Made by combining a pair of headphones and a pair of ear defenders to make outside-world-blocking headphones, in anticipation of a long train journey in which I'd rather hear my music than everyone else on the train talking loudly into their mobiles. The aforementioned train journey took three and a half hours, and my carriage was populated by screaming babies, teenagers, the aforementioned phone users and an obnoxious woman eating crisps with her mouth open while staring at me; these were an absolute sanity-saver. Hence "portable zen place". "Studio headphones" is because I don't know what they call those headphones they use in sound studios, but I'd guess they're sound blocking.
(This step probably makes me sound like a raging sociopath; I'm really not, many of my best friends are humans.)
Step 1: Materials Required
- Uber-uber-cheap headphones: about Â£2.50 ($5)
- Electrical tape: you should own already, and I can't see it costing more than Â£1.00
I am lucky to live 30 seconds walk from a fantastic hardware shop that's kind of like Aladdin's Cave for DIYers, but you should be able to find these in any self-respecting hardware shop or (probably) online.
Step 2: The First Incision
Alternatively, if you want to just use the speaker (the inner circular bit here) and mount it yourself, now would be a good time to cut it out.
Step 3: Defender Dismemberment
- Plastic "cups", attached to headband by press-fit rubbery things
- Foam insert
- Plastic retaining ring to hold foam in
- Padded ring
Dismantling them just required removing the press fit components (ie. all of them). If yours are slightly more up market there may be a bit more to this step but they should still come apart. The foam shouldn't need much modification unless it's the rigid stuff used in shooting ear defenders.
Step 4: Cut It Up, Put It Together
The rubbery thing holding the cup onto the headband protruded into the inside of the ear cup slightly, reducing space for the headphone speaker, so I took the foam out to cut the rubbery thing down to size before inserting the earphone, but I suspect this is dependent on your particular defenders. If everything doesn't fit together right, take it apart and see what you can alter to make it fit. If you are just using the speaker part out of your headphones, you may want to find some way to anchor them to the body of the defenders so they aren't rattling around inside.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
Step 6: Usage
Remove from head when awareness of external world is required, for instance when crossing roads or listening to public transport P.A. systems. While they don't block all external noise, wearing these in traffic is profoundly dangerous, as I quickly discovered in the middle of London. Don't do it- they make a perfect indie-kid accessory hung casually around your neck :)
Alternatively, wait until dark, find some fresh underwear and fire up a game like Bioshock, Doom 3, Half life 2, or anything with the requisite make-you-brick-it-in-terror sound.