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Old 04-16-2009, 07:12 AM   #1
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DIY Arriva Headphones

I just blogged about this, and thought others here could use the same trick.

I like to listen podcasts when working, but cords get in the way, so I looked into some Arriva headphones. Since they are around $30 and I always wear a collar, I figured I could just drastically shorten a cord to some normal in-ear headphones to achieve the same result. You need headphones that invert well (many do not); I used some Skull Candy ones I had already. Controlling the iPod Shuffle isn't hard, but you should probably choose music or programming that doesn't have you fiddling with it too much. The prototype works well and even when I turn my head quickly and far they stay put, although it can tug a small amount in extreme cases. My final version will have a small segment of that coiled cable that has some spring in it.



Previously I had made my own hearing protector headphones just by placing the speakers of a set of old headphones in it. Just needed to drill a tiny hole in each piece and resolder. Never bothered to make it look pretty since it's purely a work item. Grinding down the head band was all that was required for the Shuffle to clip on. When I originally made them the Work Tunes line didn't have a line in jack and cost $50. I'd probably still have done it since I'm cheap...I mean frugal. Version 1.0 used the original Shuffle which didn't work nearly as well, being bigger and not having an integral clip. Fortunately the refurb I got from Apple came free with an arm clip so I cannibalized it for the headphones, using the high tech method of electrical tape to affix it. Like I said, not as good. Unexpectedly I wear these to get the mail (about a 30 minute walk) as the trucks rumbling by right next to you gets annoying. They also keep your ears warm in the winter. Because I wear glasses they eventually hurt from the earpieces being clamped against my head, but that's true of all hearing protectors. I have an old pair of glasses I may try attach to the headphones themselves to avoid this. Sounds VERY attractive.

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Old 04-16-2009, 07:36 AM   #2
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I don't like cords either. I use my Motorola S9 Bluetooth stereo headphones at the gym. I usually stream internet radio over bluetooth to the headphones, although I bought a bluetooth transmitter dongle that plugs into the headset jack of my Zune so I can listen to that wirelessly as well. The bluetooth transmitter was only $20 on Ebay.

-Jay

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Old 04-16-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
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They look nice! About $30, for those who are curious, so $50 total. I assume it's got a rechargeable battery in there? How long does it last for? A Zune behind your head would look pretty stupid!

Friend of mine just went with wireless headphones that go to a base station and while they can reach anywhere in his yard, he can't control the programming. Or go jogging, not that he's in danger of that one. He got them primarily to watch TV without disturbing his girlfriend when she's doing schoolwork. Wow, that makes him sound a LOT younger than he is.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
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: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:17 AM   #4
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Oh yeah, I've found using Mp3Gain eliminates the need to adjust volume almost entirely. Most normalization algorithms use a flawed approach. Unfortunately running all my podcasts through it is impractical. Bummer.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:44 AM   #5
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The Zune lasts for about 12 hours on battery, the S9 headset usually lasts about 4-5 hours between charges. I have 2 pairs of S9's, so I always have one charged. The Bluetooth dongle for the Zune lasts about 10 hours on a charge.

When listening to MP3's on the phone you can skip a track by pressing a button on the headset. If a call comes in the music is put on hold, and the call is connected through the headset. I've been very pleased with the S9's. My only complaint is that if I venture into the sauna wearing them the battery dies rather quickly in a hot environment. Usually after wearing the S9's during a workout, and then into the sauna the S9's will die about 10 minutes after entering the sauna. Still not bad, just wish the battery lasted just a bit longer.

-Jay

EDIT: I have an armband for the Zune / Tilt, but I usually put it on my ankle at the gym. I just don't like stuff strapped to my arm - it bothers me.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:46 AM   #6
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It is pretty small. Hack in a bigger one? Hard to make look nice.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:55 AM   #7
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That's the thing... The S9's are pretty small, and I regularly subject them to temps of over 150F in the sauna. I think if I didn't regularly bake the batteries it would probably last much longer. In the sauna I wrap the phone in a towel so that doesn't get effected by the heat. The phone was over $300, the S9's at under $50 I consider to be disposable.
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Old 04-16-2009, 09:57 AM   #8
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I'm trying to solve the hearing protector hurting my head with the eyeglass earpiece problem. Maybe a flat elastic to hold the glasses on rather than earpieces? Been meaning to get some prescription safety glasses...
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
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: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:18 AM   #9
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When I worked with heavy equipment and needed hearing protection I liked the foam protectors. It looked like a styrofoam peanut. You rolled it between your fingers to compress it, then you put it in your ear, and it expanded to fit. Worked well, and didn't interfere with my glasses. However, listening to music would be out of the question.

-Jay
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Old 04-16-2009, 10:21 AM   #10
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When my earpieces hurt too much, that's what I do. My lawnmower is so loud I actually wear foam plugs and hearing protectors at the same time! Need better hearing protectors, I guess. I actually sleep with the foam ones in because I have real insomnia troubles (light and temp are issues too). Since I also grind my teeth in my sleep and wear a night guard, the full ensemble is a bit ridiculous looking, but it beats using medication if I don't have to.

At least I don't have sleep apnea and need one of those blower masks.
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Main Entry: co de pen dence - see codependency
co de pen den cy
Pronunciation: \kō-di-ˈpen-dən(t)-sē\
Function: noun
Date: 1979

: a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin) ; broadly : dependence on the needs of or control by another
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