Introduction: Ghetto Headphone "Amp"

Picture of Ghetto Headphone "Amp"

This is a simple way to use your earbuds from your ipod etc as a backup means playing music for a small group of people. I got the idea when I saw someone cupping ipod headphones in their hand to get a slight boost in volume. This is a simple "what if" project, if you have any suggestions on changes to the design to help increase the volume let me know, that's one the reasons I'm putting this up :-P

Step 1: Stuff You Need

Picture of Stuff You Need

2 identical cardboard squares (mine were 5"x5")
duct tape
earbud headphones

Step 2: Cut Triangle Out

Picture of Cut Triangle Out

Draw/imagine a line going from one corner of the cardboard square to the opposite corner, follow line approx half way across the square (to the middle). Repeat with an adjacent corner to cut 1/4 of the square out. (Pictures make more sense :P)

Step 3: Fold and Tape

Picture of Fold and Tape

Use the scissors to press into the cardboard and make a line from the 2 complete corners to the center of the square. This makes it easier to fold, once the lines are pressed into the cardboard, just fold the 2 flaps until they touch. Tape the flaps together, congrats you're almost there!

Step 4: Earbud Holder and Other Ideas

Picture of Earbud Holder and Other Ideas

So now we need to figure out a way to hold the earbud in position to achieve a little bit of a sound boost. I used a small peice of cardboard from the extra triangle we cut in an earlier step. place the cardboard in the "groove" formed by the two folded flaps that you taped together. Once this peice is in position, it's possible to place an earbud into the "amp" (I use the word amp loosely in this howto :P). The cable will tuck nicely between the flaps where they were taped (if you avoid taping right to the very end of the carboard the cable will fit). The flaps will pinch the cable if you taped them tight enough and the earbud should sit snugly. Try to place it so that there is a little room around the earbud for sound to bounce off the cardboard and reflect.

Now that you have one, make two! or just play around with one, check the pictures for my finished products.

Again I stress that this is not a replacement for even half decent laptop speakers, its simply a trick for when you'd like others to hear what you have on your music player etc in a group setting. Another good use I found was for music at night, I listen to plenty of music and this provided the right volume and I could keep it right next to my bed (where I charge my ipod). Usually I use these at around 70-80% volume.

Enjoy, and please toss up some suggestions if anyone comes up with better working results, after all I posted it here for feedback.


GASSYPOOTS (author)2012-02-23

what bout ones with rubber things on them?

fluid (author)2006-09-26

since it involves electronics and 'duck' tape..............I'd call it a: "MacGyver'd Headphone Loudspeaker"

qualia (author)fluid2007-10-14

pleace call it its proper name -=duct tape=- for water ducts etc.. sorry t even if other peeps are calling it duck tape *nervous twitch* dont call it that urself. ISNT ANYONE ELSE HERE A PLUMBER??? oh. right.. sorry

uberchoob (author)qualia2007-12-04

duck tape is still proper kuzz duck is the brand name of a leading ducT tape supplier. =)

Holden_vy_s (author)uberchoob2008-11-30

Thats like calling all MP3 players iPods. It is duct tape.

Exactly, like how americans like to call all vacuum cleaners 'Hoovers', because it is one brand that is popular in america.

pcgate (author)surroundsound50002011-07-22

i have never heard anyone refer to their vacuum cleaner as a hoover (unless they were commenting on the actual brand of their vacuum cleaner) in my 39 years of life. In the USA.

fluid (author)pcgate2011-07-22

I use the term "Hoover" for a vacuum all the time.

I also use it for a person who does a lot of coke (of the cocaine variety)

where did you hear that? We here in Texas call em Vacuum cleaners not hoovers. never heard of it called that either.

mind you we do sometimes use brand names to apply to the general such as band-aid, Klee-nex, and coke.

 My bad. I guess it's one of those pieces of conventional wisdom that's just wrong. (Although, I'm sure I've heard it on the Simpsons lol...)

lmao never heard anyone refer to a vacuum as a hoover...always called it the vacuum haha

FWIW, I never heard "hoover" as a generic term for a vacuum until I moved to England. Everyone here says it. We always called it a vacuum at home. Yes, of course, I am American.

duck_tape_ (author)Holden_vy_s2009-06-04

A lot of people do do that in their instructables.

ranmawolf (author)uberchoob2010-05-31

What, nobody around here calls it "Hippy Chrome"?? LOL 

Alright, nobody else is sayin' it, so I guess I will;

D'ya know why duck - er..., duct - uh..., HIPPY CHROME is like the Force? 'Cause it has a light side, and a dark side, and it binds the universe together hehe :P

Yeah, yeah, I know, LAME!! ahahahaha 

qualia (author)uberchoob2007-12-05

yah i guess... *sigh of resignation*

TheMadTinker (author)qualia2008-04-03

I feel your pain.

uberchoob (author)qualia2007-12-06

lol =D

qualia (author)qualia2011-01-15

fyi, i perceived fluid's comment with the "quotation" marks as a "correction" rather than an expression of a personal view, this was 4-5 years ago. i dont take life that seriously anymore.

fireballfish (author)qualia2011-01-14

It's already been said, though misspelled:
"Duck Tape" is a company that produces duct tape. like Kleenex makes facial tissues, Allen makes hex drivers/wrenches, or Coke makes cola. Some people use a brand name to identify a product regardless of the brand that actually manufactured the item.

qualia (author)fireballfish2011-01-15

i'm really not that concerned tbh, but you made that point admirably. we who visit this particular (very particular) instructable now have a better grasp of the nomenclature we use to refer to our "bare necessities" instuctables kit, namely: coke, kleenex, allen keys, and hippy chrome. what we can do with these versatile tools is quantified by the quality of our imaginations.

protocolZA (author)qualia2009-05-29

you can't use it for water, the 'duct' it refers to are air ducts, like for ventilation/heating/cooling.

qualia (author)protocolZA2009-07-16

shh i was using water as a context for the spelling of the word, not for duct-tape's appropriate usage

Darkness35 (author)qualia2007-12-09

Originally, it was nicknamed "Duck tape" by GI's who used it to waterproof supplies and such. It was later called "Duct tape" because its post-war use was in ventilation.

andrew_29 (author)Darkness352008-03-04

its duct tape because it was ariganaly developed for fixing heating ducts

duck_tape_ (author)andrew_292009-06-04

No they didn't. It doesn't work on ducts. They created in in WWII as a water proof tape.

It was not originally called 'Duck' tape. It was originally, always was, and still is, 'Duct' tape. People occasionally mishear and mispronounce (like people who stand on stage saying 'Turn up the fall back'), and yes, it's waterproof nature perpetuated this a little.

8bit (author)surroundsound50002009-04-01

Duck Tape is a brand of Duct Tape.

Richie15 (author)qualia2009-04-05

Duck Tape is a particular brand of duct tape.

Incidentally, duck tape may have been the original name. See link:

baneat (author)qualia2008-08-06

I think people cal it that because where I live the main brand misleadingly has a picture of a duck as its mascot.

8bit (author)baneat2009-04-01

The brand name actually is Duck Tape.

Neodudeman (author)2006-09-20

Wow. That IS ghetto.

ranmawolf (author)Neodudeman2010-05-31


domokunrox (author)2010-04-23

i tried making this, and it didnt work. Any idea why??

Adum24 (author)2010-04-13

Does it make it really loud or just for a couple of feet?

mercenario (author)2006-12-20

Great instructable ! I decide to leave mine it a litle bit open

tanmanknex (author)mercenario2009-08-22

one word comes to mind when i see that: STEAMPUNK


Crim (author)2007-07-13

the resonating soundwaves could defect your earbuds if you crank up the volume too high and/or listen to music for a long period of time.

baneat (author)Crim2008-08-06

I doubt this.

pdlbooboo (author)2008-05-19

haha i learned about how to do this in physics class.... amazing

hcold (author)2007-11-22

I had success at school just rolling a piece of paper into a funnel shape, with an earphone inside of it. Not dissimilar, is it?

PAWZ (author)2007-06-15

great idea for starters. for situations when you have no speakers or your stuck somewhere without any music, but have your headphones and a player, I never would have thought of using my headphones and some kind of makeshift sound reflector like that. I have been in those situations before too, so now in the future if i'm in one again im sure I could find something to hand that would work or just do some origami with whatever i could find

Ben.land101 (author)2007-05-06

cut the top off a soda can and put the headphones in the can and it works great.

The.Winnerest (author)2007-04-05

I win! I made an origami one that works great. I've never made an instructable before so I'll try to make it my first.

iKill (author)2007-03-22

zomg what kind of case it that?

momsnacher (author)2007-01-31

yeah, make the next one orgami

oskee (author)2006-11-11

This is a cool idea! I tried it, and after making the first triangular part, I found the volume seemed louder with the ear buds still in the corner but facing outward. So I cut a small hole in the tip and pulled the cord through, and ended up using one triangle for both earbuds and having it sit upright on the table. I don't know if that made it any louder, but either way thanks for the idea! I used it to listen to music last night :D

d-sier (author)2006-10-30

To get a better result use a hard material, a soft material will absorb the sound waves. Otherwise i think this is cind'a cool ;)

Johnnymo88 (author)2006-09-26

This was a great time killer and it saved me a bunch of money!

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