Maple and Mahogany iPod Speaker

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Project by mjdinsmore posted 09-20-2009 04:02 PM 3929 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to make something that could allow people to listen to their iPod with a little more style than a pair of plastic speakers. I used maple and mahogany wood—both work well as its stiff and doesn’t vibrate.

Acoustically sealed, this speaker provides ample listening possibilities without needing to bring extra batteries or worrying about finding a plug to put it in. All you need i your charged iPod, iPhone, Walkman or even a Zune! It uses a standard headphone jack for input.

Want to listen to Rachmaninoff while sipping your morning cafe au lait in your Pied-à-terre? This speaker can handle that.

Want to relax to some Joni Mitchell while painting or sewing? This speaker can handle that.

Want to blast some tunes from Metallica, Black Sabbath or Iron Maiden? This speak can’t handle that. Since it’s not a powered speaker it’s limited in what it can handle. It’s never going to get too loud or fill more than a small or medium size room with music. I find that you need to have the volume at a minimum of halfway to hear it. Typically you’d have it set to 80-90% max for general listening.

Try setting your iPod or iPhone’s equalizer to ‘Small Speakers’ and it works wonderfully. Some may anthropomorphise this speaker and think it’s staring at you. Maybe it is.

11 comments so far

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 4940 days

#1 posted 09-20-2009 07:27 PM

where’d you get the speakers? makes me wanna build one…excellent work

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4634 days

#2 posted 09-20-2009 09:30 PM

Another awesome project!

Speakers have a spec known as sensitivity (or, incorrectly, as efficiency) that indicates how many Decibels the speaker will produce when given one watt of input, and measured on-axis from (IIRC) one meter away.

For an application like this (NON-powered), pay particular attention to getting a good quality speaker with a HIGH sensitivity spec.

More info can be found here

-- -- Neil

View Chris Cunanan's profile

Chris Cunanan

339 posts in 4940 days

#3 posted 09-20-2009 09:52 PM

thanks for the info neil, i’m aware of sensitivity specs, but just wanted to know where the source was for these type so i could see if it’s even worth it…

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4634 days

#4 posted 09-20-2009 10:40 PM

I don’t know that high sensitivity automatically equates to high cost.

I think you could find higher and lower sensitivity speakers at almost any price range, so … I was just thinking that it was a good factor to be aware of when evaluating drivers in your price range.

Taking a /quick/ look, I see, for example, that there are LOTS of full-range drivers with SPL (Sound Pressure Level) ratings of 87 (dB/W/M), and that there are a good handful with an SPL of 90+ dB

That difference … is pretty huge, functionally. Even Radio Shack offers what /appear/ to be decent full-range drivers with an SPL rating of 91.

Again … big difference in volume for a low-powered application.

I think, for me, I’d shoot for a minimum of 90dB.

You could probably also buy a fairly inexpensive in-line amplifier that would let you drown out the Unisaw, if you so desired ;-)

-- -- Neil

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5465 days

#5 posted 09-20-2009 11:59 PM

Nice speaker. I like the idea!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 4655 days

#6 posted 09-21-2009 03:38 AM

Cool, nice mix of tech and wood.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View depyou's profile


1 post in 4630 days

#7 posted 09-21-2009 09:48 AM

It’s good idear ! But the must be active loudspeaker. and high-qulity ipod
I’ll make it looks like your’s.

View mjdinsmore's profile


57 posts in 5013 days

#8 posted 09-23-2009 10:33 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments. There is certainly an art to speaker design—it’s not a trivial thing to do (and I’m not implying I have it perfect either!). To make it easier there’s a lot of places that have calculators to help aid you in the process. I used these for my project:

I’m sure there’s others too.


View swis66's profile


6 posts in 4597 days

#9 posted 10-23-2009 08:23 PM

very cool!

View a1Jim's profile


118322 posts in 5037 days

#10 posted 10-24-2009 03:33 AM

View lou's profile


344 posts in 4902 days

#11 posted 02-07-2010 04:28 PM

i like it .contrasing colors are always nice.

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