Hear the words 3D-printed headphones, and you'd be forgiven for imagining a 3D-printed plastic case, with all the actual audio and electronic cleverness pilfered from a set of ordinary cans. Not so J. C. Karich's Low-Fi Hi-Tech headphones, in which many of the functioning parts such as the ear speakers themselves were printed. Those that weren't were at least made from scratch from basic materials.
Karich writes that the real challenge was hitting upon the best combination of 3D-printed parts, which include a wafer-thin speaker complete with a rail for the connecting wire.
Though also 3D printed, the headband is flexible thanks to its corrugated form.
Impressively, Karich has even printed a standard audio jack, which is wrapped in wire to make the necessary connections. It works, Karich reports, with no risk of jamming.
Karich claims overall sound quality is good, but that the headphones require powered amplification when listening to portable music players. Those skeptical of such claims are welcome to try for themselves: Karich has shared the necessary files at Thingiverse.
Those looking to print only the housing and insert separate electronics may prefer to take on the 13:30 headphones instead.