How to Make a Homemade AUX Cord

By Robert Ceville

Make your own stereo aux cable out of spare electronics lying around your house. The same wiring and adapters that are needed for the aux cable can be found in two sets of old headphones. A stereo aux cable consists of dual 1/8-inch stereo adapter ends and cabling of varying lengths. Inside the headphone cable are either three or four internal wires, which need to be connected properly to establish a proper ground. Solder a homemade stereo aux cable yourself so that your media player's "Aux In" jack can play your digital music files.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective glasses
  • Protective gloves
  • Wire strippers/cutters
  • 2 spare headphone sets
  • Lighter
  • Heat-shrink tubing
  • Electrical tape
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder wire

Step 1

Put on your protective gloves and glasses, and determine the length of the stereo aux cable you want to make. Estimate or measure the distance with measuring tape between your source audio device and the "Aux In" jack on your stereo.

Step 2

Cut with a pair of wire cutters each headphone cable from the separated portions leading to each of the ear buds. Alternatively, cut the cables with wire cutters at the midway mark to allow space for all your devices to be connected with the cable. Use the same type of headphone brands and models when possible so that you know that the number of internal wires on the cables will match before cutting into them.

Step 3

Remove the protective rubber coating on each of the headphone cables with a pair of wire strippers. Identify the set of three or four internal wires once the coating has been stripped away. For example, iPod headphone cables contain four internal wires, while other models may only contain three internal wires, one for right, left and a single ground cable.

Step 4

Remove the rubber insulation from the three or four internal wires on each headphone cable. Use wire strippers, but be careful not to cut through the wire underneath the insulation as you take it off.

Step 5

Burn off the lacquer insulation on each internal wire with a lighter. Leave enough of the color coding so that it is still recognizable.

Step 6

Slide a piece of heat-shrink tubing over the top of one end of a cut headphone cable. The heat-shrink tubing must be added before any wire connections can be made.

Step 7

Match each of the wires together by color, and then twist the exposed portion of each internal wire together. The right audio channel is indicated by the color red and the left audio channel by blue.

Step 8

Apply solder to the twisted ends of each pair of internal wire. Plug the soldering iron in for five to 10 minutes, then carefully apply heat to the solder on the twisted pairs. Paint the melted solder onto the wire with the tip of the soldering iron. Allow the solder to cool before continuing.

Step 9

Slide the heat-shrink tubing over the soldered internal cables, and carefully apply heat with your lighter for a second or two. Avoid exposing the tip of the flame to the heat-shrink tubing, or it may leave a burn mark. The stereo aux cable can now be used to connect your devices.

Tips & Warnings

  • Electrical tape can be used as a substitute for heat-shrink tubing if none is available.