Introduction: Speaker Tee: a Reality [Beta]


So, April Fools has come and gone and ThinkGeek's foolish line of products has given all a good chuckle. But one of the products struck me as something entirely possible and cool. That was the Personal Soundtrack T-Shirt, so I decided to make it. However, instead of just some sound clips, I decided it would be easier and apply to more scenarios to use a simple audio jack so I could plug into, say, an MP3 player, and share it with the world.


Really, this project wasn't all that involved. Here's what you'll need:
  • An old t-shirt (we'll be cutting a hole in it, so make sure you don't need it incase something goes wrong)
  • A speaker
  • A quarter-inch headphone jack and wire
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Any shirt decorations (Like music notes silk-screened on there)

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Step 1: Solder Your Audio Cable Onto the Speaker

Yep, it's that easy. Once you're done that, test the connection with anything that funnels sound through an audio jack.

Step 2: Mount the Speaker

Alright, so cut a hole where you want to place your speaker. I went for the general center of the chest area. I made a hole close to the size of the speaker.

I really only wanted to show the circular part of the speaker and not the metal corners, so I only cut a hole for that portion.

After this, put your speaker through the bottom of your shirt (just so the audio cable can get out the bottom) and grab a hot glue gun. There's a couple of ways you can mount the speaker, but because of time constraints, I turned to my trusty pal Mr. Hot Glue. Use to your heart's content. Don't get hurt. Fin.

You could also secure the speaker by means of thread and sewing! That's for all you crafty people out there!

Nuts and bolts could also work, and they were my initial plan, except I could find any the right size. Lemme know what you guys think.

Step 3: Final Nice-ites

Alright, so now you've got the raw product. It look alright, but not professional. So you want to add some flavor to it, right?

Okay, so I grabbed a Sharpie in my haste to quickly sketch out some musical notes, and hey! it's not that bad! Add anything you want -- you can grab some fabric paint, stencil designs onto the shirt, you name it! To be really fancy, silk-screen a design onto the t-shirt before you begin and leave a space for the speaker to be mounted. Expect a nicer looking product in my first revision, due out this summer.

Also, you can only get so much sound out of this speaker at the moment. If you really want to blow away your spectators, you'll need a nice little amp. This Altoids Amp seems like a nice little pocket-sized item for on the go!

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