- 2 yards of 28 gauge insulated copper wire (x2)
- 2 paper towels
- 6 Starbucks frappuccino lids (3 for each)
- 4 magnets (2 for each)(.25 in diameter)
- 2 small neodymium magnets (1 for each)(.5 in diameter)
- Electrical tape
- 4 pieces of Fabric (10x10 inch)
- A plain head band
- Sand paper
- Wire cutters and Scissors
- Aux plug
- Glue stick and hot glue gun W/ hot glue sticks
- Two large sticky notes
- Duct Tape
THREE MAIN COMPONENTS IN ANY SPEAKER
The three main components included in all speakers are the magnet, the voice coil, and the diaphragm/cone. The magnet is important because it provides the magnetic field in the speaker. The voice coil strengthens the magnetic field and provides vibrations, and the diaphragm amplifies and pushes the sound waves.
We used 45 coils for the voice coil because we received the best sound and quality from them. We know this because we made 3 trial coils, 25, 35, and 45. We then made baby speakers from a cup, and attached the coils. With the 25 coils, the music was recognizable, but quiet. The 35 coils was clearer and louder than the 25 coils, but the 45 coils produced the loudest and clearest music.
Why use neodymium magnets?
We used neodymium magnets because they serve as the permanent magnet. A permanent magnet is a magnet that has its own magnetic properties in the absence of an inducing field or current. They will attract and repeal the coil, making it vibrate.
Step 1: Begin Creating Voice Coil
- To create the voice coil, get a glue stick and electrical tape/sticky notes. Put the electrical tape/sticky note on, sticky side up.
- Begin wrapping the wire around the electrical tape/ sticky note, making sure that the coils are close together. We used 45 coils, so we wrapped the wire around the glue stick 45 times. (Leave extra wire (about 12 inches) at the end of the coils)
- Once done, put electrical tape over the wire
- Pull off the coil from the glue stick without damaging or unraveling the coil.
Step 2: Sanding the Wires
- Sand 2 inches of each end of the wire thoroughly with sand paper, ensuring that there is no colored coating. When done sanding, you should only see copper wire. Be careful; if you over sand the wire, it may become weak.
Step 3: Preparing Your Diaphragm
- Collect 3 lids (we used frappuccino lids from Starbucks)
- With one of the lids, glue one piece of fabric to the inside (with glue stick)
- Line the inside of another lid with glue from the glue stick and sandwich the fabric between the two lids (cut the excess fabric)
Step 4: Attaching Magnets and Voice Coil
- Attach the voice coils, with a magnet inside, to the inside of a container of your choice (we used Starbucks frappuccino lids)
- Thread the wires through the fabric so they are easier to access at the end
- Tape everything down with electrical tape
Step 5: Making Other Headphone
- Repeat steps 1-4 to make other headphone
- After two voice coils are completed, twist one sanded end from each coil and twist them. The remaining two ends should be plugged into the AUX plug.
If you no sound is audible, check the troubleshooting in next step.
Step 6: Connecting Speaker to AUX Plug
- Get AUX plug and remove black lid, if the plug came with one.
- Gather sanded ends of wire, and loop through the terminals of the AUX plug, ensuring that there is a tight connection between the wire and the terminals.
- When plugged into a sound source (phone, iPod, laptop), you should be able to hear some sounds.
TROUBLESHOOTING: If you do not hear sounds when AUX plug in plugged in:
- Make sure that the two wires in the terminals are not touching
- Check if the ends of the wires are sanded thoroughly, and that there is no red coating
- Tighten the connection of the wires to the AUX plug
- Make sure that plug is pushed all the way into sound source
Step 7: Adding the Diaphragm
- Trim off excess fabric from the lids (DO NOT TO CUT THE WIRES)
- Glue the remaining fabric to the inside of your cup
- Next, line the rim of the lid with hot glue
- Then place lid onto the paper towel so the glue is covered by it
- Trim excess paper towel
Step 8: Decorating/Customizing
Time to make them look more like headphones! You can decorate them and customize them to your desires. We hot glued cloth to the frappuccino lids, but you can color it with markers, or anything else to make it look nicer. :)
Step 9: Final Touches
I would recommend to cover the magnets and wire, since they wouldn't look as nice and professional, and there may be a risk of pulling a wire loose from the terminal. We just covered with wire with duct tape, but you can conceal it however you want!
Step 10: Enjoy Your Headphones!!
The video shows the headphones actually playing music, but you might need to turn up the volume all the way.
Step 11: Extra Info About Speakers
Why voice coils vibrate:
Voice coils vibrate when sound waves travel through them, causing the coils to push and pull the diaphragm and cone.
How vibrations turn into what we perceive as sound:
We can hear the sounds from speakers because the vibrations are energy waves, which our ears perceive as sound. The energy travels through the air, which is a medium.
Results from prototyping:
We found that more coils and magnets made the sounds from out headphones louder and clearer. Also, the tighter the coils are, the clearer the sounds.