Introduction: Cheap Speaker

Speakers always seemed to be a piece of technology with an almost mystical air, they produce realistic and life like sound just with some wire paper and magnets. This is a cheap, quick and easy way to build an fairly decent speaker.

Step 1: Materials

  • Foam plate
  • Electrical tape
  • Wood or Cardboard
  • Magnet wire (AWG 32+)
  • Paper/Business Cards/Index Cards
  • Small magnet (Neodymium or Ceramic)
  • Hot Glue
  • Scotch Tape
  • Paper Strips
  • Stereo Jack

Step 2: Cutting the Paper Strips

First you are going to want to cut 2 paper strips out of standard printer paper. These strips should be cut length wise and be about 3/4" thick.

Step 3: Settling the Paper Onto the Plate

After the strips are cut, curl one of them snugly around the magnet. While making sure the paper retains its form around the magnet, tape it it shut making sure you don't tape the magnet. Now wrap the second paper strip around the first and doing the same thing as the first, making sure you don't tape it to the first strip of paper. You should now have a magnet with a piece of paper curled around it, and another curled around the first. Now you're going to remove the magnet carefully and then place the paper as close as you can towards the center of the bottom of the foam plate. After raising the first paper curl slightly so it doesn't touch the plate, glue the second curl onto the bottom of the plate. The first curl is only there to ensure a separation between the coil and magnet.

Step 4: Creating the Coil

Once the glue has dried and the paper curl is firmly stuck to the bottom of the foam plate, begin wrapping the magnet wire around the paper curl on the bottom of the plate, making sure it's as even as possible and NOT touching the bottom of the plate. Make sure that you leave an appropriate amount of wire before and after the coil to properly connect it to whatever X jack you use. Do about 60-70 turns of magnet wire, or if you have multimeter, about 6 ohms. After this is done, put glue around it to make sure the coil stays tight and secure, apply tension to the ends of the magnet wire to ensure this while gluing it.

Step 5: Glueing the Magnet and Suspensions

Now fold the business cards, thick paper, or index cards whatever was available to you and fold them in the shape of the letter Sigma, which is this --> Σ ...Now glue these pieces parallel to each other on either side of the paper curl and coil. Make sure it's glued securely, every corner glued down. Now, grab the piece of wood or cardboard that you have and place it under the plate, this is going to act as the base, it will be what you're gluing the suspension and magnets to. Making sure they're even glue down the pieces of paper to your base and again, make sure they are completely glued. Now glue the magnet directly beneath the coil and paper curl, making sure its centered and slightly below the coil, a slight difference in position can distort the sound. Once everything is glued and secured, you're almost done!

Step 6: Cleaning the Ends of the Magnet Wire and Securing Them to the Jack

This step is simple, just take a lighter or sharp object and either burn or scrape the enameling off the end of the magnet wire that will be connecting to your x jack. I would recommend a lighter, it's much simpler and quicker, but if you don't have a flame source a sharp blade can be made as a substitute. Make sure to due it quickly if using a lighter, too much heat can curl the copper. and if your length is short already, it can ruin all of this. After they are cleaned, wrap them around either the left or right wire on a stereo jack, and the other on the ground wire. If the jacks aren't already cleared of the plastic, you can do the same to them with a flame or blade. Wrap these joined wires with electrical tape to ensure they don't become separated.

Step 7: Testing Your Speaker!

If you did everything correctly, your speaker should be complete and ready for testing! To do this is simple, treat it as any other speaker. Plug your jack into whatever audio device you have and blast your favorite tunes. And relax knowing you did a job well done.

Step 8: Extra Tips

If your speaker doesn't sound as clear as you would like to, you could do these to enhance future speakers.

  • Use a neodymium over a ceramic magnet. Neodymium provides much clearer sound.
  • Make sure the coil is very tight around the paper curl without bending its form
  • Make sure your foam plate is clean and free of nicks or dents. Any distortion to its shape will also distort the sound
  • If it's rattling, make sure the wires aren't interfering with the suspensions or bumping against anything.
  • Make sure the magnet's height is in proper relation to the coil, if its too high or too low it will severely influence the sound.