Introduction: Beats by Kate (DIY Headphones)

Materials

  • roll of 28 AWG wire (at least 6 meters needed- two 3 meter long strands)
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe’s
    • NEED 9 METERS IF USING THE WIRE AS CONNECTION INSTEAD OF ALLIGATOR CLIPS
  • 12 inches (or more) electrical tape
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe’s
  • 2 plastic cups or containers for headphone baskets
    • about 3 inches in diameter and 3 inches in height
    • can be bought at Walmart or Target
  • wire cutter
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe’s (you can also use regular scissors)
  • scissors
  • 2 small neodymium magnets (dime sized, 2 cm thick, 3 1/2 cm diameter)
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Amazon
  • small glue stick
  • regular tape (about 6 inches needed plus 8 inches more)
  • aux plug WITHOUT WIRE
  • 3 alligator clips (about 8 inches for the wire each
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe’s
    • can also use more wire in substitute (twist the wires together instead of alligator clips as attachment) about 6 ft of wire needed
  • Sandpaper
    • can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe's
  • 1 sq. foot of aluminum foil (OPTIONAL)
  • headband that reaches earlobe no need to go out and buy one; use an old headband, ask anyone you know if they have an old headband they don’t want, or buy one at Michaels, Amazon
  • anything that can be used for decoration
    • go crazy at Michaels (unless you don't have any money, decorate with rice; that's what I did)

FEEL FREE TO COMMENT ANY QUESTIONS

Step 1: Three Most Important Components of a Speaker

The three most important components of any speaker are the magnet, voice coil, and the diaphragm. The permanent magnet is important because it provides the magnetic field and attracts and repels with the voice coil. The voice coil is important because it strengthens the magnetic field and provides a path for the electric current to travel through. The diaphragm is important because it amplifies the vibrations, caused by the voice coil, to push the sound waves out.

Step 2: Creating the Coils

  1. Take the glue stick and loosely wrap the regular tape around it (sticky side up) so that ¾ of the glue stick is covered in tape.
  2. Take the electrical wire and wrap around the tape 45 times so that the coils are tight together, but you are able to remove the wire from the glue stick (remember to leave 2 inches of the wire hanging off each end of the coils).

Step 3: Removing the Coils and Sanding

  1. When finished making the coils, remove the tape with the coils from the glue stick and cut the tape off carefully.
  2. Tape the coils together so the coils stay in a tight roll.
  3. Sand 1 ½ inches of each end of the coils.

Step 4: Building the Speakers

  1. Take one magnet and carefully place on top of one container.
  2. Take the coils and place them on the base of the cup so that the magnet is in the middle of the coils.
  3. Use the electrical tape to keep the coils in place, but leave the two ends of the coil exposed.

Step 5: Connection Between Speaker and Aux Jack

  1. Take aux cord and open it (twist off black covering) so that the terminals or the wires connected to the terminals are visible.
  2. Attach the wires to the terminals by taking each inch of wire at the ends and attaching each end to one terminal and make sure that there is a firm connection between the coils and the aux cord (you can burn the wires to make sure there’s even a firmer connection).

Step 6: Confirmation

  1. Plug the aux cord into your device and check if you can hear the music playing; if you can’t, make the connection between the aux cord and the coils firmer by twisting the coils around the aux cord more or pressing the coils down on basket (container) harder.

Step 7: OPTIONAL DIAPHRAGM

  1. Once the connection is firm, add a diaphragm (the foil) by cutting it so that it fits the basket (but add an inch more to the diameter) and attach the foil to the basket with tape (OPTIONAL).
  • You can also use a different diaphragm (ex: paper, plastic wrap, cardboard)

Step 8: Create Another Speaker

  1. Create another speaker (follow steps 1-6) using the rest of the materials

Step 9: Permanent Connection Between Speaker and Aux Jack (if Using Alligator Clips)

  1. Separate the ends of the coils on each speaker and straighten them out.
  2. Connect one wire end from each speaker’s voice coil to the two ends of the alligator clips and twist the wire so that the connection is strong (one wire to on each side of one alligator clip).
  • To make sure connection is stronger, use the 4 inches of the electrical tape to wrap coils around the alligator clips.

Step 10: Permanent Connection Between Speaker and Aux Jack (if Using Wire)

  1. Separate the ends of the coils on each speaker and straighten them out.
  2. Connect one wire end from each speaker’s voice coil to the two ends of the sanded wire (only 2 inches of each end of the wire needs to be sanded) and twist the wire so that the connection is strong (one wire to on each side of the wire.

Step 11: Connecting the Two Speakers (if Using Alligator Clips)

  1. The other end of the coils will be connected to another alligator clip (each wire gets one alligator clip).
  2. To make sure the connection is even better, use the last 4 inches of the electrical tape to wrap the coils of the last wires to the alligator clips.
  3. Connect the alligator clips to each terminal of the Aux Jack.

Step 12: Connecting the Two Speakers (if Using Wire)

  1. The other end of the coils will be connected to two long wires (each wire gets one sanded 2 inches of the ends of the coils).
  2. Connect the wires to each terminal of the Aux Jack.

  • For the sound the be heard, you have to keep the wires connected to the terminals separated (where the wires are sanded).

Step 13: Confirmation (Part Two)

  1. Make sure the connection between the Aux Plug and speakers is strong. (should be stronger than Beyoncé's face game)
  2. If the sound isn’t working or is bad quality, make the connections firmer or add more coils when you wrap the wire around the glue stick.

Step 14: Connecting the Two Alligator Clips/ Covering the Wires

IF USED ALLIGATOR CLIPS...

  1. Use any decorative tape/ electrical tape to attach the two alligator clip wires.
  2. Make sure to cover the aux jack but make sure the signal is still strong.

IF USED WIRE...

  1. Take the wires that are connected to the aux jack and if you have the black rubber cover (heh that rhymed), string it through the wires and twist it onto the aux plug but make sure that the two wires aren't touching (or else the sound will not work).
  2. You can use extra electrical tape to cover the wires.
  3. Use electrical tape to cover the wires connected to the speakers (separate pieces of tape for the wires until you decide where you want them connected.
  4. Use more electrical tape to cover both the wires together (you can twist them until they meet the aux cord).

Step 15: Decorating!

  1. Make the headphones more attractive and less like you flushed a pair of old headphones down the toilet then dropped them from the Empire State Building.
  2. Cover the baskets with cloth; paint them
  3. Do whatever your heart desires! (if your heart desires that)
  • JUST MAKE SURE THAT THE WIRES ARE CONCEALED
    • Mostly because it's just weird for random wires to be sticking out
      • But also because I was injured by the wires many times and all my fingers are cut
      • Also because the headphones/speakers work better when the wires are concealed

Step 16: Crucial Steps//Troubleshooting

It is very important that you sand the coils before attaching them to the aux jack for the sound to be clear. It is also important that you wrap the wire around he aux jack very well. Take your time in wrapping! The sound quality is MUCH better when the connection is firm. If the wires touch at the sanded areas of the different wires from the different speakers should not touch when being connected to the aux jack. You can also make the containers

Step 17: Why Voice Coils Vibrate// How We Perceive Sound

Voice coils vibrate because passing current through the coil creates a magnetic field. When the current is reversed, the polarity of the magnetic field, the voice coil and magnet causes, is switched. When the polarity of the magnetic field of the coil is similar to the magnet's magnetic field, the two fields repel one another and the coil moves outward, pushing the diaphragm outwards. When the magnetic forces are opposite of each other, they attract each other. This pulls the coil in which causes the diaphragm to go in. This is why the diaphragm of any speaker vibrates. The vibrations of the voice coil and diaphragm cause us to hear the sound we hear. Sound waves are vibrations that we perceive as sound. An alternating current is created between the voice coil and the permanent magnet(s). The alternating current flips the polarity of the voice coils.

  • Polarity: the property of having poles or being polar

Step 18: How the Number of Coils and Magnets Changed the Quality of the Sound

When experimenting on building the speakers, I used 15 coils first then used 30 coils. The sound had bad quality and the amplitude was short, causing the volume to be low and I could barely hear the music. Once I made the coils 30, the sound was better and believed that if I made the coil number 45, the sound would be much better. Once I added the 45 coils, the speakers worked very well. I could have made the coil amount 50 coils, but I didn't have enough material or time to create the coils, considering I didn't have any help.

When I was using the magnets, I thought I would only be able to use one magnet for each speaker because I didn't have any more magnets. The sound was good enough, but I could've made it better. Once I got a hold of more magnets, I attached them to the other magnets an the sound quality became better.

I believe that this is because the more coils, the more vibration and the better the sound. The more magnets, the better the electromagnetic field which causes the voice coil to vibrate.

Step 19: Voice Coils and Magnets: Deeper Explanation

Voice coils are stronger when the magnet is inside the coil because the when the voice coils are coiled, the magnetism is stronger when the magnet is in the middle of the coils. In an alternating current, the magnetic field is constantly changing. This causes energy to decrease. This is also why the permanent magnets are important in speakers and why the more magnets, the better.

A permanent magnet keeps its magnetic properties for a long period of time. A temporary magnet only continues its magnetism while it's in the magnetic field produced by a permanent magnet or an electric current.

Comments

author
larsonphysics made it!(author)2016-02-26

I'm so proud of you, Kate! This is amazing! Such helpful information in your replies :)

author
Thewildrabbit made it!(author)2016-02-24

Thank you for demystifying headphones : ). I'm going to try and repair my broken headsets now that I know what to look for.

author
kateelorenzo made it!(author)2016-02-24

Sounds awesome! Hope it works out for you!

author
NandishK made it!(author)2016-02-24

how can I amplifie the sound.its very weak like in earphones.have any idea??

author
kateelorenzo made it!(author)2016-02-24

If you change the coil amount from 45 to 100+, the sound will be so much louder and the quality will be better if you add more magnets.

author
KrazyK4 made it!(author)2016-02-23

Do you think making them into a giant speaker might work?

author
kateelorenzo made it!(author)2016-02-23

That sounds like a good idea. I'm pretty sure they would work, but there would need to be more coils and extra components. If you search up "parts of a speaker", I'm sure you'll find the components you need to include. As long as you have the most important components, then sound will be produced. :)

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