[HARDWARE MOD] Increase the earphone output volume of your 3DS (some models so far).

Discussion in '3DS - Tutorials' started by KipMudz, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    THIS MOD WILL NOT INCREASE THE POWER OF LOUDSPEAKERS.


    If you want to go straight to the modding process, skip the following paragraph.


    When I tried to use the 3DS for the first time, I am very disappointed on the earphone volume of the system. It's very weak compared to other Nintendo handhelds even with in-ear earphones with low impedance. To mitigate this problem, I built a DIY headphone amp because I don't have a spare budget for buying a commercial amp and I like to build my own amp. The problem is, every time that I travel with my 3DS, I need bring my amp to fully enjoy the sounds of the games that I play. One day when I disassembled my unit to clean its buttons, I used that time to analyze the connected components to the earphone socket and I discovered resistors connected to the left and right output channels in series. I measured the resistance of these resistors and the value of both resistors is 25 ohms. When I plugged in my 16 ohm earphones, I measured again the resistance of both channels and and the result is approximately 45 ohms per channel. There's some additional resistance from the coil connected to the aforementioned resistors and the wire of earphones.

    After performing measurements, I suddenly thought if eliminating these resistors will increase the output because of reduced resistance of the earphones. So, I bridged the ends of resistors to bring down the resistance to 0 ohms. After soldering the resistors, I turned on my unit to test my hypothesis if it works. And the result? The output is way louder than before! I compared it to my neighbor's unit and the difference is night and day. The treble is more crisp and the bass is more deeper. With this mod, I'm not bringing my amp when I use my in-ear earphones anymore.

    Well, let's begin with the modding procedure!

    Steps:

    1. Disassemble your unit. If you never disassembled a 3DS before, go to this site:
    https://www.ifixit.com/Device/Nintendo_Handheld_Console
    You only need to access the side where the earphone socket is mounted.

    2. Locate the resistors. Here are the photos of each model of 3DS. The resistors are marked with red boxes.

    Old 3DS:

    [​IMG]

    Old 3DS XL:

    [​IMG]

    2DS:

    No photo for now since I don't have one.

    New 3DS:

    Same with 2DS.

    New 3DS XL:

    [​IMG]

    3. Bridge the ends of each resistors as shown on the photo below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Alternate method: remove the resistors and bridge the ends of solder pads. Sorry if I forgot to take a photo of bridged solder pads.

    [​IMG]

    4. Clean the remaining flux on the board (if there's any) and test your unit.

    5. If the sounds is louder than before modding, congratulations! You completed this mod!


    To describe how loud it is, it's louder than any Nintendo handheld except to DMG-001. Best results with low impedance earphones.

    To 2DS and New 3DS users who want to try this mod, the resistors are usually located near to the earphone socket. Let me know if you found these resistors and post some photos.

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited by KipMudz, Oct 24, 2015
    nastys, TheVinAnator, cvskid and 17 others like this.


  2. hundshamer

    Blacklisted Trader hundshamer GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Great find! I will be doing this to mine and my kid's 3DS's.
     
  3. TecXero

    Member TecXero Technovert

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    My 3DS is plenty loud with my headphones, I only keep it around half volume. Great tutorial, though, I'm sure it will get plenty of use.
     
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  4. GoodCookie88

    Member GoodCookie88 rekt em skrubs

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    Hm very nice work bro! I dont know how to mess around with hardware things but still nice find!
    This only inproves the Earphones correct?
     
  5. SomeGamer

    Member SomeGamer GBAtemp Guru

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    I think yes.
     
  6. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    The loudspeakers will not benifit from this mod.
     
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  7. VinsCool

    Member VinsCool Figuring How Dreams and Reality Overlap

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    Wow. Shame I'm not an hardware guy, I would do that so much!

    Is there a similar method for NDS NDS Lite and NDSi?
     
    Margen67 likes this.
  8. 4ur0r

    Member 4ur0r GBAtemp Fan

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    Thank you so much for this, you are a real hacker.
    Anyone can tell me how much it affects a battery cycle?
     
  9. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    Yes. I also found similar resistors on these systems as well. Even the GBA has the same setup.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    After months of using this mod, the battery life of my unit lasts just like a normal unit.
     
  10. blaydes99

    Newcomer blaydes99 Member

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    Nice mod and good pictures. I'll try this down the road.
     
    Margen67 likes this.
  11. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    Why would you open the system up if the amp can just as easily be external? Google mint tin amps, save yourself some hassle.
     
  12. cearp

    Member cearp the ticket master

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    He talked about this... Now he doesnt need to bring his amp around. Just the 3ds. Also, one thing less to power and have a battery for.
    Your posts are often critical, smile more!
     
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  13. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

    pip
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    There's just a billion things that can go wrong with this simple mod that can be avoided by making it external and with an independent power source. I get the intention, but I'd sooner make an external amp than mod a 3DS just to amplify the headphone output. Hell, often times just getting a better set of headphones works wonders - some have small amps built in! :)

    Besides, the resistors are there for a reason and probably serve a role in noise cancellation - the sound is louder, but it's likely not as smooth.
     
    Ammako likes this.
  14. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    I can buy a FiiO amp or a similar product or continue using my existing amp if I want. My purpose on this thread is to show that the 3DS earphone audio volume can be increased internally.
     
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  15. Foxi4

    Reporter Foxi4 On the hunt...

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    True, true, but the low volume springs from the fact that Nintendo's choice of DAC's has always sucked. Is the sound as smooth as it should be, or does it become noisy? You'll need a good headset and good ears to be sure - one you're born with, the other doesn't come cheap.
     
  16. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    The audio remained good after modding although I can hear a very faint noise on old 3DS. But it doesn't matter since I'm not always playing on a very quiet place.
     
  17. Tomato Hentai

    Member Tomato Hentai [roblox death sound]

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    Oh, neat!
    I might have to get someone to do this for me when I get an N3DS.
     
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  18. sweis12

    Member sweis12 GBAtemp Maniac

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    I'm guessing this is only for headphones?
    Is there any way to do this for the actually speakers.
     
  19. KipMudz
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    Newcomer KipMudz Advanced Member

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    Only for earphones. The easiest way that I think for increasing the power of loudspeakers is installing a very tiny amplifier board inside the unit. Modding the internal amplifier is not yet possible.
     
  20. Keizel

    Member Keizel GBAtemp Regular

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    @KipMudz do you know why there are these transitors in that place?

    Do you say that it have more noise that before (in Old or in New?)? Well... Then, other person that has it mod could explain how it is?
     

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