Over the past few months I have been asked by my fellow classmates and friends,"Mark, why are you making headphones?" My response has consistently been, I love music, I want good quality over ear headphones, but I don't want to drop 300+ on name brand headphones. If you know me I will take almost any opportunity I can get to make something if i need it. So I received mixed reactions in the early stages of the project, some positive some negative, but as these progressed more and more people realized how cool these were going to turn out. 

Why do they blink? Well I wanted there to be a unique effect that would make them stand out, and not just be wooden headphones. I've had people stare at me while I'm in the library, with faces saying "Wait a second, is it blinking to the music? Sweet I want a pair!"

I just want to say that I made everything from scrap pieces of wood, leather, acrylic, plastic, and foam with the exception of the electronics of coarse. I had no directions, just countless prototypes out of packing material and some rough measurements of Bose acoustic  headphones. Making these headphones has been a wonderful experience for me and is one of my more successful pieces of art I have made and thats why I want to share them with all of you. Special thanks to my mother, father and Garry Cerrone for all contributing knowledge of their trades.

Step 1: Everything You'll Need and More!

Materials- (optional, in parentheses is what I used)
  • body: Any hard wood (Cherry) -  1" thick, at least 3x 8.5'' to accommodate two pieces.
  • top ring: More hard wood (Oak) -  1.5'' think,  at least 3x 8.5'' to accommodate two pieces.
  • Plug: 
    • Even more wood (mahogany) - .25'' thick, 
    •  Acrylic 1/4 thick or two .1/8" pieces glued together.
  • Squishy donut:
    • High density foam, can be purchased at fabric stores -1" inch thick, but go bigger because it is easier to cut down to have a little extra, plus it compresses
    • Very thin soft leather or suede, I believe mine is 1/32" (I got a scrap from saddle maker at my moms store) you can purchase the color of your choice: Here
    •  A spool of upholster or ultra strength thread with extra wax coats. 
  • Headband 
    • Heat molding plastic sheets(ortho plastic) search amazon for "moldable plastic sheets"
    • (1/4'' to 1/2'' BrassChicago screws) depends on thickness of plastic
    • black 1/16'' cut of black leather
    • spandex fabric for padded sleeve 
    • foam for padding
    • use wax coated thread for leather stitching
Electronic Materials
  • Plug: 2x (blue) LEDs -  5mm, 3.7volt
    • Electrical wire
    • TIp 31c transistor
    • alligator clips
    • speaker wire
    • thick stereo headphone wire
    • 2x Stereo jacks
    • Headphone splitter
    • 3v battery
  • Sewing machine
  • stove top
  • pan
  • Jig saw
  • miter box 
  • x-acto knife
  • hand saw
  • dremel
  • chisels 
  • hammar
  • needle nose pliers
  • wire cutters
  • flat pliers
  • soldering iron
  • at least 5 clamps
  • wood rasps
  • vice grips
  • Sanders
    • barrel sander
    • normal belt or electric hand sander
    • paper
      • 120 g
      • 200 g
      • 300 g wet dry
      • 400 g wet dry
      • 600 g wet dry
Glues and Wood Treatments
  • Gorilla wood glue
  • 2 part epoxy
  • Danish oil
  • solder rosen core FOR AUDIO VERY IMPORTANT
  • electrical tape
  • masking tape
<p>Do you mind if I use a few ideas for my headphone build?</p>
<p>That is really cool. Looks like it takes a lot of work. Nice job!</p>
hey! amazing instructable. I want to try making this, but can I use 5W 4ohm speakers I salvaged from an ihome? I'll mainly be using it with my laptop. Thnx in advance
<p>truly amazing! </p>
Thanks a ton! <br>also is it just generic rosin core solder or does it have to be anything special like lead free? <br>Thanks again
<p>Yes there is no such thing as AUDIO solder. </p>
<p>Wooaaah these are really nice! Hahaha they remind me of soundproof headsets for bullet practice :) Thanks a lot! I was looking for an instructable like this for one of my final projects at school :) I'm gonna see if I could possibly add RGB LEDs and a switch to switch their colours hahaha. I'm gonna do that music led box from motadacruz with RGB LEDs to see if that works :)</p>
awesome photos. great job. i've often wanted a pair of wooden headphones. i think they would be classy. sure enough yours do look good. thanks for sharing.
Sorry for the late response, It's all 18 gauge speaker wire. It doesn't matter that much just know the more copper strands the better the quality. And for the battery used a single strand electrical wire. <br><br>Thayheb, think of it this way. The transistor is essentially using the music as a light switch. The circuit is already complete so when a high enough frequency passes through it makes a bridge and turns on the light.<br><br>Also I am not selling this model but I am making a second generation that will be easier for me reproduce.<br><br>Hope this helps!
youre a genius <br>pls tell me more about the gauge <br>and the figure between the ground connection at tip31 and the battery
Are you planning on selling it?
Also what gauge is it? <br>Anything you can do to help would be great I just have no clue! <br> <br>Thanks!
What kind of wire are you sodering to the transistor? <br>Is it just electrical or speaker wire?
There are pretty awesome. I had a few questions: <br>1. How long do the batteries last? <br>2. They just work like regular headphones if the battery is dead or there isn't on in, correct?
Hi Victim115, they last a long time because battery is only powering the light when its on. I have yet to change the original batteries since I finished them. Recently I soldered in a 3v battery holder so if need be they can be replace easily. Also yes the headphones work the same with or without a battery.
Great idea! I have a Sennheiser HD535 open air sustem, several years old (12??) and it is falling apart. The parts I need are so expensive that the option to buy a new one is a better option. The polstery at the head band and the foam cushions inside the ear parts has gone bad. The foam is replaced by felt. It is open and the filtering is minimal. I always would have had a wooden version of a headphone. Your idea is great! Thanks for sharing.
Also I want to thank everyone who commented and viewed this instructable! I will be posting a better schematic shortly and please stay tuned and subscribe for I am making a second generation that will blow this one away. I hope to have them finished by the end of the summer.
Just kinda wondering, anyone know how much it would be to make these?
I suggest saving the headband it will make life easier. If you already have headphones you like its mostly just the cost of electronics and raw materials, so probably no more than 50$ if you don't have access to hard woods, acrylic, etc.
Sweeet! I'd gladly get these over dre beats. awesome.i'll build me some! by the way what song did you play on the test
Awesome. I want to make a pair but I don't have all those power tools :(. I would choose these over the dre beats any day.
hey, no offence or anything, but could you please include a better version of the schematic? i went to try to assemble it for a different speaker project, but i was having a little bit of trouble figuring it all out. Great ible!
Wood is a very good material for sound quality, wood gives the sound a &quot;smoother&quot; signature. Wood is relatively strong, lightweight, self damping, and due to its fibrous nature it disperses resonances into a broader frequency spectrum making them less audible at any one particular frequency. Thanks for sharing.
&quot;Wait a second, is it blinking to the music? Sweet I want a pair!&quot; <br> <br>^This^
This isn't the same plastic I used, but it's called instamorph. I've used similar products where you heat up the little grains of plastic until they are transparent, and mold together. You could very easily roll them into a sheet. I don't know how strong this plastic will permit the band to be , but it's worth a shot this stuff is so cool.<br/>www.instamorph.com/
Do you have a link to the plastic sheets. I can't seem to find them on Amazon with the suggested search.
How heavy are these 'phones?
Nice. But how do they sound? How do they sound compared to the original Sennheiser 'phones?
what is that song?
Those are very elegant and have an almost &quot;steampunk&quot; quality to them.
I love it! I've been thinking about something just like this for a while, but never got around to it. I'll take your instructable as some added inspiration!
Simply so beautiful ... <br>I especially like the aesthetics of the small dot of light under a bigger glass area.
Perhaps one could replace the transistor with a vacuum tube for more of a steampunk look.
Thank you e&oacute; h&oacute;b&aacute;in I had no idea still new to this
the top of the transistor you cut off is a heatsink. Transistors can have different gains at different temperatures and burn out if they overheat themselves. It still shouldn't be a problem, I doubt it will overheat in a headphone circuit. <br>Still if there is a problem its better to know.
Awesome job man. Plan on trying to emulate your build in coupe of weeks!
Those are some beautiful headphones! <br>About the transistor .. the tip31ag is a bit overkill. The LED only draws 20 milliamperes at 3 volts so a much smaller one could be used. Just any standard NPN will do.
nicely done!!
Even though there an old style headphone, I think they look great; damn good job and a fine finished product.
Nice! A pair of &quot;ghetto grados&quot;. You could stuff a bit of fiberfill or cotton or sand the plastic cover to diffuse the single LED a bit for a better light effect. Or you could use the LED to do an edge light up sign effect on the logo you scratched into the plastic.
these are beautiful, thinking about just gutting a pair of stock head phones and making wooded cups...
You did such a good job on this, I hope someday I will be able to complete such a unique project.
Looks awesome, man. I wish I had the patience for wood working. Maybe one day I'll attempt this. Headphones test video is still private though, and I'd love to see it.

About This Instructable




Bio: Hi I am a sculpture major at VCU Arts and I love to create functional art pieces. Whether its wood, metal, or 3d printing I ... More »
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