Quality Sound-Proof Cans From Personal Protective Equipment

Working in a noisy office can be distracting. To combat the problem in his workplace [Rikard Anglerud] bought himself a pair of 3M ear defenders. They were good, but not quite good enough to completely extinguish the noise, so he inserted the drivers from a pair of cheap headphones and played a low-level white noise. This prototype proved effective, so he returned to the project and produced a much nicer pair that approach much more costly cans in their execution.

[Rikard’s] first set of headphones left something to be desired in the quality department. The second set followed with a pair of better-quality drivers sourced online, and more care was taken with cable routing and in their fitting. Finally some filler was used to remove the moulded 3M branding, and make them look more hi-fi than workwear.

From an audiophile perspective these cans might not approach a very high quality pair because their drivers are unlikely to be matched to the acoustic properties of their enclosures. But it sounds as though he’s achieved an adequate result despite that, and completely satisfied his need to exclude office noise.

Simple Earphone Repair Saves A Big Chunk Of Cash


[Spode] has been rocking out with a pair of Shure E4C earphones for about six years now, and he has no intentions of buying another set any time soon. The earphones cost him £200, so when the right channel started acting up, he decided to fix them rather than toss them in the trash bin.

His first attempt was successful, but just barely so. He ended up damaging the earphone case pretty badly, and in time the same problem reappeared. Undeterred, he opted to fix them once again, but this time around he did things differently.

Upon disassembling them, he found that his repair job had become frayed over time. [Spode] desoldered both drivers from the wires and cut them back a bit to expose some nice clean (and structurally sound) cable. He spent a little more time carefully soldering things back together to mitigate the chances of having to repair them again before replacing both earphone shells with a bit of black Sugru.

Having saved himself £200, [Spode] is quite happy with the repair. We probably would have tied an underwriter’s knot in each cable before soldering them to the drivers in the name of strain relief, though the Sugru should help with that.