Super Effective Sound Isolating Earbuds

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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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOD7ulQEh-U

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    40 Discussions

    0
    NightHawkInLight
    NightHawkInLight

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    RocketPenguin
    RocketPenguin

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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...

    0
    ShakaKahn
    ShakaKahn

    5 years ago

    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!

    0
    aje127
    aje127

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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

    0
    Laral
    Laral

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    J_M1
    J_M1

    4 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 whathifi.com , innerfidelity and headphonescompared.com

    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?

    0
    SimoMies
    SimoMies

    5 years ago on Introduction

    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 ;)

    0
    einnor12
    einnor12

    5 years ago

    How can we do it?

    0
    NightHawkInLight
    NightHawkInLight

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

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

    0
    toekneebullard
    toekneebullard

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    It would be nice if you fleshed out the instrucatable fully so people don't have to depend on streaming YouTube.

    0
    NightHawkInLight
    NightHawkInLight

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    Battlespeed
    Battlespeed

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    0
    Laral
    Laral

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You could add annotations or subtitles to existing videos right from within Youtube but the tools are really clunky and make timing very difficult.

    0
    shazni
    shazni

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    You could take screen shots and write what you say :-)

    0
    toekneebullard
    toekneebullard

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    That's understandable. However, I think if you want to participate in a community, you should tailor your content to that community.

    0
    Laral
    Laral

    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I see. Just for the record, I see no ads on either site. Either because I use AdBlock Plus or because I have a PRO membership here. I'm not sure which.