World's Cheapest Noise Canceling Headphones

When I'm in the shop I usually like jamming to my music but the tunes don't sound good over the buzz of saws, routers and vacuums.  I do what I can to keep the noise down for my neighbors so turning the volume up to eleven is out of the question. Besides being rude to the neighbors, extreme decibel levels can be quite damaging to your ears.

I've tried wearing ear buds or headphones in the shop but even though you can still hear the music, you can also hear the tools and the two don't mix.  I looked at noise cancelling headphones but they can be insanely expensive.  What I needed was inexpensive headphones mixed with great noise cancelling capabilities.  I saw these inexpensive hearing protectors and when I ordered them they actually worked quite well, but still no music. I had some inexpensive headphones laying around and wish the two could be combined somehow.  Once I started playing, it was amazingly simple.

The first thing to do is simply popping the ear pieces off the headphone.  If you get the right type they are simply connected with a little pressure fitted ball joint that disconnects with a firm tug.  Be careful not to damage your wire leads.

Now with the hearing protectors the padding around each ear muff simply slides off with a little pressure. Be careful not to stretch the padding, we need it tight.

With the pads off of the hearing protectors, simply wedge the earpieces of the headphones in and slide the pads back on. Viola! Incredible sound at an incredible price.  The true audiophiles will certainly scoff but with the extra money I can buy more tools.



  1. Nice, one idea I'd add is a piezo speaker ribbon over the existing headphone to add >8 kHz capabilities, and a second bass speaker behind for nearly 5.1ch experience.
    Also why hasn't anyone made headphones with internal MEMS microphone(s) to adjust and cancel out unwanted resonances for a proper audio profile?

    1. Honestly there is a ton of room left over inside the ear piece, you could cram a whole lot more in there. Also, the ear protection is only about $3 so if you wanted to drill holes, add mics, etc you could give it a go with little financial risk. it sounds like you are more of an audiophile than I am, I was just looking for something that allowed me to listen to tunes in the shop. I would encourage you to build your version (with enhancements), write about it and give us all a share.

    2. Why don't you build it and tell us all about it?

  2. Really a great idea! I'm surely also going to make this build.