How to remove the locking ring of a Sennheiser ME2-II

About four years ago, I bought the Sennheiser ME2-II. Before ordering the lavalier microphone, I had watched a lot of reviews, but I hadn’t paid too much attention to the locking 3.5mm connector.

The reality is: Unless you own audio recorders or wireless transmission systems with a locking port, there is a good chance you cannot use the mic because the locking ring covers a few millimetres of the plug. As a result, some devices don’t pick up the microphone once you connect it.

Solution 1: Adapters

Although I found adapters for sale, I would classify them into one of the following categories:

  • Well built but very pricey. Most likely hand-made by a professional in low volume.
  • Flimsy and cheap. This type of adapter looks like someone just chopped off one end of an adapter cable and botched a locking socket to it.

While I haven’t tried either of these options, this adapter by Pinknoise looks promising, in case you can swallow the price tag of 35€ + 29,99€ for shipping within the EU.

Solution 2: Replacing the connector

While searching online, I often read the suggestion that you could cut off the jack and solder a new plug to it. Since I wanted to keep the kink protection of the original connector, I opted for solution 3.

Solution 3: Cutting off the locking ring

In my case, cutting off the locking ring was a perfect choice because I do not own any audio equipment with a locking 3.5mm port. And if anything went wrong, I could still try to solder a new connector to the mic.

First, I protected the plastic housing and the tip with some masking tape. Next up, I clamped the plug into a vice and started grinding off the locking ring with a file. I filed down the brass ring until the upper side of the connector was free and repeated this step for the opposite side.

Sennheiser ME2-II clamped into a vice
After a few minutes of grinding while trying not to scratch the tip, the ring finally fell off.

A Sennheiser ME2-II with no locking ring

Despite some minor scratches on Tip, Ring and Sleeve, I am happy with the result. If I could have another try, I would add more masking tape to protect the conducting parts.

From now on, I can finally use the microphone since it now works with any audio equipment or camera I own.