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Old 14th September 2005, 06:46 PM   #1
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Default DIY Headphone

I searched around for this and didn't find much so please correct me if I've glared over something.

Is there such a thing as a DIY headphone? I've seen 1-2 designs for electrostatic headphones, but is there any dynamic designs or anything electrostatic I'm missing?
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Old 14th September 2005, 07:10 PM   #2
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I have heard of people using the Aurasound drivers in headphones, the NSW1-205-8A 1" and NSW2-326-8A 2." I'd like to try that sometime with some industrial ear-muffs or something. I don't know if open-back or sealed would be better though.
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Old 14th September 2005, 10:42 PM   #3
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I wonder if I could call up Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic and just order some replacement drivers because I have a "blown" pair I got off ebay?
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Old 15th September 2005, 02:45 AM   #4
dnsey is offline dnsey  United Kingdom
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Sennheiser replacement parts are very expensive - probably not worth bothering. Check your 'blown' cans' leads for continuity - they often fail due to flexing, pulling etc.
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Old 10th January 2006, 05:14 AM   #5
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i'm going to try various 2" and 3" loudspeaker drivers to make some hi-fi DIY headphones and compare them with high-end headphones like AKG701, Sony SA5000, Shure E4's, and Etymotics. I've heard a lot of them so I have good foundation for comparison. I don't know very much about DIY headphones since it's hard to find information, but would like to find out! I expect to have to build some kind of equilization circuit, and I expect the completed headphone to be larger and heavier than commercial headphones. I might have to use speaker amps like a Tripath, I don't know.

Focus will be on sound quality above all else. Anyway, is there an inherent disadvantage as to using speaker drivers in headphones? I find that most of the commercial headphones "suck" when compared to hi-end speakers, even the expensive ones can't match my DIY speakers when it comes to accurate reproduction. I want to see just what headphones are capable of, maybe I have to try many new ideas but I'll find something!

So any tips or advice for me? My thoughts is that I should try the hi-vi 3" and then the aura 2" and 3"
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Old 10th January 2006, 07:37 AM   #6
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Uhh you are going to loose in comfort catagory..... You know you have to be able to wear headphones....

Also those speakers, at least from what I remmeber, would be crap. I do not say crap because of their ability to produce sound, but their sensitivty is way to low for a driver of that size, to function in such a near field operation. They will get loud way to fast once you start cranking to hear any thing. The sheer size of the drivers will have the sound trying to go around your head vs. in your ear. Also with their sensitivity and general much bigger design, they will not be very accurate at in ear volumes, the control of the vc against the magnet will be poor at such low amplifcation levels to not ruin your hearing.

Here is what I suggest.... Buy a pair of known to be decent Grado's that have potential, as well as a popular aftermarket modding scene. Toss those crap stock every thing but the drivers and design your own entire headset off of them incorperating every thing from the DIY modding scene, all new connection wires of high quality. You could end up making a comfortable pair of Grado's!
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Old 10th January 2006, 03:46 PM   #7
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Yeah I know portability and comfort are difficult to acheive with a DIY design using speaker drivers. So I've given up on those issues altogether and will instead focus on the sound. For the volume thing, I think you are right, but it shouldn't be too hard to find ways to fix that. I can build a customized amplifier for it no problem. Ironically I just sold my Grado SR225's because I thought my other headphones sounded better. The thing about headphones is that I think pretty much all of them are too expensive for what you are getting, i don't know how the market works but the markup price seems as bad as for commercial speakers. so ordering replacement drivers from Sennheiser or AKG is too expensive an option for me. speaker drivers seem much cheaper, so are they really ill-suited to be used in headphones besides the weight issue (which can be reduced, but not to typical headphone weight)?

i am also considering placing it farther from the ears so that it can go through the head-related transfer function and sound more accurate. the main problem with headphones is that recordings are designed for speakers, so is there any advice on how i can correct for this? my goal is to make accurate headphones.
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Old 15th January 2006, 06:17 PM   #8
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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Wow I just tried the Hi-Vi 3" as open-back headphones and they sound amazing! they are so transparent-sounding and clear coming out of my sonic impact t-amp! just wait till i do the equalization! they are heavy and dual-monopoles btw, but they can be debucked to be much lighter.

i put them about 2 inches from the ear to avoid it sounding like a headphone and it actually sounds like my DIY speakers (both uses rigid aluminum cones). the bass impact is phonominal and the best part is that these drivers are like $9 each. when they're done i'm going to ask some regulars on head-fi for some impressions on them. once i get these to be reference headphones i will post the final design.
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Old 15th January 2006, 06:53 PM   #9
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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the thing i need to tweak is the bass, everything else is the way i want them to be. the bass is slightly boomy, still better than most of the commercial heapdhones out there, but i don't like boomy bass. would making it a closed headphone solve that problem?
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Old 12th February 2006, 06:35 PM   #10
cotdt is offline cotdt  United States
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OK, so I decide that the hi-vi 3" is on the heavy side, even debucked. Maybe I should go for a 2" like the Auras. I briefly tried the new Jordans with excellent results, but had to sell due to the exorbitant pricing on those drivers. Anyone have any advice on how to build the headphone chamber? Open or closed? Distance to ear?

Currently I'm thinking of superaurals that go around the ear, and have some distance between the drivers and ear to make it more speaker-like. Remember, I'm trying to create a reference headphone as a guide for my future speaker projects. I remember Linkwitz tried to do this with commercial headphones, I've tried this route and now I think that it won't work due to the high nonlinear distortion of commercial headphone drivers (hence the brightness). And I don't like surpassing the external ear either. Also trying to get good bass performance (I hear that the upcoming Shure E500 in-ears will have excellent bass performance despite its super-small drivers, so I know it's definately possible with 2" drivers).

So... I want to make my own reference headphones, and need to find suitable drivers. I don't care whether it's powered from headphone amp or power amp. I don't want the drivers to be too expensive, but I do have the money so if there's a compelling reason to go with expensive drivers then so be it. If it works out I'll post the schematics/plans online.
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