Update from Print+ about new upgrades to their DIY Headphone kits, including an optional line-in mic and remote, plus memory foam ear pads.
Christmas Eve is not typically a good time to release news and updates about your company — most folks will already have broken for the holidays — but that’s when Print+ slipped out a major update on their DIY Headphone Kits that were successfully funded on Kickstarter.
Understandably, the news went under the radar for everyone but their backers. But though we’re a month late, there’s a couple of interesting nuggets worth reporting on. For the complete background, you can also read our original news item and interview with Patrick Shuur.
Optional Line-In Mic and Remote for Print+ DIY Headphone Kits
There’s a significant new addition to the kit in the form of a 3D printable line-in remote and mic.
The Print+ team were reportedly inundated with requests for this feature, apparently, so they’re delivered a nice surprise with something that didn’t initially seem possible.
According to the update:
You asked for it – so we have come up with a solution for an inline mic + push button that you can 3D print yourself (how else). We will just supply a small pcb that contains two audio jacks, a mic + push button and a 4-wire audio cable of 12cm – you can then print the remote’s housing in your own color – so it will match with the rest of your headphone.
Presumably this feature will be an optional extra for backers who are willing to pay for it, so not everyone has to take advantage of the line-in mic and remote if they don’t want it. But it’s good to know that users don’t have to compromise on features when building their own custom cans.
Memory Foam Cushion Inserts for Print+ DIY Headphone Kits
Another important update is concerned with the cushion inserts for the speaker housing. This component is important not just for comfort, but also for preventing noise-leak that disturbs the people around you:
In order to provide you with a high quality product we had to solve one more thing — that is the open core foam insert that is inside the textile cushions. The open core cushion acts like a sponge / speaker at the same time. For the person wearing the headphone it makes the sound a little muffled — it acts like a sponge for sound. For the person sitting next to someone listening to a print+ headphone the open cell structure of the foam makes it seem the person is wearing a loudspeaker on his head, instead of a headphone. So we had to solve this.
The final material selected for the cushion inserts is made from memory foam. This is the same stuff you’ll find on high-end bed mattresses. So effectively, your ears will be very snug when listening to your favorite tunes.
Protective Shells for Speaker Membranes
Elsewhere, the update reveals more details about the speaker components, which now have a protective shell to prevent damaging the speaker’s membrane.
During user testing of the headphone assembly, it transpired that people were accidentally putting a dent in the speaker’s membrane — either by touching it, or by laying two speakers on top of each other (where the magnets inside the speakers would attract each other and the damage would be done).
With a new protective cover on the speaker components, it should be nearly impossible to damage the membranes on the speakers, and the quality of the audio should remain intact.
Beta Print+ Files Now Available to Backers
In a separate update for backers only, the beta STL files for the Print+ DIY Headphone Kits are now available to download. While the kits themselves won’t be ready to ship until March 2016 (and the team assures us that everything is still on track), backers now have the option to begin printing off some of the components at home.
There are four headphone designs to choose from, plus a choice between two different headbands — one for full size 3D printers that’s fabricated as a single object, and another broken into several parts for 3D printers with smaller build envelopes.
The caveat here is that these are beta files, and the final designs of the headphones may yet change. But it’s fun to experiment with the different designs and filaments in advance. Here in the ALL3DP office, we’ve used recycled PET filament to make some lovely headphones in a transparent blue crystal design. You can clearly see the honeycomb infill beneath the surface.
Collectively, backers of this campaign are learning more about audio headphone construction than they ever thought possible. It’s all looking very positive, and we can’t wait to get our hands on the finished product for a detailed test-run.
License: The text of "Print+ DIY Headphone Kits to Have Line-In Mic and Remote" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.