This open-source project hands you the blueprints to your very own, homemade, 3D-printable headset. A complete parts list, printing plans, and assembly instructions are included, and it'll even show you how to build and programme your very own headphone amplifier.
They're called the Ploopy Headphones (opens in new tab), and they look pretty excellent considering they're mostly made out of a spool of 3D printer filament. The entire project, including the drivers and amplifier board, is all planned out with source files (opens in new tab) and a step-by-step guide (opens in new tab) on how to assemble the bespoke pieces. There's even a helpful how-to on what to order from a PCB manufacturer and what chips to grab if you want to go all out with an entirely ground-up build.
If not, you can purchase a kit from Ploopy Co. with all the necessary bits and pieces you need to construct your own audiophile headphones. That kit comes in a whole lot cheaper at $150 CAD to the $300 CAD you'd need to spend on a pre-built pair of cans.
The beauty of 3D-printed parts is that you can choose whatever colours for the headset that you desire, and even the pre-assembled kits come in a range of colours to suit your style. It also means that if anything breaks on the Ploopy cans, you can print a spare part and replace it yourself.
The genuinely impressive bit, however, is that these headsets offer a reasonably impressive frequency response (opens in new tab) from their planar magnetic drivers. Ploopy compares the headphone's response to the Sennheiser HD6XX, which are pretty well-known and popular audiophile cans.
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Ploopy hopes to lay the groundwork for a community-driven audiophile headphone platform, meaning people will take these designs and run with them. These first-generation Ploopy designs are basically a framework for more customised, even personalised, cans in the future, and that's pretty darn cool.
There's just something about this project that I absolutely adore. Building your own hardware can be a learning experience, and tricky at times, but you come out of it with a newfound appreciation for the kit on your desktop. There's a reason we recommend you go out and try building your own PC where possible. Or your own keyboard.
I hadn't thought about building my own headphones until now, but it does seem an extremely awesome venture. Oh, and Ploopy Co. offers plans already for various trackball mice (opens in new tab) you can download and build yourself, too. Excellent stuff.