Adding Bluetooth And A Lightning Connector To Beats Pro Headphones

Beats

Not wanting to wait for Apple to step up their game and complete their purchase of Beats headphones, [Carnivore] decided he wanted his own pair of Apple-compatible Beats cans with Bluetooth. He created something that will probably be for sale in the Apple store come Christmas: a pair of Beats Pro headphones with Bluetooth and a Lightning connector for charging.

[Carnivore] liked the sound of his Beats Pro headphones but hated the wires. After disassembling the headphones, he carefully rewired the speakers with smaller gauge wire, added a small Bluetooth module and battery, and sealed everything back up.

There are a few interesting bits to this build – by getting rid of all external wires, [Carnivore] was left with a few holes in the headphones. These were a perfect place to add a 3D printed mount for the power button and the Lightning adapter taken from an Apple Lightning extension connector.

Thanks [Tony] for the tip!

Comments

  1. themip says:

    Surely not a mod for the audiphile.
    And what about the weight difference (bt module + accu on one side)?

    • fartface says:

      Beats are not owned by audiophiles. They actually are some of the worst headphones out there. They are more fashion accessory than audio.

    • qwerty says:

      The SBC standard bluetooth audio codec quantizes up to 198kb/s per channel, so there goes all CD quality. We’re not even close to high quality mp3s. Bluetooth audio sounds almost decent for casual music consumption, and admittedly got better lately, but nobody with a pair or working ears would use it for anything serious.

      By the way, anyone who barely gets the difference between a strings quartet and four farting donkeys would never ever use Beats phones.

  2. heatgap says:

    I applaud this modification because [Carnivore] is getting the functionality he wants out his 200.00usd-ish headphones. Maybe Beats audio should take some notes.

  3. BillBrasskey says:

    Oh wow. Nice build/mod.
    @themip audiopihles wouldn’t be caught dead using bbd as they have had better headphones for years that don’t rely on eq magic and bbd are not nearly expensive enough lol. And then there is the BT audio cough cough. Anyway to each their own and glad he got the headphones the way he likes them.

  4. Osprey says:

    Now, you too can have terrible sound at much too high a cost without the hassle of wires.

  5. Lwatcdr says:

    Why a Lightning charge connector instead of USB? USB chargers and cables are everywhere and inexpensive.

    • Adam says:

      Because Apple bought Beats earlier in the summer. I would definitely choose micro USB, but for people with only Apple products in the house, I suspect a micro USB cable is a bit rarer

  6. m1ndtr1p says:

    “he carefully rewired the speakers with smaller gauge wire, added a small Bluetooth module and battery, and sealed everything back up”

    Making an already crappy sounding pair of overpriced headphones sound even worse… I thought hacking was about making things BETTER than the original product, not worse?

    REALLY? A lightning connector? Why in the world would he want to use an expensive proprietary connector that requires extremely expensive cables? Especially when it doesn’t offer anything but the ability to charge the battery…

    Great idea and execution, but wasted on those headphones, and the use of the lightning connector just doesn’t make sense.. Then again, he is an iPhone and Beats user…

    • efahrenholz says:

      He used a lightening connector because he already uses the cable to charge his iPhone. It makes perfect sense to not need more cables than necessary.

      An android phone user would just as well use a micro USB connector.

      As far as the headphones are concerned, yes they are overpriced fashion statements. However, the audio quality is relative to the listener, is it not?

    • Adam says:

      Actually, Beats are perfect for this. They’re massive, to show off, which gives lots of space for hardware, and they sound terrible to start, so the Bluetooth quality won’t really be an issue, and you can buy knockoffs that sound just as good anywhere. The Lightning connector would make since for people with iPhones, because they already carry a lightning cable.

      I agree that Beats/Lightning cables are stupid, but it’s a really clean job regardless of the hardware used.

  7. Greenaum says:

    I really like my $20 Chinese Bluetooth headphones off Amazon. They have this all built in. Battery almost never needs charging, I plug it in every few days and it’s never gone flat on me. They also have controls on them, Next / Previous, volume, and Play / Pause / Answer Call / Hang up / Redial (that’s one button). Sound great.

    Of course they’re not as attractive to thieves, don’t impress teenagers, and aren’t 95% profit, but these are sacrifices we have to make.

  8. Abc says:

    whats the model name and brand of those chinese ones, you made me curiosu to buy some. thanks

    • Greenaum says:

      This is an Amazon link to a pair with a British price, that’s the one I bookmarked. I got them from a search for “Bluetooth stereo headphones”, really easy to find. You’ll doubtless see a million different people selling them, just go by the photograph, if it looks like that, it’ll be the same thing.

      Claims noise cancellation! Whether that’s just from the pads over your ears, who knows!?

      My Android routes media audio to it via A2DP, and ordinary call and phone audio through the normal earpiece standard. No drivers or software, works with any music players I’ve used on the phone, including Winamp and the default one the phone came with.

      I was guessing the price, mine were under 20 UK quid inc shipping etc, and I guessed that at around $20. Now they’re offered for £11.45 plus free shipping. I’m sure American prices will be around the same, as I said, plenty of people selling them, in all the big countries and currencies.

      Mine have lasted over a year so far, no problems at all encountered. Problem-wise, if I had any, I could just chuck them and get a new pair. Comes with a USB cable but no charger. The phones have a USB-mini socket, I think, for charging. One of my old phone chargers fits it, and you can pick up working leads for that socket anywhere. But as I say, the cable’s included anyway.

      Pardon the advert, but it’s relevant to the topic, and he DID ask! And I don’t get any money out of it.

      Note again, teenagers will NOT think these are cool. Quite a lot of adults do, though.

      • Greenaum says:

        Oh and just to belabour the point, they also work as a normal headset during calls, using the little mic they have built-in. While you’re listening to music, or not, your ringtone will play through the headphones. You tap the button to accept, an again to hang up.

        Call quality is great, the mic’s really good, nobody complains, as people sometimes do using hands-free or some other Bluetooth mics.

        People will have no idea you’re on the phone, though, necessitating improvised mime work if someone wants a conversation with you. Holding a hand to one ear seems to get the meaning across that you’re NOT insane and talking to dead relatives etc. It’s nice to be able to chat hands-free like that, and they don’t feel like they’re gonna fall out, like earpieces can do.

  9. Gyre says:

    I have an iphone and a nexus7.
    Both devices have required me to charge them.
    I have never had an issue getting the polarity correct on the iPhone, but every single time I have tried to plug in the nexus, I have to find my glasses and figure out why the godd$&@ed micro usb pos won’t go in.

    I think most folks bitching about lightning connectors are stuck with their sh&$@y micro usb connectors. I have half a dozen things with them and I kind of think that polarized connectors suck. A lot

    • pod says:

      Sounds like you are talking about the infamous USB Quantum Indeterminacy Paradigm

    • BillBrasskey says:

      I used a silver sharpie to mark the side that faces the screen- no more confusion :) I agree though that there is too little slant on the new one. Hope it helps ya.

      • Gyre says:

        I can plug my lightning connector in the dark without any fumbling.
        I can do it with my eyes closed.

        I’d like to see someone plug a micro usb in while wearing their headphones!

        USB sucks with regards to connecting.
        It’s baffling that the usb standard didn’t address polarization.

        • Greenaum says:

          Polarisation!? They only fit in one way. Admittedly they -almost- fit in the other way, but that’s just a side effect of being small. Short of making them some wierd shape, can’t think of a better solution. And the plugs have to be robust enough to take storage in bags covered in whatever junk people have in their bags. Little tabs or whatever might snap off. For price / size / simplicity I think it’s about the optimal choice.

          Lightning is just hipster-USB anyway. All that smooth white plastic and the minimal, non-springy pins. Asking for trouble and bad connections. Although better than the previous 30-pin monstrosity Apple decided an MP3 player needed, but that’s just Apple beating Apple.

          • Gyre says:

            I’m really not sure how you can even class micro usb with lightning connector.

            Have you ever used a lightning connector?

            I’m not an apple fanboy, and I rarely comment here, but reading the comments compelled me to comment.

            I had never given the lightning connector much thought, except when I was issued my new iphone, none of my older connectors worked and the lightning charger cables were still really expensive.

            In spite of my original aggravation, I spend zero effort plugging it in in the dark every night.
            I can’t say the same for my nexus7.
            I have yet to plug that pos mini usb in right on the first or second try.

            By polarization, I mean orientation. You cannot plug the micro usb in 180 off. You can with the lightning last time I checked.

            To me that makes the micro usb inferior.

        • BillBrasskey says:

          Actually the USB logo is usually embedded into the plastic of non-dollar tree connectors. Neat fact: you can feel this in the dark and use it to orient your usb connecting ;) Surprised no one mentioned this yet- I was trying to stay sweet :)
          Anyway, best of luck to us all feeding our devices. My main complaint with my wife’s phone is that the video out and the microusb are right next to each other which still takes me a microsecond of processing of “duh which one” when it is time to feed it.
          I had not realized about the usb markings until a coworker hipped me to it a few years ago. It opened a whole new world lol like when my dad told me about the paper graphic with markings for copying in his office when I was a kid. Not a single copied blank page since then lol.

        • Mental2k says:

          Did it ever occur to you that if you’re having problems plugging it in to try it the other way?

          I find that all my usb charge cables have a noticeable bend in them after about a week of use. I know if they’re the right way round long before I get to the connector.

  10. Hirudinea says:

    So can I do this mod on the Beats lookalike headphones I bought at the dollar store and drew a “b” on them with a dollar store marker?

  11. dutado says:

    I really don’t want to know how the headphones sound. Most probably, one of my ears would start bleeding while the other one would vomit.

  12. Phil Oertel says:

    Which BT module is this? Is that the PCB pictured?

  13. echodelta says:

    For once the comments are very well along my sentiment. No more to say!

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