9 Tips How To Stop Headphones From Leaking Sound – [SOLVED]

9 tips stop sound leakage

You can stop headphones sound leakage by having a headphone that:

  • Is closed on the back.
  • Completely surround your ear.
  • For earbuds style, use a gel tip that goes in your ear.

Below are more 9 tips you can use to stop sound leaking.

Reasons behind the headphones sound leakage

Before proceeding with my 9 tips I researched for you I want you to understand first what are the reasons behind the sound leakage of your headphones or earbuds. Basically, there are three main factors behind that cause which are:

  1. Headphone driver size: Headphones with smaller driver type produce less leakage, earbuds, and in-ear headsets have the least amount of leakage hence open back earbuds or in-ear headsets tend to have less leakage comparing to closed-back over-ears headphones.
  2. Enclosure: If two headphones are with the same exact design and size except is with open-back and one is closed-back, the open-back one will leak considerably more.opened back vs closed back headphones
  3. Transducer: there are 5 types of transducers “which is the mechanism of transforming electrical signals to sound” and the one with the most leakage amount is the Planar Magnetic transducer, because Planar Magnetic headphones emit sound bi-directionally and tend to leak more from the back compared to headphones with a Dynamic or Balanced Armature transducer. noting the most leakage amount the Planar Magnetic transducer produces were used only by open-back headphones.
NOTE: I am not intending to describe more details and educate you further about drivers and transducers as the details are all about technical stuff which you do not need to study it for this article, however, for the record the 5 types of the headphones transducers are:

  1. Dynamic “moving coil”.
  2. Balanced armature.
  3. Planar magnetic.
  4. Electrostatic.
  5. Magnetostriction “bone conduction”.

Is there a way to stop my headphones from leaking sound?

There are several tips and tricks on how to reduce sound leaking but there is no ultimate or final solution to stop it, as far as I know, neither on the internet, you cannot find a final solution for stopping normal headphones from leaking sound while they weren’t designed for this purpose.

NOTE: The sound leakage is part of the headphones design, designing part of the speaker to be opened creates a larger soundstage and give a deeper bass to the played music.

But still, you can try the below 9 tips & tricks or learn which headphone type is better solving your sound leaking issues.

9 TIPS HOW TO STOP HEADPHONES FROM LEAKING SOUND

  1. Foam ear tips (not silicone tips): If you are using in-ear earbuds, simply try changing its tips from silicon to foam made ones, these foam ear tips are way better sound leaking reduction than the normal silicon made ones.
    Foam ear tips leakage isolation
  2. Buy foam earpads: which are perfect for many large on-ear headphones, those foam earpads are comfortable to use and also reduce most of the sound leakage if you replace your own with these its a good solution while they are covering the whole ears.
    foam pads noise cancellation
  3. Cover your earbuds by your hands: I know this solution might not look practical if you want to enjoy listening to music, but it is so effective if you want to listen to a private conversation or message while surrounded by people simply cover both ears completely by your hands while wearing your earbuds.
  4. Use bone conduction headphones: those bone conduction headphones leak very little sound comparing to normal headphones.
    bone headphone
  5. Use noise isolating headphones: this is the best solution to be honest if you want not to annoy people around you, these types of headphones were made for this purpose. (But if you do not have the budget to buy them simply rely on ear-protection muffs described in point 6 below which is way costing less but you need to DIY).
  6. Use a pair of ear-protection ear muffs: something like a closed-back over-ear headphone to cover your earbuds, but also in case you are not using earbuds but normal headphone still you can DIY to make your own professional sound isolation headphone.
    sound leak isolation earmuff
  7. Absorb more frequencies: in case you will try to use a pair of ear-protection muffs described above in point 4, you can reduce more sound leakage by absorbing some sound frequencies from your headphones, to do that you can stuff noise and sound isolation foams (dampening material) inside of the cups, this trick will massively reduce sound leakage.
  8. Turn your volume down: this is also a very good tip for your ear health, you need to learn more about that by checking “Will using a Bluetooth headphone cause a damage to my head?” article.
  9. In-ear monitors (IEMs): You also can try this kind of headphones which are basically custom designed for musicians or studios that are well made to isolate noises and sound leakage.
    In ear monitors IEM
NOTE: If you are using Apple earbuds, there is not much you can do about it rather than fitting it into ear-protection ear muffs otherwise they were designed that way, and to stop bothering people around simple listen to music quieter.

DIY soundproof headphone hack

In this section, I will show you step by step how to build your own soundproof headphone using materials most of us have at home except maybe for the ear muff, the quality of this soundproof headphone will be rocking, it will isolate not only the sound leakage of your headphone but also isolate you completely from hearing anything outside the headphones while enjoying perfectly listening to your favorite music ..

NOTE: It’s important to mention that preparing the soundproof in this method “which many people tried before” by using different speakers than below will make a little loss in the sound Bass, because if you gonna use an open-back headphone with big headset instead then you have to open the speakers themselves and take away its back cover, but in our speaker method we will use the whole speaker body including the back cover of it which will give a perfect sound beat and bass.

Let’s do it, the materials needed for this DIY project are:

  • Pliers
  • Wire strippers
  • Drill
  • Soldering gun
  • Epoxy or glue
  • Razor blade

STEP 1: Preparing the ear-muff by pulling out the foam gently till it gets out completely.

pull foam gently

STEP 2: When both foams have pulled and ready, use your razor blade to make a divot on each foam same size of your headphone speakers we just prepared in step 1.

divot in the foam

the divot will look like this

divot for each speaker

STEP 3: Bring you Y cable and be sure it has a 3.5 mm jack at the other end which is the proper size to fit the most common devices and mobiles for headphones.

y cables with 3.5 mm jack

Cut both red and white end sockets using your cutter or pliers as shown in the below image.

snip off cut both heads

STEP 4: Now bring your drill machine to make a hole in the left side of your ear muff in order to pull both cables ends (as shown in the image above after cutting their heads).

drill the ear muff

Pull the cables inside the hole you just drilled (as shown in the below image)

cables inside the hole you drilled

STEP 5: Make another small hole on the top of the same left side of the muff cup and pass one cable out of the two, the cable length should be enough to reach the other speaker (right side speaker) by threading it through the band on top (as described in the below image).

thread the cable to the other speaker

Make another small hole on the top of the right speaker and insert the cable that comes out from the band into the right cup of the muff (as shown in the below image)

pull the cable into the right side hole

STEP 6: Cut and prepare your headphone into two pieces using your pliers.

cut both speakers

Remove both speakers pads off and back covers preparing both speakers to be fixed into the ear muffs.

remove speaker pads and covers

STEP 7: Slice each cable end using the wire stripper tool and a lighter if required.

wire stripper

Solder cables on each speaker using the soldering gun but before that be sure to insert the cables through the foam pads and put back the foam pads into the ear-muff cups.

solder cables into speakers

STEP 8: Fix back all pieces together using epoxy or a glue thus the final headphones should look like the below image.

final headphones after fix back all pieces

Conclusion

Sound leakage as I mentioned before is part of the headphone design itself as those headphones designed to use the sound leakage to enlarge the sound the user is listening and giving it more bass, however, there are special headphones made to be soundproof with minimal leakage you could buy, although most of those headphones are pretty expensive still there are some with affordable prices out there.

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Firas Sameer

This is me Firas Sameer the one behind “How To Fix Headphones” wearing my Beats headphone, I like listening to music a lot but since I had some issues with my headphone jack and I had to replace it my self, I decided to create this website and help you guys with headphone hacks all the way I am learning new ones and other stuff which helps you fix your own.

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