Make Your Own Noise Blocking Headphones

Here’s an easy and cheap way to make your own noise blocking headphones. All you need is a pair of ear-protection earmuffs ($15.50), a cutting tool, and airline/walkman style headphones.

Simply snip the plastic headband and place the headphones inside the earmuffs and you’re done.

Kinda the reverse of our beloved Etymoics.

A great way, albeit slightly funny looking, way to listen to music and block outside noise without dropping the dollars for those fancy Bose noise-cancelers. — BEN POPKEN

Jackhammer Headphones [Instructables]


Edit Your Comment

  1. kenposan says:

    Or you could skip the cutting part and just get ear buds. That’s what I did.

  2. orchid777 says:

    That’s a great idea. Dont’ think I’d wear them in public, though. (Big is the new small?)

  3. GSauce says:

    You can also just get your typical ear-protection earphones and, if they are a tight enough fit, use them over the earbuds. No cutting necessary. I do this when doing yardwork (mowing, trimming, etc.) and it not only allows me to listen at a decent level, the tight earphones keep the earbuds in place.

  4. HearsMusic says:

    They would work great for a NASCAR race.

  5. Vinny says:

    The Bose aren’t noise-blocking, they’re noise-cancelling. There’s a difference.

    Noise blocking seals off the ear from outside noise. Noise-cancelling employs a microphone in the headset (and are usually powered by a battery) that generates white noise at a cancelling frequency that “absorbs” the ambient noise around you.

  6. notallcompaniesarebad says:

    Save the $15 or so, add another $30 and get some moderately priced earbuds. If you really want quality (as opposed to this monstrosity), buy some Shures or Etymonics.

    This post gets the gist of the argument right: the muffling qualities of high-priced earphones are pretty easy to implement. What you pay for, however, is the top notch speaker components.

  7. DeeJayQueue says:

    Vic Firth makes these on purpose. They’re built like ear protection phones but have speakers built in. They block out just the right amount of noise to be able to play drums with any musical accompaniment. $49.95 and they sound pretty darn good.

  8. DeeJayQueue says:

    Oh, and actually vinny, what noise cancellation does is takes the sound picked up by the microphone and inverts its phase so it cancels itself out, there’s no white noise involved.

  9. Trackback says:

    True noise-cancelling headphones are clever toys: they have a microphone listenining to ambient noise, which is immediately neutralized by playing the inverted waveform through the speakers. 5 + -5 = 0.

  10. John Stracke says:

    When you can get a (low-end) pair of noise cancelling headphones for $30, this DIY won’t save you much at all.

  11. humphrmi says:

    Well he did say “Noise Blocking”, not “Noise Cancelling” but hey, that’s an awful slim argument. Bait and Switch! False Advertsing! I’m going to go post this obvious scam on Consumer… wait, nevermind. :)

  12. machfive says:

    I’ve done this before with some Sony headphones where the headband had snapped. I did this because I am a drummer, and this method allows you to actually hear the music over the drumset so you can play along easily. This method doesn’t work well with earbuds as it’s sometimes hard to keep them in your ears when putting on the headset, plus the bigger cone in the headphones (as opposed to the buds) can get louder. I used a dremel tool to make a hole for the headphone speakers and spliced on an extra long cable. Worked really well until the left channel broke down (not because of the wiring).

  13. FishingCrue says:

    Audio on the cheap is kind of a contradictory statement. I’ve got Shure EC3’s with custom impressions and when on a plane they’re worth every penny. I guess the lesson is, you get what you pay for (but don’t pay retail for Shure/Etymotic as they can be had online for substantial a discount)

  14. esquilax says:

    Please don’t plug Bose. They’re a crappy company that sells a lot of sub-standard products at inflated prices, their marketing techniques prevent consumers from making accurate comparisons with other products, and they sued Consumer Reports for testing their products and publishing the results.

  15. valkin says:

    Ewwww, those are ugly!

  16. categorically says:

    This appears to be strait out of the Northwest Airlines 101 ways to save money.

  17. getjustin says:

    And you’ll look so cool!

    /vomits in mouth

  18. shdwsclan says:

    HUGE headphones and Noise Cancelling headphones are both noise blocking, obvoisly, they both attempt to block out noise. Its just that the Noise Cancelling ones do it actively and the inert ones do it passively. The noise cancelling headphones do come in the cover-ear variety too..

  19. formergr says:

    Huh, I tested several kinds of noise-cancelling headphones before I got my Bose QC3s, and personally I love them– they really sounded best to me and it’s great to be on a plane and not hear that damned humming all the time.

    And though I haven’t had to test it, their warranty is supposed to be phenomenal. Even after you’ve exceeded the one year mark, you can supposedly just walk into any Bose store, show them your problem, and they’ll swap you a new pair.

  20. youngatheart says:

    I don’t think I would wear them on the NYC Subways unless I want to feel like a clown and have everyone laughing at me.
    Thanks anyway .

  21. roche says:

    Save a few bucks and look like a tool at the same time!

  22. b612markt says:

    @formergr – I had a pair of QC1s and the headband frayed just after the warranty expired. Bose sent me another headband at no cost overnight. I had a pair of QC2’s (mk1 – “Champagne” color) that died out of warranty, and Bose allowed me to get a brand new pair of QC2’s (mk2 – “Silver” color) for just $100. I’ve never been so thrilled with a company’s service.

    I won’t speak of the quality of sound (as that’s subjective) but I’ll simply say that their customer support is absolutely top-notch.

  23. krunk4ever says:

    @Vinny: exactly what i wanted to say. noise blocking headphones are rather cheap. it’s noise cancelling headphones which cost an arm and a leg.

    //krunk (^_^x)

  24. PaperBoy says:

    Um… hate to be the old guy here, but this is what headphone USED to look like in the ’70s. They were great. Your ears got hot, but the sound was terrific. Then came the Walkman and, what with people WALKING with the damn things on, small headphones so that you could hear the honking before the bus flattened your butt.

    Now I want everyone to get make up a pair of these cans so that I don’t have to listen to your iPod “leakage” when I’m trying to read!

  25. rg says:

    I don’t think i’d wear those outside the trailor park.

  26. AcidReign says:

    …..I’ll have to add that I’ve tried the Bose “noise cancelling” headphones. They seem to add an awful, chirping/hiss sound to all of your music. It’s very 8-track/cassette-1970s. Or it sounds like the 1980s New Age music, where all those wondrous 12-bit synths were masked with chirping crickets. No thanks!