Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Homemade Headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Homemade Headphones?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if anyone has any pictures or stories about headphones that they made from scratch (or as close as you can come to scratch)?

I think it would be a fun project for anyone interested in getting into electricity and circuitry. I'm thinking about making a little pair myself.

I guess the best place / way to start would to just be to take a set of crappy computer speakers and take the speakers out of them and then house them in something else (I'm thinking washed out tuna cans for some cool sound) and making a snazzy headband for them.

Anyone ever do anything like this? Post pictures if you have!
post #2 of 24
If you want to use existing drivers then sure, check out the SFI projects in the Ortho thread, people make their own headphones there using an existing SFI driver.
Or if you wanna see one completely from scratch take a look at something like Setmenu's Ribbon headphone.
post #3 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ExplosiveDuck View Post
I guess the best place / way to start would to just be to take a set of crappy computer speakers and take the speakers out of them and then house them in something else (I'm thinking washed out tuna cans for some cool sound) and making a snazzy headband for them.
Do it. Then post pictures of you wearing the tuna cans, and some impressions of the sound.
post #4 of 24
Were I better with a soldering iron I'd totally try that. I'd probably go the route of parts made from laser-cut acrylic though, as I have some pretty good contacts that can do that sorta stuff.
post #5 of 24
I'm going to try Punnisher's K1000 style headphone this summer.

I'll use triport drivers or something else bassy if I'm lucky.
post #6 of 24
Making the transducers is the biggest challange from a pure technical perspective, but building a set using pre-existing ones can be fun and rewarding. I've made sets using dynamic and othodynamic drivers and I'm working on one using a Heil AMT at the minute.

What it's important to understand is that the transducer is only one part of how any end headphone sounds. Just because a headphone sounds bassy that doesn't mean that if you take the driver out of it and do something different with it that the end result will still be bassy. Housing, pads, damping, distances. They all matter a lot in the total scheme.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
What it's important to understand is that the transducer is only one part of how any end headphone sounds. Just because a headphone sounds bassy that doesn't mean that if you take the driver out of it and do something different with it that the end result will still be bassy. Housing, pads, damping, distances. They all matter a lot in the total scheme.
So Duggeh, you just need a driver making rig in your basement and we will be seeing some Duggeheisers soon huh .
post #8 of 24

The idea of making my own housings for Stax drivers was born out of my experience with the Lambda and the Sigma Pro. Whereas the Lambda sounded too shrill (with the SRM-1 [?]) -- and almost literally caused toothache --, the Sigma's sound was too boomy, diffuse, muddy and lacked midrange (with the SRM-T1). I wanted to strike a balance between both, conveying some of the Sigma's spatiality and bass fullness, but preserving the electrostatic virtues such as resolution, accuracy, detail and refinement -- which were mostly lost with the Sigma -- and at the same time reduce the Lambda's treble glare.

So I decided to go the middle course between the two designs, i.e. angling the drivers, but clearly less than the Sigma's ~80°: I chose 30°, out of my belly. The prototype consisted of a wire grid, lined with double-layer velour -- I wanted to try a non-reflective housing and hence accepted a just decent isolation against phase cancellation due to rear-/front-wave interaction. So I slaughtered my Sigma and implanted its drivers into the prototype. And I was disappointed about the weak bass and an over-all muddiness, apparently resulting from the inappropriate acoustic isolation of the housing.

Nevertheless, the sonic balance and particularly the soundstage were as I had hoped for. So I built some more stable housings made of «airplane (birch) plywood» -- the same wood I used for making my boomerangs. To prevent them from being overly reflective, I carefully lined them with pieces of carpet, wrapped in black velvet. Unfortunately removing the drivers from the prototypes was almost impossible, and both got torn apart! So I had to order a pair of Lambda drivers from the local distributor -- they are the same as the Sigma's, just with different soldering flaps.

Electrostat 1.JPG

This design was a full success. The larger air volume between driver and ear (compared to the Lambda's) provided a fuller, more impactful bass, and the angling made for the optimal compromise between spatiality/airiness and accuracy/refinement. The bass has exactly the right proportion to the rest of the spectrum, reaches farther down than all other headphones I've heard then, the midrange was beautiful, colorful and smooth, and the treble had all the clarity of the original Lambda, just a much ear-friendlier loudness level. And finally the soundstage... it was incredibly realistic.

A while later I decided to make a similar design around the Lambda Signature Pro drivers. I chose a narrower angle -- 22° -- just for the sake of variation.

Electrostat 2.JPG

This design fulfilled all my expectations, too. This «Electrostat 2» sounded even faster and had even more detail than «Electrostat 1», in fact it strongly reminded me of the Sennheiser Orpheus. (A few years later -- 2007 -- I had the opportunity to compare both extensively. There was definitely a similarity, but the HE 90 had still better detail and resolution. Nevertheless, in the end I preferred my own electrostats to it, and it wasn't even a close call. With the HE 90 I missed blackness, fullness and impact in the bass as well as some smoothness and liquidness in the treble. Over-all it sounded too dry and not lively enough to me. It was the first time the term «PRAT» seemed adequate to me, although I generally don't like it.)

In the meantime I have a pair of Lambda Nova drivers laying on a bookshelf since many months, waiting for some nice wooden housings. The Lambda Nova I now own since about a year makes me think it actually wasn't the worst decision to be lazy.
.


Edited by JaZZ - 5/15/10 at 11:14am
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kabeer View Post
So Duggeh, you just need a driver making rig in your basement and we will be seeing some Duggeheisers soon huh .
I haven't had time to do the legwork yet, but once I source a suitable kind of soft mylar I'll try building an AMT from scratch. Magnets are easy to get ahold of but ones in the exact size I'd want don't seem to be an off-the-shelf part so I might have to use arrays of smaller ones. It'll be easier than a moving coil build mechanically and easier than an electrostat in terms of practicality and safety. The biggest difficulty I forsee in terms of construction will be working out the best way to get the aluminium and plastic to bond stably without compromising the flexibility of the pleats.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Duggeh View Post
The biggest difficulty I forsee in terms of construction will be working out the best way to get the aluminium and plastic to bond stably without compromising the flexibility of the pleats.
Not to speak of bringing the mylar foil into the right (sinuous) shape. Personally I consider the AMT as the hardest exercise of all driver principles.
.
post #11 of 24
When I was a kid, I built a pair using AM radio speakers. The sound totally sucked, but it was a fun project!
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by JaZZ View Post
Not to speak of bringing the mylar foil into the right (sinuous) shape. Personally I consider the AMT as the hardest exercise of all driver principles.
.
I shall relish the challange
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Yeah - You guys are undertaking projects that are infinitely beyond my capacity / willing-ness right now. I'm still just learning and getting the hang of electricity, trying to get my hand on a couple of books about it to learn more.

I think I'm going to go the route of disassembling computer speakers and the tuna cans, then throw some foam on / in them, and see what happens.

Curiously - Is there anything basic I can do to keep them from being super loud and speaker-level (in terms of the volume)? Obviously they'd be able to be driven high enough to really damage anyones ears who isn't careful, because they're meant to fill a room with sound, not just an ear canal.

Should I just watch it with the volume knob and be careful? Is there some sort of makeshift limiter I can use to help this?

Thanks!
post #14 of 24
i made my own speaker. Was really easy to make, but wrapping the wire took forever. When I used my multimeter to measure the ohms, it was around 500ohms. It sounds really good, a little on the bassy side though. Also i have to use my onkyo to drive it. The fiio E5, is not enough. lol

here are some pictures of my old voice coils:


(the tape is used to hold all the wire in place..)
post #15 of 24
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Homemade Headphones?