We've all done it, regardless of wether or not we'd like to admit it. I'm talking about dancing in the privacy of your home (and sometimes with good reason), listening to your iPod with your brand new headphones. And while you're dancing, you throw up your arms, instantly disconnecting the headphones from the iPod, and stopping the fun. Your 200 hundred dollar headphones apparently won't let you listen to them while dancing. What a waste. But my friends, I have a 20-ish dollar fix. In this instructable, I'll teach you how to build your very own cordless headphones. Let's dive in.
P.S. I take no responsibility if you hurt yourself or break your headphones/iPods. Be careful!
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Step 1: Materials
This is an easy, quick, and fun project to do. Here are the things you need:
- Overear Headphones: I recommend these; they're the best sounding for the lowest price, and because I used these for my project, I know they'll work (but no guarantees for other pairs, so be careful)
- iPod Shuffle
- Craft Foam
- Philips screwdrivers
- Hot glue gun
- Utility Knife
- Dremel (optional [you could use a utility knife], but very helpful- plus it looks better when use use a dremel)
- Soldering iron and solder
- Wire cutters
- Electrical and scotch tape
Step 2: Disassembly
First, grab a small philips screwdriver. Unscrew the small four screws joining the band and the speakers together. Keep these safe! Now you are left with the two speakers and the cord. To disassemble the speakers, peel off the foam covers. You will then see two small screws. Unscrew them with a small philips screwdriver. Be careful with the small wires!
Step 3: Solder
Now, it is time to solder. What we want to accomplish here is to shorten the cord, because otherwise it will not fit into the speaker compartment. Don't worry, this is very easy. Before we start, though, separate the cord into two different cords by taking the utility knife and cutting down the seam where the two are joined. You also have to cut off the plastic piece that joined the two cords in the first place. Alright, then, to solder: cut off a generous amount of wire from the middle, but make sure you have enough to work with (a couple inches on each side). Then, strip the plastic off the wires with a utility knife. Make sure that the wires are sticking out. Next, solder the two red wires back together, and the two green ones back together. Then, wrap the two pairs of newly joined wires back together with electrical tape.
Here, and continually throughout the project, is a good time to test your work. Just to make sure everything still works, plug in the iPod and hit play. This is a good time to catch any mistakes you might make. Be careful with wires and stuff.
Step 4: Groove-y
Next, it's time to cut some grooves. If you have a dremel, use it. If not, try to make do with an utility knife. You need to cut two grooves in each speaker, one at the top, and one at the bottom. You need to make them deep enough to fit the cord comfortably, but not deep enough where you can notice them. Mark them with a washable marker, and then cut.
Step 5: Reassembly
Fit the one cord that you soldered to make smaller into one of the speakers, so that it loops through the top. The other cord can be wrapped neatly, taped together, and fit in snugly into the other speaker space. If you really want to, or you have to, you can cut and solder this cord too (to make it smaller). I would be careful when doing this, because you don't want to cut the cord too much. Then, reassemble the speakers by clipping the two halves together, then screwing them together. Then, screw the headband back onto the speakers.
Step 6: Check In
At this point, the headphones should be back together. The difference now is that there is no cord going down. Instead, you have a loop of cord coming out of the tops of the speakers, not the bottoms. Also, check with the iPod!
Step 7: Comfort
Next, you have to measure out the loop of cord. You should be able to push the cord into the groove, and pull it out. Therefore, you should be able to measure out a length of cord that fits the band. Once you have a good length of cord, take small pieces of electrical tape and tape the cord underneath the band. Don't start taping in the center of the underside of the band; start at one end (so if you have extra or need more cord, you can pull/push it in/out of the groove). Once it is all good and taped, get out the long piece of foam. Measure out the width of the underside of the band, and then cut that width of the foam. Once you have a good width for the piece of foam, cut a long strip with that width. Then see how long the piece of foam has to be by fitting it into the band (I used a piece about 10 inches). Then cut the proper length. Finally, hot glue it carefully underneath the band.
Step 8: Glue
Lastly, hot glue the head phone jack onto the speaker. For these headphones, though, a spacer was needed so that everything would fit. To make this work, I put down a glob of hot glue, and waited until it dried. Then, I put down a second glob of hot glue to glue the jack so the spacing was perfect.
Step 9: Finish!
Seriously, though, this thing is great. It's amazing how carefree and liberating it feels. And not only is it good for dancing, but also jogging, working in the shop, or walking in small/cluttered spaces. Plus, you look amazing. On a rainy day, make these. I'm not kidding, these are really nice. Trust me on this one