Sylvie Barak created a custom pair of earmuff headphones to keep her ears warm while she listens to her music. She bought a pair of cheap headphones and hacked into them to cut out the speaker. Once the speakers were out, the speaker wires were soldered to the plug connections and the jack. She sewed the speaker into a faux fur muff, and a PCB board was added for support. The speaker muff was attached to a headband wrapped in fabric to complete her funky stereo earmuffs. Sylvie says the headphones can be customized in many ways and is even considering incorporating them into a hoodie.
PCB boards is a misnomer. They are not printed circuit boards. There are no electronics involved. The purpose of the perfboard disks is to hold the speakers in place, while letting the sound to pass through the tiny holes, where components would normally be mounted.
That was my point...although not the "especially for young women" part.
I've seen teens (both genders) customize their headsets over the years. It's really popular at certain DJ concerts. The headsets are still functional and unique. I first saw the earmuff variation in Tokyo a few years ago. It gets very cold in the winter.
mrdon has a good point that the construction build porcess makes it freak worthy.
I think this is a cute gadget, especially for young women, but why do you need to hack up a headset? Why not add the faux fur and the decorative (headband) ribbon to an existing, unmodified headset? I think it would be more comfortable than having your ears pressed up against the perfboard disks (what she calls PCB boards). Also, no soldering would be required. Also, while rewiring the headset, one must maintain the polarity of the speakers, or the sound will be messed up.
Good point. The process makes it Gadget Freak worthy. But, the concept has been done before--commercially and DIY. From my reading, Gadget Freak items have that "Why doesn't that exist yet" quality to them. There are a lot of better moustraps here.
Tim, I agree. The ear muff headphones concept is pretty cool. The next product evolution would be incorporating a radio with internet capability so you can listen to Pandora during those cold winter months!
In our third annual contest, Design News and Allied Electronics are going to crown a winner in early 2016 for the best reader gadget submission this year, and once again, you, the readers, are the judges!
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