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Sennheiser HD280 Pro jack mod

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

I found the threads on here about the HD280 "blue tak" mod helpful in taking apart my set to add a jack so I thought I reciprocate and post a thread showing how I added a jack to replace the built-in cord.


I have had my 280's for a few weeks now and love 'em. They block out lots of noise and don't hurt they way the RS 120's did (because the don't sit ON my ears). However I didn't like the coiled cord that came with them. My full intention is to use the RS 120 guts to make the 280's wireless but that will be for another time. In the mean time I wanted to remove the coiled cord and make it possible to use any cord. I've seen mods where all but a few inches of the cord are removed and a male jack is added. This means you can use whatever extension cord you have but they are removable. I didn't like this because it's not very clean and because of my final goal of making them wireless. So without further ado here are the pic's of my conversion.


1. There are lots of thread about how to take these apart so I'll skip that step. Here is the left shell with the cover in place. This is the part that we'll need to modify.



2. The panel removed.



3. This is the jack we'll be transplanting into the headphones. It's a radio shack part, nothing special. After opening the set I discovered that it's almost like this was intended. With only a little plastic removal I was able to get a perfect fit. I only thought to take pictures after I made the cuts so I have no before pictures. The bit I removed looked just like the U shaped part you see here.



4. A test fit. This is too good to be true.



5. Here is another shot from the top of the test fit.



6. There is a little bit of plastic that needs to be removed from the underside of the cover as well but it's easy to do. I recommend scoring it with an x-acto knife and then using a pliers to break it off. It makes a very clean cut that way.



7. I used the x-acto knife to crosshatch the jack so the epoxy would have more to grab onto. Here you can see the epoxy.



8. All back together. You'd never know that it wasn't stock. 



Thanks for reading. Hope I've inspired you to do your own mod.


Edited by tsdorsey - 5/27/12 at 4:05pm
post #2 of 18

Great job! Your mod has a very clean look and has peaked my interest in maybe doing a similar mod to my HD280 Pro's. I don't have any issues with the attached coiled cable but I really like the idea of having both a detachable cable (for storage) and that it can be replaced. Although I am even more interested in the wireless mod that you mentioned. Will you be posting that here also because I would definitely be interested in seeing the results.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks. I will post the wireless conversion if/when I do it.


While just transplanting the RS120 guts would work, It's not my first choice. For one thing, the circuit boards are bigger than they need to be.


My ultimate headset would have the following features (in order of how important they are to me)...

  1. Passive noise reduction (like the HD280's)
  2. Wireless audio to them at a range of about 100m line of site
  3. Physical jack which bypasses the wireless stuff and connects to the speakers directly giving you full fidelity audio if needed
  4. Wireless stereo mic's back to the base station (perhaps not as long a range)
  5. Bluetooth headset pairing ability which could be active while transmitting and receiving from the base station
  6. Active noise reduction via side facing mic's
  7. Conversation mode. Use the noise reduction mic's to feed the outside environment into the headset so you don't have to take them off to have a quick word with someone


I've been looking at Rohm FM transmitter IC's and they might be small enough that I could put them in the headset for mic transmission back to the base station. A simple FM receiver could be used to get audio to the headset. A bluetooth headset could be added to the mix (perhaps with only one of the microphones feeding into it).


We'll see, it's a complicated circuit to design and it has crazy space requirements (super small) and has to be run on battery power to boot.

post #4 of 18

I have a quick question.  Does this mod only work for one ear?  I only see the two wires for the right headphone. 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
It works for both ears. I just took the picture before soldering the right side wires on. The jack goes on the left side and the right side wires go up and over the headband.
post #6 of 18

Could you tell me where I can get a similar female jack like the one you used? Thanks ;)

post #7 of 18
Originally Posted by totalnoob43 View Post

Could you tell me where I can get a similar female jack like the one you used? Thanks ;)

I'm not the OP but you can find those on mouser.

post #8 of 18

I might do this mod as well on my HD-280. Thanks for the instructional pics. :)

post #9 of 18

sorry noob here, but i am trying to do the same mod and i got a similar jack from radio shack and looking the images and i am wondering where do the other 2 wires (black and blue) get soldered to?



post #10 of 18
What kind of epoxy did you use for that?
post #11 of 18



Hi all , have had a pair of HD 600's for about a year - love the SQ, but not the leakage of outside noise into the music

So I thought I would try to up the performance of the HD280's

Bought a pair for $ AUS 135 ( better than the $400 I paid for a pair of HD 280's , 10 years ago !)

Decided to go all out and perform a double jack replacement to allow the use of Mundorf Silver/Gold 0.5mm hookup wire,

between 3.5mm jack and Driver

Luckily , the Right cup has the same inner moulding as the Left, to hold the jack in place with Epoxy glue

Filed the required hole by wrapping some Wet and Dry sandpaper around  the shaft of a appropiately sized drill bit,

and used the left cup and hinge cover to check my progress

Instead of Blutack , I  copied another posters use of alternatives ( to make removal easier , if I didn't like the result)

Ended up using Scotchguard 3M heavy duty exterior mounting tape ( Grey tape, Red plastic backing, super sticky)

Cable is Audience Cu in cotton sleeving with Neutrik 3.5mm plugs

The HD280's are hooked up  to my Samsung S4 into a Herus DAC , powered by a 5V ,1A lipstick battery

The Herus and battery are permanently attached to a spare S4 case, so when I want to listen, just pop the cover off the S4, snap it into the case and plug in the cable and phones

Have managed to up the SQ of the 280's - they now sound more dynamic with better instrument separation - also , unexpectedly, have gained a noticeable increase in perceived volume - using Neutron - have gone from 73 to 60 for same slam

Planning to visit a locol store soon , to compare the 280's to M50x ( love the look of the Blue and Tan version)

post #12 of 18

That is bloody brilliant!!!! 

post #13 of 18

Thank you :smile:

post #14 of 18

Hoping to do this mod soon. Thanks for the idea. 

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the encouragement. Here are some rather late responses.


@totalnoob43 I bought that one from Radio Shack


@jgc731 There are two wires coming from the left speaker and two from the right that come over the headband. Both pairs have a ground wire (usually a bit larger and bare copper). They both go to the same terminal on the jack. Looking at my picture I think I have those two wires backwards. Do a Google search for "tip ring sleeve headphones". The tip is the left audio, the ring is the right audio, and the sleeve is the common ground.


@gyro55 I just use any old 5 minute epoxy.

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