This post is to share my experience building a genuine wood headphone with a pair of Hi-End 50mm dynamic drivers and a replaceable cable. See above for my final result. This design has 3 advantages to me that:
Comparable sound quality with hundreds $ Hi-End earphones, where I put Sennheiser HD650 as benchmark. Both genuine wood shell and the open end design help a lot on the he low frequency band performance for drums and cellos, which are most critical to me.
The ear pads must be big, soft and comfortable for hours wearing.
32-Ohm and high sensitivity to be easily driven by my cell phone and USB DAC.
My son was so happy and volunteered to be a model 🙂 I am also planning to DIY a sound measurement system so I can fine tune it objectively. I’ve start a placeholder here and will update this blog post once ready.
Part 1. List of materials
See below figure for all components:
Item 1: wooden headphone shell and housing
Item 2 (optional): 40mm-50mm adapter, only needed when using 40mm dynamic drivers.
Item 3: a pair of ear pads
Item 4: a pair of front cover for dynamic drivers
Item 5: a pair of dynamic drivers
Part 2. Tools
Some basic tools are needed to put everything together. See the figure of everything I bought for this project and all work well. But don’t misunderstand the DIY being too easy. Although the headphone worked amazingly, there are a lot of additional fine tune works can be done, which need sound measurement instruments and extra materials.
Part 3. Install the dynamic driver
Dynamic drivers are very fragile and better to be installed in to the housing first. See the pair of drivers before installation.
Apply glue (highly recommend E8000 or silicon glue, and do NOT use any instant glue like 502) evenly around the outer of drivers, stay 1min till the glue becoming sticky, and insert it to the housing. Notice the direction of the soldering panel. Wait for another 15min until the glue strong enough.
Part 4. wiring
The headphone shell comes with internal wires ready, so the work is to connect (solder) wires correctly with the dynamic drivers. Please be very careful and quick (<2s) in soldering. Also notice the driver is with polarity – positive is at the right hand side.
Part 5. Screwing and put on the ear pad
As all wires having been connected in the last step, the headphone actually can work! So you may want to connect it to your cell phone and verify if all wirings have been done correctly.
Screwing the housing (with driver) to the shell firmly, and then put on the ear pad – you almost done!
Part 6. Final test and mission accomplished!
if you have done everything correctly, the headphone shall already working perfectly. The most common error is connecting wires in wrong orders. Please read this article Understand 3.5mm jack to understand how.