How to Make Headphones
Headphones are some of the most popular electronic devices that impact the quality of life. Knowing how to make headphones can help you to choose a well-designed pair that suits your preferences. The various components combine in multiple ways to give you endless opportunities to build your bespoke headphones from scratch.
All headphones sound different and come with various designs that determine their longevity, comfort, and aesthetics.
What Is the Science Behind Earphones?
An earphone relies on a transducer (driver) to convert electrical energy into mechanical energy or vibrations that emit sound waves. They also have a coupler that delivers the sound into the ear canal. Each earphone needs a transducer and a conductor to draw current from a power source and connect to the transducer.
Related Content: How do headphones work?
What Determines the Sound Quality?
Since there’s no absolute benchmark for sound quality, it comes down to personal tastes and preferences. While some people prefer strong bass, others like more natural sounds. With a sound level meter (SLM), it’s possible to determine the audio quality under the following classifications accurately:
- Deep bass (characterized by low bandwidths of 16-80 Hz)
- V-shaped (emphasis on both bass and treble)
- Flat (sounds exactly like the original source)
- Distortion (when amplified sound is altered and feels gritty or noisy)
The sound quality depends mainly on the driver diameter and diaphragm size. Superior drivers produce deep bass as they can vibrate more air molecules than the small ones. Manufacturers undertake various tests to detect distortion and experiment with multiple cables and insulation materials to prevent it.
How to Manufacture Headphones?
Headphones are manufactured by a combination of machine and hand methods. The outer casings are made of molded plastics and created by a set of molds. The next step involves wiring the internal speaker before adjoining it to the case.
Following is the headphone manufacturing process:
1. Decide on the Design
Headphones come in various shapes and sizes. Before choosing your favorite design, it’s essential to understand the available options. The quality and longevity also depend on the shape and materials used during the manufacturing process.
These earphones have the largest drivers that enable them to produce a wide range of frequencies, from high trebles to deep bass. The large ear cups also enclose your ears completely and shut off the outside world to provide good isolation and clarity.
Such headphones adhere tightly to the ear and reject background noise without any noise cancellation devices or fancy algorithms. They come with a simple ergonomic design for easy insertion into the ear canal.
2. Gather the Right Materials
While choosing the best materials to make headphones, manufacturers prioritize the sensitivity to sound. The ability to detect the tiniest changes in volume and frequency can make a huge difference in the overall sound quality.
The most common materials include:
- Memory foam
The varying frequencies determine sound clarity and quality. Some headphones have bespoke speaker units engineered with a neodymium magnet and lightweight diaphragm to deliver balanced sound for all music genres.
Others are engineered with titanium coated drivers to reduce distortion and provide full, rich sound. They give you deep bass, and that’s what most people prefer. A coiled and woven cable with a gold-plated 3.5mm jack is essential for easy connectivity to the output.
3. Develop the Necessary Components
All speakers rely on magnets to convert electrical energy to mechanical energy. A variation in the electric current causes subsequent variations in the magnetic field that attract and repel the diaphragm and cause the cone to move. This movement leads to pressure variations that create sound waves.
Headphones are made of these primary components:
- Copper coil
The copper coil has two cables running through the electromagnet. But the best quality headphones have a third wire (ground) that minimizes the electromagnetic flux that causes distortion.
A rubber seal holds the delicate parts together and prevents them from falling apart. PVC or plastic casings are essential in covering these components. They also feature a lightweight headband and cushions that reduce the risk of sore or swollen ears.
4. Assemble the Parts
Ever since Nathaniel Baldwin invented headphones in 1910, they have undergone a major evolution in design, style, materials, and performance. Nowadays, they are precisely engineered, electronically tested, and mass-produced.
The molding machines produce various plastic components that conform to the overall earphone design. A winding machine winds the thin copper cables around a cylinder (around ten thousand times) to improve electromagnetism. The next step entails sealing the coil with glue and UV light and bonding it with the PVC cover or transparent diaphragm.
The voice coil and drivers are installed within the housing, strategically positioned, and configured to produce the best quality sound. The speakers are tested at various frequencies before undergoing final assembly. Distortion tests are essential to achieving clarity and creating different listening scenarios.
5. Make Them Wireless
Wired headphones are becoming outdated, and that’s why some manufacturers have abolished the jack in most electronic devices. Bluetooth earphones eliminate the cables while listening to music. Manufacturers add pairing devices that connect headphones to the console or phone through radio waves.
Even though they’re limited in terms of range, it’s possible to roam while playing your favorite video games. The contemporary audio 5 Bluetooth technology allows you to connect several headphones simultaneously. The dual audio feature enables you to manage the volume level for each headphone individually.
Wireless connections improve the user experience significantly as you aren’t tethered to any device. Other headphones allow both wired and wireless connections to avoid frustration once the battery runs out.
Making the Best Headphones
Since the introduction of modular earphones, it’s possible to assemble various components and tailor your listening experience to your favorite style. If you understand how different features work, you can experiment with several configurations and identify your ideal settings. When it comes to buying earphones, instead of falling in love with the first headphones you encounter, check its specs and insist on original ones.