Earbuds without the earmuffs.

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Mission Statement

To create an earbud rig that allows the listener to be conscious of other noises.

-The user is able to hear other noises
-Aesthetically good looking
-Good sound

The Concept:
How many of us have swerved to avoid a person wearing headphones, oblivious to the world? Too many. How many of us have tried talking with headphones on and failed? What airbuds is aiming to do is give crystal quality sound as well as allow the user be conscious of the world around them. The best of both worlds.

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Please like our project in order for funding. ;)


-Plastic (for 3D printing)






We are currently using pre-made earbuds as we cannot afford to create our own mini speakers... yet.

How we're going to make it

We aim have a speaker device that aims sound into the ear, giving an authentic, speaker sound. It is also proposed perhaps to have earbuds behind for full surround. How we propose to do this is 3D print. (We have to make with what we've got) and furthermore cushion it with foam (to absorb sound).

A plus side of using pre-made earbuds is creating it will be cheaper and it will be compatible with most other people's earbuds. Ultimately, the goal is to make our own.

Finally, the device will be hung around your ear.

This project is being created by Impact Laboratories.

Note: We will be updating the project, adding features etc. Also, these are aimed to be compatible with any type of earbuds.

Like our project. ;)


This is just the first draft for a part of the rig. A quick sketch. Renders and design will be posted soon.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG) - 35.17 kB - 04/08/2016 at 00:57


  • 1 × Foam Sound absorbing
  • 1 × 3D printing plastic
  • 2 × Earbuds
  • 1 × Splitter
  • 1 × Custom made, laser cut parts Will specify later

  • First Sketch: Rig 1 - Primary Earbuds

    Matthew Chen04/08/2016 at 00:59 0 comments

    We have added our first sketch to you guys. It is just a draft (and a sketch). We are still working on the actual design and a proper render or autodesk file will be posted soon. This is rig 1, so only the rig for the primary earbuds. Our aim is to have primary as well as secondary earbuds too "encase" the sound.

  • Work has started!

    Matthew Chen04/02/2016 at 23:22 2 comments

    We have started to model the 3D printing parts on Inventor. Just need to get some measurements. But work has started!

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tyler wrote 05/13/2017 at 01:11 point

I've never had earbuds that block me from my surroundings, I'm not sure if people are just deaf or too stupid to use their other senses.

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Lachlan Marschke wrote 04/10/2016 at 08:22 point

Pretty cool project Matt, though it will be really hard. And will people actually buy it long term if you make it hat far?

  Are you sure? yes | no

Matthew Chen wrote 04/14/2016 at 09:33 point

We do not know, but we hope so. We aim to make this as cheap as possible as we understand not everybody can afford earphones that cost hundreds of dollars.

Thanks for your support!

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Gaviru Devendra wrote 04/05/2016 at 23:35 point

Hey Matt,

I really like the concept of allowing the user to be conscious of the surrounding noise while using these earphones. However, I find the design itself quite questionable.

To me, the two biggest nuisances with earphones are that the wires will be easily tangled and the earbud falls out of your ears in a continuous fashion. This is why I hate apple earphones!      

My point is that, even though how practical the purpose of your product is, the design is not up to the standard of exceptional earphones. 

Two enhancements that I recommend are that to maybe use some sort of zip lock to maintain the wires from tangling, and maybe add a crest that could be attached to the ear to prevent it from falling off.

Despite this, I praise your efforts for trying to confine yourself with the parameter of keeping the project cheap. 

Keep going Matt! I have liked your project and I'm following your project as well. 



  Are you sure? yes | no

Matthew Chen wrote 04/06/2016 at 06:50 point

Thank you for you support Gavi. Our design for Airbuds is for it to be securely hanged around your ears. We will post a design soon. 

Thanks :)


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Matthew Chen wrote 04/06/2016 at 06:50 point

Thank you for you support Gavi. Our design for Airbuds is for it to be securely hanged around your ears. We will post a design soon. 

Thanks :)


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DeepSOIC wrote 04/04/2016 at 09:46 point

I think this project doesn't make any sense, and here's why.

People want to hear music when they walk with earbuds. Not ambient noises. Hence, they will set the loudness of the music to the level that substantially surpasses ambient noise level, simply to enjoy the music.

So, the sound blocking properties won't really affect how good is that person at reacting to ambient. Furthermore, non-blocking earbuds mean one would have to set the loudness higher, potentially into hearing damage range. From that point of view, good sound isolation is a huge benefit.

And I can perfectly hear almost everything around when wearing my very blocking earbuds, when the music is switched off.

There is an endless number of earbuds on the market. They range from very blocking to very transparent (but that property is not clearly specified). I have had various types, and I prefer the blocking ones (currently I absolutely love my Nokia ones that came with Lumia 1020. They are very good as general purpose sound attenuators; I wear them at concerts because they make me hear the concert better.)

And finally, transparent earbuds necessarily leak more sound to the outside, which may annoy others!

So, TL;DR:

* blocking earbuds are beneficial for hearing health

* transparent earbuds won't make you more reactive to the environment; it's all about how loud your music is playing

* transparent earbuds leak more sound to outside, that may annoy others

* there is a plenty of transparent earbuds on the market already

But don't let this comment stop your project. Prove me wrong! =)

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Cody Fang wrote 04/04/2016 at 11:34 point

Dear DeepSOIC

Good point! But this is what our purpose is: To create situational awareness. The 'ambedient' sound can only be heard when the noise level is high, since we have used strategies to block off any small noises that are unimportant and annoying. More simply, it blocks unimportant noises but sounds to create situational awareness such as a human speech.

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Matthew Chen wrote 04/04/2016 at 12:01 point

Yeah you make a point, however, we are aiming to make them direct sound to the ear and prevent leaking sound. (I catch the bus and I know how annoying it is!)

Also, i know there is research that says blocking earbuds are good but there is also some that say contrary. What we want to do is give people an option where they don't need to switch earbuds or a but new ones.

PS. we are not making earbuds, but a rig which anybody can attach their own earbuds too. So its not exactly earbuds

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DeepSOIC wrote 04/04/2016 at 12:07 point

"we are not making earbuds, but a rig which anybody can attach their own earbuds too"  Hm, that's something I totally missed while reading about the project =)

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Matthew Chen wrote 04/04/2016 at 22:48 point

Woops. Yeah, I haven't really read through the article. I have changed it. Thanks. ;)

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Matthew Chen wrote 04/02/2016 at 23:25 point

Thank you for your support. Thanks!

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25536 wrote 03/30/2016 at 06:09 point

Nice work!! Hope you go well. It doesn't seem like the easiest project ever, but I won't stop supporting you! :)

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