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Expensive Broken Headphones + Cheap Shooting Range Earmuffs = LOVE!
Old 14th June 2010
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ScottBrio's Avatar

Thread Starter
Expensive Broken Headphones + Cheap Shooting Range Earmuffs = LOVE!

Hey guys,

So it all started when my old Sony MDR -V700 broke. A guest at our house party put them on her fat head and they snapped

No sweat. $20 with shipping got me these from the interweb:

Bilsom Leightning L0F Folding Earmuffs (NRR 23) - Headband Style Ear Muffs

Initially I thought I could fix them, and upon taking them apart, I realized they had to WAY too many little moving parts and screws/springs/etc., so I knew I would have to replace the body and just use the drivers:

I drilled a hole in the bottom of one can, and one on either side of the top of each can. I recommend using a dremel, to cut/drill the plastic, as it's way quicker and more precise than carving the plastic with a knife:

Next, it was time to wire them up... Oh geez:

Old 14th June 2010
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ScottBrio's Avatar

Thread Starter
Progress. I ran the wire from a 1/8th inch wire from one headphone can, through the neoprene headliner. I couldn't believe they are open on either side... it's almost like they were meant for wiring!
Something to note: The Sony wire is very thin, and coated with a very thin coating, that is not conducive. You have to hit it with a lighter for a few seconds to burn it off, clean off the wire with a razor, and solder to your wire/solder points.

A slit needs to be made in one side of the foam to let the wires through. Remember, these are DELICATE wires! Last one:

Here they are all wired and re-assembled:

Old 14th June 2010
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ScottBrio's Avatar

Thread Starter
The best thing about these things is, they're rated a 27 for noise reduction because they are meant for shooting ranges, meaning that what ever is going on outside of your cans can hardly be heard... at all. I'm talking, you can hear your heartbeat. When you throw some quality drivers in there, all you get is music. No leak for recording either, It's fantastic!
Also, the earpads snap on and off very easily and are very comfortable. They squeeze your head so snug you could headbang and not loose em

and finally, my ghetto headphone bag :D

And the remains: RIP, but not really... they completely high maintenance in comparison to these new ones. If something breaks, I can buy another pair for $20 and have spare parts for backup.

Sorry for the crappy cell phone pics, it's just so much easier
Old 14th June 2010
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Play's Avatar

Very impressive!

How do they sound after the transplant?

I might try this soon.
Old 14th June 2010
Gear Guru
Good idea. I have a pair of Extreme Isolation headphones, which are very similar concept - but probably don't sound as good as what you've built there. I use them for tracking and drumming, because even my Sennheiser HD280 cans don't stay clamped on my head like these ear-protector style cans do.
Old 14th June 2010
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ScottBrio's Avatar

Thread Starter
Thanks guys,

They actually sound great; Without a doubt better than the originals. The fit and isolation really make the 50mm drivers shine
Old 14th June 2010
Gear Guru
John Willett's Avatar

I would have just rung up the Sony agent and got a new headband + new earpads that they so obviously needed.

Changing capsules into a new housing would make headphones that you can't trust as the housing on closed headphones is an important part of the sound - just like the cabinet of a loudspeaker.
Old 14th June 2010
Lives for gear

Dude great project, thanks for posting pics instructions and links! ^ John that was my first thought too but ultimately these seem geared for drummers / heavy isolation requirements as opposed to critical mixing. I love the idea! thumbsup
Old 14th June 2010
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PhilR's Avatar

I've done the exact same thing with the exact same earmuffs. Only the problem I ran into was that the elements (rescued from some knackered AKG cans) seemed to suffer a massive low-end dropoff after being transplanted into the new housings. Shame, because they were MUCH more comfortable (and durable) than the Extreme Isolation cans.

Incidentally, the mounting for the cushioning can be removed entirely from the outer shell, it just pulls off.

The muffs themselves are great for drumming in though, they roll off just the right frequencies to make your drums sound really fat and hi-fi when you're playing. heh
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