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How to make super-neat and easy custom-fit earbuds / in-ear monitors

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Tom had a brainwave recently and devised a very clever way to customise his earbuds using sugru and created a perfect cast of the inside of his ear.

BENEFITS:
Create the perfect fit for your earbuds
Reduce background noise and deliver more bass and treble
As the shape of the buds are custom, they are also much less likely to fall out, great for exercising

His idea is simple, by putting sugru in the silicone sleeves supplied with your earbuds, you can create a perfect fit without putting sugru in your ears. This is a very clean and simple method to modify your audio kit with really impressive results.

Sugru is the perfect material for this because:
- It moulds and forms easily
- It bonds to the silicone sleeve
- It cures with a soft, flexible feel

If you need to stock up, sugru is available from www.sugru.com

Let's get started!






 
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Step 1: What you need

All you need is about a 1/4 of a mini pack of sugru, and your chosen in-ear headphones.

Maybe line up some other projects to do at the same time, so no sugru goes to waste! If you're stuck for ideas, check out other peoples hacks at www.sugru.com/gallery.

If you want your hack to blend in with your earbuds, you can use black. I've personally gone for yellow, to compliment the other colours.

Step 2: Getting the bud ready

The first thing you need to do is roll the jelly heads so the inner rubber tube is exposed.  

You don't actually have to remove them and in fact it's easier to just leave them on. 

Make sure the insides of your buds are clean by giving them a quick wipe. 


projectsugru (author) 1 year ago
What a great tip ! Thank you, I will pop that into the Instructable now so that more people know about it. Have you tried this project ?
Northener1 year ago
For a more snug fit, eg for sports earphones, be sure to keep your mouth a bit open while you insert your sugru mold. The outer ear canal expands when your jaws are not clinched tight..
cap8261 year ago
very cool i might try this
DoctorWoo1 year ago
Did these with a pair of ZAGG Audio's headphones...and I gotta say, this is the BEST thing for headphones ever! It has made a huge difference for audio quality!
But, I do have to say...if you happen to have any hair in or near your ear with this...man does that hurt!
projectsugru (author)  DoctorWoo1 year ago
awesome, delighted that you found this useful. Can you post an image of yours ?
Bit of a late reply, and a poor picture of showing it off, but here it is! I ended up using a bit of leftover black from another project, and it kind of blends in.
IMAG0538.jpg
jarymo1 year ago
Here's a link to make your own sugru...

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/
jarymo1 year ago
Here's a post on making your own Sugru substitute, OOGOO!! I'm trying it tomorrow!
jamie605091 year ago
Tried this a few days ago and I dunno if I put too much sugru in or what but they are very uncomfortable now. I'm think I'm going to have to try again
martinex1 year ago
I purchased an expensive pair of Shure earbuds that sit in my junk drawer because they won't stay in my weird ears. This has been the case of every pair of earbuds that I've ever owned. Maybe Sugru can solve this problem. Anybody know of a retail store int the U.S. that carries it?
I'm pretty sure either adafruit or sparkfun (or both) stock Sugru. They're both online stores, but wonderful places/people/sources for small stock of diy supplies.
Nice idea. I would be worried that the sugru wouldn't be cured and would stick to the ears.

KOSS has an inexpensive ($15 plus warranteed for life) solution. They used a tube from the earbud and used an ear plug as a sleeve for the tube. I squish down the earplug and stick it in my ears until the plugs expand. They work so well as drowning out the external sound that I can use a chainsaw and still listen to music.
nriaziat1 year ago
Would this work or be useful on klipsch oval tips?
projectsugru (author)  nriaziat1 year ago
Yes, I just took a look at them and they use the same silicone sleeve as these earbuds :)
MTJimL1 year ago
This technique would apply well to custom fitting silicone noise insulating ear plugs that are similar in style to acoustic earbuds.
dragonbtv1 year ago
instead of sugru which we can not obtained in US, use the custom fit ear plug DIY material from either Rite Aid or CVS
Here you go!

https://sugru.com/us/buy
We can actually get Sugru just fine in the states... We have some waiting for our projects in the fridge.
rocklocker1 year ago
Whilst?
Largely archaic form of "while". Don't see it much outside of the UK or Austraila unless someone has been reading a lot of Shakespeare.
I know what it means unfortunelately I don't hear it used very often. I was just in Scotland and Ireland for a wedding and some vacation time and enjoyed listening to the people talk. The scots appear to be very formal in their speech.
Selden1 year ago
Make your own Sugru substitute from 50/50 mixture of silicone caulk and cornstarch.

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/
sarawelder1 year ago
What a great tip! I wonder how this could be adapted for the earbuds that come with iPhones.... they fall out a lot for me but there is no rubber cover.... any ideas?
kjones51 year ago
I bought a kit to make custom ear plugs for shooting. It's an epoxy-style setup that you kneed and then insert into your ear. After the allotted time it is cured and you have custom earplugs. They work pretty good.

I've often thought about doing the same with headphones, but never got around to it.

Of course, that would create sound isolating headphones which aren't the best for all occasions like riding your bicycle on the street, but work really good for things like listening to music while doing noisy yard work.
and if you want to make a DIY headphone amplifier (on stripboard) go here
Spokehedz1 year ago
Brilliant. This gets around the issue that Sugru can't really be put on skin until it's cured, as well as sticking to the inside of the ear.
would this work with something like play-dough?
I would say no, because sugru dosen't set up hard like PlayDoh. Also, PlayDoh shrinks as it dries, and it smells weird after a while.

If you don't want to get Sugru (there are thousands of other uses for it, BTW.) then you should just invest in better earbuds.