Introduction: Build AMAZING Headphones for $50! or LESS!
Either you despise them, or you love them! There's no argument that headphones are sweeping the nation, showing no promise of a lower price any time soon! FUDGE! So what is a college student to do? Settle for cheap cans? $50 dollars can buy you decent headphones, though why settle for less? When for $50 you can get SWEET sounding headphones!? And not spend $200+ dollars on a trend! I'm going to show you how!
*Estimated time: 1hr-1hr30
*Headphones I used Cost : $22 Free Shipping
Logitech 982-000074 UE 4000 Headphones (The purple ones are cheaper!)
Speakers I used cost: $27.99
40mm speaker (You can use any 40mm speakers you find online; all depends on how much you're willing to spend!)
*NOTE: Like the quality of a particular set of headphones? Try writing the company, some companies will actually ship you their headphone drivers for a small fee which you can then use this tutorial to install
Disclaimer: I am not advertising for any company, the brands shown do not operate, sponsored or affiliated themselves with this post.. The opinions, representations and actions of any party under this post are not under the control of, and do not reflect those of its affiliate brands mentioned, officers, directors, employees or contractors. I Bradlibs am not responsible to the damage done or the irreparability you may cause to your headphones or yourself for that matter. Best of luck!
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Step 1: Prepping
Before you unscrew your headphones. You'll want to make sure you have your soldering Iron running (Up to you). Temperature should be around 400+ because of the high quality solder that is in the headphones' speakers can be stubborn to unsolder. If you don't have a soldering station, I strongly recommend this cheap Soldering Station from Fry's Electronics cost: $22 and has treated me well so far (link below).
A FAN. Don't make this optional! The fumes that come from soldering and unsoldering are terrible and shouldn't be inhaled. You can use any fan.I made this fan from an old broken computer, chopped the cable end, chopped an old usb tip, and combined the two. Why? USB POWERED FAN! I use a battery pack to keep it powered making it extremely portable ( Similar to this battery pack http://www.amazon.com/Astro-Mini-Ultra-Compact-Lipstick-Sized-Smartphones/dp/B005X1Y7I2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1403080269&sr=8-5&keywords=battery+pack). This is optional, a plug in fan will work just fine.
Step 2: PULL THE FLUFF AND START UNSCREWING!!
All ear fluffs are different. (I don't know the proper name, my apologies.) Some ear cushions are glued in and some are clip ons. Try to figure out which category yours falls in as you want to make sure when you're done, you can clip these headphone fluffs back in.
ONCE REMOVED, make sure you have a proper place to store your screws. I find that the ear cushions themselves make a great place for storage! I estimate the screw size is about a #2, start by removing all 4 screws diagonal from each other.
The plate should remove easily, wires will be connected! So lift off gently, and see the next step.
Warning: Screws strip easily, and are usually hidden under foam! View pictures for guidance and be firm with the screws.
Step 3: The Hard Part.
Your headphones should look similar to the pictures above when opened. Now don't be alarmed if you're new to this. The only thing you have to make sure is that you remember the wire color. If you are taking apart older headphones, please reference the pictures about for wiring.
Unsoldering the wires at the proper temperature can be easy. Simply hold the soldering iron directly against in the solder of the wires till you see it turn into liquid and use tweezers to remove the wire. This logic holds true to any headphone.
Once unsoldered, it will appear as if the headphone is one piece. How do you remove the speaker? You can try bending the edges of the plastic which is GLUED to your headphones. This will help loosen it, though in this particular case, this headphones' plastic was to stiff to do so. A flathead screw driver was used to run along the edges of the speaker. Then flathead was placed through holes to help pop speaker up. This will not be easy and thorough force must be used to loosen that speaker. This isn't grade school glue. Please be careful!
The headphone jack? Shouldn't be a problem, you don't have to unsolder it lucky for you! (unless you accidentally pulled it off)
Step 4: Nitty Gritty.
Glad you made it this far! Pulling the speaker off was no easy task I'm sure, only a few more steps remain before you're finished. The condition of these old speakers is irrELEPHANT! We're upgrading!
Don't mind the old speakers, though the plastic housing may have gotten a bit banged up and slightly uneven which isn't a good thing. The left over glue from the old speakers is also bad, it causes the circle to become less than perfect making your new 40mm speakers all but impossible to squeeze in. ( heed my warning!). I ran my trusty flathead screwdriver along the circle removing the glue and a few uneven marks I had created on accident. I used UV glue I had laying around to secure the speaker and could resist vibration and dust remarkably. UV Glue is also great for uneven surfaces, though I don't doubt there were better choices. I leave this decision to the audiophiles. Your new speakers should be a perfect fit, with absolutely no wiggle room.
Step 5: Pesky Wires
Since you don't have 3 hands available, soldering will be a little tricky. I leaned the headphones up against a book to get the wires to rest on the soldering points. I'll leave your imagination to wonder on this one. On my speaker, there were 4 potential solder points, so I made sure to mark the points you must solder your cables to in the picture above. Once completed, it should look like the picture above! My new headphones are almost ready!
ONCE YOU ARE DONE SOLDERING, DO NOT SCREW BACK IN!!!!!
This is the perfect time to check your headphones and check if they are in working order! A very scary moment, because this is where you find out if your headphone mod is done! Both speakers should sound, if not, you may want to recheck your solder points. Remember, multimeters are your friend. If solder points look okay, you may have damaged your speakers when putting in, or your speaker may be faulty. I hope this isn't the case.
Step 6: Done.
Sounding GREAT! Much better than before!
- All of your friends.
Screw everything up and you're good to go! That wasn't so bad right? The highs and the lows of your music should have improved at this point! I will try 3D Printing better muffs for the ear! Stay tuned and don't forget to share!