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Buying drivers/micro speakers for DIY headphones

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 

Hey All,


Long time lurker, first time poster.


I am in the process of designing a headset for which I will be 3D printing a majority of the components.


The major exception being the drivers. I've been having a heck of a time finding a place to buy them from. I've read through the other forum posts on this topic, and for the most part it looks like people have been resorting to buying off of ebay, or cannibalizing a built set of cans just for the components.


Searches using the term 'drivers' or 'headphone drivers' yeilded pretty minimal results, but the term 'micro speakers' has led me to better shopping results.


Most intriguingly I found a component supplier called Jameco Electronics. They have a section (Electromechanical > Electromechanical / Audio Components / Speakers) with a few speakers that look like they might fit the bill.


In particular a few caught my eye:






The site has a very specific parametric search function, so I can narrow down the ideal speaker by many factors such as Nominal Input Power, Frequency Range, Overall Dimensions, etc.


Anyone have any thoughts, or advice about the offerings of Jameco? Am I barking up the wrong tree here?


Also what is the ideal Nominal Input Power? Frequency Range? Impedance?



Edited by paranormative - 11/3/13 at 10:58pm
post #2 of 48
I have thought about doing this exact thing, and have built my own earspeakers in the past. There are some obstacles for a diy headphone, and they're mostly about driver availability.

Ideally you want to have the widest frequency response possible, from 20Hz to 20kHz. Though you never know how they are measuring this range. In a headphone, the response could be better than rated. Or, it could be exactly as rated if it's a physical limitation of the driver.

Personally, I would order replacement drivers from a major manufacturer or buy a relatively cheap headphone as a donor.

Drivers are available from Sennheiser, AKG, Beyerdynamic Audio Technica, Sony and many others I'm sure. A set of Beyer 250ohm drivers will set you back around $120 iirc. On average, AKG is a bit more and AT is a bit less. I would call and price different drivers from different products since prices are different for each driver.

You could buy a Fostex t50rp and use those planar magnetic drivers as well. Local to me is the Audio Technica warehouse sale where good headphones go on sale for about 80% off. That would be a great place to find a donor.
Edited by Punnisher - 11/6/13 at 9:11am
post #3 of 48

Given the frequency response, those look like they could be speakers for a portable device like a laptop or something. But I am just guessing. 

post #4 of 48

If you were to put in all the work of printing the cups and parts I sure wouldn't want to put in $1 drivers that probably sound like poop.  Are you planning on having them open or closed? I would try to get drivers from X headphones and match the internal volume/baffles of X headphones as much as possible.  

post #5 of 48

I would try to find a deal on a used pair of quality headphones, like something with cosmetic damage on the exterior. 

post #6 of 48
Thread Starter 

Ok so it seems like the speakers I was looking at earlier maybe won't fit the bill.


One last speaker from Jameco looks like it might be headphone appropriate:




and the data sheet:




Any thoughts on that one? I know they are also super cheap, but I might order some just to experiment with.


It would be nice to walk away from this thread with a wish-list of the ideal features for a headphone appropriate speaker.


As Punisher mentioned before the ideal response range is 20Hz to 20kHz.


So let's fill in the blanks.


Ideal Headphone Speaker Specs

Response Range: 20Hz - 20,000 Hz


Nominal Impedance:

Nominal Input Power:

Ideal Diameter: 40mm


I should mention I would ideally like to make these headphones supra-aural, closed-back. Although I have variations of my component designs to accommodate open-back, and circumaural.


P.S. I know buying drivers intended for an existing model of headphones would be ideal, but for the purposes of this discussion it's not what I am looking for. I want to find an alternative to buying from a headphone manufacturer.

Edited by paranormative - 11/6/13 at 9:38am
post #7 of 48

You can also have a look on the 40mm driver available on Lunashops :





post #8 of 48
Thread Starter 
Hmm those lunashops drivers are very intrguing. I wish there was a little more in the way of tech specs on the store page.

At least it is a bulk source for drivers.

If the prototype goes well, I want to kickstart the idea. That is why replacement driver channels won't be sufficient for my purposes. I need all the components to be available in bulk.
post #9 of 48
If you find a suitable driver, be sure to report back. It would prove useful to some who want to do a custom project or just replace drivers in an older headphone.
post #10 of 48

Have you checked out Ali Express?



post #11 of 48

This site has some good beyerdynamic spares. Pretty expensive though.

I am looking for some drivers too, so if you find any please post




More sites

Bulk supplier: 

- http://en.szhonson.com/products_list.html 

- Kobitone


Some nice other suppliers:



Edited by pwodarz - 11/18/13 at 4:57pm
post #12 of 48

Personally I think I am going to use CUI. And that's just for a one off headphone.

But they have enough stock that can be readily bought from digikey to suit your needs if you plan on manufacturing small (1,000-) quantities

post #13 of 48

I bought the first pair, the $15 ones. they sound great. I had to tape off the back hole on the magnets to cut the bass down. Installed in Koss PRO4aaa's


post #14 of 48
Originally Posted by ilikepie116 View Post

I bought the first pair, the $15 ones. they sound great. I had to tape off the back hole on the magnets to cut the bass down. Installed in Koss PRO4aaa's



Which ones? Link?

post #15 of 48

They look really good (minus the hot glue lol.)  Vintage equipment has always fascinated me,  they look sturdy as german maestros too.

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