Introduction: Small Portable Speaker Covered With Wool

I really like the design of Bang & Olufsen's Beolit 12 portable speaker. Unfortunately the price is a bit steep compared to other speakers on the market. I decided to build a portable system based on B&O's design mixed with some elements of my own. I ended up with covering the speaker with grey wool as I find the combination of wool and leather really good looking. 

If you like this project, please take the time to vote for me in the UP contest. 

Step 1: Parts

MDF - 12mm
2 pcs. 240 x 145 mm (Top/Bottom)
2 pcs. 230 x 165 mm (Front/Back)
4 pcs. 110 x 165 mm (Sides/Mid)

Electronics:
Audio Amplifier Board 2 X 15Watt Class D - TA2024, Sure Electronics 12$
Rechargeable Li-ion battery 12V DC 6800mah, Ebay 18$
2 pcs. Peerless 3" Fullrange P830986, Ebay 27$
3.5mm stereo socket, Ebay 4$
2.1mm DC power socket, Ebay 2$
Mini SPST powerswitch, Ebay 2$
Some wire

Other stuff:
Leather for handle and input plate (I had some scrap leather lying around)
Wool felt fabric 3mm thick 0,3 x 1 m, Local hobby store 15$
Wire Mesh 300 x 600 mm, local hardware store 10$
Various screws and nuts, local hardware store 10$
Spray Can White Matte, 14$
Staples
Wood glue and superglue
Sandpaper with various grits




Step 2: Gluing & Sanding

Glue the front, back and side pieces together. Sand the edges down to get a smooth curve. Be careful not to sand too much, as the walls get thinner in the corners.

Form the top and bottom parts so they match the curve. They should be 3mm bigger in every direction so that the wool felt will align with the top and bottom.

Step 3: Cutting Holes

Cut holes for the speakers in the front piece. Don't make them too big! The speakers will be mounted from the inside, so you should make a 45 degree angle around the hole with a wood router (I used a dremel). 

Step 4: Speakers & Middle Pieces

Attach the speakers from the inside of the box. This can be a bit tricky. Remember to use rubber foam around the edge to seal it. 

Glue the middle pieces in the box. The room between the middle pieces will house the electronics. I made a sliding mechanism so that I could place all the electronics on a plastic board and just slide it in. There's no way you could solder and work in such a tight space. I used some thin metal rods for this. 

Step 5: Top & Wire Mesh

Now it's time to glue on the top piece. 

The wire mesh isn't really necessary, but I wanted to keep the speakers protected and thought that the wire mesh would be covered by wool anyway. I glued the wire mesh to the box with hot glue and sanded down the glue marks afterwords. 

Step 6: Painting

After sanding the bottom and top, it was time to start painting. I used a primer, and then around 6 coats of the matte white spray paint with sanding between each coat. This took some time, but the finish was worth it. I made a "MacBook Pro profile" on the bottom piece as you can see on the picture.

Step 7: Input Panel

Cut holes for input sockets on the back. I made a leather piece to attach all the sockets on. The holes on the top is for the screws for the handle.

Step 8: Wool Felt

Cut the wool felt so it can be wrapped around the box, not covering the top and bottom. Sew the ends together. You now have a holster that you can put around the box. It is important to make the holster a little bit too small so that the wool fits tightly around the box. Use a THIN layer of glue on the top to attach the felt. The bottom is attached to the bottom of the box with staples. 

Step 9: Electronics

Attach the electronics to the plastic board that fits the sliding mechanism. I used a Xbox cover for the plastic board. Solder wire to the speakers and between all the sockets/switches. If everything is working, you can slide the board into the middle room. The wires go out to each chamber through holes in the middle mdf pieces. 

Step 10: Leather Handle

Cut a strip of leather and wax it with some brown shoe polish. I guess you could also use a leather belt. Cut a hole one each side.

The screws were made round by a grinding machine and the sanded while attached to a drill for a mirror finish. 

Attach the leather handle to the box with the screws and glue a nut around the screws from the inside.

Step 11: Closing the Box

The bottom piece is attached to the box with 4 screws with nuts attached to 90 degree metal pieces on the inside. The nuts were attached with metal epoxy. I covered the holes on the bottom with some rubber feet. 

And finally it was finished!

Comments

author
thatguy900 (author)2016-10-19

I just have two questions where did you get your speaker mesh from and what glue did you use?

author
12Samzo34 (author)2016-09-07

Hi. I was wondering what the bass of this was like, as this is something that I would need from a speaker. I was asking as you have used two fullrange speakers, instead of woofers and tweeters.

Thanks, Sam.

author
larssorensen (author)2016-06-23

Anyone have a link for suitable speakers. Europe preferred, but Asia is also ok.

Thank you!

author
DiogoG6 (author)2015-10-30

which the battery life for maximum power ?

author
arjunmenon (author)2015-09-09

Does that wool felt distort any sound? What I am finding at many local stores and what they are saying is that it is primarily used for sound absorbtion.

So is there any particular type of wool fabric or just any type of wool fabric would do?

Thanks.

author
Helseth (author)arjunmenon2015-09-10

I tried listening to the speaker with and without the wool felt and I couldn't hear a difference. I know that many commercial speakers now use wool in front of the speakers so it should be ok.

author
DIY_DAVE made it! (author)2015-09-09

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author
DIY_DAVE (author)2015-09-09

Dude, great ible. Saw this a month ago and decided to make my own. Changed the style a bit but kept the overall idea. Thanks for the inspiration...

author
Barry_L (author)2015-02-16

Such an awesome tutorial man! You've inspired me to experiment with using felt wool! Do you find that it washes out the higher frequencies at all? Also do you have a background in Industrial Design or something? It sure looks like it! And lastly, do you not have any protection circuit/charging cut off circuit for your battery? If not, how do you know when its charged..?

author
benekeneb (author)2014-08-03

So far so good :). I'm using the Visaton FRS 8 instead, because you don't get the suggested Peerless speaker easily here in Germany. So far so good :)

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author
bajkalnisse made it! (author)2014-02-25

This is a fantastic idea. Thank you for sharing it!

Though, as you said in reply to patman01's comment; "It took a little bit too much time." :-)

To give it some novelty I added a 12V Bluetooth module from ebay/Sure Electronics to the design. It was basicly just connected in parallell with the existing power and audio wiring.

I also added a 500K stereo potentiometer in series with the audio, for volume control.

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author
IT-Jack (author)bajkalnisse2014-08-03

Hey Bajkalnisse I'm building this speaker right now and I have some trouble with my Bluetooth and I thought maybe you could help me out.

Hope you answer me!

author
benekeneb (author)2014-07-25

Love that Project! How does it sound? Is the little amp worth buying?

author
jhansen10 (author)2014-01-08

one more thing, what about batterycharging? does the battery not break down during constant charge if it is plugged in or do you have a auto-disconnector on the battery?

author
jhansen10 (author)2014-01-08

Excellent work. Thinking of doing the same just with a Raspberry Pi. Is the battery similar to this:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6800mAh-DC-12V-Super-Rechargeable-Lithium-ion-Battery-Energy-Storage-Pack-/230806115118

author
ASCAS (author)2014-01-07

Wow! So far this is the most professional and fancy looking boombox I've ever seen. You've inspired me to make another boombox, this time with a wool covered grill.

Nice work man! Looking forward in seeing more of your speaker builds!

author
brianfroelund (author)2013-08-11

Halfway :)

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author
brianfroelund (author)2013-07-11

Very nice. I'm currently working on something similar and this is very helpful :) I'm making something more like the libratone lounge with airplay support using a raspberry pi. Where did you get the rubber feet? I would like to keep the top and bottom a bit thinner, but i haven't found a smart way to do it yet :)

author
Helseth (author)brianfroelund2013-07-16

Thanks:) i bought the feet on a hardware store. They are actually furniture non-slip pads. I guess you could use two layers of mdf for a thinner top. One thick(12mm) and a thin(4mm) and glue them together. Make the thick mdf fit the dimensions inside of the box and the thin match the outside dimensions of the box.

author
Hanzo (author)2013-03-28

I love this project and may give it a go. May I ask how long (ish) you get to listen from the battery? Did you get the charger with the battery? And finally: how long does it take to charge (ish - I know it will take longer if you are listening).

Thanks for the 'ible. Looks as good as your inspiration.

author
Helseth (author)Hanzo2013-03-29

Thank you. I get about 5 hours of loud music from the battery. If you buy a high quality li-ion you'll probably get even more. It takes around three hours to charge it, depending how many amps your charger is. I got a 0.5A charger with the battery, but i dont use it.

Good luck with your project!

author
deniska1 (author)2013-02-26

Im trying to replicate your design, I really like it and im making it my beginner project for diy audio. I also have trouble understanding the electronics behind it. Ive been looking all over for a simple way of explaining wiring between the switch, amp, and speakers. I also want to add a USB connector. Can you point me to the right direction?? (i.e. any links?) thanks !

author
joeradish (author)2013-02-17

Beautiful design. can't wait til I have time to to do my own. Is there an advantage to closing the box before installing the speakers? Unless there is a reason not to, I think that I will make all of my cuts and install my hardware before I glue the box together. Either way, I love your design.

author
Helseth (author)joeradish2013-02-18

Thanks! The reason why i installed the speakers after gluing the box is that i originally had planned to mount them from the outside. When i started routing out a cut for them, i realized that the speakers wouldn't get deep enough to allow a flat surface on the front. You can see the filler on the pictures. So, if i was to do it again, i would do as you say and mount the speakers first, then glue it together:)

author
tatagatha (author)2013-02-15

That's a really beautiful build. One thing I don't quite get is the power circuit. Does the battery have something in it to prevent it from overcharging? Is it really that simple to have something that can switch between a rechargable battery and a plug?

author
Helseth (author)tatagatha2013-02-17

The battery has a built in overchrge/discharge circuit. It came integrated with the battery. So, as you say, the circuit is a bit more complicated in reality, but the circuit i drawed was all i had to solder together.

author
amazin (author)2013-02-08

great project! I thank you really much because I searched for a long time for a Beolit 12 rebuild. But one question did you really calculated the housing or did you build it so that it fits?
And the most important question how is the sound and the how are the amplitudes?

author
Helseth (author)amazin2013-02-11

Yes, I used a speaker calculator to find out the optimal volume for the speaker. It is a sealed enclosure, because a ported system would have been bigger to get the proper sound. The result is a bit lower sound volume, but better sound imo. I made the volume of the housing a little smaller than the calculator said was optimal. This can be compensated by adding some acoustic foam which makes the speaker box "act" like a bigger box. Unfortunately I do not have the instruments for testing the amplitudes.

author
mvuherer (author)2013-02-10

Can you tell me how to make tath this speakers play music from USB or SD card.
Pls! Tath will be so greate for party.
BTW wery nice project.

author
Helseth (author)mvuherer2013-02-11

Thanks. You can use this: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=320-350

author
martinnez (author)2013-02-10

its a very nice project, it looks very pro!

author
M0HIZ (author)2013-02-08

What a cracking build! It looks absolutely stunning - when I first saw the covering picture I thought the Instructable was describing a mod of a professional speaker.

author
brendan945 (author)2013-02-07

I'd like to see a little more detail on the electronics. The fit and finish and design is right on. I think it's gorgeous. But how do you charge it? Did you say and I missed it? Also, does it run AC as well as battery? I see a diagram but I'm not the best with electronics and it would be great to see it explained a little further.

author
Helseth (author)brendan9452013-02-07

Thank you very much:) yes, it does also run off ac(with 12v dc adapter). The diagram shows how i wired the dc input into the circuit. I soldered the + of the socket to the + wire from the battery and then to the + of the amp. Same thing with the (-) end. I put a switch in between so that the speaker wouldn't turn on when i plugged in the dc plug. When dc adapter is connected and the switch is turned on, the amp uses power from the adapter and even charges the battery(as long as the adapter gives more current than the amp uses). I hope this answered your question :)

author
berendvosmer (author)2013-02-07

Awesome!!!

author
BaldwiJ7 (author)2013-02-07

I am going to make something similar but I am not familiar with wiring. Can you explain in what way you wired the components together?

author
Helseth (author)BaldwiJ72013-02-07

Basically it' just wiring the battery to the power input on the amplifier board. Then you have to solder the speaker wires from the amplifier board to the speakers. The amplifier has an audio input which you can wire to a minijack socket. There are lots of information about this. Check out an instructable for a basic portable speaker system :)

author
Hal13 (author)2013-02-07

Gorgeous! Great attention to detail.

author
patman01 (author)2013-02-07

nice. are you selling one? :)

author
Helseth (author)patman012013-02-07

No, sorry. I don't think I'm going to make more of them. It took a little bit too much time. But I'm glad you liked it!

author
werikblack (author)2013-02-07

That's truly awesome! Nice construction!

author
supersoftdrink (author)2013-02-06

Nice! I think you overpaid for the wool, though.

I helped my husband repair some old speakers recently and we also used felted wool... but ours was from a $3 thrift store sweater. :)

Felted merino wool sweaters are wonderfully smooth... felted lambswool tends to be slightly more fuzzy, but still lovely if you're going for that sort of look.

author
lebowski (author)2013-02-05

Nicely done!

author
Zisqo (author)2013-02-03

Where did you buy the electronics?

author
Helseth (author)Zisqo2013-02-05

From different ebay sellers. You can also get most of the stuff from parts-express.com

author
jm31181 (author)2013-02-05

bEautiful

author
shteef (author)2013-02-04

Excellent work, I love it! I did a similar thing myself a few years back to duplicate the old apple speaker dock.There is an instructable on here somewhere. I'm tempted to have a go at making a version of the floor standing B&O speaker with the three wooden legs.

author
Helseth (author)shteef2013-02-05

Thanks, let me know if you're gonna make the B&O speaker. Sounds like a nice project

author
kukubee (author)2013-02-04

Amazing work! I like the finished product, it looks like a high-end brand.

author
Helseth (author)kukubee2013-02-05

Thank you!

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a 22 years old medical student and I like to build stuff.
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