Small Portable Speaker Covered With Wool

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Introduction: Small Portable Speaker Covered With Wool

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

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!

2 People Made This Project!

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47 Comments

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

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.

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

Thank you!

which the battery life for maximum power ?

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.

1 reply

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.

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...

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..?

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 :)

2014-08-03 19.28.55.jpg

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

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?

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

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!

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 :)

1 reply

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.

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.

1 reply

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!

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 !

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.