Headphone Repair

Back in high school I worked as a seasonal sales associate at Future Shop, and the best perk of the job by far was the employee discount. I made use of it on a pair of Shure SRH-840 headphones. They served me well until about a year later in university when I took them out of my bag to discover that one of the earpieces had broken off of the headband. As they were out of warranty, I put them on a shelf and decided I’d revisit the problem in the future.

Enter 2018, and I suddenly had a 3D printer at my disposal. Fixing these headphones would be a great first project to build my printing skills. I started by taking apart the headphones to see what had broken.

The hinge pieces were brittle and had cracked. (The photo above is with the pieces placed where they were originally)

With the hinge cap removed, I could see how the ear cup connected to the headband. The hinge body was pinned into the headband, allowing it to rotate. I removed the hinge body and set to work reverse-engineering both the hinge body and cap in Solidworks. I used a pair of calipers and some eyeball measurements to figure out how big everything was.

Now it was as simple as 3D printing the parts. I printed them in PLA using a Prusa i3 Mk3.

To my surprise, everything fit more-or-less as I expected. The holes for the screws were a bit tight, but I’d rather put a little bit more torque on them than have the screws pull out too easily. I considered painting the pieces black, but I like the contrast.

In the future I may reprint them with a stronger material like black polycarbonate. The fake leather on the headband is disintegrating, so that may be a future project too. But for now, I’m happy to have brought these headphones back from the dead.