How Are Headphones Made?

From the moment when Nathanial Baldwin invented the first headphones back in 1910, they became the main addition of communication all over the world. Of course, the innovation in technology brought us the possibility to enjoy in various designs, new features, and applications specifically designed to provide us the clarity and enjoyment while listening.

I am also a big fan of headphones, and since they entered my life, I started to think differently about technology. Nowadays, I try to understand everything about my passion, and those are headphones. Therefore, I will tell you a brief history and everything that you should know about the process of making headphones.

Basic Materials

As we all know, the first headphones include the wide array of handmade materials such as leather, rubber, ceramics, and copper. Today, they still have the same building principles, but the technology advanced and gave us the possibility to use less space to make the useful sound.

You can find numerous types of headphones available on the market with a wide spectrum of materials starting from foam, vinyl, silicone, artificial leather, advanced plastic, textile and many more.

I have mentioned above that everything started by Nathaniel Baldwin in 1910, however, since then the style, performance, and design radically changed. Modern

Types of Headphones

The design and materials manufacturers use to make headphones depends on their price point and application. You should weight everything that I mention here before you enter the store to purchase new headphones.

As you have noticed, there is a wide array of designs, but some of them are largely popular all across the world. Of course, each design has its disadvantages and benefits, which is similar to any other product available on the market.

The most common and cheapest headphones are earbuds that you have to insert into the ear canal, in-ear, super-aural and circumaural. The application and design dictate the manufacturing procedure and materials used.


Earbuds can withstand abuse as well as tear and wear due to the materials that they include. This is because they enter partially into the ear. The most popular material designs are a combination of tough plastic materials such as polyester and polycarbonate. Check the best wireless earbuds for running here.

Over The Ear Headphones

Circumaural or over the ear headphones are the largest type of headphones, and they have to envelop both ears. At the same time, they feature a wide range of materials. The most popular materials used for the construction of these headphones are polyurethane, real leather, faux leather filled with foam, wide array of textiles such as valor, velvet, and plush. Check the best over-ear headphones under $100 here.

If you want to choose the combination of immersive comfort and durable materials, I recommend you to consider Sony MDR1A Stereo Headphones.

In Ear Headphones

You should have in mind that design of in-ear headphones is important because you have to insert them into the ear canal. At the same time, they have to be susceptible to carrying germs, because, on the other hand, you can earn ear infection. You can find a lot of information from the post on “is sharing headphones hygienic?”.

Most in-ear headphones feature natural or synthetic rubbers. Have in mind that the best types feature hypoallergenic and medical grade silicones. This particular information is important because it will narrow your search and speed up the buying process.

However, other headphones can have lousy plastic, so if you want to find the durable headphones, we recommend you to go for a higher price such as Focal Sphear High-Resolution In-Ear Headphones.

Against The Ear

When it comes to against the ear or supra-aural headphones, most of them feature rubber, PVC, artificial leather and memory foam. They also contain a piece of plastic that will easily bend around the head so that you can wear them with comfort.

In most cases, people use it for video game purposes, because it is comfortable to use for extended periods. However, they are not for audiophiles and people who require a superb sound quality.

Main Components

The transducer is a technical term for the speaker. We decided to present you different types of transducer designs so that you can understand how headphones function.

Moving coil

The most popular and common type of speaker is the moving coil driver. The other name is dynamic stereo. It functions by using a stationary magnet at the supporting frame of the headphone that will create a magnetic field. The main component of this particular magnet is ferrite composite and neodymium.

The headphone features affixiated diaphragm to the voice coil. The sound appears when the audio passes through coil and alternate to the static magnetic fields clash. Everything features the technology similar to microphone capsule technology.


Electret transducer features functions that include a permanent built-in charge. Even though, manufacturers are not using it anymore, because electrostatic transducers became more popular. The main reason why some people still use electret transducers is due to cheaper reproduction when compared with electrostatics.


Electrostatic transducer features divers that include the thin charged electrical diaphragm. It also features PET film membrane between two metal plates. The sound enters the electrical field by using air through the perforation. The air merges with an electrical signal that will lead the sound through the membrane.

This particular process will generate sound waves. You should have in mind that electrostatic headphones are more expensive than moving coil alternatives because they have wide frequency range and durable components that will stand the test of time.

Manufacturing Process

The sole process is the combination of machine and hand methods. Some tiny pieces such as internal speaker configuration people do it by hand and place it in the casing. In most cases, each worker has the individual responsibility, which will finally lead to a high-quality product.

On the other hand, machines are responsible for headphone casings, because it is way cheaper and faster to do it like that. Most of them feature molded plastic or other materials.


As you can see from everything that we have mentioned above, different types of headphones use different materials and manufacturing principle. We passed a long way from 1910 until today, and finally, we can say that implementation of new technology is a great way to reduce the hassle during the manufacturing process.

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