!
  4. Guest

    Three core cable? eh?

    Sorry you've lost me there !

    I'm not sure what the cable is called, but from memory I think it's
    something like dual miniture coax. Each coax is a single (stranded)
    core with screen, and is approx. 1.6mm in diameter.

    Just like the cable you get on a set of earphones you get with your
    standard MP3 player.

    Can you point me to a web address?
  5. Don Pearce

    Don Pearce Guest

    You don't need coax cable for earphones. Three core does very nicely -
    one for ground, and the other two for left and right. You wont have
    any problems with either hum or crosstalk.


    Pearce Consulting
  6. I read in that wrote
    How about telling us what you consider the 'correct size' and whether
    you have in mind a coaxial or figure-8 or some other type of cable?
  7. Guest

    Ah, I understand, and I agree with your point, but with a three core
    single cable, you will have to split the left and right wires from the
    outer protective sheath, (and you will also have to split the single
    ground core, thus making a 4 core cable -> 2 signal and 2 ground) when
    routing to each of the earphones, you then loose the protection of the
    outer sheath and you then have to re-sheath the ground and signal from
    the split point.

    Too much work, and the resulting cable assembly will probably exceed
    the 1.6mm diameter for the single cable, and it would not have that
    commercial "look" to it. If it was for personal use then I wouldn't be
    too bothered about it, but the idea I have might sell, so I'd rather go
    with the dual miniture coax.

  8. Guest

    Hi John,

    The 'correct size' is as I have said in a previous post, here's an

    "....I'm not sure what the cable is called, but from memory I think
    something like dual miniture coax. Each coax is a single (stranded)
    core with screen, and is approx. 1.6mm in diameter....."

    and if anybody is still non-the-wiser as to what type of cable I am
    talking about, here's another extract from the same previous post:

    ".....Just like the cable you get on a set of earphones you get with
    your standard MP3 player...."

    I'm sure everybody has a set of earphone of one type or another! This
    should give someone an idea of the type of cable I'm talking about?!?

    Sorry if I sound a little sarcastic, but I thought this would be an
    easy post....silly me ;-)

    thanks again.
  9. Don Pearce

    Don Pearce Guest

    It is amazing how many things you assume as given don't even enter
    into other people's thinking.

    In Usenet, unless you are specific, expect what you get.


    Pearce Consulting
  10. Luhan Monat

    Luhan Monat Guest

    I think he is describing a 'Y' configured cable that physically splits
    at a point for each earphone.

    Only manufacturers seem to have these custom made for their products.

    Buy some 2 and 3 condcutor cable, some heat shrink tubing, and learn to
    solder. You have to make your own.
  11. I read in that wrote
    The posts are overlapping; I saw your data after posting my question. I
    don't know where you can get that cable: it's probably made in China.
    I've found some samples to be of very poor quality - the copper wire is
    dirty and tarnished and, I suspect, impure, because it breaks very
  12. Guest

    Hi Luhan,

    Yes, my descriptive powers are lacking it seems :eek:)...note to myself,
    must go back to school !

    Yes, it is a 'Y' configured cable, that physically splits at a point
    for each earphone, IF the cable was a single core with 2 or 3
    conductors inside this would be the case ! BUT I'm trying to source a
    something with 2 miniture coaxes joined together........a bit like a 2
    wire "ribbon cable" except each of the wires is a seperate coax, and to
    get each coax to each earphone all you have to do is peel them
    apart....then solder them to the earphone connections.....phew!

    How hard is this then !!!??!!

    p.s. I can solder...I'm even pretty good at surface mount re-work as

    Again...thanks !!

  13. Guest

    Thanks John,

    Yes, I just realised that also, I'm seeing all the updates pretty

    Well you've gotten a step closer than I have then, I've never even
    found anyone to get a sample from.

    I can't believe that the manufacturers of the earphones, actually make
    the cable as well, they must get it from a cable manufacturer
    somewhere, it would be so much easier to buy it in, than make it.

    I think Taiwan would be a better bet, but only because they seem to
    make everything else !!

    regards !
  14. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    How about one of these?

    Good Luck!
  15. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Like this ?

  16. Ross Herbert

    Ross Herbert Guest


    Any of the 4 core versions should do what you want. Your
    oversimplification of how you would go about splitting a single 4 core
    cable into 2 separate 2 core units is a bit fanciful. You still have
    to perform a 'Y' split where you divide the main cable going to each
    earphone and you have to re-sleeve each of these 2 core units using
    heatshrink in addition to adequately making the Y joint neat.

    It can be done, but are you capable of doing it? Or is it too much
  17. Glen Walpert

    Glen Walpert Guest

    Another good source of flexible wire and cable is Cooner Wire:

    Neither Cooner nor any other wire/cable manufacturer I know of makes
    cable like that used on Sony Walkman headphone cables as standard. I
    had the misfortune of splicing one of these after my wife snipped it
    with garden clippers. It was of zip-cord like construction such that
    left and right cables easily peel apart. Each half contained two very
    fine multistrand enameled copper wires (braided IIRC, red and clear
    enamel one side and green and clear enamel on the other), which were
    simply twisted together (depending totally on the very thin enamel for
    insulation) and covered with a soft PVC jacket. Absolutely no PVC was
    between the two wires on either side. The splice was a microscope
    job. It would have been cheaper to buy an entire new Walkman if I
    figured time spent splicing at my standard rate.

    No doubt if the OP can come up with a reasonable spec he can get
    someone to make it, assuming he is willing to pay big bucks for few
    thousand feet of custom cable. Finding out who supplies Sony etc.
    with this stuff and getting them to sell a small amount could be tough
    - not an internet job, more likely all day on the phone with
    far-eastern cable manufacturers who can be expected to have very
    little interest in small orders. How well can you bullshit in
  18. John Smith

    John Smith Guest

    You've got to search for the right thing to begin with.

    Coaxial cable is usually manufactured to give a specific impedance, and is
    usually used for RF or wideband signals like video.

    What you want is some paired screened cable. Someone here posted a link to
    Maplin (in the UK, and seeing as that is where you seem to be too, that
    shouldn't be a problem), but by the quick glance wasn't quite the right
    stuff (it said good for phono leads, which in my mind meant was too thick
    for your use).

    Try that Maplin link again, and scratch around there (or

    Also, drop the sarcasm, the world doesn't appreciate tantrums.
  19. John Smith

    John Smith Guest item 367-189
    but still probably too big for you.
  20. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    Unfortunately they don't appear to give the dimensions.
    I have certainly in the very distant past got the miniature figure 8 stuff
    from RS. They only sell cable by the reel though.

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