Instructables
Picture of Turn Nearly Anything into a Speaker
You can turn nearly any object into a speaker by using a piezo disc and a handful of additional components. While this may seem like magic, there is actually a rather simple technical explanation. By driving a piezo disc using an amplifier, the disc vibrates and then resonates the sound wave through whatever object the disc is attached to. When the object vibrates, it disturbs the air and makes sound. This is not only a fun trick, but also allows for a lot of interesting experimentation and creative projects.
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
You will need:

(x1) Audio output transformer (radioshack #273-1380)
(x2) 1/8" mono jacks (radioshack #274-0251)
(x1) 3" x 2" x 1" project enclosure (radioshack #270-1801)
(x1) Piezo transducer (radioshack #273-0073)
(x1) 6' stripped-end audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2434)
(x1) Mini audio amplifier (radioshack #277-1008)
(x2) 6' audio mono cable (radioshack #42-2420)
(x1) Assorted shrink tube (radioshack #278-1627)
(x1) Audio player with output jack
(x1) Roll of double-sided tape

Step 2: Solder

Picture of Solder
2B.jpg
2C.jpg
2D.jpg
Solder the red wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the mono jack, and the white wire to the signal tab. This will be the input jack.

Solder the green wire from the audio output transformer to the ground tab on the other mono jack, and the blue wire to the signal tab. This will be the output jack.

Trim the black wire to remove any exposed uninsulated wire.

Step 3: Holes

Picture of Holes
3B.jpg
3C.jpg
3D.jpg
Make a mark centered upon each of the 1" x 2" sides of the project enclosure.

Drill both of these marks with a 1/4" drill bit.

Step 4: Install

Picture of Install
4B.jpg
4C.jpg
Remove the mounting nuts from the mono jacks, and then pass each of the mono jacks through one of the 1/4" holes.

Finally, mount them firmly in place with their mounting nuts.

Step 5: Glue (optional)

Picture of Glue (optional)
To keep the audio output jack from rattling around inside the enclosure, hot glue it in place

Step 6: Close

Picture of Close
6B.jpg
6C.jpg
6D.jpg
Place the lid back onto the project enclosure, and fasten it shut with the included set of screws.
trarial8 months ago

I don't think Nicolas Collins would mind you using his (exact) setup to turn a piezo disc into an audio driver, but the least you could do is mention that you got every single part of this instructable except for the pictures from his (excellent) book "Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking." Parts numbers, even the exact same battery powered amp. C'mon dude. Have some integrity. At least so you can spread around the knowledge of said book! To anyone else reading, definitely check it out, it's got way more audio projects than just this, and even some interesting circuit-bending and video sections.

Sold two books! love learning about hardware hacking. I'm actually writing an essay for my English class about green and free energy and how anyone can build their own contraptions with unused stuff or recycled stuff to produce enough energy to run their house hold from including use of wind/solar/magnetic energy sources. what another great discovery for myself, because i might have an idea for this. well two ideas, one for energy research, and to see how it would work with my headphones i made from 3M hearing protection, they sound good now, but it still needs an amp, more base and maybe surround sound capabilities (anyone have any suggestions on any of this?)

opendna trarial5 months ago

This comment sold a book.

Thanks for pointing that out. I'd be sure to check it out

Misac-kun10 months ago

okay. You used a Amp and a Transformer to drive the piezo. Is the transformer really needed or it will work fine without it?

parisusa1 year ago
Kazmataz: your comment is so cheesey! But you are quite sharp. :) is it wrong that I expected to see a photo of this thing stuck to an 8 track? Retro-fun?
What kind of frequency response do you get out of it? I'm assuming we're not talking hi fidelity here, but how good does the sound get if you attach it to an optimal surface?
ynze1 year ago
A video, a video, please please give us a video :-)
randofo (author)  ynze1 year ago
I thought about it, but it would be really boring to watch and the audio would probably not sound very good.
Oh stop, I'm sure the cheese shredder sounded grate
Bahahaha! It was OK, but I think he's sticking with the glue gun.
marry me, please
dbbd kazmataz1 year ago
Nice answer :-)
Like. Like.
ynze kazmataz1 year ago
Oh thanks kazmataz! Randy, go and explore the power of video editing. You can do it, really!
saifbunni1 year ago
so does the audio output transformer really work in matching the impedance ? I've been trying to get a piezo pre amp for a while now, and so far no luck. any help is appreciated . great instructable. Saif
Does it matter witch side its plugged into
Just a tip: Sparkfun sells transducers, I think up to 1W that are decently priced. Just if you want more POWER! (cue Jeremy Clarkson)
tutdude981 year ago
what transformer actually does? since W in is same as W out
Good question. I omitted the piece with the transformer, and it appears to be working fine. I don't have the knowledge to tell you which is better though.
I'm guessing impedance matching. Increases efficiency.
Bartuss1 year ago
freak......Nah just another great tutorial :D
damau1 year ago
The cool thing about this is you can easily modify this to "Turn nearly anything into a microphone. Just watch out for feedback. Great ible.
This is now a way to have music everywhere where a body ain't allowed to have it. Just use a body that will resonate when you strike it with a metal object like a small hammer and it must "ring" Excellent idea
njeyanth1 year ago
Awesome :o
jbodden11 year ago
The cheese grater speaker only sounds good with polkas from Wisconsin...
markpa1 year ago
very smart!!!!!!!!!!!
arthurdent1 year ago
I have a frog-shaped speaker posted here already. Would that count?
joshuao1 year ago
This is an awesome ible. I bought one of these a few days ago for $10 on amazon.
vishalapr1 year ago
Great project! I am gonna try this out with my nerf guns :D
http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20130802/nerf-nstrike-elite-centurion-mega-blaster/
Trying to use an arduino for the music instead of an ipod and hopefully it will all fit in snug :)
Awesome project!!! I love it!
tech savvy1 year ago
Very well done instructable , this is something i'll have to try making ,
keep up the great work
Sweet! I made a paper plate into a speaker once! It's awesome to hear music from strange things :)
HollyMann1 year ago
This would be a fun an interesting project to do with my son - thanks! :)
Byzula1 year ago
Wow that is so cool!
randofo (author)  Byzula1 year ago
Yup, and it is a ton of fun. You can do some strange and interesting things with it (like sticking it to your forehead).