Hacking iPod headphone controller for use with Android

[Buddhra] wanted to use a set of ear buds that also had a controller built into the wire. The headset he chose to go with is meant for use with iPod, but he figured it should be possible to make it work with Android too. He was right, and managed to alter the controller for Android use and still fit it into the original case.

He had already made a custom control module that has fast forward and rewind features and play/pause events. The signals used for the controls are based on resistive dividers. The play/pause button on the iLuv headset already worked, so he cracked the controller open to see why the forward and back buttons didn’t work. It turns out all he needed to do was add the right resistors to those buttons. Here you can almost see the 0603 surface mount packages he used to add a 220 Ohm resistor to the back button, and a 600 Ohm resistor to┬áthe forward switch.

5 thoughts on “Hacking iPod headphone controller for use with Android

  1. Remember, not all android devices use the same standard. Some use apple trrs (left/right/ground/mic) and some use nokia trrs (left/right/mic/ground). You might have to swap the cable connections too.

  2. Apple 3 button headphones have a authentication chip inside that are powered by the bias voltage used for the microphone. The IC generates out of band tones depending on the button pressed. You have to be licences by Apple to purchase the IC.

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