How to Make Your Own Noise-Canceling Headphones and Earphones

In a world filled with constant noise, the ability to enjoy music or podcasts without the interference of background disturbances is a luxury we all desire. While high-end Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) gear can be costly, there’s an alternative solution: creating your own noise-canceling headphones and earbuds on a budget. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps and materials needed to upgrade your audio gear for a more immersive listening experience.

DIY Noise-Canceling Headphones: Materials and Steps

Materials Needed:

  1. Noise-isolating earmuffs (e.g., Howard Leight by Honeywell Leightning L3 Shooting Earmuff)
  2. Replacement headphone speakers (40mm)
  3. Working earphones with plug and cable
  4. Small Polyethylene (PE) foam
  5. Pliers
  6. Soldering iron
  7. Glue gun

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Remove the earpads from the earmuffs.
  2. Take out the insulating foam inside the earmuffs.
  3. Cut a hole in the foam the same size as the replacement speakers.
  4. Use the soldering iron to make a hole at the bottom of the headphone cup for the wire.
  5. Carefully open the earphone casing and detach the speaker from the wire.
  6. Pass the wire through the hole in the headphone cup and solder it to the replacement speaker.
  7. Place the foam back inside the headphone cup.
  8. Glue a small piece of PE foam to the back of the replacement speaker.
  9. Secure the speaker in the headphone cup with glue.
  10. Clean the rims where the earpads go with rubbing alcohol.
  11. Reattach the earpads.
  12. Secure the wire to the opening of the hole in the headphone.

DIY Noise-Canceling Earbuds: Materials and Steps

Materials Needed:

  1. Standard in-ear earphones
  2. Standard earplugs (e.g., Black Noise Premium Ear Plugs)
  3. Scissors or a cutter
  4. A nail or similar tool to create a small hole in the earplugs

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Remove the existing earbuds from the earphones.
  2. Cut off the ends of the earplugs using scissors or a cutter.
  3. Create a hole in the center of the earplugs using a nail.
  4. Slip the earplug over your earphone in place of the old earbud.

What to Expect:

It’s important to note that DIY noise-canceling headphones and earbuds may not provide the same level of performance as commercially available ANC gear. There might be differences in fit, as earmuffs and earplugs are made from different materials than standard headphone pads and earbuds. Additionally, the noise-canceling effectiveness may not be as high as high-end ANC headphones. However, these DIY solutions can still provide improved passive noise isolation and help you enjoy your music while reducing external disturbances.


With a few simple materials and some DIY effort, you can upgrade your headphones and earphones with noise-canceling capabilities. While these DIY solutions may not match the performance of high-end ANC headphones, they offer a cost-effective way to improve noise isolation and enhance your listening experience. Give it a try and enjoy your music without unwanted background noise!

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