The Quietspeaker

Introduction: The Quietspeaker

The idea seems slightly counter-intuitive, but it can come in handy. Say you want to listen to music to help you fall asleep, but you don't want to crush your device and you don't want to wake everybody in the house, or you want to share music with someone but don't want to share headphones. You need a quietspeaker. Here's how to make one with stuff you probably have lying around.

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Step 1: You Will Need...

  • An Altoids tin (or similar rectangular box)
  • A piece of plastic or cardboard (I used an old Dunkin' Donuts gift card. Of course, I used the money on the card before I cut it up. It would be a shame to waste free donuts.)
  • A cutting tool (I used a Swiss Army Knife.)
  • Two pairs of old headphones (I used the green ones because the retraction mechanism was broken, and the black ones because a plastic earpiece had popped off. I moved what was left of the earpieces down the cord to the connector thing. You have to be careful with these, because the very end of the cord where it meets the speaker is exposed wire. It's really delicate, and it's easy to accidentally sever a speaker.)
  • A splitter (you can get them at the dollar store, usually. I happened to have a spare one lying around.)

Step 2: Poke Some Holes in Your Altoids Tin

I used the Swiss Army knife to stab four holes in the top of the tin and one in the side. You'll need some sort of tool to mold the sides of the hole you created so it's big enough to fit the end of a headphone cord through.

Step 3: Cut Some Holes in Your Card

I used the knife for this, but a hole punch might work. You just need to cut some holes in the edges of the card and cut through from the edge to the hole.

Step 4: Prepare Your Headphones

I moved what was left of the plastic pieces down the cord as far as I could move them to get them out of the way. You don't need to do this if the plastic bits are intact.

Step 5: Add the Headphones (if Pieces Are Missing)

I wrapped the headphone cord around the card, making sure the plastic pieces were on the side that would be facing the bottom of the tin. Then, I CAREFULLY pulled the cut parts of the edges of the card apart to make a gap and threaded the speakers through. CAREFULLY. You could lose a speaker. The wire is really delicate.

Step 6: Add Headphones (if They're Intact)

Take the earbud and place it in the holes in the other edge of the card. If they're not retractable, you'll need to wrap them around, too. These are less delicate, so you can afford to be clumsy getting them in.

Step 7: Place the Headphones

Make sure that the hole you cut in the side is big enough to get the end of your headphone cord through. Thread the end through the hole and connect it to the splitter. Repeat.

Step 8: Add the Card

Place the card on the tin and pop the corners down below the edge of the tin.

Step 9: Voila

You have one quietspeaker. I've included a video of mine in action. That's as loud as it goes when paired with my 5th gen iPod touch at full volume.

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    5 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for sharing your project! Can't wait to see what you make next.