Super Effective Sound Isolating Earbuds




Introduction: Super Effective Sound Isolating Earbuds

About: I like turning boring things into awesome things! Usually on video.

I work a lot with very loud equipment, and have done so for many years. As such I've spent a lot of time trying to come up with solutions for how to best block out ambient noise while also listening to music/audiobooks. This is especially tricky because the noise isolation must be effective enough to not only allow played audio to be heard over ambient noise, but to be heard at a safe volume to avoid hearing damage.

There have been plenty of tutorials for how to make sound damping earbuds that have spread around the internet, but most are inherently flawed. With the method presented in the above video I demonstrate how to cover all acoustic weaknesses in inexpensive earbuds to make their noise isolation just as effective as solid ear plugs.

Items used for this project:

  • Inexpensive Sony Earbuds
  • 3M Peltor Tri-Flange Ear Plugs
  • Clear RTV Silicone

Out of all my projects I've used this one most often. I put these plugs in at least once per week to mow my lawn every summer, and even more often when working on my many other loud hobbies. If you give this a try leave me some feedback in the comments below!

Instructables sometimes doesn't display embedded videos properly on mobile devices, so if you don't see the video above here is a direct link:



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    44 Discussions

    Those look like they would work well, I didn't know they existed. You do cover the air vent with the silicone (if they are vented earbuds) but the internal air volume is great enough for the tiny speaker to not require venting. Covering the vent doesn't make a difference in the audio quality that I can hear.

    Ah. And I guess I could just drill a small hole where the vent is if I really wanted to... But yea, I guess it doesn't matter too much as it is a very small coil and diaphragm...

    Thank you for this Instructable! I'm of the same mindset as aje 127, can't wait to give this a try. Why people have to be such negative ninnys in the comments section I have no idea. No need for the rude attitudes people!

    omg. Thank you so much. This is brilliant. I listen nonstop to audio books when I'm out working in the yard (riding lawnmower) this is perfect. Thanks

    2 replies

    Heh-heh-heh. Me too! It's great. I'm currently listening to the entire Star Wars BBC dramatization in honor of Star Wars Day, May 4th. I'm not using power tools so noise isn't the issue. It's more that the ear cups slide out easily when I bend down or twist around. These earplugs look like they are in there to stay.


    2 years ago

    That's a useful article, but I prefer good quality sound isolating earbuds rather than cheap ones. Have actually tried Shure SE846 and am pretty happy with their quality - didn't know much about shure though (and thought that sony or panasonic produce better headphones!) but read good things about them on , innerfidelity and

    Calm or not you've been rather condescending in all of your comments. You told me 'down boy' as if I were a dog further down. Please be aware of how your phrasing can be percieved.

    Condescending? I was just CALMLY stating the facts. Again, you take offense where none was intended. You were overreacting and making accusations of 'passive aggressive accusations'. I think 'down boy' is very mild by comparison. You are being hyper-sensitive I think.

    No one knows your a dog on the internet. also, it can be very difficult to determine someones tone when reading their comments. For instance, putting 'calmly' in all caps suggests that you are in fact, not calm. This is why NightHawkInLight asked you to be aware of how your phrasing can be perceived as condescending or angry.

    Watch out, I might be a werewolf…

    All upper case for ONE word is usually for emphasis, like italics.

    I was never angry. I think the OP was angry as a result of a misunderstanding. I think he's over it and so should you be since it didn't involve you in the first place.

    Will this improve (at least a bit) the quality of the sound? I mean like when you press the earbuds in to your ear it's start to sound better. Will this be the case?

    Never would have thought of coating the earphones themselves in silicone. Nice and to-the-point 'ible. If you wanna improve, make your info available for us that prefer non-video comms ;)

    It's explained in the video. Instructables sometimes doesn't display videos properly on mobile. I'll add a direct link in the text.

    My primary audience is on YouTube and that's where the revenue is generated to support my projects. Unless Instructables creates a program where they share some of the advertising income they earn through the people that post on this site, YouTube will always be the primary host for my tutorial content.

    I have no problem with your using Instructables to drive traffic to your YouTube video, but that doesn't relieve you of the responsibility of creating a good, complete Instructable! This isn't a binary thing - anyone who takes the pains to produce a video that you say you do already has 80% of what's needed to create a quality Instructable.