Introduction: Soup Cans!

Picture of Soup Cans!

For the purposes of a pun, "cans" are another word for "headphones".

Here's how to make audio-cans from soup-cans, and some other things.

Step 1: Parts & Tools

Picture of Parts & Tools

I used:

Two large soup cans (Lidl chicken, vegetable & pasta - it's OK)
One Scotch Broth can (Lidl, better than OK)
Two small speakers (4 Ohm)
A wire coat-hanger
Electrical insulating tape
Various bits of wire
Expanded polystyrene foam
PVC tube
Most of the electrical content came out of an old phone I bought a while ago.

A knife blade
A drill
Fencing pliers
A soldering iron

Step 2: Mounting the Speakers

Picture of Mounting the Speakers

I held the speakers in place with two blocks of expanded polystyrene foam.

Wash and dry the soup cans thoroughly.
Press the cans onto the foam to give you a rough size to cut.
Cut circles of foam, but trim ~ half an inch off two sides, you'll need this to get the foam into the cans (see later).
Press the speakers onto the foam to give you a rough size to cut.
Cut enclosures for the speakers, in this case the rectangular holes grip the magnet assemblies.
Taper a round edge to accommodate the speaker-cone, and ensure there's room for wire to pass through the foam block.

Step 3: Connecting the Cans

Picture of Connecting the Cans

This bit involves the most hard work.

Untwist the coathanger and straighten it out as best you can.
Bend 2 x 90o in the middle to give a square turn through 180o.
At the ends of the wire, bend each around 90o and trim (I had to use fencing pliers on this - it was tough stuff)
Form 90o bends at each end, and curve the centre section to fit your head.

Run (electrical) wires across the the coathanger, securing with tape, these will connect one speaker to the audio input from the other can.
Whilst I was at it I incorporated two sweet-wrappers for reasons which should be obvious now if not later...

I've then secured the end pieces to the main cans with small sections of steel cut from another can.
Holes were drilled through both and the two pieces of metal connected with a pair of nuts & bolts.

Step 4: Final Assembly

Picture of Final Assembly

Solder the wires together as the diagram..

A hole was drilled in the right can to take audio-in cable (from the phone, which conveniently had a screw-mount crimped onto the cable)

The black & white wires running between the two cans connect to left audio-in at the right can, to the speaker on the left can.

The right hand speaker connects to the right audio-in at the right can.

Once connected, wrap exposed joints with insulating tape and push the speakers in.
Because of the rim on the can, the foam must be pushed sideways (hence the need for trimmed edges) then rotated into place. It's a firm friction-fit.

A piece of PVC tubing was cut to fit the inner rims of both cans, cut lengthways it holds it's self in place no problem.

The other end of the curly phone cable was soldered to a standard stereo audio jack

Step 5: In Conclusion

Picture of In Conclusion

These work fine from my PC, but they're not loud.
They are rather comfortable too, not that you'd expect it.
Running through a small amp makes them much louder, but as you might imagine, yes they do sound "tinny".


usafbrat (author)2013-07-25

I was planning to make this.

Clayton H. (author)2009-09-18

The first picture makes you look like les claypool.

lemonie (author)Clayton H.2009-09-19

I wasn't trying, but you mean like this? L

Clayton H. (author)lemonie2009-09-19

Yea or like the one at the top of his website.

freeza36 (author)Clayton H.2013-02-24


zelback1 (author)2012-10-03

In terms of the 'tinny" sound, have you tried using tapering glass cups? I used this with a mini-speaker plugged into my ipod, and it got so loud that I could hear it in every corner of my house and even outside for 20 feet. I actually had a neighbor ask me "What song is that you've got playing in there?"

Sincerely yours,

zelback1 (author)2012-10-03

LOVE the first photo, dude. The glasses and the "cans" with the perfect goatee make you look like you should be wearing an aviators scarf and jacket, with the leather chill-cap under your arm as you walk away unscathed from a burning biplane. (Yes, I have an active imagination.) But seriously, EPIC!

blkhawk (author)2012-09-27

You look like Guy Fawkes!

The Locksmith (author)2011-05-15

You look so awesomely hip in the first photo. <3

lemonie (author)The Locksmith2011-05-15

Thanks, but I have since shed the hair...


The Locksmith (author)lemonie2011-05-16

awww, did you at least keep the sunglasses?

lemonie (author)The Locksmith2011-05-16

Yes, but I got a new pair.


Leemister (author)2011-03-29

This is clever. But can the sound fill a HUGE room?

lemonie (author)Leemister2011-03-29

No, just your head.


Leemister (author)lemonie2011-03-29

Oh. Well I think I might try this out. I collect headphones and stuff so, this will make it be alot cooler. THANKS!

power (author)2010-08-22

great cans! soundstage improved well :D

Dr Qui (author)2010-07-11

Two large soup cans (Lidl chicken, vegetable & pasta - it's OK) LOL Agreed... Have yet to find a canned chicken product that was more than OK, chicken don't can well does it? LOL Andy.

lemonie (author)Dr Qui2010-07-11

It's cheap nourishment and that's about all that can be said about it...


MissBetsy (author)2010-04-25

that is just to cool :)
I had to give it an extreme "funny" rating. I wonder if lining the cans with e.g. neoprene would make them sound less 'tinny' Love your project!

Perkinator (author)2009-10-27

Is that you on the picture?

lemonie (author)Perkinator2009-10-28



brian3140 (author)lemonie2010-03-19

Haha sick... I was looking for an instructable with you in it, cuz i see you everywhere on the site, and yur lil icon guy clearly isn't you lol.... I needed a face to go with the name, "lemonie".
     Keep up the good work!

lemonie (author)brian31402010-03-19

I still look pretty much like that...


 Its scary 'cause you look a lot like my Dad!

riverreaper (author)lemonie2009-12-13

thats funnie i didnt know of the can term or i might of done my idea difernt , i needed a way to record right an left an contained that i could have room noise not interfearing , i put a mikeheadset with the speakers detached from the headband an the mike inbetween them inside a 32oz espresso cup an muffling stuffing all around them the wire comes out the straw hole , guess i shoulda instru. it befor all that electrical tape went on lol

lemonie (author)riverreaper2009-12-14

I like the sound of that.


butterflycookies (author)2009-09-29

i tried to use soda cans. bad idea

lemonie (author)butterflycookies2009-09-29

They're not as stiff are they? L

lemonie (author)2009-09-17

If I had I would have replied by now. I'll PM you with a fix L

Punkguyta (author)lemonie2009-09-17

I was gonna say, how bout you try pm'ing me, but apparently you already have, but It still says 0

lemonie (author)Punkguyta2009-09-17

Bugger. No stuck... L

Punkguyta (author)2009-09-16

This is actually an interesting idea, I would try mounting woofers the size of the diameter of the soup cans inside the cans, thus creating some potentionally ear damaging cans.

lemonie (author)Punkguyta2009-09-16

Yes, I have a pair of those, so I've got long-term plans for "Super Soup-Cans" L

Punkguyta (author)lemonie2009-09-17

Make sure they have some kind of vents in the rear of them so they don't act like pressure chambers :-S Btw, did you get my Pm lemonie?

lemonie (author)Punkguyta2009-09-17

Hi man, not yet I'm afraid... L

Punkguyta (author)Punkguyta2009-09-17

I'll be irate if my pm's aren't working either

lil jon168 (author)2009-09-06

lol u look like a white snoopdog

Punkguyta (author)lil jon1682009-09-17

It's true, he kind of does, doesn't he?

lemonie (author)lil jon1682009-09-06

OK, thanks L

butterflycookies (author)2009-09-10

these are pimp in defination!

butterflycookies (author)2009-09-08

this is more pimp than the wookie gun

isaac! (author)2009-09-01

tuna cans!

albylovesscience (author)isaac!2009-09-04

hopefully this can doesn't find you

Goodhart (author)isaac!2009-09-04

You might end up with an entourage of cats following you about even after extensive can washings :-)

thepelton (author)isaac!2009-09-01

I agree with Isaac!

Goodhart (author)2009-09-04

Speaking of getting creative, one could bend the cans into the shapes of large bolt heads, and really give a freaky appearance to the whole thing :-)

Goodhart (author)2009-08-31

If you saw them in half, you create a possible method of accidental lobotomy on both sides of your head :-) It would be extra difficult to get the edge turned down.

Warlrosity (author)Goodhart2009-09-03

Oooh, a new display picture

lemonie (author)Goodhart2009-08-31

Mmm - sort of ultrasonic circular blades? L

Goodhart (author)lemonie2009-08-31

Hmm, not even a need for ultrasonic, the base would vibrate it enough to rattle it a bit a remove one's ears.....the hard way :-) But only if you would cut them in half as cm suggested :-)

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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