Introduction: Muff-Fones

About: I make projects, they have names. Some are obscure and some straightforward. Form or Function; I go either way. Battery powered or edible, I love making things.
My ears get real cold. Plus they hurt like crazy when it's cold and I use ear buds.  Solution, hack some earphones into a spare pair of earmuffs.   This fun Instructable includes using a dremel, sugru, listening to music and keeping your ears warm.  What's not to love.  Certainly I'm not the first bloke to think of this idea.  I searched for a commercially avialiable product; they range from $15-$60 US dollars.  Crazy.  I have all the components laying around and really want a Vagisoft Blanket.  It sounds real cumphy.  So here is this Ible for your reading pleasure.  

Throughout this Instructable will be ALOT of notation on photos.   Please view them to really see what's going on.  There will be alot of photo notes, especially on step 3. 

Step 1: The Parts

Ear Muffs
Ear Phones
Sugru (Optional but Awesome)

Like so many great recipes, when there are few ingredients, make em count.   I'm upcycling quality parts here.  One pair of Polaroid earphones from a portable DVD player.  And one pair of earmuffs.  These are the kind of ear muffs that go behind your head and not on top of it.  I've found that above the head earmuffs give some pretty serious muff head.  Not cool man.   And I couldn't find the exact pair of really Muffy style earguards.   I wanted a nice leopard print to match these LED-slippers/, but I just couldn't find em at the usual Big Box dives.  

Step 2: Capt Safety

Ok, we're going to dremel some plastic.  Don't Be Stupid.  Wear appropriate protection.  Eyewear and Lung mask are a must.  Long sleeves and cheap maker clothing are also recommended.   A Tyvek suite would be awesome, but I don't have one of those.  

Step 3: Earphone Teardown

This is the bulk of this Ible.  These need the most modding to fit the application we want to use them for.  Polaroid made these earphones bulky and excessive.  We want them slim and trim.   So begins the hacking of my current "old school" ear phones down to just the basic speaker.  

Step 4: Add Sugru!!!!!!

Sugru for softness and awesomeness!  I also used the Sugru to stabalize the wires and add durability.  I only needed a 1 packet for both phones.  

Step 5: Putting It Together

All that's left to do is squeeze our phones into the muff.  After a little coaxing and sugru, it goes in smooth.   It's a tight fit in there but that's a good thing.   Nothing will be sliding around to places were it shouldn't be.  

Step 6: Video of Working Device + Review

OMG It works.   Flawlessly I might add.    Both my GF and I will use this and we have radically different head sizes so I left the wire between the phones with some slack.   These have the features of noise canceling earphones without the drawbacks.  I was a little concerned during the build that the Sugru would cause a short and make them inoperable.  Didn't happen.  Also this was my first time playing with Sugru; Easy, awesome and I can't wait to use it agian.


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    Hey, I just finished a pair, I found some super thin pezo electric crystal (What normal quality tweeters are made) head phones. The ear muffs don't bulge at all! And oddly enough, even though their pezo electric, they still have a great low end range... Just leaving in a few mins to the hill

    4 replies

    sweet! throw up some pictures of your build an I'll send you a 1 year pro membership. I'd love to see a full Instructable on it using the piezo and how you wired them up.

    It's exactly what you did here, just so happen the headphones I had, had piezo electric drivers. Took the speakers off the headphones, slid them into the ear-muffs after ripping the seam a bit, problem is I didn't add back a stitch or two to hold the speakers in place, and the space was a bit too big, so they slid around a bit inside the ear muff, no big deal. Worked amazing for skiing, fit under my ear protectors too



    Cutting mine out of the plastic and adding the sugru solved those problems. I'm thinking the diameter of your piezo housing(all that plastic) added just enough so you had to rip that bottom area enough. Hope you enjoy them as much as I do. I've been wearing my pair alot. It's getting cold out there.

    Yea I thought about that, but I don't have sugru and I like how thin they are ATM, any bigger would press on my helmet ear protectors, and it's getting freezing! But they are the best thing for skiing Ive tried!

    I really like this! Great for skiing, your ears stay warm, and you earphones don't fall out!

    2 replies

    thanks WhiteTech. I wish I still lived around a mountain to try that out. They came in real handy the other day doing so yard work. Super comfortable. I hate earbuds in cold ears. Or earbuds with muffs over them, very painful. Thanks for checking it out and cool stove. Way to go on throwing a title on your cover pic!

    Heh, thanks! I was hoping it would help get it noticed, apparently it did!
    Ive seen mods like this done to helmets, but this is so much better. Plus hopefully it will cut some of my ear protector wind noise from 80km/h+ speeds down the hill!

    Sweet mod I have a pair of bluetooth headphones I may wanna try this with. PS. Best phone ever

    pretty sure I'd have to call them "muff-drivers" just because I can't resist a good pun.

    1 reply

    great name. I wish I'd thought of that.

    i actually had this idea couple of days ago :)
    i have the same ear muffs and i have some broken ear phones :)
    but u beat me to it :)
    nice project by the way :)

    1 reply

    Post it up, I'll send you a 1 year pro membership! Or anyone else making this Ible.(Limit 3) Thanks for checking it out.

    thanks so much. You still can do it. I love wearing these things. I'm not going back to ear buds anytime soon.

    same as me i was going to do this but call them toasty-muffs