Introduction: Beats by Lee and Julian

Picture of Beats by Lee and Julian

In this DIY project you will be shown how to create a speaker. A speaker is made up of a lot of different components, but in this DIY activity we will only be focusing on the diaphragm, the voice coil, and the magnet. The diaphragm is important to project sound outward using the vibration from the voice coil, without it you would need to place the voice coil on your head so that the vibration actually reaches you. The voice coil acts a lot like a slinky, it vibrates back and forth at a high speed, vibrating itself, these said vibrations travel through the coils and vibrate the diaphragm so that the diaphragm can project sound. The purpose of the magnet is to create an electromagnetic field so that the electricity that goes through the voice vibrates it back and forth. We (as humans) perceive vibrations as sound. Sound is turned into languages, music, noises, and other things that we do with our voices. We perceive sound through our ears. The ear has multiple components in it that allows is to perceive vibrations. One for instance is the cochlea, which is the part of our ears that let us listen to all kinds of different ranges of sound from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. During the prototyping stages of our speaker creation we ran into some problems (all of which are addressed in notes in the steps), but everything went relatively smooth. Creating a speaker is difficult, but not impossible. With our process we try to keep it as simple as we possibly could.

( Also, if you want to create headphones, just double to materials and repeat the process, at the end there will be a 1 step explanation on how to connect the 2 speakers together so that sound goes through both.)

Step 1: Acquisition of Materials

Picture of  Acquisition of Materials

Please collect the following items.

- A Coil of 28 gauge copper wire (You might want a lot in case of mistakes)

- 2, 1 centi-meter neodymium magnets

- A roll of electrical tape

- An AUX cable (It's the cable that connects your phone to a speaker)

- A device that can play music with an AUX port (Preferably a smart phone)

- 1 plastic cup

- A piece of sandpaper

All Below are Optional, but Help With Process

- A post-it

- A gluestick

Step 2: The Coil

Picture of The Coil

Start by taking your coil and wrapping together tightly (But not so much you will break the wire) around a glue stick and leave 1 inch of the coil wire out both sides. Also, safely remove the coil from the glue stick when completed.


Put a post-it around the glue stick so that you can slide the post-it off the glue stick with the coil on it. The post-it helps keep the cylindrical shape of the voice coil. Also, tape the coil to the post-it so that the coil doesn't explode outward, ruining itself.

(Having a poorly wrapped coil can result in loss of vibration. Having maximum vibration will make the headphones louder)

Step 3: The Sanding

Picture of The Sanding

Begin sanding the 1 inch of the coil that was left hanging from both sides. Sanding the coil is important so that there is no interference when it is connected to the AUX cable.

(Having poorly sanded wire ends can result in the headphones sounding very scratchy, ruining sound quality)

Step 4: The Diaphragm

Picture of The Diaphragm

Take one magnet and place it on the inside of the cup and let it rest at the bottom. Take the other magnet and place it on the bottom outside of the cup. If done correctly the 2 magnets magnetic force fields will be pulling on each other with great force, making it difficult to pull either magnet off the cup.

Step 5: The AUX

Picture of The AUX

Take your voice coil's 2 sanded edge wires and connect one to the positive connection on the AUX Connector and the other sanded wire to the negative connector.

(If you are using a AUX connected to a cable just take one sanded wire and connect it to the negative or positive and connect the other sanded wire and connect it to the remaining positive or negative. It doesn't matter which wire you connect to because this electric charge is interchangeable. Also some cords or most cords have a third wire, use the red and black colored wires inside the AUX cable in this case. Also, those wires must be sanded as well)

Step 6: The Support

Picture of The Support

Take your cup and flip it upside down so that you can see the magnet on the bottom. then take the voice coil and place it around the magnet, so its like a wall protecting its magnet on the inside. Tape the voice coil and the magnet down to the cup so that both the magnet and the coil are secure.

(The magnet doesn't really need to be taped, its really just the coil. Also, the coils wire should be in contact with the cup, if you used the post-it method, make sure the coil's wire is touching and not the post-it paper)

!If creating head phones use step 7 to test each speaker so that you know they work!

Step 7: The Final Connection

Picture of The Final Connection

If everything has gone according to plan you should just be able to plug the AUX connector into the Music playing device and enjoy. If it isn't working then make sure to check that the sanded positive/negative wires are not touching and that the voice coil is touching the cup firmly. Also, feel free to put cool wrappings or stickers/designs on your new headphones, just make sure it doesn't ruin any of the wiring.

Step 8: (Optional) the Headphones/Double Speaker

Now that you have 2 speakers we will now connect them to have either a double speaker or headphones. Instead of connecting both cables from each speaker to a separate AUX, we want them both to connect to the same AUX. Don't connect the 4 wires to one AUX though, you will need extra wires for this part. You will take one of the 2 sanded wires from one of the speakers and connect it to another new copper wire, this wire should wrap around the new wire thus extending the old one from 1 inch to any varying size. Also make sure to sand the new wires sides so that the best possible connection is achieved. Then take one of the 2 wires from the other speaker and connect it to the other end of the new wire. This should bridge both of your 2 speakers together through one wire. Then take you spool of wire and create 2 new wires of the same size to each other, but can be any length, and sand their sides like the last new wire. One wire should connect to the other loose 1 inch cord of one of the speakers and the other new wire should connect to the other speakers loose 1 inch wire. Now you have the other 1 inch wires extended like the wire that connects the speakers to each other. Finally, you connect the extended wire from either speaker to the positive or negative of your AUX connector/AUX wire and connect the other new wire to the AUX connector/wires last positive/negative connector. If everything has gone according to plan you now have 2 speakers that share 1 AUX to create either cup headphones to hold to your ears or a double speaker.


wold630 (author)2016-02-29

Are there any photos you could add to support your directions?