Introduction: Altoids Speakers!

Picture of Altoids Speakers!

If you want to hear music in bed but don't want to fall asleep and get choked by the 'phones or 'buds, here are some mini speakers for you.

I warn you the sound isn't great but it's pretty good for an altoids tin. Besides, if it's quiet in your room it's good enough.

*Regular size altoids tin(1.76 oz)
*Headphones you won't want back(cheap ones)
*felt(for the inside of the tin)
*small paperclip
*Scissors or other cutting tool(optional, but recommended)
*Foam adhesive(better and neater than tape)

Step 1: Headphone Surgery

Picture of Headphone Surgery

Take your cheapo headphones. I'm sorry i couldn't provide a picture, but it's fairly simple. Take the soft pads of the earphones(keep 'em for later). Then use pliers to remove them from the head set. The 'phones usually are latched in. The latches must be broken, but they are plastic so it's easy. Wear goggles in case the plastic breaks off and hits you in the face. Safety first right? After this step you will have the "speakers" and the earpads. Throw away the headband part.

I finished this before the instructable, so I am showing you the finished version. You can get the idea either way. Hope it's not confusing. This is my first instructable so comment.

Step 2: Prepare the Tin

Picture of Prepare the Tin

Eat the altoids in the tin. Then cover the inside of the tin with felt. Glue the felt to anchor it. You can just use elmers. You can get the felt real cheap at craft stores. I used green for mine; a sort of "pool table" look.

You can see I lined the top and the bottom with the felt(inside the tin)

Then cut an opening in the tin on the side so when you close the tin the cord can come out.

Step 3: Finish It Up.

Picture of Finish It Up.

Put the headphones into the earpads, and then put an adhesive square on the back or strong tape. Don't use glue for this one.

Now take your paperclip and straighten it out, except for the top. Bend the top into the shape in the picture.
You will use this to prop the tin open when listening. You could also leave the tin completely open(duh) but sometimes this gives better sound. Do what you like.

Step 4: Your Done!

Picture of Your Done!

Now the speakers are in the tin, the tin is prepared. Now plug the headphone cord into your music player, but first turn the volume up all the way! This is the only way you can hear it, but it works surprisingly well. Use the paperclip to prop it open, or not. You can paint the in or leave it blank.

Sorry if this was confusion- I should have done this better.

And for all those who think "why don't I just buy a speaker system?" Ok I know this doesn't get great sound. Come on. It's just cool to make. Maybe you should go buy a speaker system. This is just a cool little project for cheap.


ChrisB381 (author)2016-03-26

I was able to use an Altoids Minis and use some smaller headphones, it looks the same, just smaller!

Devin_Roberts made it! (author)2015-01-30

I made it but did a little twist on mine. It was loads of fun to build and I would love to make another.

laughingjungle made it! (author)2014-02-19

This was pretty fun. nice to have tunes in the jungle. I put a little amp and jack receiver. takes a 9v but lasts for ever, almost.

joshigovind12 (author)2013-12-31

Hello! Nice Project! I have a simple suggestion; Maybe you could drill small holes on the top of the tin in a circular area and turn the speakers the other way around. I'm trying to incorporate this speaker system in a minty boost kit. Thanks a lot!

Noremac_11 (author)2013-09-02

You need an amp

Father Christmas (author)2009-05-07

this is less effective than just turning the headphone volume to max...

look up altoids tin speaker. it already has an amplification circuit in it, and just plug a male to male audio cable into the output source and tin. i, also, have found that earphones or headphones are much more efficient at volume, or at lest they produce more sound with the same power (that's how it is for me with a lot of things)

notoriouss (author)kroq-gar782009-09-28

Lol, i like how they call them "Male" and "Female" parts, cuz the male component goes in the female one XP

dodo91 (author)notoriouss2013-09-01

maturity level: OVER 9000 :P

Frowney001 (author)notoriouss2012-10-22

Plumbers and Electricians are notorious for using dorogatory names for components...

monkeyman2424 (author)notoriouss2012-06-17

Glad you caught that...

well, I think that depends on the headphones in use. I have a pair of extremely poor quality headphones that are better called speakers. At a maximum volume setting, they sound much better than otherwise.


Derek Vigil (author)2011-06-05

What I did with mine was put the speakers on the bottom part of the can so that the wires didnt bend or anything. Thanks, this instructable did help.

sjoobbani (author)2010-03-25

 if you take EARBUDS and put them into a PVC tube, might need some cutting, get 1/2 INCH kind, and then you have super loud stuff, BUT YOU NEED to experiment with lenght, depending on ur general music type to get rite, because it WILL screw the sound if YOU DON't.
Sorry CAPS lOck kEy is beinG reaLLY WEIRD

Atlas22 (author)2009-11-22

this rocks!

Chikara (author)2009-08-13

it is "Curiously Musical"

rayleee (author)2009-07-18

you should turn the speakers around because this will stop the sound from being absorbed by the can

spikelea (author)2009-07-08

I have made it and find that it is a pretty good idea. it produces about as much sound as iphone speakers, but is a great accessory to carry with an ipod

socool1998 (author)2009-01-19

why do we need to put felt

iwant2lern (author)socool19982009-04-19

cause without the felt the can will vibrate and make the sound sound crappy. so with the felt it kinda of acts like a sound absorber and makes the sound sound cleaner =)

Wafflicious (author)socool19982009-02-15

looks better

fireruler12 (author)2009-04-11

i did it and i didn't hear it barely.

fatfoohy (author)2009-04-04

i did a similar on but i wound the cords up in the bottom and just drilled a hole in the side of the can and put the jack out there. its alot easier and less messy

quesoman (author)2009-03-26

couldn't you cut holes the size of the eatrphones in the top of the tin so you could have it all the way closed and still get good sound???

kimball100 (author)2009-02-20

I like the idea of them being in the tin because it is small and can fit in to your pocket

Sk8erCk4Life (author)2008-11-21

DUDE alsome instructable. I tried it but instead put one bigger speaker in there and taking a twenty foot wire and hooking the audio plug up to it and add a battery in there so that it will have enough energy to go through the cord.

fearme36 (author)2008-11-05

mmm... mint flavored music... yum

dvnfntn (author)2008-07-11

pretty cool idea dude

MisterMissanthrope (author)2008-07-02

i think its a good idea all in all, sure like people said it could be worked out more but thats nothing, you did a great job, and its very interesting, but what i would do is either build a retracter, or get those headphones with a retractor. The only problem with my idea is that i think the only ones with retractors are buds, and im questioning the sound output of buds. Anyway just what im thinking

Tmbo17932 (author)2008-05-21

Can i use ipod earphones instead of those big things?

Derin (author)Tmbo179322008-06-25

i think so but you are then willing to solder to thin and shielded wires

dz0004455 (author)2008-05-18

I made a similar thing a while ago, but I used some speakers from an old laptop, it was WAY to quiet, but I never thought to use it to go to sleep to... By the way, don't try to drill holes in an altoids box, it doen't work that well without very much effort, and this is supposed to be easy. Cutting the box like you did is a much better strategy!

TheMoonMaster (author)2008-05-11

I made this but with two differences. I used and icebreakers case because I didnt have any altoids and two I used the cheap earBUDS that came with my cd player. The're way louder.

fire bat (author)2008-04-27

dude this is soooooooo cool

sajada (author)2008-03-07

This is an awesome instructable guy. You dont have to keep apologizing, it deserves better.

yodasoda6 (author)2008-03-02

Thanks for the comments. I agree, but I didn't have a computer speaker. Thanks, I'll try it. And cutting the hole for the wires is so they can stick out when the tin is closed.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-02

A nice idea I guess. I was just going to say most of the stuff Firebert010 said, but in a different way though... nice job, it's a good idea kind of.

Firebert010 (author)2008-03-02

I'm not so sure about this one. It's a decent effort, but taking out the speaker from a computer speaker and putting a plastic cup over it would produce a better result, especially because you can get old computer speakers anywhere. Decent 'Ible, but the idea is lacking.

xtank5 (author)2008-03-02

Isn't cutting a hole for the wires to go through kinda redundant? Seeming as how you prop open the tin anyway you wouldn't need to put the wires through that hole. Other than that, nice work. I might make one of these from some of those free Air Canada earphones they give out on every flight. (I have tons of 'em)

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