Everyone wants speakers, but they are often very expensive, and aren't portable at all. Chances are the you have received a lot of those holiday or birthday cards that sing to you when you open them. Maybe you got an undesirable present that happens to have a speaker inside of it. In this Instructable, I am going to show you how to make your own speakers from stuff you have lying around the house, and then put them inside an Altoids tin. Not only will they look cool, but they will also be portable and very functional. They work with ANY device that accepts 3.5 mm audio jacks, and as of today, most devices do, such as iPods, iPhones, iPads, MP3 players, MP4 players, and many more. You won't have to buy a single thing for this Instructable. These speakers can easily fit in your pocket!

Step 1: Understanding Speakers

Before you build your own speakers, you need to know how speakers work. Speakers are devices that transmit sounds throughout the surrounding area. Some of the main parts of speakers are:

Diaphragm: The diaphragm is the flexible cone on a speaker that vibrates up and down. It produces sound waves by causing a series of rarefaction when the diaphragm moves back and forth. This rarefaction forms a wave of different pressures that meets  your ear and causes your eardrum to move back and forth as well. The brain will translate this movement into sounds! The diaphragm is more commonly referred to as the cone, and is usually made of paper,plastic, rubber, metal, or other materials.

Suspension: Suspension is a material that runs outside the diaphragm. When the diaphragm needs to moves up and down, the suspension allows it to. It is usually made of rubber, or other flexible materials.

Basket: The basket is the metal frame that surrounds the driver.

Spider: The spider is a flexible material located underneath the diaphragm and is attached to the basket. The spider is important because it holds the voice coil in place and allows it to move up and down.

Voice Coil: The voice coil is a coil of wire wrapped around a magnet. When, electricity is run through the wire, the coil moves up and down. Since the voice coil is attached to the cone and the spider, the cone and spider will move up and down when the voice coil does.

Dome: Many speakers have a dome instead of a diaphragm. The dome is almost exactly like a diaphragm except that a dome is slightly con-vexed.

Headphones and Earbuds: Headphones and earbuds are just two small speakers positioned around or inside your ear. They provide a more private listening experience. 

Hear is a link to a great website that shows you how speakers work in greater detail:

Now that you have a basic understanding of speakers, we can proceed to the building of our project.
<p>Great tutorial. I will be trying this</p>
<p>I made this, and it's pretty awesome! It's pretty quiet, even with two speakers. Quieter than my iPhone at full volume for sure. Still, it's a nice party trick. A couple things-- I soldered the audio cable wires and the speaker wires together rather than wrapping. It was more secure and it was skipping in and out when I just had them wrapped. Also I cut the headphones down more so that the part coming out of the tin started where the headphones split. Also, the speakers I had were from two different brands of cards (you can actually see in the pic the left speaker looks different from the right), and the right one is definitely louder. Just an observation. Thanks for the great tutorial!</p>
<p>I made it and it is really cool, kinda quiet but i plan on making another when i get the money but using better speakers. Does anyone know some speakers that would fit that work pretty well that are also cheap? I know that is something that is hard to ask for but you never know unless you ask. With my build of this I went ahead and added one extra speaker so i could get both the left and the right sound from the music and it does works a lot better but still quiet when used by a phone.</p>
<p>Grate Job @devin_Roberts... I appreciate that.... But I have some problem with that.</p><p>my question is when you or Verticees are using this this type of speaker how much sound is produced by your speaker... Because yor are not using nay type of amplifier in your project </p>
<p>When hooked up the Altoids speaker to my laptop it produces substantial sound or about half the sound that my Mac Book Air produces and the type of speaker I am using in my Altoids can is from the Hallmark sound cards. And I'm not exactly sure as to what you mean by &quot;nay type of amplifier&quot;.</p>
<p>He meant &quot;any type of amplifier&quot;. The circuit that you built has no external power source thus the speakers would drain the power of phone/mp3 player or mac very fast. An amplifier provides an external power source for the speaker instead of direct audio input to sound output.</p>
<p>I'm not sure how an amplifier works nor do i have one to test with.</p>
<p>Check The Like Out..</p><p><a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Speaker-2/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Mini-Speaker-2/</a></p><p>Hope This Will Help You... And Hope You Like It...</p><p>If You Have Any Problem Then Comment On My Project Comment Box..</p><p>BEST OF LUCK BRO.......</p>
<p>i will upload an instructable in 1-2 days then i will send you the link in the comment box. check out produce grate sound at low cost....</p>
<p>I too will be posting one in a week as I am working on making a portable speaker from old radio! Good Luck man!</p>
<p>Works but mine are very quiet. Any suggestions?</p>
Hey I noticed one thing. You should twist the two same colored wires together, and the two different colored wires together, so you can get both channels of sound (R, L) on one speaker. I think that's how it works. Great 'able!
<p>That's a great idea! Thanks for your comment!</p>
<p>what happens if the connections fall off</p>
<p>Well then the speaker won't work unless you solder them back together!</p>
I was slightly confused as to the part in which you connect the wires of the headphones and speaker could you explain it in a simple way? Thx
<p>Cut off one earbud cable altogether (each earbud has its own cable). Then, cut the earbud off the remaining cable, exposing the wires inside (there should be two colors wires in it). Strip the insulation of the cable so you can further see the wires. Now, use a lighter to burn off the insulation from the wires. Finally, connect the two wires inside the cable to the two wires on the speaker (polarity does not matter). That should be it!</p><p>If you need anymore help, don't be afraid to comment again! I'd be glad to help!</p>
Awesome tutorial dude, but I have a few questions; <br>Wouldn't the speakers also need a power source? <br>and <br>If I was to put a system like this into a guitar, would it work?
The speakers do not need a power source since they do not have an amplifier unit. Although it should work with a guitar, I heavily recommend that you do not use it for your guitar because the speakers can probably not deliver the volume or sound quality you are looking for. Hope this helps!
This was a really good instructable! This is going to help a lot with my project. <br>
Well I'm glad I could help!
I noticed that you used a stereo jack. Does'nt that mean that if you heard some stereo music, then you could only hear one part of it, instead of converting it to mono.
actually, analogy headphones/speakers dont work like that. They have one of 2 types, Mono, which is the left speaker only, and stereo. The plug doesnt &quot;Convert&quot; it to mono, it simply only puts out the left/right speaker.
Great idea will the speakers you used from the headphone work as well
That is possible, but I recommend using speakers from over ear headphones, not the ear buds I had.
Dont you need a power source like a battery?
Hi dretana, <br>Since these are only speakers, you don't need batteries. However, if you make speakers with an amplifier unit, you will need a battery. You don't need batteries in this instructable
thanks for the great instructable <br>
Thank you so much
So, on a scale of 1 to 10, what is the quality of sound from the one made in this instructable?
The one made in this Instructable has a sound quality of about 6-7 <br>The one shown in the last step has a sound quality of 9. <br> <br>Of course, they are not super high quality, like Beats.
Do they not sound a bit &quot;Tinny&quot;?
haha, hi awesomenesskid. The sound quality of your speakers really depends on what speakers you are using. The speakers may sound a little tinny however, if you close the lid and play music. There are two solutions to this problem: <br>1.) Keep the lid open when playing music <br>2.) Make a bunch of holes in a circular arrangement on the lid <br> <br>Thanks for commenting, hope this helps!
really nice! very cool instructable!

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Bio: Welcome to Verticees Papercraft. I am currently focusing on designing new paper models of various difficulties, for all ages. You can view all my work ... More »
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