Introduction: ColorTalk Headphones

Now introducing color talk earphones! These BLE LED earbuds allow you to communicate via a color and light language. You can signal status or just add some extra color to your life.

Step 1: Equipment, Tools, and Materials

You will need access to the following software and equipment:

Materials List:

  • Adafruit Feather nRF52 BLE microcontroller
  • 2 mini addressable RGB LED
  • Lithium battery 150 mAh, 3.7V and charger
  • ABS plastic composite to 3D print the cover pieces and housing for the headphones
  • 3D printed plastic housing/neckpiece for the microcontroller
  • 3D printed plastic casing for the LEDs
  • Cheap flat back Bluetooth earbuds
  • 3 m silicone covered stranded core wire – 30 AWG
  • Soldering supplies
  • Superglue to attach LEDs to casing and casing to earbuds.

Step 2: Wires and Feather Board

Cut silicon wires into 6 pieces, 0.5 m length each. Label 2 of them with red tape and 2 with blue to help you distinguish which wires are for power, ground, and input.

Twist stripped ends of red labeled wires together on one end. Repeat for blue and non-labeled wire pairs as well.

Solder the following wires to the following pins:

  • red labelled wire pair to the BAT power pin
  • blue labelled to the GND pin
  • non-labelled to pin #30

Do NOT attach your LEDs to the circuit yet, you'll do that after putting the board and wires in the housing.

Step 3: 3D Print

Adjust the file attached or create your own pieces. Then 3D print the housing for the board/wires and the led covers. I printed the spherical part of the earbud covers too thin, so they kept breaking off. I recommend increasing the thickness of those.

I used a UV photopolymer printer, which requires significant clean up by hand.

Step 4: Code

While your pieces are printing, download the code files linked and adjust the code to your liking for different button animations in the Bluefruit app.
Then upload the code to your Feather micro controller.

If you have a prototyping breadboard handy, I’d recommend testing out the animations first via prototype (as pictured above).

Step 5: Assemble!

Divide wires so have one of each (power, ground and input) going to either earbud. Thread wires into the housing and insert controller and batter into the title pouch at the back.

Attach earbud covers to earbuds with superglue. Then thread wires through the covers and solder LEDs. Glue LEDs to interior of casing.

Et Voila! Now you're ready to wear and do some color talking.