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Picture of Build a Hi-Fi Headphone From Scratch
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I build this "golden plated" headphone from scratch with a pair of 40mm dynamic drivers. My goal was, as I named it a Hi-Fi headphone, it must beat or at least on par with my $100 Grado MS1. So I deliberately pick this close-end (mainly to control the distortion caused by over driving in low frequency) metal shell and Hi-End drivers. So this is what I finally made - it's 32ohm and high sensitive (110dB+) and can easily driven by iPhone.

As judging the sound quality could be very subjective and, to be very honest, full of bias. I plan to do to at least partly address this trustworthy issue is to objectively measure and publish the performance. Professional acoustic measurement instruments could hundreds time expensive than an earphone, I'm trying to figure out a way to lower the bar to <$200 with reasonable precision...

Also see my other Instructables

  1. Build an in-ear earphone as the size smaller which make it easier to build a FR measurement instrument.
  2. Black Walnut Wooden Shell Headphone with 40/50mm Sennheiser Drivers
  3. Build a Headphone with Beats Studio 2.0 drivers

Step 1: Materials and Tools

So here is all the components:

  1. A headphone shell - overhead bracket with internal wires and 3.5mm socket, and housing for the driver units
  2. Up/under protective covers for driver units
  3. 2*40mm dynamic drivers, 20-20KHz FR, 32ohm, hi-resolution
  4. 1*OFC cable with 2*3.5mm male plugs

The tools are what you can buy from most e-stores or BestBuy

  1. Soldering iron. 20~30W preferred. DON'T use >60W or overheat to 300 degree C
  2. Glue. E8000 is the best of the best, or you can use any healthy/harmless glues for metal and plastic. Don't use 502 or any other instinct dry glue!
  3. screw drivers, knife...
raphan1 year ago

Listening can be flattering, it gives our brain the endorphins he loves so much. A faithful sound is not the most pleasant. I prefer relying on curves to talk about quality. My ears do like Sennheiser headphones and they are so light, real feathers ! Please publish your measures.

EarphoneDIYLabs (author)  raphan1 year ago

Exactly. I'm using Grado Labs MS1 as my reference which obviously adding their "flavors", but I just love it.

Coming to the point of measurement, I just back from a long journey from Bay Area and start to build the sound measure staff. My goal is make it cost-effective for DIYers. Guess most won't pay $10K just to measure an earphone, so <$200 sounds a reasonable goal.

gm2801 year ago

I wish there was some way to actually hear those headphones. I like Koss Portapros. They have got to be the best headphones I've ever heard. So yours would have to be equal or better to make me want to duplicate your efforts. Not saying your don't do that. But without hearing them, I can't tell. I probably got at least ten different pairs of headphones and if I want to hear seriously quality music, it is the Koss Portapros every time. Nice project and I maybe tempted to make a set and see.

EarphoneDIYLabs (author)  gm2801 year ago

You made some excellent points.

Basically judging the sound quality could be very subjective and, to be very honest, full of bias. Hi-Fi industry has a long tradition to over-sell their product - that's why so many 3rd party web sites publishing reviews - but again, it's hard tell if any of them being fully objective.

So the way I plan to do to at least partly address this trustworthy issue is to objectively measure and publish the performance. Professional acoustic measurement instruments could hundreds time expensive than an earphone, I'm trying to figure out a way to lower the bar to <$200 with reasonable precision...

Very cool. I love the retro look.