Build the Best Headphones that money can buy for under $100 (also ear protection)

Picture of Build the Best Headphones that money can buy for under $100 (also ear protection)
aircraft flight operations.jpg
How do you build one of the best darn headphones possible? It's certainly not signing up musicians and putting big logos on the side. Instead, start with military grade headsets, the type people use on aircraft carriers or screaming through the night sky on black hawk helicopters. Then, upgrade the electronics with 6 Watt's of full range neodymium speakers supported by custom cast mounting brackets. Finally, fill the rest with noise protecting foam and throw on a pair of super comfy gel pads to create arguably the best headphones anywhere. In addition, with the extreme sound dampening qualities you can listen to your tunes while mowing the lawn, working on projects or just generally blocking out the world in a way that was never possible before.*

Not only will you love your new custom headphones but after you realize that you can run a weed eater or leaf blower without having to tuck ear buds under your hearing protection and blowing your hearing in the process you'll want to build sets for all of your family and friends.

This project will require basic soldering knowledge but is simple enough it can be a great first time soldering project.

While the installation is simple the creation of the mounting bracket is not.  Since it is infinitely easier to create a second  bracket then start from scratch I have created kits with the necessary parts,  If there is any interest in making a version that you don't need to solder together please message me or leave a note in the comments.

*Noise reduction is not rated and will be dependent on your build. I make no claims on levels of noise reduction and what is considered safe.
Zibri2 years ago
nice build log. But why "best headphones". Perhaps with an AKG speaker...
mikedahlgren (author)  Zibri5 months ago

I'm sorry but I am no longer able to source the Neodymium speakers that I used for this project and have sold out of the kits. I would like to make a new version with a different speaker and possibly one that is bluetooth enabled, but don't have an idea of when that might be.

~ Mike

nate.toan5 months ago
I'm a complete novice on this. Will this build work with h10 40s? If so, are you still selling the mounting brackets?
irebenko1 year ago

Wouldn't 3W 8 Ohm driver lack the clarity that, say, a 32-60 Ohm 750mW driver would that you'll find typically on a decent set of full sized headphones in the price range?

tgetheisem made it!1 year ago

Great instructable :)

I advice you to try the Koss KSC75 drivers.

They are fairly cheap (ebay around 13-16 bucks) but really great audio quality. I did mine with the ksc75: made a spacerring from an old CD to fit them in the original drivermounts.... Also did a mod on the koss drivers called the 'Kramer mod' for even better clearity. (http://www.head-fi.org/t/124243/kramer-mod-ksc75)

Now sounds awesome and noise isolation is just crazy. Used it to prepare my liveset standing 5ft. in front of a big soundsystem, did the job perfectly :)

ringai2 years ago
In the early '70s I made an adapter that connected my headset to an audio source. I worked on RF-8 photo recon planes and when I needed to test the radio or other sound producing comm/nav/ecm gear, I'd connect my headset to the internal aircraft system using a short oxy hose.

It seemed silly not to use them to listen to music when the shop was too noisy (we were in a quonset hut right on the flight line).

I'll be really surprised if there aren't thousands of other people who've done this ;-)

Cool instructable.
glitch882 years ago
did something very similar to this in Afghanistan '11. we used those exact same headsets.. super comfortable. I retrofitted a Bluetooth headset into them, upgraded speakers w/ amplifier built a push button control panel for answer/mute/power/volume/ffw/rrw etc and it was rechargeable. greatest thing ever. too bad no (reasonably priced) cell service in country, cause the mic worked too! good writeup