Cost: Nada. Difficulty: only finding the parts and figuring out how to attach them.
This owes much to the Jackhammer headphones entry. I made a pair of those, complete with acorn nuts bolted to the plastic of the earmuffs to make them look more industrial. Did not do the trick.
I then thought of making headphones from scratch, or at least making earmuffs from scratch and putting in the cheap speakers later. Here is the result of that venture...
Step 1: The Stuff I Used.
I'm not going to take them apart and document every piece, but I'll go into the stuff I made them out of.
For the headband, I used, of all things, a steel water hose that would normally be attached to a toilet (it was new, not used), and snaked a steel rod through the braided hose, to be bent to fit my head later.
Step 2: More on the Stuff I Used.
Then I took a pair of matching cable-retention brackets I found in my garage, and bent them a bit to fit around the hose.
Then came the part I congradulate myself on. I was thinking of using maybe large steel funnels for this part, but... Altoids tins proved useful once again, specifically the round "sour" kind. Punched some holes for the bolts, put some washera and nuts on, and I had the exterior done, for functional purposes. Might (did) put some other wierd doohicky on their afterward for aesthetics.
Step 3: The Guts.
Since I had already made a pair of plastic jackhammer headphones, I had a pair of working drivers to use. Cut out circles of 2mm thin packing foam, put them in the tins, then the drivers, then some 1cm thick larger circles of black foam. There we go!
Here I am wearing them. If you have nothing nice to say about my hair, I don't want to read it!
Step 4: The Matching Piece...
Here is what I was trying to accomplish with the whole jackhammer phones in the first place: to have listening devices that worked well with my steel-encased Creative Zen, which I will document on a later entry. Here is a breif glance at what I speak of.
UPDATE: finally found out what that threaded piece on the end of the hose is: 1/2 compression fitting, it's called that because of the rubber gasket inside that is compressed with installation. Found some brass stuff that fits it, screwed them together. Think I'll make a hangar for the end of the wire when it's not plugged into anything.
Oh yeah, also encased the 3.5mm jack in some doodad, a wierd chromed data plug housing, looks armored now. Could bash my way out of a car window in an emergancy. No, that's my Zen's job. Much heavier and with corners.
Step 5: Added Accents
Forever the tinkerer as I am, I found the edges of the tins were less than comfy against my skull. Among the junk in my garage I found some channel-shaped rubber bumpers that were intended for transporting large, heavy, sharpedged steel plates. They have steel ribs moulded into them, and after cutting two to the circumference of the tins, they fit nicely. Cushy, and further funky looking.
I also found that the braided steel hose tended to grab my hair when I took these off... another of the nearly infinite uses for bicycle inner tube!
The jack was moulded plastic and kinda boring, so I rummaged through the box of "useful metal bits" and found the housing for some wierd data cable. The only problem is that it weighs as much as 6 or 8 US quarters, so I will have to find a way to keep track of it...
And I found a way: tucked a neodymium magnet under the innertube on one side, which holds the plug safely out of what I'm doing!
And there is the brass compression elbow and cap, with glass marble periscope lense. TA-DAAAAAA!