Speakers make everything sound better if they have the right balance. For sound lovers, it is not always easy to find the perfect speaker. The good news is that you can build your own speakers from the comfort of your home with components that can be easily found online.
This article is your complete guide to building your first speakers. This guide will answer key questions about building speakers for first-time builders with no prior technical experience. How hard is it to build your own speakers? Continue reading to find out.
Why You Should Build Your Own Speakers
Building a speaker for your personal use is a fun way to learn something new. It allows you to design the speaker based on your dream specifications, so it serves the exact purpose you want. If you love high-end speakers with style and functionality, you can save some money by building one instead of buying it. You can also monetize your new skill by creating and selling custom-made speakers online.
How Hard Is It to Build Your Own Speaker?
Building your own speakers is not hard if you know the right steps to follow and are patient enough to see it through. You can even make things easier for yourself by buying a DIY speaker kit. There are several affordable DIY kits that come with all the components you need to build your speaker, in addition to an instruction manual to guide you.
How Long Does It Take to Build a Speaker?
It takes about 40 hours to build a speaker for experienced speaker-builders and people with woodworking and technical skills. Those without prior woodworking or electrical experience may spend several days with the setup alone. How much time you are able to spend each day you work on the project will also determine the total time it takes you to build a speaker.
How Much Does It Cost to Build Your Own Speaker?
It costs about $100 to build an average speaker from scratch. However, the cost can add up to thousands of dollars depending on the size, specifications, and components. For example, if you want a high-end or commercial speaker, it will cost much more. It is always advisable to start with an affordable speaker kit and go for a more expensive option when you have gotten a hang of the building process.
How Much Cheaper Is It to Build Your Own Speaker?
Building your own speaker can cost as little as $100, whereas buying one of the same quality costs between $300 to $400. If all goes well, you could save $200 to $300 by taking the DIY route. Note that these figures aren’t fixed. They change based on several variables. Also, you only save money if you build a speaker successfully.
What Do You Need to Build Your Own Speaker?
The easiest method is to get a basic speaker kit to build your own speaker. However, if you cannot find a speaker kit, you can purchase everything that normally comes in a kit individually. Some key things you will need in order to build custom speakers are listed below.
- MDF wood: You can’t use just any block of wood to build a speaker. Medium-density fiberboard is currently the recommended wood for building speakers. This is because it eliminates sound distortion by allowing the sound to flow properly.
- Frequency Speaker driver: You can use one or more frequency speaker drivers, depending on the size of the speaker and the sound you want to achieve. These drivers are the vibrating parts of the speaker that produce the sound.
- Dampening material: This is the soft part of the speaker that stands between the sound wave and your ears. You can use acoustical foam as your dampener since it is easy to source.
- Amplifier: This important tool helps to ensure that the voltage signal from your connected device is enough to power the speakers through the port tube. It will make the speaker louder by amplifying the sound waves.
- Speaker wire: Buy a speaker wire that is made from copper to connect the speaker parts to your equipment. Copper wire is affordable and offers low resistance for electrical currents which makes it ideal for speakers.
- Cabinet and mounting hardware: The cabinet is the enclosure for mounting the speaker that keeps negative and positive sound waves away from each other. There are different types of enclosures available for active and passive speakers. The hardware mounting gear is used to keep the speaker in place in the desired location.
- Crossover: The circuit crossover, usually just called the crossover design, is only required if you are using more than one frequency driver for your speaker. It is essential for splitting the audio into two or more frequencies. There are passive and active crossover boards.
Building Your Speaker From Scratch: A Step-by-Step Guide
With all your components in place, it is time to start building your speaker. Following the steps below will help you through the process. If this is your first time attempting to build a speaker, make sure you follow these steps carefully and take your time. It is also best to begin with a basic speaker before attempting overly complicated design goals.
Build the Speaker Cabinet
Building speaker cabinets requires woodworking skills. Use a saw to chop the WDF board into the required shape for the speaker. Remember to measure before you cut and leave the right amount of room for all the components to fit nicely inside the cabinet. Wood glue or wood screws can be used to hold all of the finished cabinet pieces together when you are done with the box design.
Connect the Crossover to the Drivers
The crossover design usually comes with instructions, so connecting it to the woofer driver should not be too difficult. The crossover should be placed between your amplifier and your frequency drivers. Use the speaker wire to create an electrical link between the loudspeaker driver and the crossover networks. Just be careful when you are testing any electrical currents.
Install the Crossover
With all the components in place, you can start assembling your DIY speaker. It is a good idea to make your speaker parts detachable. This way, you can open the speaker and make adjustments without destroying any major components. Fill the cabinet with the acoustic foam or any other dampening material that you purchased. Then, fix the crossover design, binding ports, and everything else to the cabinet.
Finish It Up
Add finishing touches to the speaker. If you want some color, you can spray paint or paint the wood. There is no limit to what you can do to decorate your speaker. Just make sure you don’t hinder the sound. Wood veneer and spray paint are two great options for DIY speaker builders. Note that if you are working on a Bluetooth speaker, you will need to add the Bluetooth receiver at this point, as well.
Test and Enjoy
At this point, your speaker should be fully functional. You can test it with an available device to find out if it is working well. Some people also test the amplifiers and other components before they start building to make sure everything is working perfectly. Whether you test it first or not, you still have to test the speaker after you assemble it. Doing so is a good way to ensure that the internal components and the speaker cabinet construction are fine.
How to Monetize Speaker Building
If you are able to get the hang of building speakers, you can begin to make custom speakers or even commercial speakers as a side hustle. In addition, you can get really creative with your speaker cabinets to deliver your customers a unique project. As previously mentioned, a good speaker can be quite expensive. So, if you are able to meet clients’ design goals and produce a high-quality sound, you can sell a pair of speakers for good money.
Gather Feedback, Reflect, and Iterate
Now that your speaker is complete, you can start playing all your favorite music. You can invite your friends to listen and show off what you have created. Ask them for honest feedback about the speaker and think of ways to implement this feedback when making custom speakers in the future.
Building your first speaker might be time-consuming, but the skills you will acquire will remain with you forever. With time, you can monetize these skills by selling speakers or teaching people how to make them. You may even be able to repair speakers with the knowledge you gain, as well. Overall, building your own speaker is a great way to learn more about technology.
How to Build Your Own Speaker FAQ
Yes, baltic birch plywood is a great option for speaker boxes because of its density and strength. However, it is significantly more expensive than MDF, a more popular option for homemade speakers that is just as efficient. You can go for baltic birch plywood if you’re building high-end speakers.
For a Bluetooth speaker, you will need to buy a Bluetooth receiver when you are purchasing all the other items for the project. The receiver can be connected to the speaker with a cable that transmits an electrical signal. When your speaker is ready, you can search for the device and play music from your phone.
For a standard sound system, DIY speaker builders need speakers, amplifiers, and a source. There are different components required to get these three components ready. You can either buy them or build them yourself to make a solid sound system for your home.
A portable Bluetooth speaker usually costs about $15 to $30 to build, which is significantly more affordable than regular speakers and home sound systems. All you need to get started is an amplifier, speaker wire, plastic casing, and a few other components.
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