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DIY Headphones and Driver Options. Any Suggestions?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

I'm experimenting with building some headphones from scratch and would love some input on picking some appropriate full range drivers/speakers. I've been combing through the parts-express website and there are quite a few nice looking full range speaker options in that measure 2 - 3.5 inch.

 

Not really sure the appropriate ohms and wattage to look for confused.gif

 

I know most of these aren't designed specifically for headphones but  do you think any of these would work in a set of oversize (Hifiman size cups)?

 

Some I was looking at -

 

HiWave BMR5 Compact 2" Full-Range Square Speaker 5W 8 Ohm

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=297-212

 

HiWave BMR12 Compact 2" Full-Range Square Speaker 12W 8 Ohm

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=299-208

 

Replacement Speaker Driver for Bose 901 4-1/2" 1 Ohm

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=290-922

 

I know you can contact sennheiser direct and by drivers or canabolize cheaper headphones but that is more then I want to spend. and I'm already working on some modded t50rp...

 

Any help, thoughts or links would be much appreciated. thanks!

 

Jacob

post #2 of 24

Hello Jacob,

 

I am literally right in the middle of making my own DIY headphones. I just came up stairs to take a dinner break.

 

I can tell you that none of those speakers will work the way you want them to, and bare headphone drivers are few and far between. However, there are a couple options, and one way in particular I know works for sure. Audio Technica sells the bare drivers to their headphones except for the higher end stuff (I personally was able to buy the ath-ad900x drivers after calling up their office in ohio for about 60 bucks for a pair), and grado might sell their as well (though I have never personally checked). 

 

Once you decide on a company, let me know. I am trying to make a tutorial on how to build DIY headphones, so hopefully I will have pics and other info. 

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Ahh. Thanks for the reply Angel. So I'm still confused the difference between these small full range speakers and headphone drivers. Is it that  the speakers are harder to drive? or do they just not work within the cups? is it a frequency thing? I also see that the the speakers are usually like eight ohms were headphone seems to be anywear from 30 - 600 ohms.

 

I think I might go the Audio Technica route but was hoping to use speakers that were a little more unusual

 

Maybe some other people can chime in too if they have some experiance building DIY headphones it's sure a fun project there just doesn't seem to be that much info on headphone drivers.
 

post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobgolden View Post

Ahh. Thanks for the reply Angel. So I'm still confused the difference between these small full range speakers and headphone drivers. Is it that  the speakers are harder to drive? or do they just not work within the cups? is it a frequency thing? I also see that the the speakers are usually like eight ohms were headphone seems to be anywear from 30 - 600 ohms.

 

I think I might go the Audio Technica route but was hoping to use speakers that were a little more unusual

 

Maybe some other people can chime in too if they have some experiance building DIY headphones it's sure a fun project there just doesn't seem to be that much info on headphone drivers.
 

 

From what I understand, normal speakers won't work because they still need crossover components where as headphone drivers don't. Headphones drivers are also specifically designed to be right next to your ear. Full blown speakers are going to move too much air, and after about an hour of listening your ears will probably bleed regardless of the volume. 

 

Mind you that these are things that I have gathered. I could be wrong. But one thing I do know for certain is that you need headphone drivers for headphones. That much I have already asked about and have gotten the same answer.

 

Honestly, if you want to go with something more unique, I suggest you look at the DIY electrostatic headphone thread. They are much more difficult to produce but have much greater reward than basic dynamic headphones (if you didn't know, dynamic is the type of headphones you will be making). Since that is the case, I say you stick to dynamic headphones for now, get some experience, and then tackle the bigger stuff like the electrostatic headphones. 

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 
Interesting. Although with the full-range speakers I know you don't need a cross over. Maybe like you said it has to do with air pressure. I'm gonna have to use myself as a test subject with this one : o

The DIY electrostat phones look great but very technical. Guess ill stick with dynamics for now. I did see that some people were sourcing out ortho drivers but those are proving hard to track down. I've got a couple fostex t50rp's I'm working on but it would be great to have more of a selection when it comes to drivers.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobgolden View Post

Interesting. Although with the full-range speakers I know you don't need a cross over. Maybe like you said it has to do with air pressure. I'm gonna have to use myself as a test subject with this one : o
The DIY electrostat phones look great but very technical. Guess ill stick with dynamics for now. I did see that some people were sourcing out ortho drivers but those are proving hard to track down. I've got a couple fostex t50rp's I'm working on but it would be great to have more of a selection when it comes to drivers.

 

 

You know,if you want to go with speakers for the hell of it, then not too long ago I saw 2 inch speaker cabinets through either amazon or parts express. They were small enough where you could get away with having them on your head. 

 

It would be nice too because that means you could just have to assemble the box, stick a wire coat hanger in both of them, glue some headband foam on the top and you are ready to go. 

post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hah. Love the coat hanger headband! I'm gonna do some experimenting and if I don't die in the process ill report back!
post #8 of 24

Wondering this myself since i ran out of ortho drivers i could use, do you reckon some ribbon tweeters the likes of this would to the job?
I'm looking for a smooth and extremely fast midrange response.

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

Those look cool but the frequency response is 6000 - 25000 HZ which is only the very high plus air frequencys which is great for for a tweeter but wouldn't work in headphones. That's why I was looking at 'full frequency' drivers/speakers like these -

 

HiWave BMR5 Compact 2" Full-Range Square Speaker 5W 8 Ohm

Frequency response : 150 to 16,000 Hz

 

"...the wide frequency response means BMR drivers can also deliver cost savings to engineers, since no crossover components or frequency-specific drivers are required. The BMR5 2" drive unit has an extended frequency response with wide directivity and is ideally suited to compact full-range applications that require a high performance acoustic solution"

 

It would be great to find a ribbon driver like this though....


 

post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobgolden View Post

Those look cool but the frequency response is 6000 - 25000 HZ which is only the very high plus air frequencys which is great for for a tweeter but wouldn't work in headphones. That's why I was looking at 'full frequency' drivers/speakers like these -

 

HiWave BMR5 Compact 2" Full-Range Square Speaker 5W 8 Ohm

Frequency response : 150 to 16,000 Hz

 

"...the wide frequency response means BMR drivers can also deliver cost savings to engineers, since no crossover components or frequency-specific drivers are required. The BMR5 2" drive unit has an extended frequency response with wide directivity and is ideally suited to compact full-range applications that require a high performance acoustic solution"

 

It would be great to find a ribbon driver like this though....


 

i bought a set to try it out. Bass response gets livelier the closer your ear gets to the source. Plus if it sounds anything like an ortho with modern materials it'll have been worth it.

post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keller1 View Post

i bought a set to try it out. Bass response gets livelier the closer your ear gets to the source. Plus if it sounds anything like an ortho with modern materials it'll have been worth it.

 



Did you git the ribbon tweeter? Let us know how it sounds.

post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobgolden View Post

 



Did you git the ribbon tweeter? Let us know how it sounds.

Yes, I meant the ribbon tweeter.

post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 

So after much scouring of the interwebs I found this magical page - http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/audio-products/speakers/720966

 

Lot's of  really interesting headphone driver options for cheap. Now I'm excited to do some building!

post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobgolden View Post

So after much scouring of the interwebs I found this magical page - http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/audio-products/speakers/720966

 

Lot's of  really interesting headphone driver options for cheap. Now I'm excited to do some building!

http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=194966

 

I am not done yet, but if you read post number 9 it shows a basic idea on how I constructed mine. I would honestly stick to ordering from audio technica. Everything that is a magnetic full range speaker is something that they don't even carry themselves. Everything else is complete crap unless you really think you can make a balanced based set of headphones. 

post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks for posting the link to your build process please keep us updated with how they are turning out.

 

I was having some really good results recupping a a second hand Grado Prestige Series SR-60i  last night- doing a sort of thunderpants treatment that seems to be working well.

 

So do most all the flagships make their own Drivers? Most headphones read - 50mm Titanium coated driver....The $15 Koss KSC75

has this same driver too.... I think I'm gonna order a pair of those for experimenting with....

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