Tragus piercing headphone

edited September 2015 in Magnets
Hi. This is my first post here, so I'm not sure if this is in the right category. I was wondering if you think it's possible to use a tragus piercing with a magnet attached to the jewelry as a headphone with a coil and amplifier, kind of like what Rich Lee did, but without implanting a magnet in your ear. I thought of either a CBR that has a ball made of a small neodymium magnet, or a stud that has a small neodymium magnet attached to the back of it. Do you think something like that is possible?


  • As long as you can adjust the orientation of the magnet, totally.
  • Awesome. Then I think I'm gonna try that. Do you think one type of jewelry would be more effective(ring vs stud)? Also, what is the smallest size of a magnet that you think would work for this? 
  • I'd say a stud, just because it would be more firmly attached to the tragus, but either should work.
  • It will be vital to use a piercing with the smallest mass.
    If you use a CBR you have a lot of mass being vibrated by a small magnet. Plus, you have to figure out how to capture a magnet.
    I made a magnetic piercing but I've had no luck so I hope you can improve on my method.
    My method was to purchase a short post, 12ga stainless steel in my case, and two stainless steel 5mm beads. Plastic would probably have been a better choice for all parts. I cut a bead in half and glued a 5mm diameter cylindrical magnet to the flat face with super glue.
    No matter how close I held the coil from "Invisible Headphones" I couldn't get sound from them.
  • Good point about the mass of the piercing. I was thinking of using a labret stud with a flat back, and I would glue the magnet to the back of it and put it in with the magnet on the side closer to my ear canal. 
    Another idea I had was to use a small barbell and replace one of the beads with a tiny buckyball magnet, but I'm not sure if it's possible to drill holes into those for attaching one to the barbell, or if a spherical magnet could even be used to produce sound in this type of setup.
    btw, was your piercing in your tragus? or was it somewhere else on your ear.
  • Hmm.. I wonder if you would get better vibration if you took a small cylinder magnet and simply sealed it in a piece of capillary tubing or the equivalent. It would be able to vibrate around more.
  • I wouldn't advise drilling into a neodymium magnet. Nd is not good for tooling so you won't be able to tap threads into it anyway. And toxic. That's why I glued a whole magnet to half-bead.
  • @Cassox Is the tube supposed to go in the piercing? because it sounds pretty thick, and the tragus is usually pierced at 16g. 

    @McSTUFF I thought of gluing the barbell rod straight into the hole in the magnet, so threads would not be needed. But I hadn't thought of the toxicity of the neodymium, so I guess that idea is out.
  • Maybe we could approach this differently. Reducing the mass of the whole piercing is going to be difficult but this assumes we're trying to vibrate the whole piercing using the flesh as the flexible element. Seems reasonable.
    BUT, what if we mounted a magnet with flexible material, like ordinary silicone, and attached the silicone to a piercing stud? Imagine a magnet bouncing around on a layer of squishy silicone. The magnet vibrations should produce sound waves in the air.
    Since nothing is being implanted we can even use a dirty word...Sugru. Or hardware store silicone for that matter. For a proof-of-concept it wouldn't be expensive or require tools more complicated than a tongue depressor and a toothpick.
    I'm wondering if the
  • Well if you're using that strategy, McStuff, just build a small speaker cone and put that on the end of a piercing. Also, for a speaker you want a flexible but stiff material, not a squishy one. Silicone will absorb your vibration and dampen them.
  • @ElectricFeel, I don't understand. What would actuate the speaker cone?
  • The magnet. Passive cone active driver.
  • I see. So, instead of a speaker coil getting driven from positive and negative terminals it would be a closed loop? The coil would surround a magnet and have a cone perpendicular to the coil's axis?
    Some old headphones with small drivers and the terminals tied together should do the trick, yes? Easy enough to test if that's true.
  • It's still the same manner of operation as a normal speaker, but the voice coil and permanent magnet are swapped (magnet on the cone), and the coil is expanded to a larger loop. Alignment then becomes the more pressing concern.

    For a simple test rig, you could glue a small Nb magnet to a disk of paper and suspend that in a ring. This would be the core of the system.
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