Homemade PS4 Headset

I’ve never been particularly good at multiplayer games, partly because I don’t play them enough to get better! But I’ve joined some friends in a few games of Fortnite over the past couple of days as one of our ways to stay in touch.

To play the game properly, I needed a headset to chat with the squad. I tried to use the headsets I already had for phone/laptop, but none of them were working. I put in an order online, but I figured I could make my own with some spare parts I had lying around…

I discovered that the reason my other headsets hadn’t worked was because there are different standards for wiring phone connectors; iPhones are wired for the CTIA standard and PS4s are wired for the OMTP standard:

Conflicting standards between iPhone and PS4 headsets

I didn’t have any spare 4-conductor jacks, but I have an audio jack to 3 RCA sockets, and that was a start. All I needed was some compatible devices!

Somehow I still have an old dynamic microphone, last used to record the bands at a party nearly 20 years ago, and I knew I was on to something:

Vintage-style dynamic microphone
Vintage-style dynamic microphone

All that I needed now were some headphones. I clipped off the standard audio jack and stripped back the sleeves to reveal 2 wire pairs that I could solder to RCA plugs. In both the RCA cables and headphone cables, the standard copper is ground and the coloured cables are positive. I did a pretty OK job with a battered old soldering iron:

Soldering the RCA plugs to the headphones
Soldering the RCA plugs to the headphones

Now I should be good to go!

The end product connected to the PS4 controller
The end product connected to the PS4 controller

After a couple of tests, I found I needed the microphone in the yellow input for the PS4 to detect the microphone, then switch it to the red input to actually hear sound. I suspect it’s doing some more advanced input detection than this jury-rigged set-up is able to support!

Here’s me sporting the end product:

Me wearing the homemade headset
Fashion trend not likely to catch on.

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