Steampunk Headphones

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Introduction: Steampunk Headphones

About: I enjoy making things of all sorts, with an emphasis on bicycles, tiny/useful/just plain nifty devices, cartoonish arch-villany, and not destroying the planet we live on. If those last two thing sound contra...

Cost: Nada. Difficulty: only finding the parts and figuring out how to attach them.

This owes much to the Jackhammer headphones entry. I made a pair of those, complete with acorn nuts bolted to the plastic of the earmuffs to make them look more industrial. Did not do the trick.

I then thought of making headphones from scratch, or at least making earmuffs from scratch and putting in the cheap speakers later. Here is the result of that venture...

Step 1: The Stuff I Used.

I'm not going to take them apart and document every piece, but I'll go into the stuff I made them out of.

For the headband, I used, of all things, a steel water hose that would normally be attached to a toilet (it was new, not used), and snaked a steel rod through the braided hose, to be bent to fit my head later.

Step 2: More on the Stuff I Used.

Then I took a pair of matching cable-retention brackets I found in my garage, and bent them a bit to fit around the hose.

Then came the part I congradulate myself on. I was thinking of using maybe large steel funnels for this part, but... Altoids tins proved useful once again, specifically the round "sour" kind. Punched some holes for the bolts, put some washera and nuts on, and I had the exterior done, for functional purposes. Might (did) put some other wierd doohicky on their afterward for aesthetics.

Step 3: The Guts.

Since I had already made a pair of plastic jackhammer headphones, I had a pair of working drivers to use. Cut out circles of 2mm thin packing foam, put them in the tins, then the drivers, then some 1cm thick larger circles of black foam. There we go!

Here I am wearing them. If you have nothing nice to say about my hair, I don't want to read it!

Step 4: The Matching Piece...

Here is what I was trying to accomplish with the whole jackhammer phones in the first place: to have listening devices that worked well with my steel-encased Creative Zen, which I will document on a later entry. Here is a breif glance at what I speak of.

UPDATE: finally found out what that threaded piece on the end of the hose is: 1/2 compression fitting, it's called that because of the rubber gasket inside that is compressed with installation. Found some brass stuff that fits it, screwed them together. Think I'll make a hangar for the end of the wire when it's not plugged into anything.

Oh yeah, also encased the 3.5mm jack in some doodad, a wierd chromed data plug housing, looks armored now. Could bash my way out of a car window in an emergancy. No, that's my Zen's job. Much heavier and with corners.

Step 5: Added Accents

Forever the tinkerer as I am, I found the edges of the tins were less than comfy against my skull. Among the junk in my garage I found some channel-shaped rubber bumpers that were intended for transporting large, heavy, sharpedged steel plates. They have steel ribs moulded into them, and after cutting two to the circumference of the tins, they fit nicely. Cushy, and further funky looking.

I also found that the braided steel hose tended to grab my hair when I took these off... another of the nearly infinite uses for bicycle inner tube!

The jack was moulded plastic and kinda boring, so I rummaged through the box of "useful metal bits" and found the housing for some wierd data cable. The only problem is that it weighs as much as 6 or 8 US quarters, so I will have to find a way to keep track of it...

And I found a way: tucked a neodymium magnet under the innertube on one side, which holds the plug safely out of what I'm doing!

And there is the brass compression elbow and cap, with glass marble periscope lense. TA-DAAAAAA!

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    47 Comments

    I use old earbuds and just deck them out to make headphones, much less complex than most Headphone Steampunk DIY and its less costly too!

    "Moooom, it's looking at me!!!" would be better suited if you let the periscope swivel, like attached to a rod-ball-socket contraption. And might I suggest sneaking a mic in there? One of the big, overly puffy ones that make you want to eat it like cotton candy? This way, you can use it with phones, while retaining the steampunky look. I'm going to try making this when I get the materials.

    BTW, to save space, I like the hair. It speaks out to people, like "I'm different, in a good way, so get over it." If anyone berates you on your hair, compliment their individuality.

    I have neon blue hair. Unatural colors aren't bad.

     im makeing that this, but i am going to put a mic on the otherend, or prehaps instead of the eye

    I think you should replace the cables, those thin ones will surely break after a while.

    5 replies

    You should tell that to some companies that charge you buckets for something that breaks within months. Stupid SkCd FMJ's.

     I agree with that skullcandy comment.

    yup. the original full metal jackets, as well as my $150 skullcrushers.
    ridiculous, however they still work, just the exposed wire is annoying.

    Well, after my $80 pair of FMJs started going bad(one ear somehow gotclogged, so I cracked it open and blew compressed air through theeartube piece and glued it back together) it was terribly annoying.after my fix, the wire right at the ear started breaking so I putsuperglue on it to temporarily stop the breaking, but that made itworse. with all the fixing I did, i bet they would not give me the freewarrenty, so I was going to run some really high power through them toblow the bud, but I dont know anyone that has an amp.

    In the end, I just cut them up for the slider and the plated plug.

    i have a pair of really old headphones like these! but mine are bout 60 years old.....

    1 reply

    Oh my, I have a pair that are probably half as old now that I think about it. They have superb sound, about 10-18kHz with no wavering and probably on up above 20k as well, and I use them every day.

    is the metal band uncomfortable? seems like it would be.

    Hey, I think pink hair is awesome! Mine hasn't been an unnatural color in a while... I should do that again soon...

    Cool headphones! I love this steampunk stuff.

    what sort of machine did you use to make the earmuff part of the headset?

    2 replies

    the can parts are indeed altoids tins, with holes punched through with a nail and hammer, and for the foamy things I cut two octagons out of a sheet of 1cm thick black foam with scissors, and stuffed them inside.

    um, one of the photo notes said he used Altoids tins.

    Also since I posted this I found some rubber channel-shaped bumpers that I cut to the cirumferance of the tins and padded the edges that contacted my noggin. Much comfier now. Okay I shall have to postify more pics because the black plastic 3.5mm jack is now encased in something metallic too. The modding never ceases!