Introduction: Beats by Charlene Suarez and Sarahi Dominguez

About: Hello! I'm Sarahi Dominguez, an 11th grader at DaVinci Science.

As modern-looking and colorful headphones may be, they aren't always able to show the true you. Why not create your own from scratch? If you're entertaining the idea, then this is the Instructable for you!

Hello, and welcome to our DIY Headphones Instructable!

In this Instructable, you will be taking a step-by-step guide on how to make your very own pair of headphones, and learn the science behind it as you go! Let's get started, shall we?

Step 1: Gather Materials

You will need the following materials to create our headphones:

  • 2 plastic cups
  • 2 strands of 100 cm of 28 AWG wire
  • 16 Neodymium magnets
  • A roll of standard black electrical tape (as much as needed)
  • 1 average sized Sharpie
  • 1 ruler
  • 1 Music player (eg. Phone, laptop, etc.)
  • 1 piece of sandpaper
  • 3.5 mm stereo jack (AUX plug)
  • 1 Wire cutter
  • 1 Sticky note

**All of the materials above can be bought at stores like Home Depot.

Step 2: Coiling

  1. Start by wrapping a sticky note around a sharpie with the sticky side facing up
  2. Leave 20 cm of wires free on both ends before you start wrapping
  3. Start by wrapping the wire around the Post-It covered Sharpie
  4. Wrap the wire around the Sharpie 70 times to create your coil, leaving 20 cm on each end
  5. Make sure the coils aren’t overlapping each other
  6. Carefully take the Sharpie out, leaving your coil wrapped around the sticky note
  7. Take the sticky note out of the coil, but DO NOT let go of the coil
  8. Use electrical tape to hold the coil together

**A voice coil is one of the main parts of a speaker. Current flows through the voice coil when connected to a power source. This turns the voice coil into a temporary magnet, which means the domains only face one direction. A power source always has a positive and negative side, which makes the current alternate by attracting and the repulsion voice coil.

**We personally chose to make our voice coil have 70 coils because, in comparison to having 50 coils, the audio was much clearer and not as muffled. This is because the more coils you have, the stronger its attraction and repulsion will be.

**We used electrical tape because it behaves as an effective and long-lasting insulator.

Step 3: Sanding

  1. Grab a sheet of all-purpose sandpaper and your voice coil
  2. Sand 12.5cm of your voice coil’s loose ends
  3. Ensure that you are sanding both ends of its circumference and that there is not any enamel (the red coating) remaining

**The enamel is an insulator, a material that does not readily allow the passage of electricity, heat or sound. When the wire is sanded, it removes the enamel, making the wire conductive.

Step 4: Putting the Headphone Together

  1. Grab the voice coil, a cup, the electrical tape, and 8 magnets
  2. Put 4 magnets inside the bottom of the cup and hold it there
  3. Put the other 4 magnets outside of the cup, making sure both the inside and outside magnets are in the middle of the cup
  4. Place the voice coil on top of the outside magnet
  5. Tape the voice coil to the cup with the tape, to prevent the voice coil from becoming loose from the cup
  6. Repeat the previous steps for the other cup

**The permanent magnet and diaphragm (cups) are two of the three main components of a speaker. A permanent magnet provides a permanent magnetic field, and must be placed in the center of the voice coil, to make the magnetic field stronger and increase the loudness and quality of the sound. The diaphragm amplifies the vibrations created by the voice coil’s attraction and retraction to push sound waves in several directions.

**We chose to use plastic cups for our diaphragm because after testing with other materials we realized that plastic was the best. Plastic is light, which means it vibrates easier, giving our headphones a better sound quality.

Step 5: Connecting the Headphones

  1. Grab an end of the wires from both cups
  2. Place one of the ends directly on top of each other so that it aligns
  3. Wrap one of those ends around the other

Step 6: Connecting the Headphones to AUX Plug

  1. Take the cover off the AUX plug
  2. Grab one of the remaining wire edges from the cup
  3. Insert it in one of the holes from the AUX plug
  4. Carefully twist the wires to prevent them from getting out
  5. Make sure the wire is not touching the audio terminals
  6. Repeat the previous steps for the other cup

Step 7: Decoration!

Decorate your headphones by covering them in a creative way. Make a pair of unique and extraordinary headphones that best fit you and your interests!

Thank you for reading! c:

**It has been recommended to cover wires in order to keep your headphones looking nice, and most importantly, keep its user safe.

Having problems with your speaker? Here's some Troubleshooting tips.

  • If you can hear or feel intense vibrations coming from the diaphragm, make sure the voice coil is properly attached to the diaphragm (cup).
  • Make sure the wires connecting the cups are not sticking out or disconnected in any way. This can lead to the disconnection of current or even worse, can injure the wearer.
  • If you cannot hear the vocals in the audio and can only hear the background music, make sure the wires are not touching the audio terminals.
  • If sound quality is not very good, increase the amount of coils (but not so much that it is too long!)
  • If you cannot hear your music, double-check the sanded ends of your wires for leftover enamel, as the enamel will prevent the flow of current.