3.5mm Duplex Intercom System

Thread Starter


Joined May 28, 2019
I have been attempting to find a simple solution for an intercom system for my Jeep to no avail. Most systems are wireless, which I dont want (long trips away from home) or designed to be mounted inside a helmet (no good for me, as we dont wear helmets whille driving. I could shell out mad cash for a racing system, but they are crazy expensive and I dont need them to be race-proof as most of my trips are long distance highway treks with light offroading at the end.

The project is to find a way to use two 3.5mm gaming headsets and an amplifier/switch hub that accepts the headsets. I found a cheap battery powered unit on Amazon, and converted it to USB power, which I can get from an adapter in the cigarette lighter. The small unit works well enough, but only has one channel of audio and the headsets are meant to be mounted in a helmet. I tried using better headsets with integrated mics (think "gamer" headsets) but the gamer headsets are 3 ring 3.5 plugs, while the crap headsets are only 2 ring (suggesting that the unit doesnt have mic in, but just listens to one channel and plays out the other?)

My questions are: Is there an easy way to build a hub that could pic up the mic from a headset and play it back both to the passenger headset and the driver headset? Could you also integrate a 3.5 audio in to play music in both sets of headphones? Is there a simpler solution to this issue?

My biggest concern with intercom systems are the cost, I'd like to keep this entire intercom (2 headsets and the hub) under $100 if possible. I have some skill in DIY and have built a few speaker systems before so I know my way around USB amplifier boards somewhat.

Thanks for any help!