Make Comfortable Noise-Isolating Earbuds For Less Than A Dollar

Make Comfortable Noise-Isolating Earbuds For Less Than A Dollar

Many people don’t want or need to spend hundreds of dollars on premium earbuds, but want to hear the ones they have more clearly. Turn some basic and inexpensive earbuds into a noise-isolating pair with this simple hack.

All you’ll need is a pair of earbuds with the plug-on-a-post design, as seen in the video below, along with some basic foam earplugs, and some basic tools like a pair of scissors. Watch the video below to see how to quickly and easily modify the foam earplugs to fit the earbuds:

One thing to keep in mind: Foam earplugs are meant to be disposable and they will get crudy over time. Not all earplugs are equal however; when you’re purchasing them take a close look at the material. The absolute cheapest foam earplugs are open-cell and will quickly accumulate dirt and earwax. Nicer and barely more expensive, disposable earplugs are closed-cell and can be cleaned and reused.

The open-cell plugs will have a slightly porous look to them and a texture that feels somewhat like an eraser. The closed-cell plugs have a slight shine to them and have a much smoother and softer feel. Either way, we’d recommend buy a couple pairs and bulk making replacements for when the original set gets worn out.

Have your own trick for modifying headphones? Sound off in the comments.


  • I used closed cell quality ear plugs “spark plug” brand, which were also a groovy green swirl colour, and put a red hot nail through the middle of the uncompressed plug. Then pulled the Apple ear bud (less the original silicone) well inside the plug. It was firm and snug around the wider ear bud body. Then trimmed off the excess just 1-2 mm past the ear bud’s narrower end, and that was it! 7 minutes and they are much better than the originals. More comfortable and far better sound blocking. Even the music has a better base, since they are fitting better.

Log in to comment on this story!