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Einleitung

I just recently performed a teardown of the Apple Lightning Earphones to see if the stock Earphones could be replaced/modded for different drivers. I plan to use the lightning adapter and then change the earphones/cabling to something better.

Dieser Teardown ist keine Reparaturanleitung. Um dein EarPods with Lightning Connector zu reparieren, verwende unsere Fehlerbehebungsseite.

  1. As you can see, there are 5 wires going into the mic/volume control. The red/red stripe are passed through to the right earphone, while the other 3 (red, green, & orange) are twisted together and wired for the mic/volume controls.
    • As you can see, there are 5 wires going into the mic/volume control. The red/red stripe are passed through to the right earphone, while the other 3 (red, green, & orange) are twisted together and wired for the mic/volume controls.

  2. Close-up view of the right side wires passing through the in-line controller and going to the right earphone.
    • Close-up view of the right side wires passing through the in-line controller and going to the right earphone.

  3. Close-up view of the left side cable stripped to expose green/green stripe wires for the left earphone.
    • Close-up view of the left side cable stripped to expose green/green stripe wires for the left earphone.

Mason Dowell

Mitglied seit: 22.09.2016

150 Reputation

1 Anleitung geschrieben

@oldturkey03 The device has 7 wires just like the adapter. 2 for the left earphone, 2 for the right earphone, and 3 for the mic/volume control.

Mason Dowell - Antwort

@masongdowell you are absolutely right. Sorry about the miscount. Old eyes and not enough sleep :-)

oldturkey03 -

It seems like the EarPods maintain discrete ground wires for all 3 signal lines out of the amp, as well as the common ground, but combines them for any headphones plugged into the adapter jack. Does this mean the Lightning EarPods are providing balanced lines throughout? Whereas the adaptor is an unbalanced converter?

These 7 wires still have to be resolved onto four conductors of the TRRS jack of the adapter. So that means that of the four conductors, L, R, Mic, & Ground, only the L, R & Mic are discreet. The ground sleeve is where the L-, R-, & Mic-, must converge. So essentially 4 out of 7 wires are common ground in this adapter.

So what would happen if I cut off the EarPods, and took the 4 wires and connected them to a TRS jack for attaching a pair of basic stereo headphones with TRS plug? I'd combine both negative L & R wires to the common ground. Basically converting a basic headphone into one with a remote and Mic. Would this result in any loss of quality?

Mac 128 - Antwort

This also makes me think the amp in the Lightning adapter is compromised to provide headphone and line level output, while the Earbuds probably have a custom amp for providing optimal headphone output. That may be why there are two different chips.

Mac 128 - Antwort

I have to wonder if the wiring is the same for the 3.5mm EarPods as it is with the Lightning pair.

Link to: 3.5mm Apple EarPods Teardown

In other words, do both have 7 wires, connecting in the same configuration, and if so, are the remote controls a simple analogue ground short variety like the 3.5mm pair, or are they actual digital controls, as featured with the Audeze Sine Lightning headphones remote?

Mac 128 - Antwort

Is the DAC chip in the Lighting connector? I'm wondering to mod this EarPods as a DAC cable

L XY - Antwort

Is it possible to replace the lighting connector with a 3.5 mm headphone jack? Just for the sounds with another device

e.bautista01 - Antwort

I am creating a custom audio controller for my motorcycle in which I want to wire up momentary micro-switches I’ve installed on my clutch housing to a disassembled ios ear bud/headset controller which has a lightning connector on it. I would use this to control the next/prev, pause/play and volume up and down while music plays on my bluetooth helmet. I’ve already tested the theory to makes sure I could do this with my music playing and using a normal unmodified iphone headset. It works.

I too took the headset apart as is done here but I am wondering where I would solder my three momentary switch wires. Soldering on that tiny microcontroller board is near impossible and i can’t easily expose the pads to do so. Would it work to solder my switches to the circuitry of the lightning plug itself. Those solder connections are easy to solder to.

Does anyone have thoughts on this one??

slaster538 - Antwort

Q. Is the DAC chip in the Lighting connector?

A. Yes. This applies to all Apple devices that do not have an integrated 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple said this was to make room for other components in lieu of an internal DAC. As a DAC is needed to drive headphones, all adapters to include the OEM one discussed must have three discrete components: (1) A Lightning or USB-C adapter to connect to the device, (2) A DAC and any other audio circuitry needed to drive the audio, and finally (3) an output for the audio which is usually a 3.5mm jack, but could be a 1/4”, 2.5mm, or other.

Jay Rose - Antwort

Q. Is it possible to replace the lighting connector with a 3.5 mm headphone jack?

A. No. The lightning connector is ‘fused’ to the mini-board with the DAC, making it an Apple specific setup. Even if you could swap said connectors, you will still need to power the DAC, which is DVD-quality at best and doesn’t sound like anything special. So, there would be no reason to do this (other than maybe for fun). I would think you’re asking as to make it generic, but the DAC really is the epitome of mediocre. If you could find a device with a better DAC that you’re not afraid of destroying if things go bad, and have a way to power it, than you may have a very interesting idea for a project! Trust me, this dongle isn’t it!

Jay Rose - Antwort

@slaster538 have you made any progress on this? I’ve seen a few similar projects online very recently, so I’d do some searches. I’d offer links, but didn’t save any as I just saw them in passing.

Here’s how I would go about it. First, see if you could find any specs or wiring diagrams for this online. I’m sure there’s something out there somewhere. Second, let’s say you can’t find anything, use the continuity tester on your multimeter to see which pins go from a 0 to 1 when the momentary connection is made. Jot them down, and use the same connections to a better quality momentary switch assembly for your bike. Of course test it with the cheap stuff first! Third, here’s another totally different option for you, why not use a Raspberry Pi or Arduino to do the work for you! I’ve recently made an RC car that my iPad controls via WiFi, you can do amazing things with one AND they have HUGE communities to better find answers!

I am curious though. So, comment back if you could!

Jay Rose - Antwort

Any takers here…

So, if each driver is designed with it’s very own ground (vs a shared ground), does that mean that Apple’s lightning earbuds are actually balanced?! That would be awesome! I’d think you’d be able to go as far as changing out the drivers to take better advantage of the balanced audio! Am I correct?

Note: This would NOT apply to the dongle, only to the OEM earbuds with the lightning connector. Perhaps you could swap out the 3.5mm unbalanced connector for a 2.5mm balanced one with the dongle, but I’d have to have more information to see if that’s doable. As the earbuds have 7 discrete wires, with 2 of them going to each driver, this seems inherently balanced by design; otherwise we’d see a shared ground. Even if the dongle did have separate grounds, the 3.5mm is for unbalanced earbuds or IEMs, and IMHO would be too much work to modify.

Jay Rose - Antwort

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