TheONbutton Durham Computer Services

Remote IT Support and Computer & Technology Help in Durham, Chapel Hill and Raleigh NC

Taking the fight to recessed headphone sockets

panasonic rp-hc500As many previous iPhone owners discovered, recessed headphone sockets are a pain.  It’s difficult to find headphones with a plug slim enough to fit into a recessed socket and a market sprang up for ungainly adapters. I’ve experienced this pain first hand with my excellent Panasonic RP-HC500 noise canceling headphones.  The RP-HC500 is one of the best sets of noise canceling cans ever made, crushing comparable Bose QCs on build and sound quality in my opinion.  But while I love detachable cords since they preserve the lifespan of good headphones, the RP-HC500 has a recessed socket.

recessed headphone socket

Ugh, recessed headphone sockets

One day I came home to find that my cats had ripped through the RP-HC500’s cable, leaving me with a dilemma.  Unfortunately I couldn’t find any cheap off-the-shelf replacement cables that will fit a recessed socket.  So I could either pony up the ridiculous $20+tax+shipping for Panasonic’s official replacement cord or tell my cats to fix it before their next feed.  Since I reckoned my cats’ cord cutting abilities were superior to their repair skills, it looked like I’d have to hand over the cash.

recessed headphone socket RP-HC500

A typical 3.5mm stereo male to stereo male cord is too fat to fit into a recessed socket

That was when the DIY bug bit me.  I had some 3.5mm stereo male to stereo male cords lying around,and I wondered if I could trim them down to size.  Out of the box they were too big to fit, but I hoped that between a Stanley knife and some delicate carving I could fashion a $2 replacement.

cutting the cord

Cutting the cord - don't try this at home!!

It actually turned out to be a five minute job and my RP-HC500s are now singing again, ready to make plane journeys a pleasure once more.  See, we’re not such a throwaway generation after all!

recessed headphone cord RP-HC500

The cut down plug now fits the recessed socket

Here’s the warning: I don’t recommend doing this at home because it’s easy to wreck your cord, plug and fingers.  But if you’re a risk taker and choose to ignore my warnings, be careful not to cut all the way through the plug’s casing.  Also, the RP-HC500’s cord plug was rubber, which made it possible to carve the plug; I don’t think I would have seen a successful outcome if the plug had been made of hard plastic or metal!

Neil Berman


Jan 17, 2011 Posted by | Audio, Home Theater, Photo & Video, Mobile | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Panasonic Lumix FZ35 goes the distance

FZ35A co-worker once told me a crazy statistic about the amount of apartment owners who a telescope, and the number seemed worryingly larger than the amount of astronomers I would expect to live on this planet.  The scary-cool thing about Panasonic’s FZ35 is that it’s essentially a baby telescope which takes photos.  Whilst it sports a these-days-meh 18x optical zoom, at three megapixels this Leica-lensed zoom-o-matic can crank it up to 35.2x optical and a staggering 140.8x zoom with digital enhancement.  No need to worry about Google Street View snapping you on an extended cigarette break, now your whole office can get evidence from half a mile away.  Oh and it does HD video with a stereo mic.  I used to own a FZ18, which was the first member of this family.  The FZ35 sounds like the daddy.

Neil Berman

Sep 7, 2009 Posted by | Hardware, Home Theater, Photo & Video, News | , , , , | Leave a comment

theONbutton@CES – Internet TV and 3D HD in your home

Common themes from Samsung and Panasonic today were internet enabled TVs and 3D HD viewing.

Internet TV is a great idea, although possibly

Panasonic has partnered with Amazon and Picasa as well as other content providers

Panasonic has partnered with Amazon and Picasa as well as other content providers

 hampered by the different content partnerships each vendor has chosen.  For example Samsung has paired up with flickr whilst Panasonic has gone with Picasa.  Both offer good content but neither offers the universality of choice available on the internet as a whole.  Some kind of common platform would be great to provide standardization and greater availability of content across vendors.



Samsung hosted a Q&A today

Samsung hosted a Q&A today

3D HD is a totally different proposition.  The idea of coming home and putting on the Jaws 3D glasses is just simply not appealing.  Plus for the significant percentage of people who either wear glasses already or can’t see 3D drawings, this might be more a curse than blessing due to the hassle of the whole viewing experience.  Anyhoo this something which is surely coming, and Panasonic announced today that it is creating 3D Blu-ray authoring studios in Hollywood. 


Neil Berman

Jan 7, 2009 Posted by | CES, Hardware, Home Theater, Photo & Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: