Instructables
Picture of DIY Super-Noise-Canceling Headphones
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This Instructable will teach you how to make noise-canceling headphones that do a better job than even the most expensive brands, at a small fraction of the price.


I just moved in to a new apartment for the beginning of this school year.  I like my apartment a lot; it is very modern, it is big, I think it is fairly defensible in case of a zombie apocalypse, but there is one problem:  there is always a lot of noise.  Between the TV being on all the time with high volume, and people constantly chatting, and sounds from the kitchen, and noisy neighbors, it can be difficult to get some peace and quiet.

So, in the interest of being able to listen to music, relax, and, of course, do homework, I started shopping for noise-canceling headphones.  Unfortunately, noise-canceling headphones can be quite expensive, especially high quality ones.  Brands like Bose, Sony, Audio-Technica, and Sennheiser can cost in the neighborhood of $300.  Since I don't have that kind of money to spend on headphones, I decided to make my own.

This Instructable will show you how to make headphones that block just as much noise as those high-end brands I just mentioned but cost less than $35.  Plus, the process is really easy.  Let's get started.
 
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Step 1: Parts

Picture of Parts
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General Parts List


You will only need two things for this Instructable:
  1. A pair of headphones
  2. A pair of hearing protection earmuffs

Specific Parts used in this Instructable


In case you are interested in getting the exact parts I use in this Instructable (it might make following the Instructable a bit easier), here they are:
  1. iHome iB40B Over-the-Ear Headphones with Volume Control, Black
  2. Howard Leight R-01523 Leightning L0F Ultra Lightweight NRR 23 Compact Folding Earmuff
Helder4u4 months ago

I ask You to correct one point - You write that "Passive systems can be better at blocking dynamic noise like TV's.."

- On the contrary: Active systems are specially effective at blocking dynamic sounds!

You write very well Otherwise - Keep up the good work,

Glenn Burrow11 months ago
Please change the name of your instructable to noise blocking or noise isolating headphones. The title is misleading.
Not to quibble, but are these really noise-canceling headphones? I think they're noise-suppressing headphones.

Also, I have an easier way that provides even greater noise suppression:
1. Get a good pair of noise-isolating earbuds like these: http://goo.gl/vKmvC
2. Get a pair of ear muffs.
3. Wear them together.
That is an alternative, but that's not noise cancelling headphones either, it's noise suppressed ear buds. Some people don't like ear buds because they're uncomfortable, others can't use them due to a tendency to get ear infections. And he did say in step 2 that these are noise suppressing.
knakamoto1 year ago
Finally something that has a drilled hole! Mahalo plenty! :D
Good instructable with clear pictures and very well written. Voted for and rated. Keep up the good work!
nice post, so are these actual noise cancelling or are they just really well insulated?
Well insulated. Step 2 goes in to detail.