If you could design your own headphone?

If you could design and build your own headphone what would it be. What materials would it be made of, what would be the sound signature, etc.
You would have a headphone manufacturer build it, so also who would you choose and why?
I’m also going to give my idea for a headphone, that would be perfect for me but I just want to think a little more about it. Have fun with this one.

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Carbon fiber planar magnetics.

In all seriousness, though, this is a great question and I hadn’t even put any thought to it. :thinking:

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Hmm idk as far as brands but I would like to see something in Vantablack.

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I’ve thought about this quite a bit.

For at home listening, it would be an Audeze MX4 but with AudioQuest’s gimble and headband suspension system from their NightHawk/Nightowl. Carbon fibre build like the MX4 with the MX4s drivers. So I can get that sweet, relaxed low-end from the MX4 with the NightHawk/NightOwl comfort.

For an IEM, I would honestly just take an Andromeda. But instead of the over-ear IEM fit, I would make it an earbud fit like the Atlas.

There’s also a high-end gym headphone in there but I haven’t thought that one through yet.

I’ve always like Carbon Fiber for the look and weight savings, but I also love the look of a dark wood.

Yes love the headband suspension system on the Audioquest, I’ll never get rid of my nighthawks , but would tweak them for more detail.

I would make it a kit of parts with component updates. Drivers and housing would be standardized but the cabling, headband and ear pads would be menu-priced.

Another would a good set but with customizable headband clamping (no post purchase stretching, just turn a dial or tighten a screw). This is the biggest comfort factor I’ve noticed and it’s always tough to get it right.

Wood is a very nice look. I’m not sure why, but I’d be inclined to keep the wood headphones at home. Homey look and feel?

I like the look of the LCD4, just not the weight, nor the price lol, but the wood looks so organic, beautiful compared to plastics.

Heres an out of the box Idea, I think I would make it perform mechanical operations

For example It would be able to switch from closed to open back electronically by closing an opening a mechanical back plate. I would go extra steps to make sure you could not hear the motor.

Also I would also create a motorized sound stage where the drivers could distance themselves from your ears or come in close as preferred.

Lastly for motorization, I would give the ability for the drivers themselves to have a motorized tilt.

Now its important to note that the user wouldn’t have the ability to alter the motions and movements but it would be available by preset since its common for a clean UI design.

Also I wanted to emphasize the motors would have heavy dampeners so in theory you should not hear or feel the headphones changing shape, etc.

I know this doesn’t answer the question, but I’m actually pretty satisfied with the available selection of headphones. What I’d really like to design is a portable DAC/amp with the following features:

  • Great battery life (like my Topping NX4)
  • Enough current to drive most planars
  • Enough voltage to drive high impedance dynamics
  • Support for iDevices without using a CCK (again like my Topping NX4)
  • Digital volume knob (avoid channel imbalance and integrates nicely with DSP below)
  • Advanced built-in DSP (a little like the MiniDSP HA-DSP but better)
  • A built-in interactive wizard for creating personalized frequency response profiles along with the ability to store multiple of these (e.g. 1 per headphone).
  • A loudness function like on the RME ADI-2 DAC that maintains a constant perceived frequency response as you adjust the volume

Just to elaborate on the “interactive wizard” … I’m thinking of something that talks you through calibrating the device for your headphones. Like “We will play a series of tones. As each tone is playing, please adjust the volume knob until the tone is only just barely audible”. The My Noise generator gives some idea of how this could work.


If I could get hifiman’s double sided magnet array (HE6/Susvara) with mrspeakers nitinol headband and ZMF earpads, that would be it. This amalgam could satisfy me forever.

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On the subject of portability it would be great to get a high-end DAP that isn’t built like a brick.

Everytime I feel like I’m at risk of my pants falling down or starting to walk with a limp from the weight (might be a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea).

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Yeah. My LG V20 is odd in that sense. It actually seems light enough, and it’s quite thin, but it’s incredibly tall and wide to accommodate that massive screen, which I don’t really need since I just use it as a DAP. Still, if my pocket is big enough, the weight is a non-issue.

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I’ll never forget the first time I held a WM1Z–I almost dropped it because it was so much heavier than I expected. I expected something heavier than like a Fiio X7, but I didn’t expect something so small to be so dense. It’s not that much lighter than an entire Audeze LCD2 which didn’t really register until I actually tried picking it up.


So would I. Nice trick if you can do it.