DIY Passive Speaker

Recently a friend of mine asked me if I could make a passive speaker from an old issue of Wood Magazine, and of course I could, but I wanted to go a different route because after watching a few build videos of the design I saw some flaws that were easily addressed.

What followed were several hours of watching other YouTube videos on passive speaker design builds and largely watching them fail because of one simple thing, angles.

If you think about it, anything that moves like sound, air, or water doesn’t like angles, it prefers a nice path with as little resistance as possible. Look at brass musical instruments for example, they’re all smooth and curvy like a centerfold model. Not a lot of resistance and they all project the sound in one direction ( no, not that stupid boy band ).

So I set about designing my own passive speaker and much to my surprise is actually works. There’s no sharp angles that would cause sound degradation or unwanted reverberation and it has a few added little design quirks that make it unique with lots of room for customization while still being able to keep within the confines of the templates.

Speaking of templates, once I get them redrawn I will share them here and perhaps even offer some MDF versions for sale at some point in the future.

In the meantime, here’s the Proof of Concept for my passive speaker… it worked out great the other day at work, carried sound all the way through the store at half volume on my phone which saved my battery through my whole shift with no problems.

As you can see, there’s really nothing that impressive about it, I left the plywood sides so the layers showed because I wanted it to have some character. I was also thinking perhaps adding some sort of grill over the openings to make them look like little speaker covers… who knows, the possibilities are endless.

Now in the picture below, and let me explain before you chew me out and say something is missing, yes, the back piece is not present in this picture but to describe it: it’s simply a piece like the top and bottom with a crescent cut out of it… This curved edge combined with the curved edges of the inner cone allow the sound from the cell phone speaker to FLOW out of the speaker rather than bounce around and try to make its way our of some opening it may never find… This shot was also prior to cutting the curves for the front of the speaker from the top and bottom pieces and you’ll see there’s no slot for the phone either…. don’t worry, it all got added.

I’ll be writing up some more on this as I work on this project and making a couple of other variants to include a slimmer version and one made of hardwood so keep checking back to see what new creations get made.