Beats by Esther Cash/Chad Shimokochi (DIY Headphones)

Introduction: Beats by Esther Cash/Chad Shimokochi (DIY Headphones)

The Science Behind the Sounds:

The three main components the headphones are the voice coil, the neodymium magnets, and the diaphragm (the plastic cups). The voice coil is what causes the waves to be produced. We chose to do 30 coils because we tested 10, 20, and 30, and found that 30 worked best. The more coils, the better sound quality. If you would like to do more, you can. The music source creates an electrical current. This current travels to one end of the voice coil, then back. As the current switches directions, each end of the wire changes polarity. This is where the magnets come into play. The neodymium magnets create a permanent magnetic field, that helps the voice coil move. So as the polarity on either end of the voice coil change, those charges react to the permanent magnetic field. Meaning, one end repels the magnet, and the other is attracted. This causes the voice coil to move, because one side attracted down towards the magnet, and the other repelled away from the magnet. These vibrations compress air particles together and spread them out, creating longitudinal waves that transfer energy. We chose three magnets, because we found that the more magnets included, the stronger the magnetic field. This meant that the sound would be louder and clearer. Again, if you want to include more, you can. The cup acts as the diaphragm. The diaphragm is what directs those sound waves into your ears so that you can hear the music.

Trouble Shooting:

Make sure that your voice coil has room to vibrate. If it can't, no sound will be produced, so make sure that the decorations and/or the tape aren't holding or restricting the voice coils from vibrating. Also, make sure that none of the sanded wire touches, or else the electricity won't be able to travel correctly. If all else fails, rotate the AUX cord around to find the best position until you are able to hear sound.

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Step 1: Gather Materials

One roll of electrical tape

Five meters of copper wire

A pair of scissors

Two plastic cups

Six neodymium magnets with a 1 centimeter diameter

One sheet of sandpaper

Aux cord

A marker

A regular-sized sticky note


Phone (or other electrical device to play music with)

Note: These can all be found at Michael's, Amazon, Fry's, and any other electronic store

Step 2: Cut the Wire So That You Have a Wire With a Length of 2.2794 Meters (2 Meters and 11 Inches)

Step 3: Mark 11 Inches From the End in on the Copper Wire by Making a Small Dent

Step 4: Wrap the Wire Around the Marker 30 Times to Create a Coil (Watch Video for Assistance)

Step 5: Cut It Off the Rest of the Wire, Leaving .4572 Meters (1.5 Feet) of Extra Wire

Step 6: Slide the Coiled Wire Off of the Marker

Step 7: Smush the Coil Down So All the Different Coils Are Pushed Together

Step 8: Sand Both Wire Ends Thoroughly

Step 9: Take the End of Each Wire and Wrap Them Through the Inside and Around the Coil to Secure It

Step 10: Repeat Steps 2-9 Again

Step 11: Cut Both Cups in Half (hamburger Style) and Throw Away the Top Side

Step 12: Set One Magnet and One Coil on Bottom of the Cup, With the Magnet Inside the Coil, and Put Two Magnets on the Inside of the Cup (watch Video for Assistance)

Step 13: Criss-cross Two Strips of Electrical Tape Over the Magnet and Coil, Securing Them Onto the Cup

Step 14: Repeat Steps 12 and 13 With the Second Cup, Coil, and Magnet

Step 15: Take the Shorter End of Wire From Each Headphone and Twist the Ends Together, This Will Go Over the Top of the Listener’s Head

Step 16: Tape the Twisted Wires From Step 16 to the Underside of Your Headband

Step 17: Take the Untied Ends of Wire From Both Cups and Wrap Them Together

Step 18: Wrap the Wires Around the Terminals of the Aux Cord, Make Sure They Are Not Touching

Step 19: (Optional) Decorate Your Headphones

Step 20: Plug the Aux Cord Into Your Phone and Enjoy the Music

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