I've been looking for a decent pair of over the ear headphones – with a mic – for my iPhone. The closest I'd come is the Bose® Mobile On-Ear Headset – but they aren't over the ear – and they're a bit pricey compared to desktop headsets at $200.
When the iPhone 3G was released, I grew even more impatient and decided to try and make my own. I'm an old school tinkerer, so the thought of ripping apart an old pair of iPhone headphones for the plug didn't bother me in the slightest. I found the Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset at Circuity City for $50 – a reasonable price for a test. A free plug and $50 is a lot better than $200.
So I ripped the plug off of the iPhone headset, and cut the plugs (2 3.5mm jacks, one stereo, one mic) off of the Fatal1ty headset. The wires looked like they mapped perfectly, so I twisted the wires together and plugged it in. Guess what I heard? Nothing. It turns out tech has advanced a bit since the last time I played with headphone wires. That was game over for me, and so began the search for someone that knows what they're doing.
I sent an email to a group of people I trust and received 13 referrals, and 3 volunteers. One of the guys that wanted to give it a shot was Ben Brightwell from SocialThing. It turns out he had all of the tools (minus the shrink wrap) handy. My wife is crafty and had a heat gun for the shrink wrap.
After figuring out the proper solder to use and which wires went to what, we were ready to test. I plugged the modified headset into my iPhone, found a good track to test with (Nine Inch Nails of course) and guess what I heard? Nine Inch Nails!
We tested the inline volume control and it worked. I gave Ben's phone a call to test the mic, and on the second try it worked! The first time failed because I hadn't plugged the mic into the headset properly.
Long story short, I'm listening to Security Now through a Creative Fatal1ty Professional Series Gaming Headset, adapted for an iPhone. Life is good.
Here are a couple of pictures from the project: