Building headphones?
Feb 11, 2006 at 12:32 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4


500+ Head-Fier
Aug 8, 2005
Los Angeles, CA
How would one go about making homemade headphones? I'm interested in doing this for an engineering project, and I'm curious as to what materials I would need.
My idea would be to take KSC-75 drivers and make miniature grado-esque woodies. Any ideas?
Feb 11, 2006 at 3:08 AM Post #2 of 4


Strongly opposes a DBT-free chair forum.
Nov 26, 2001
Have you had much experience making 'stuff'?
Besides materials the real key is tools or access to them.
Sounds like you will need access to lathes etc.
Miniature Grados sound fun.

Go for it!

Feb 11, 2006 at 4:07 AM Post #3 of 4


100+ Head-Fier
Feb 5, 2002
Definitely give it a try. My experience with wood is that it makes a noticeable difference to the sound. For better or worse, the coloration adds flavor depending on type of wood.

A scroll saw is useful for ellipses… drill press for round housings. A router might be too clumsy for smaller shapes, but could allow one-piece closed cans.

PS. Let us know if you come up with a good headband design.
Feb 11, 2006 at 4:44 AM Post #4 of 4


Headphoneus Supremus
Sep 20, 2004
off the top of my head...

drillpress- various bits, circle hole cutters, rasp bits. Titanium nitride wherever possible.
center punch- a MUST when dole locations are critical.
dremel- assorted cutoff wheels, gringing barrels and stuff
RC car parts catalogue- no joke, a lot of the little parts on RC cars and airplanes can easily be modified for headphones.
Hand files & rasps
Various grades of wet / dry abrasive paper.
Automotive wax and polishes, again of farying grades.
Delrin- GREAT stuff, easy on tooling, both hard and strong at the same time.
Leather- glove leather for headband cushions
Canare star-quad
25 watt soldering iron, flux, solder, wet sponge, heat shrink
hot melt glue (especially for Grados)
X-acto knives
wire stripper
various pliars, screwdrivers, hammer

Wood types:
Basswood / poplar- SOFT, pliable, very easy to tool/machine. Poor strength. Screws can rip through the stuff because its so soft, so don't over-torque your screws. Poplar is ugly IMHO, Ive seen some slabs of poplar with gray streaks and green colors embedded within. Knocking on them produces a thud-like warm sound.

Alder- Similar properties as basswood but maybe a little harder. Seems to hold screw threads better when torque is applied. Knocking on it produces a sharper, higher pitch /ring than either basswood or poplar.

Mahogany- THE Grado timber. Hard, Strong wood fibers / grains. Eats up tooling, mind your feeds/speeds or you'll dull your cuting blades. Cut with the grain whenever possible. Soaks up stain better than most hardwoods. Knocking produces a Ringing like tone, more sustain than any of the woods mentioned above. Gibson les paul bodies/necks are made of this timber for its asthetic qualities and acoustic properties.

Bloodwood- HARD!!! Doesn't seem to have the gtrain fibers that mahogony has, but its much denser than mahogany. Use caution with feeds/speeds. Knocking on it makes a mahogany-like ring, but it lacks the sustain.

Rosewood- Similar to blodwood, maybe a little more porous, and tad less dense. Use caution with feeds / speeds. Sam acoustic properties as bloodwood.

Maple- Strong as heck, easy to sand, but can be tough on tooling. Wood grains are not as pronounced as other hardwoods. Doesn't soak up stains very well. Stuff is used for guitar necks and Louisville slugger bats. Fairly dense/strong. If you spend the $$$ you can get stunning qulted and flamed cuts of timber that seem to "catch fire" under lights.

I apologize in advance for any spelling errors.... Im just typing whats in my head...


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