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The purpose of this DIY project is to create your own headphones. Also, you can learn about Physics and analyze how the waves travel throughout the headphones to create sound. Have fun!

Step 1: Gather the Materials

You Will Need:

  • 250 inches of 28 gauge copper wire
  • Two paper cups (will cut them down to size later)
  • Black electrical tape
  • Scissors or wire cutters
  • Two neodymium magnets (diameter of 0.5 in)
  • A 3.5 mm phone plug (you can get this from Philmore/LKG Industries, Amazon, or any electronic store)
  • Sandpaper (will cut down to size later)
  • A headband(optional)
  • A paper bag, construction paper, or a tissue(optional)

You can find most of these items at Fry's, Micheal's, Amazon, or any electronics store.

Step 2: Wrapping the Wire

1. Start by wrapping a piece of electrical tape sticky face up around the end of a glue stick.

2. Wrap the wire tightly around the tape 50 times for maximum sound, leaving out an inch at each end. (Cut off the extra wire).

Step 3: Attaching the Voice Coil

3. Next, take the coil and sand the ends down to about one inch. (They should be a copper/bronze color when done.)

4. Attach the voice coil (copper wire) to the base of the cup using electrical tape.

5. Take one magnet and place it on the base of the cup, in the middle of the voice coil. Secure it by placing (the metal piece) inside the cup, opposite the magnet.

6. Repeat steps 2-6 using the second cup, wire and magnet. (If you would like to, you can attach a circular piece of paper or a tissue over the open part of the cup. This material, known as the diaphragm, helps direct the sound.)

7. Next, take a 25 inch piece of wire and sand the edges down to approximately 1 inch. (this piece will be the one connecting over your head.)

NOTE: Voice coils vibrate because it is moving up and down inside the speaker as it travels throughout the wires. It is transferring energy to the diaphragm, then eventually to your ears. Vibrations turn into sound because once the waves reach the air, the medium changes, and depending on the density, the sound will reach our ears faster or slower than it was before.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

8. Take one end of the sanded wire and one end of one of the voice coils and twist them together.

9. Then, take the other side of the sanded wire and twist it together with one wire from the second voice coil.

10. Next, take two more 25 inch strips of wire and sand the edges. Attach one end of each wire to the open end of each voice coil.

11. Finally, attach the ends of the open wire to the positive and negative terminals on the aux plug.

12. Plug into your phone and enjoy your favorite song.

FACT: The main components of a speaker are the voice coil, diaphragm, and magnets. These are important because the voice coil moves up and down inside the speaker to produce sound. The diaphragm causes the vibrations to amplify the sound. The magnets provide a magnetic field around the structure.

Step 5: Making the Headphones Look Nicer and Troubleshooting

13.To make your headphones more appealing, you can spray paint and tape over any extra wire or parts of the cup. By doing this, you make your headphones look more like headphones and less like plastic cups!

14. If your headphones do not work on the first try, don't worry, just follow these steps. We recommend re-sanding the wires, pushing the voice coil closer to the cup and re-connect the wire to the terminals of the aux plug.

NOTE: For prototyping, our result was that the paper cups were denser than the plastic cups, so the sound was able to travel faster, because it can go through denser media.

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