East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

DIY noise reducing/cancelling around-ear headphones!

[I'll be writing and updating this review as I build this.]

Why am I making these?

I wanted some wireless noise reducing circumaural (around the ear) headphones, for sports, working with power tools, flights/travel, watching movies, listing to podcasts around my studio and most importantly, reducing the noise from my neighbors. I'm sure there are some good headphones out there but I didn't find any ones that I liked within my budget, especially not with a combination of wirelessness and noise reduction.

I found some people online who were making headphones from the Howard Leight Leightning L0F slimline earmuffs [link], which are originally intended just as noise reducers for work men, although much slimmer than most earmuffs, and they fold up nicely too. Being a creative DIYer, I had to try it. Ultimately this could allow me to create some super durable headphones that are both unique in their style and having all the features I want. 

I'm working on these every evening, hopefully I'll have them done soon.

Day 1. Wired up, but still waiting for the electronics from the earphones I ordered to use inside this.

Day 2. I wrapped the red wire in paracord, pretty easy to do, super durable and looks nicer this way. 

Day 3. Added gray denim to the cups using contact adhesive.

Day 4. One ear pad covered in leather...

...Both done. One blue and one gray since I only had random leather offcuts to work with.

The SX-948C wireless headphones.

I bought these wireless headphones [link] for their electronics and speakers. They have good reviews so considering the low price they should be a decent choice for the features I need, including a 3.5mm plug for when the battery runs out.

These custom headphones should look amazing and unique when they are done. Hopefully they will sound good too. If not, there are various internal modifications that can be done to headphones to change their sound. I actually don't expect that every person who wants to do this build will spend as much time on these as I did. I think these looked awesome even just on day two, still completely black.

More photos and full details about this build coming soon!

Links to headphones:
● Amazon UK link:
● Amazon USA link:
● eBay UK link:
● eBay USA link:

Update: Finished

Well, the headphones are finished. Here are the final notes:

  • They aren't very loud without their electronics, which were able to boost the music as much as needed. The unmodified one was fine without the electronics because they were smaller and the drivers were closer to the ears. The large space inside the L0F just eats up the audio.
  • The wireless worked at first, but then I screwed something up on the board, so now they are wired-only.
  • They are uncomfortable as hell because of the leather I added to the ear cups.
  • They don't block out much noise due to the leather on the ear cups and the fabric glued to the outside.
  • They have the audio fidelity of a garbage truck. Actually, let me rephrase that, they sound like absolute garbage, period. I've had $5 headphones that sounded better.
  • They look very unique, but it doesn't matter because they are about as useful as scrap plastic.

Conclusion: Just buy some headphones.