Not nearly as easy as it looks on YouTube

Like many others, I don’t like the earbuds that came with my iPhone. It’s easy enough to find an adapter to plug in any headphones for listening, but that doesn’t help when I want to use the phone. So I was delighted to find the DIY Earbud Replacement instructions and video from Engadget. I even thought about doing it myself, but since I knew I was going to be visiting my brother-in-law, an electrical engineer, I decided to wait and enlist his help.

Good decision. It turns out that the video doesn’t actually show the process of opening the earbuds (either the Apple or the JVC) — for the Apple earbuds, the careful application of a pair of visegrips was required to break the seal. The JVCs were harder — they took visegrips and tweezers and some muttering.

After getting the earbuds open, the rest of the process was straightforward — I watched Pete unsolder the existing connections; I undid the knots on the Apple buds and he cut off the (glued) ones on the JVCs; he soldered everything back together and hotglued the JVC bud covers back on. And presto! I have much better earbuds, complete with mic and switch, just like on the video.

Of course, the new earbuds don’t fit the shallow holes in the case I bought for the phone, so I’m going to have to do something about that — and I know it’s not enlarging those holes, because there’s no room available. It’s always something…..

Thanks, Pete!