Weekend Project: The Stealth Mic

Make a set of sneaky earbuds that record what you hear. They create a binaural effect
when played back wearing headphones.
Thanks go to Bill Byrne for the original article in MAKE, Volume 17.
To download The Stealth Mic MP4 click here or subscribe in iTunes.

Check out the complete Stealth Mic article in MAKE, Volume 17 “The Stealth Mic”
and you can see that in our Digital Edition.

8 thoughts on “Weekend Project: The Stealth Mic

  1. Peter Hansen says:

    If you join the positive leads from both earbuds and solder them to the same terminal, you’ll get a monaural set of earbuds, not a binaural set. To get true binaural, you need to solder the positive lead of one mic to the lug for the tip of the plug and the positive lead of the other mic to the lug for the ring of the plug.

  2. Chalain says:

    1. Be careful that you do not nick the magnet wire when scraping off the varnish. If you have matches or a lighter handy, it’s better to burn the varnish off, then wipe the copper clean of soot with a paper towel.

    2. Don’t solder the ground lead to the U-tab! That’s a strain relief, not a solder tab. There’s a hole part way up the ground lug, solder there. Then lay all three wires in the groove, and gently crimp those tabs around the wires. Now if you drop your mp3 recorder and have the earbuds ripped out of your ears, the wires won’t be ripped of the solder tabs.

    Great article!

  3. Tim says:

    Haha, love the ‘SOLDER!’ in the background. Hear hear! There’s clearly an L in there.

    And as Peter said, connected like that it will be mono.

  4. richms says:

    When you can just go to the dollar store and get some god-aweful headphones (probably for less than the cost of the 3.5mm plug used in the video) and that comes pre-attached to wire, and has the covers for the buds as well.

    Last ones I gutted had enameled wire as well – only loads of strands of each colour so it was nice and flexible – the stiffness may help if you want to position the mic capsules away from your hat etc (less noise from hair etc)

    I had a similar setup for when I was recording with my minidisc player many many years back when out.

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