Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Making Your Own Headphones That Support Input From 2 Different Sound Sources

When using voice output and either multimedia output or taped lessons on a single computer, it's hard to manage 2 sets of headphones for private listening. Specialty headphones can be purchased to provide one sound input coming in through one side of the headset, and the other sound input coming in through the other side -- however, these can be very expensive. Another option is to build your own, using the following parts available at Radio Shack for roughly $12 plus the price of the headphones:
* One pair of Stereo Headphones, with a 1/8-inch mini plug, e.g., Walkman-style
* One 1/8-inch Minijack Coupler (catalog #274-1555), for mono-to-mono or stereo-to-stereo use
* One 1/8-inch Y-adapter (catalog #274-375), which combines or splits a stereo mini 1/8-inch circuit into two mono 1/8-inch circuits
* Two Audio Cables (catalog #42-2420), 1/8-inch miniplug to 1/8-inch mini plug.
The Coupler connects the headphones to the Y-adapter. One of the audio cables connects the Y-adapter to the one of the sound sources. The other audio cable connects the Y-adapter to the other sound source.

This article by Betsy Walker first appeared in V.I. Guide and is reprinted with permission.

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.