Study-Buddies: Noise-Canceling Headphones (from Earplugs and the In-Ear Headphones You Already Own)

Introduction: Study-Buddies: Noise-Canceling Headphones (from Earplugs and the In-Ear Headphones You Already Own)

I came across this idea and thought "WOW! This would be GREAT for studying! They'll be like my little Study-Buddies! Yeah!"

However, the directions I found were either lacking (yeah, thanks Pinterest…) or they required use of a soldering gun. Well, I don't own a soldering gun- but I wasn't about to let that stop me from achieving my dream! So, I came up with my own "poor-[wo]man’s" way of making this idea work without a soldering gun. In fact, I made these using things I just had lying around the house- plus I didn't need to invest in a fire extinguisher (but really, I probably should... just not for this project. Perhaps an investment for a later date.)

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Things You Will Most Definitely Need

Ear Plugs
In-Ear Headphones
Something sharply pointed (like a thumb-tack)

Step 2: Take It Off! (Remove the Stock Bud Covers.)

Gently pull your stock covers off of the nozzle and put them in a safe place (in case you ever want to use them again)

Step 3: Cut Those Ear Plugs!

Cut approximately the bottom half of the ear plugs off. You can always cut off some more (mmm... s'mores) later if you so choose.

The first picture in the very last step of this Instructable shows a comparison between cutting off half and cutting off slightly more than half. I prefer the smaller buds, but it's a matter of comfort and personal preference.

Step 4: Pick Away!

Using your pointy sharp object, begin to pick a hole in the bottom (flat side) of your freshly-cut ear plug. The tack will begin to tear a hole through the plug. Try to dig out as much foam out of the hole as you can. Great job!

Eventually, you should be able to gently stretch it out to look like a doughnut.

Step 5: Flip It and Keep Picking!

Flip the ear plug over and repeat the previous step, picking out a hole in the center of the plug.
Perfect! You're doing great!

Step 6: Check Out That Hole! Nice!

  • Stab your tack through the bottom hole and poke it all the way through to the top. Please don't stab your fingers...
  • Flip it over and stab your tack though the top hole, poking it all the way to the bottom. Again, we aren't trying to test anyone's blood-sugar here... keep your fingers to the sides, please.
  • If you find any stubborn areas, use your tack to gently open up the hole.
  • Keep going until you're happy with it... keep in mind, though: more foam means more noise-cancellation...

Step 7: Wiggle That Ear Plug Onto Its New Home!

This part is tricky and kind of frustrating; but this is what all of your hard work has been leading up to, so don't give up now! It may take you a couple of tries to get things into place for the first time.

  • With your plug still on the tack, place the plug at a slight angle to the headphone nozzle. DO NOT STAB YOUR TACK INTO THE NOZZLE OF THE HEADPHONES. It is meant only as a guide to help you spin your earplugs into place. Image 3 shows the placement that your tack should be in during this step... keep pointy things on the outside of your nozzle.
  • Use your index finger to hold the lowest portion of the earplug in place. You'll need to use quite a bit of pressure.
  • Use the tack to stretch out the earplug while simultaneously guiding the tack around the outside portion of the nozzle. You may also need to use your fingers and pull down the bottom edges to ensure it is snugly fit.
    • Again, this is tricky... but it tucks everything into place so that 1) you get the best seal (noise out, lecture/music in) and 2) you don't end up with a little bitty earplug stuck in your ear...
  • Once you have your new plug in place, pull the tack out and let the foam re-expand so you can check to see if your hole needs any additional adjustments.
  • For good measure, you can use your tack and guide it around the outer-most portion of your nozzle again (I'm just a little OCD)

Step 8: ENJOY!!

You did it! Awesome work!!! Now you can enjoy hours of uninterrupted studying!!

Again, the first image here shows a comparison between cutting off half (bud on the left) and cutting off slightly more than half (bud on the right)

Thanks for checking this out!! :D

Gadget Hacking and Accessories Contest

Participated in the
Gadget Hacking and Accessories Contest

Be the First to Share


    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Silly Hats Speed Challenge

      Silly Hats Speed Challenge
    • Finish It Already Speed Challenge

      Finish It Already Speed Challenge

    2 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    You're probably going to get some snarky engineer going off on how these aren't really 'noise-cancelling'....just ignore them. This is a great idea!


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much! If this helps at least one other person be more productive, it's worth all of the snarky comments that could come my way :)