Intro: Hi-fi Hearing Protection
I'm totally psyched about my latest completed project; homemade mp3 compatible ear protection. I work in a wood shop around loud machines and spend a good part of my day wearing earphones to protect my hearing. I've always wanted a set of headphones that I could connect an iPod to so that I could listen to music, podcasts, audiobooks, etc. while drowning out the loudness of the shop. While such products already exist, they are fairly expensive and usually not made with hi-fidelity in mind. Many include battery powered radios that feature an antenna and are both heavy and kind of cumbersome looking.
These feature a set of Koss KSC75 headphones embedded into a pair of Peltor 105 headphones. They are lightweight and sound amazingly good. The Koss headphones, while very inexpensive, are often regarded as surprisingly good for their price. Placing them inside of the soundproof chambers of a set of headphones only improves their sound quality. The speakers are held in place by two vertical slots cut into the sides of the red plastic of the ear cups which allow them to sit closer to the ear, providing better sound. I had to play around with the slot in order to get the headphones close enough to my ears to sound good, but not so close as to put undue pressure on them. They are pressed to the front of the slot by the existing ear cup foam behind them. It's been a pleasure using them so far.
Inspiration and instruction from dsjackson1
I've been using my homemade hi-fi headphones for a week or so and while they sound great, I really wanted to eliminate the cord going from the headphones to the iPhone/iPod in my pants pocket. It annoyingly gets caught on things around the shop and could be potentially dangerous as well; getting pulled into a machine and whatnot. The solution I came up with was to attach an iPod Shuffle to the rear of one of the cups via a short cord. The Shuffle is ridiculously small and lightweight and has a (quite frankly, awesome) VoiceOver navigation system that let's you sort through the iPod's content very effectively without the use of a screen. The end result is clean, lightweight and self contained.