Bubble Speakers

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Posted in TechnologySpeakers

Introduction: Bubble Speakers

Need a new pair of speakers? Got a pair of old head phones(not in-ear) and two plastic bubbles from that arcade trip last weekend? If so why not make a pair of bubble speakers?

Step 1: Aquisation of Tools and Materials

Materials:
2 Plastic Bubbles(see image below if you don't know what I mean)
An old pair of headphones you don't want anymore(not in-ear)

Tools:
Dremel or other rotary tool
Hot Glue Gun

Step 2: Removing the Speaker

Take your dremel and saw off the head band part of the head phones leaving just two speakers.

Step 3: Preparing the Bubbles

Test to make sure your newly cut speakers fit in the bubbles then, using your dremel, cut a small notch for the wire to protrude from.

Step 4: Assembly

Start by placing the speakers in the bubbles the place a layer of hot glue around the edges to secure the in place. Let the glue dry.

And finally!

Rock On!!!

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    31 Comments

    I have the same mp3 player as you!

    user

    nice mp3 player!!

    user

    nice job!!!!!!!!!!!!! look at this one /www.instructables.com/id/small-speaker/

    interesting idea.... probably not much in quality/distance, but to an extent it would work. Its got cosmetic potential.

    XD I got the same model as you!

    headphone drivers don't make very loud speakers because they are usually 32 ohm ... without any technicals - higher impedance, less sound, for the most part. you can make louder unpowered speakers with drivers out of toys and old computer cases which are usually 4 and 8 ohm drivers.

    3 replies

    I'd expect that they'd have truly awful bass response as well. Speaker drivers are generally designed to work well in certain kinds of enclosures, and reasonable-sized rooms. The enclosure gives you an effective bass boost just below the plain bass response of the driver, and the "room response" gives you another, lower frequency bass boost below that. IIRC, headphone drivers are designed to work in an incredibly tiny "room"---the space between the headphone and your eardrum, while you're wearing it. They rely heavily on the "room response" being enormous and boosting a much larger range of frequencies than usual. If you use them in a normal room, you won't get that, and they'll be really wimpy. There are a few basic rules of thumb for designing good speakers, which nobody on instructables seems to know. If you want to design a good speaker, get a good book on the subject from the library. (I used to have one, but I've forgotten the name.) It's not difficult to design a much better speaker/enclosure than most of the stuff on instructables. Putting a random driver in a random enclosure is not a good idea. In particular, there's a "Q" factor you should know about. The Q factor tells you what size enclosure to use for a given driver; if you have a port (hole) in the box, it will boost the bass about a half an octave below where the driver's bass response would otherwise tail off. That "bass reflex" scheme is simple and easy and works well---it's just a box with a hole in it---and it's how most speaker enclosures work. You just have to know the Q of the driver, and look up the appropriate enclosure volume in a table. (If the enclosure is the wrong size, it will boost the wrong frequencies and usually make your speaker sound worse.)

    these are like sterio systems, with out woofers and sub-woofers. just tweeters.

    thanks for the advice...i guess...i just made these for fun, i never expected great sound

    Nice idea,I'll have to try it :D I have that Sansa too,much better than iPods,a WAY better deal too.

    1 reply

    got mine refurbrished on woot.com for $50

    looks like an e260

    Doing this tomorrow Few issues though 1. Wouldnt the bubble muffle the sound of the speaker? if so, why not add holes... 2. what do you do with a speaker that only puts out as much as one thats mounted to the ear... what would be amazing, would be if you would create a fullsize version of this, it would look great on a desk, on the road, ect... I might make it, who knows In the mean time, great idea, fast, fun, and useful in the end Awesome.

    3 replies

    The reason you can normally only hear tinny sounds from a pair of tiny speakers is because the sound from both sides cancel each other. Nothing stops the air being pushed from one side from meeting the air being pulled by the other side, and so all but the very highest frequencies cancel. The bubble isolates one side of the speaker, allowing the other side to send out sound without being canceled. That's why -any- speaker just sitting there, not in a box or a plate, sounds tinny. Cancellation is worse for the lower frequencies. Try it with your headphones without even tearing them apart. Make a cylinder with your hand and hold one earphone at one end of that cylinder. Or find a cardboard or plastic cylinder that is about the same size as your headphone and put it at one end. Suddenly it is loud and with some low frequencies! I know all this works because I started doing this long, long ago with mousse can tops.

    The bubble is around the back side, creating an acoustic suspension chamber. This actually reinforces certain frequencies based on the volume of the chamber, resonance of the driver (headphone speaker) and other factors (go read about designing speaker cabinets). Holes would make this a ported enclosure which has different dynamics.

    first-thanks for the great comments, make my day better. now onto the issues, i wasn't very concerned with the sound quality because these were designed to look cool they where attached in splitter with my regular speakers. as your idea of making a larger version of these, i think that would be awesome...'cept one problem...i don't speakers that big and i don't have bubbles that big.

    good idea, i like to do the same thing with altoids boxes!! I also have sansa, but, its sansa view! much better than ipod!

    i have the same mp3 (e260) i payed 120 +tax, great deal

    Wow this is a pretty cool idea. I have a sansa too (so much better then the ipod)