Headphones and Headbands

We’ve been hard at work on the upcoming Ploopy Headphones, and we’re starting to see some results that are blog-worthy. Today’s episode is about headbands!

Headbands, it turns out, are surprisingly tricky because they do a lot of different things. They need to be comfortable, but also stiff enough to create clamping force on the earcups. Size adjustment mechanisms can be fragile, but the band needs to be tough enough to withstand a lifetime of abuse. The whole assembly ought to be field serviceable, and replacement parts ought to be things that our end users can make themselves (otherwise the open source aspect of the design is a hollow promise).

The current design is made of an impact-modified PLA (the examples in the video are actually bog-standard PLA), with some foam, fabric and a few screws tossed into the mix. Here’s a video of the kind of abuse it can take:

The size adjustment mechanism is also looking good. Like a lot of our products, we incorporate springs made of PLA. This actually works well, with the major caveat that strain has to be limited in all cases but especially at rest, as PLA can creep when statically loaded. Plus, it sidesteps a major supply chain issue for repairability: springs are often difficult to find, particularly if you’re buying less than a thousand at a time. Here’s a video that you might particularly enjoy if you’re into ASMR.

That’s all for now. Check back soon for updates!