Introduction: Shelf Speakers W/ipod Dock (Part I - Speaker Boxes)

Picture of Shelf Speakers W/ipod Dock (Part I - Speaker Boxes)

I got an ipod nano in November and since have wanted an attractive speaker system for it. At work one day I noticed that the computer speakers I use worked pretty well, so I headed to the Goodwill later and found a pare of ok computer speakers for $7, After dissecting them I had a little amp and two speakers.

Step 1: Dissasemble Speakers.

Picture of Dissasemble Speakers.

Here I have taken the speakers apart. I picked up the leatherman at radio shack about two months ago. Unfortunately that was before I knew about the MAKE: version of the tool.

Step 2: Speaker Design

Picture of Speaker Design

I tried out Google SketchUp and had the basic design down for the speakers in about 30 min. I highly recommend trying SketchUp, very easy and intuitive.

Step 3: Build the Speaker Boxes

Picture of Build the Speaker Boxes

I had some nice pieces of maple left over from a cabinet I built. The bottom and front are attached at a 10 deg angle. I later wished this had been 15 deg. to match the ipod nano dock angle. The hole was made with a 3" hole saw and a drill press. Later I rabbited the inside of the hole so the speaker would sit closer to the face of the front.

Step 4: Speaker Box Sides and Horn.

Picture of Speaker Box Sides and Horn.

I used a forsner bit to drill a 1-1/4" hole for the horn. A strait pcv union was painted black and epoxied to the horn hole. Note the burn marks around the speaker hole rabbit, hard maple and routers do not get along very well!

Step 5: Speaker Nearly Finnished

Picture of Speaker Nearly Finnished

Step 6: Install Speakers

Picture of Install Speakers

I didn't want any screws on the face showing and the speakers were recently damaged by a curious 5 year old so I used hot melt glue to install the speakers, this should make replacement easy if I find some decent replacements.

Step 7: Test Speakers

Picture of Test Speakers

I decided this was a good time to test everything out. I simply stripped the wires and twisted them together. Perhaps its only my imagination but they sound better and louder to me than they did in the plastic case. This is probably due to wish full thinking, nevertheless they sound great and look better than the original.

Up next will be an enclosure for the amp with a iPod doc built in.


zenergymusic (author)2013-08-23

I think I lost my first message so my P.S. looks silly. Anyhow they most likely do sound louder and cleaner due to the mass and volume of the new enclosures. Excellent job.

zenergymusic (author)2013-08-23

P.S. try some polyfill in the inside of the cabs. You can source some from out of an old pillow, comforter or couch cusion's outer layer if you like to recycle otherwise it can be found at craf tand fabric stores. It help's control standing waves or reverberation's that can shine through the thin paper cone that I imagine that speaker has and creates the illusion of making the box sound bigger due to greater dampening. Most cab's have it applied to the back and sides however you may find that in a small low powered cabinet such as yours that you can just stuff an amount of your choice (tuning) behind the driver itself an around the front of the baffle around the port. It will not affect the airspace or cubic volume much in comparison to the positive quality gained unless you stuff it to the point of compressing the polyfill.
Just some thought's from a speaker/sound geek

zenergymusic (author)2013-08-23

Well they probably do in fact sound louder due to the stiffness and dampening factor of your new enclousures. Nicely done. Some of these computer speakers are really decent full range unit's granted they don't offer deep bass or crisp high's however when combined with a subwoofer and tweeters can make a superb mini system. Check out Lepei tripath based amp. It's rediculous how inexpensive it is for what it offers. Or if you are brave build your own tripath chip amp and you will toss the amp that came with the speakers. Yes it's made in China the chip itself is made in Korea and was designed and made in California before it's patent's were sold.
If you buy one try to find one seperate from the power supply and get a good one, about 4 amp 12 volt in case your want to play with bigger speakers.
You can also find lower power and more basic amps based on this chip's design. Any how the amp and power supply run about 25 30 dollars and put most bigger amps to shame as far as sound quality and efficency. Really you did a nice job and I get a kick out of doing the same thing. hacking the good stuff out of cheaply executed designs.

ViperSniper (author)2011-09-18

will u care if i use your design to make a dock with speakers for my android phone?

andybuda (author)2011-04-16

they look good don`t let any 1 tell you diffrent

pdlbooboo (author)2009-09-03

It would be sweet if u'd integrate the ipod dock in the top of one of the speakers. just an idea

mattyuke (author)2009-07-27

Add the amp in with the speaker casin and maybe the i pod dock on the top

mattyuke (author)2009-07-27

They look really nice easily sell able. Brilliant

Da Nugesta (author)2009-04-15

you could make a ton of those and sell them, i'm telling u man they rock!

Punkguyta (author)2007-09-24

Now, why the hell don't people buy/get a stereo, 500 lbs of stereo equipment would TRUMP that cute little ipod speaker deal. I like how people will spend like $500 on an ipod and then even more on things like speaker docks that are like $300. So in that aspect, this is pretty good.

The Lone Hoot (author)Punkguyta2008-09-22

I don't think I've ever seen ANY iPod that was even close to $500... not on planet Earth at least.

Punkguyta (author)The Lone Hoot2008-10-24

Look at the original 80 gig ipods when they came out, $400-600 depending on what model you bought.

DYLEGO (author)Punkguyta2008-11-26

wrong again. generation 5 ipods for 80 gb cost 350, ipod classic 80 gb cost 250, and now they dont even make 80 gb anymore. just 120 gb. they made ipod classic 160 gb for 350, but nothing wass ever 400-600

Punkguyta (author)DYLEGO2008-11-28

Generation 5.... I said ORIGINAL ipod, before the 5th generation, those suckers did cost at least $500 for the 80 gig, walmart, look up a flyer from 5-6 years ago.

evanwehrer (author)Punkguyta2008-12-23

he means the one without the click wheel, and the ring actually spun, and the buttons were around it. also, it was only firewire.

Punkguyta (author)evanwehrer2008-12-26

YEAH that one, more of a white brick-disk than an ipod.

DYLEGO (author)Punkguyta2008-11-26

now why would somebody buy 5oo punds of stereo equipment for an ipod?

Punkguyta (author)DYLEGO2008-11-29

You don't, you buy that for your PC, with it's thousands and thousands of songs, I bet your ipod doesn't play lossless flac files at like 1.5mb/s (not kbits my friend).

abadfart (author)2008-09-21

nice job

prototype2213 (author)2008-07-13

you should place the amp circuit board in one of the speakers to save room. +1 rating from me.

itsME_lulu (author)2007-10-31

where did u get the amplifier circuit board??? where can i get it?

Yerboogieman (author)itsME_lulu2008-02-06

it came with the speakers

Yerboogieman (author)2008-02-05

i wanna build these in my shop class before spring break

Yerboogieman (author)2008-02-05

Can you Please take measurements for me? mostly just the front and bottom

timmytyler (author)2007-12-05

in doing these for my GCSE tech project :D

egreen767 (author)2007-10-18

awesome, im totally gonna build these now

Yerboogieman (author)2007-10-14

what are the measurements, e.g front, bottom, back, sides

Yerboogieman (author)2007-07-11

do those speakers have a sub output?

Mr.Devious (author)2007-01-17

These are nice speakers, they look slick and would look nice in a dorm room. However I would much rather settle with my computer hooked up to my stereo with the 300 watt sub attached. ;-)

Yerboogieman (author)Mr.Devious2007-07-11

same here, 200 watts though

PR22 (author)2007-07-05

Very cool and simple. Nice work.

robodud3 (author)2007-05-05

nice encloser reely my style i would make the ampliphire board and dock 1 and put it in the middle like an oval shape would look cool but its ur project just a thought

PowerNaudio (author)2007-03-14

pretty nice project, i have those very same speakers, cool way of increasing the look. the port length and port area work in conjunction with the air volume in the enclosure, to tune the system and affect the output frequency response curve. to a certain extent, its a way of manipulating the frequency response of the speaker in that particular enclosure to a more user defined one.

Fenwick (author)2007-02-25

These do look slick. Sadly, I don't have anything capable of cutting round holes in stuff, but seriously, cool. I was gonna ask about the little hole in the bottom, but you already answered that.

StepsoftheSun (author)2007-01-25

Those look great! I had heard that making your own speakers was a bad idea for acoustic reasons but I guess this proves me wrong. I was thinking of buying speakers...but now I'm feeling pretty good about doing it myself. I had one question: what is the horn component of the speakers for?

mfryer (author)StepsoftheSun2007-01-25

Thanks for the complement. I don't know much about speaker design, so what you have heard might be correct, I doubt thought that someone with a good design could not make good sounding speakers. The primary reason I decided to start this project was my desire for some small speakers that looked nice. Still they sound pretty good, I think better than there original plastic enclosure. The "horn" is for allowing the bass sounds to escape the box. I don't know if the tube was necessary, but it keeps one from having to see all thought the inside of the box, perhaps it has some acoustical properties as well.

grantf (author)2007-01-15

Was it a curious 5 year old or you re own careless maneuvering with a screwdriver?

mfryer (author)grantf2007-01-15

5 year old

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