Tips To Make Your Own Awesome Headphone Stand

By Wesley Fenlon

With some wood, PVP pipe and a little craftsmanship, you could build a boss headphone stand of your very own.

Do you chuckle every time you see someone listening to music with those iconic Apple earbuds? Cheap and available they may be, but they’ll never come close to matching the audio quality of a great pair of headphones. Picking out the perfect headphones isn’t an easy decision, either--they can cost in the hundreds of dollars, and you have to choose between open and closed phones or go for a high-end headset. And once you’re fully immersed in that world of aural bliss, another expensive hobby arises: customization.

Headphone cans are the perfect size and shape for classy custom panels or artwork. And most high-end headphones are already pretty stylish--when they look that good, they deserve a suave headphone stand to hold them up for the world to see. If you’re adventurous, that means building something with your own two hands.

Stand Tall and Build ‘em Yourself

DIY Headphone Stand thread on Head-Fi is a wealth of knowledge on craftsmanship and design. Here are some general tips gleaned from their members, covering the basics of beginning woodworking and what kind of parts to use without breaking the bank. Get your knowledge on, then browse through the gallery to see some incredible headphone stands.

Browsing through Head-Fi’s awesome assortment of DIY headphone stands, there are a couple repeating trends that stick out.  

  • Legos are still awesome, and work well for a fun, eye-catching stand.
  • Ikea Hacks is an excellent resource for DIY projects and a solid headphone stand.
  • In fact, Ikea and Home Depot sell rods, handles and knobs that can cheaply and easily be cobbled together to create attractive stands.
  • A cheap drawer handle, for example, is perfect for wrapping a cord around. Two of them could hold up a stand.
  • Everyday household objects can get the job done. Rolling pin? Totally works. Plastic CD-R container? Ghetto, but functional.

The average stand is comprised of a flat wooden base, a vertical rod, and a horizontal rod for supporting the headphones. Many of Head-Fi’s posters worked with wood because it’s affordable and easy to sand and stain. When you get fancy, you can start experimenting with more expensive types of wood. PVC pipe is a common choice for the rods. One explanation:

Costs about 5$ to make (in wood/PVC pipe). Im amazed by how much better it makes my headphones look over a 3$ plastic banana stand.

If anyone wants to make one - take 1 1/2" ID PVC pipe, cut it at a 45 and trim the edges down to the height/length you want. File any rough spots and then glue with some plastic glue (ie model glue), clamp, let sit overnight. Spray paint the next day.

The base is some scrap wood cut down, sanded and varnished. It has a wood block screwed to it that holds the PVC pipe snugly.

And more woodworking advice:

At this point my best advice would be to be patient, Rome wasn't built in a day. Start with 100 or 120 grit sandpaper, and once you have all the tool marks smoothed out move on to 220 grit. Take your time and sand it all nice and uniform. I then hit it with 320, but that's not absolutely necessary.
As for finish I like lacquer. I use an HVLP sprayer, but you can get fabulous results with Deft brand spray lacquer from Lowes and Home Depot. Don't spray too heavy of a coat. 5 light coats is far superior to 2 or 3 heavy ones. Let the lacquer dry for an hour or so between each coat. If you do get any runs, sand them down with 220 before recoating. Also buy some 0000 steel wool, and buff the piece down with that in between each coat. Make sure to either blow the piece off with compressed air or wipe it down good with a clean cloth, or better yet a tack cloth before applying the next coat. You'll end up with a nice satin finish as smooth as a babies butt, and durable too.

Though the designs vary enormously, the more professional stands take into account the headband. For example, you'll see many stands within with wide, curved tops--the width keeps pressure from resting on any one spot, which will keep the headband padding from being depressed and eventually worn down at a pressure point. Others use padding to achieve the same effect. A simple hook may do the job, but eventually it could leave a lasting impression in that padding. 

Buying Your Way to Class

We're not all talented enough to pull off building insanely nice headphone stands. Thankfully, there are some gorgeous manufactured alternatives out there. If you're a headphone fanatic, check out NeoGAF's $500 cans on, this is how you dream right thread. 
Mannequin heads are cheap and the perfect shape for a pair of 'phones to rest on. Also, bonus points for creepiness. The Sieveking Sound Omega Headphone Stands are drop-dead gorgeous, but pricey at $180. Hey, they're imported from Germany, after all! One of the DIY projects in the gallery above took the basic shape of Sieveking's design and recreated it in cardboard. Woo Audio produces some super slick aluminum headphone stands that should give you a nice taste of modern style. The $59 and $79 models use a wide top to protect your padding, while the cheaper $29 model exhibits a cool design with a thinner rod. 
banana hangers. It might sound crazy, but if you're just lookin' for a simple hook and a cool stand, they can't be beat. 
Feeling inspired yet? If you have a nice pair of headphones, snap a pic and demonstrate how you show 'em off.