Homemade Wooden Headphones

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Headphones usually look quite boring and are very often black and made from plastic. Combined it looks cheap and the plastic doesn't give an inviting appearance.

To have a personal set of headphones that give a welcome feeling I decided to make my own earpieces to go with a set of headphones.

The project is relatively simple but does involve the the use of a lathe.

The materials needed are:

  • On-ear headphones
  • Piece of wood (Taxus)
  • 4 small screws
  • Finish (Linseed & Tung oil, Revol)

Tools needed:

  • Lathe
  • Sandpaper
  • Cotton cloth

Enjoy the project!

Step 1: Taking Apart the Headphones

To start the project, I took apart the original headphones. Usually no screws are used, the plastic just clips together. Using a small screwdriver the shells can be popped off, exposing the speaker.

Step 2: Woodturning the Ear Pieces

For the new ear pieces, I took a piece of taxus wood. I like taxus because of it's warm color and beautiful grain pattern. The piece was cut in such a way that the grain runs across the ear piece.

I started by turning the inside of the shells. The recess was turned to fit exactly over the speaker and surrounding plastic rim. When the fit was good, I turned around the piece and mounted it on the chuck using this newly turned pocket.

The next part that should be turned is what will be visible in the final piece. I took slower passes and tried to create a nice smooth shape.

When I was pleased with the result, I started sanding the piece from 80 grid upto 320 grid until all tool marks were sanded smooth.

Step 3: Carving the Pieces

The shells don't fit properly yet, as some cutouts for the cable and strap need to be made.
I marked both pieces and created the neccessary cutouts using a chisel and a small needle file.

To mount the wooden shells onto the headphones I drilled two extra holes in the plastic to accept screws. The screws are hidden behind the foam pads that are clicked back in place after the wood is mounted.

Step 4: Finishing

To finalize the project I put a finish on the wood. Personally I like to use Revol, which is a mix of linseed oil and tung oil.

Using a cloth it can be applied to the wood. I put several coats on the wood and it nicely accentuates the grain.

The end result is a stylish pair of headphones. Not only do they look nice, but the sound quility also improved noticeably (probably because of the thicker wood instead of thin plastic shells).

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    13 Discussions

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    4DIYers

    1 year ago

    Beautiful workmanship, worlds better than the factory covers!

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    Yonatan24

    1 year ago

    Beautiful! I love the color!

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    gm280

    1 year ago

    Very nice. And depending on the frequency response of the initial ear pieces, you could add in some fiberfill to enhance the bass tones. That would give it even more tonal qualities. I like it!

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    Douwe 66gm280

    Reply 1 year ago

    Interesting idea!
    Unfortunately there's almost no space for fill in my current design. Good idea for a new pair though :)

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    stepinfech

    1 year ago

    Really Nice Job & I am sure the sound quality is much better. I have a set of sennheiser I will try this with

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    Douwe 66stepinfech

    Reply 1 year ago

    Thank you! Indeed the sound is much better. I was pleasently surprise by the warm bass that comes out of the headphones (but it makes sense as the wood is a lot better at damping than a 1mm plastic shell)

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    stepinfech

    1 year ago

    Very nicely done & I am sure the sound is much better

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    Amaries

    1 year ago

    Awesome!

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    oragamiunicorn

    1 year ago

    Those look swish, though with so much effort going into the shells of the speakers, it would be nice to see the padded strap be replaced / covered with some soft leather and the cord being sleeved (like so many paracord instructables), that would finish it off nicely.

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    Douwe 66oragamiunicorn

    Reply 1 year ago

    Haha, Thank you!
    I completely agree. In hindsight I would probably have bought a more expensive headphone. The sound quality is fine but the padded strap and fit of the earpieces is just cheap...

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    oragamiunicorn

    1 year ago

    sorry, I've just seen that there is some sleeving on the cord already.