Are you tired of listening to your iPod using the uncomfortable earphones? Do you want to listen to your iPod the traditional way using a pair of speakers? Worry not, help is at hand! This simple and low-cost assembly will convert your headphones into a speaker set. All you need is a spare Altoids can, the headphones and some basic tools. The basic intention is to separate the speakers of the headphone and put it in the can for ease of use and listening.
Almost all of us listen to music while sleeping on our iPods. Many a times, we fall asleep with the earplugs or headsets still on our ears. This is not desirable as it can cause permanent damage to the ear. Using this system, you can use the iPod conveniently in your bedroom while you are sleeping. Also, the headphones are usually very inconvenient to carry around. You can also use the set as a carry-case for your headphones. Moreover, if the can is small enough, you can put it in your pockets too!
Here’s a step-by-step guide for building your own Altoids iPod bedroom speaker.
Difficulty level: Moderately challenging. Some areas may require expertise and caution.
Time required: It varies from person to person. On an average, it can be done within 20-25 minutes provided you have all the required resources at hand.
Resources required: All the resources mentioned below are easily available at any stationary store.
1. Altoids canister - a tin can of the world famous brand of mints.
2. Headphones - a stereo headset with the desired audio Jack. It should have two speakers and sufficiently long wire.
3. Felt cloth - a cloth made out of wool. Get colors of your choice.
4. Insulating electric tape - an insulating tape for taping electrical contacts.
5. A measuring tape - the roll up tape or a scale can be use for all measurements.
6. A pair of scissors to cut the felt cloth
7. A pair of wire cutters to cut the Altoids can
8. Rubber cement - it acts as an adhesive for the felt cloth.
9. Paper clip - a regular paper clip is needed to serve as a stand for the can.
10. The iPod
Estimate cost: Not available
1. Take out the headphone speakers from their plastic casing. If the speakers are not easily detachable, use a pair of scissors to cut through the plastic headset.
2. Take a roll-up tape measure or a ruler to measure the length and breadth of the Altoids can. Accordingly, cut the felt cloth using the pair of scissors.
3. Use the rubber cement to paint both the insides of the Altoids can and then paste the felt cloth to it.
4. Cut off a small square of the can using a pair of wire cutters. This square part is a slot for the wires of the headphone. Cover the edges of the can with the electric tape.
5. Take a strip of felt with length same as that of the Altoids can and width of about half an inch. Tape your speakers to this strip and place this assembly inside the can using the rubber cement and more tape.
6. Now take the paper clip and straighten it up such that it becomes completely straight. Put this vertically inside the can to serve as a stand for the lid. You can skip this and leave the lid completely open.
That’s all. Insert the headphones to your iPod and start listening.
Frequently asked questions
1. Can I use this for any other music player?
Answer: Absolutely! Just be sure to get the headphone with the appropriate jack. Most of the portable music players have a standard 3.5 mm audio jack.
2. Can I use any other adhesive instead of the rubber cement?
Answer: Yes, you can. The purpose of the adhesive is to stick the felt cloth to the insides of the can.
3. Can I use a regular sticking tape?
Answer: No. As far as possible, use an insulating electric tape which is specially made to connect electrical joints.
4. What else can I use to cut the square piece off the can?
Answer: If you do not have a wire cutter, you can use a file, a drill or even a screw driver. Just take care that the piece to be cut is large enough for the audio wire or jack to fit through it.
1. Put the insulating electric tape at the back of the speaker of the headphone to keep the wire from breaking off. Repeat the same for the other speaker.
2. If you have a small Altoids can, you can use smaller speakers and you can put the wires beneath the speakers to save space.
3. You can use different colored felt cloth to place inside the Altoids can and make various interesting patterns of your own. Use other decorative material such as spray paints to enhance the look.
4. You can use the can to store additional batteries for your iPod. Make a compartment in the can for fixing the batteries and cut out a slot in the can to place the battery connector. You now have a multipurpose system, a speaker set as well as a battery pack!
Things to watch out for
1. Be careful while taking out the headphones from the plastic case. The headphone wires are usually delicate and may break off easily. In such a case, you can solder them back using a soldering iron and solder metal. Using a soldering iron needs caution and expertise. The best way to prevent breaking of the wires is to seal the back of the earphone with any electrical tape and it is found to be one of the best techniques of avoiding breaking of wires.
2. After you cut off the square piece from the can, make sure you tape the edges of the can. This will prevent the headphone wires from getting cut due to the sharp edges.
3. Make sure you buy the headphones with the appropriate jack compatible with your iPod.
4. Use the pair of scissors and wire cutters with care.