This DIY article will show you step-by-step how to construct completely soundproof, high fidelity headphones using firing-range rated ear protection and high quality headphones. You can literally ride your lawnmower while blowing leaves and chainsawing shrubbery, and all you will hear is Hotel California in your ears.
Wrapping each ear in its own individual sound studio, and completely blocking out exterior sound is pretty shocking the first time you put them on. These headphones sound incredible.
They are so good, in fact, that they can be dangerous. If you build with care as instructed here, you will have built headphones that put you in a bubble, absolutely null to the outside world. You will only be able to hear what's playing through the headphones, and only a visual cue will be able to get your attention. Please remember that it can be dangerous to block out all outside noises.
This will take about two hours from start to finish.
Step 1: Materials
#1 - Firing-range hearing protection
[Peltor President - $15.00] - Great brand, very comfy, most sport a -26 DB rating.
#2 - Headphones
[KOSS KSC-75 - $10.00] - Hands down, the best headphones you can buy under $50
#3 - 6 ft long Red / White stereo cable with 3.5mm mini-plug.
[Any brand - $2.00 or less]
Side note - Don't waste your money on an expensive cable. Things that matter are thickness, how it feels (rubbery, not plastic'y), and a tight 3.5mm connection.
[The quality of your headphones and hearing protection does matter however. I built mine with the above components for $25, and they sound incredible, but you can certainly spend more if you're a real audiophile.]
Step 2: Tools
- Soldering gun
- Epoxy, glue, or caulk to seal a small hole
- Small pliers
- Razor blade (or X-Acto knife)
Step 3: Preparing the Y-cable
Step 4: Preparing the Head-gear
In this next step, we're going to cut a shallow divot into each foam insert. This divot is where we will be placing our headphones.
Try not to mangle and hack up the foam. Cut a shallow divot, don't dig out a hole. Think surgeon, not hand-grenade.
The inserts need to come out. Grab it with your fingers, it will just pull right out.
Step 5: Wiring It Up.
Left and right sides matter , because if you're like me - you you want the cable from the headphones going out BEHIND you.
If you're making these headphones, you'll be working when you wear them. You don't want cables draped around your ears, or falling in your face when you're bent over.
The very last slide is to check your work.
Step 6: Preparing the Sound
I usually use Koss headphones, but in this tutorial I used Sony. It doesn't matter what headphones you use, as long as they are the over-the-ear style. Earbuds will not work for your soundproof headphones.
All we want out of these headphones are the drivers themselves. We're going to destroy the plastic neck band, and get to the sound drivers without damaging them.
Step 7: Rock Out.
...which is to load every song by The Eagles' Hell Freezes Over album on your iPod, put on your new headphones and mow the yard.