This build was a gift for my brother. He has autism and likes wearing noise reducing headphones in loud environments. Now, he can control his surroundings by turning down the ambient noise and listen to music at the same time.
To make this you will need the following:
Bluetooth Head phones - I used Logitech H800 headphones that I got from an old job so I'm not sure how much they cost. If you use a different style your wiring may differ.
Noise Reducing Earmuffs - Picked up a pair from Walmart for about $10. They reduce 27 decibels and have plenty of room in the ears for the speakers to fit in.
Power drill w/ 1/16 drill bit
22 gauge wire
Step 1: Disassemble the Bluetooth Headphones
Remove the felt padding on the speakers and then remove any screws holding the headset together.
The left side had normal phillips head screws and came apart easily. This half of the headset contained one speaker and the battery for the headset.
The right side has a speaker, the microphone and the bluetooth module. It has small hex screws I could not unscrew. I had to pry this side open with a flat head screwdriver. When I pried it off I broke the connection for the speaker and mic away from the circuit board with the bluetooth. You'll need to remove them from the board anyway, so it's ok.
Once you get the speakers separated from the headset, trim the plastic holding the speaker (not the metal!) down to a size that will fit into the earmuffs.
You can remove the foam padding from inside the earmuffs to place the speakers inside.
Once you've confirmed your speakers will fit inside the earmuffs it's time to start drilling holes for the wires.
Step 2: Drill Holes
This should go without saying but before you start drilling, plan where you want everything to go. For my set up I had 1 speaker in the left ear and in the right ear I had the other speaker, the bluetooth/media controls and the battery. I put a lot in the right ear to cut down on drilling, but if I were making this again I would put the battery on the opposite side to balance out the headphones.
The left ear needs one hole drilled in the top of it to run the wires to. Using the 1/16th bit I made the holes and tried to pass 22 gauge wire through. It was too snug so I used the same bit to widen the holes a bit. You want the holes as small as possible so that no noise can enter.
In the right ear I only needed one hole through the center of the of the ear piece to connect the speakers and battery (on the inside of the earpiece) to the bluetooth/media control chip on the outside of the ear. I made this hole slightly larger to pass the wires for the battery through. You will cover this hole with the bluetooth module and can seal any excess space with hot glue.
Step 3: Wire Together and Glue
Now that your holes are drilled you need to do some wiring. You'll need enough 22g wire to span the top of the headset from control chip on one side to the speaker on the other side.
To start, solder one piece of wire to the (+) and a different piece of wire to the (-) terminals on the speaker for the left ear. Then, place the speaker in the earcup and pull the wires through the hole you drilled at the top of the cup. Run the wires along the headset and over to the other side. You can see in the photo how I tucked the wires under the padding on the bridge of the headphones.
Next you need to solder the wires from the left speaker back on the bluetooth/media control chip. (+) goes to (+), (-) to (-), simple stuff if it weren't for the tiny space you're given to make the connection. This is hands down the toughest part (or it was for me). Soldering is tough man.
To get the other speaker in place, cut the wire connecting it to the bluetooth board. If you're into it, you can just pull the connections off at the board, but I'm not soldering again if I can avoid it. Put the headphones and the battery inside the right ear and pull the wires through the hole in the center of the cup. Reconnect the headphone wires to the bluetooth chip on the outside of the cup and plug in the battery. Turn it on and do a quick test run to make sure everything is working.
If your up and running you're ready to hot glue the board to the outside of the ear cup. Something obvious that I forgot - hot glue has mass, and it gets heavier the more you put on. When you attach the board to the outside of the earcup you want to be smart about where you glue it. If you look at mine you will see approximately 5 mini sticks of hot glue. Overkill? Maybe.. but I didn't want any gaps between the board and the ear cup for lint to collect in. If I make this again I would 3D print a piece that is easier to fix to the outside of the headphones.
I put the glue down in layers, first a base layer to fix the board in place. Then additional layers to close the gaps. Let everything dry and you're ready to rock.
Step 4: Rock Out
They might not be pretty, but they are pretty cool. The effect is great, I didn't want to take them off. My brother gives his seal of approval too.