A bluetooth speaker for Kylie!

My daughter Kylie has been asking for a new bluetooth speaker that she could use with her phone.  She has gone thru a number of cheap disposable bluetooth speakers.  After researching online and finding that new speaker with marginally better quality would cost anywhere between $50 to $100, I decided to see if would be possible to make something at least as good if not better.

A great help in this process was Kirby Meets Audio on youtube.  He has a fantastic series of instructional videos that introduced me to the somewhat bewildering array of options that can go into building a good speaker.  The information is presented in a way to give you the knowledge and encouragement to try building.  I have a lots of woodworking experience but absolutely none with electronics.  This was a new experience for me and one that I will definitely repeat.

The case for this speaker was made from scraps in my woodpile.  A piece of pine for the sides ended up being just the right length.  I found a short off-cut of walnut that seemed like it would be perfect for the front.  After a little trimming to size and lots of sanding, it looked beautiful.

I ordered the following from Parts Express for the guts of the speaker:

  • Dayton Audio 3 1/2″ full range driver
  • Dayton Audio Digital Audio Amplifier
  • 12 volt Power Supply
  • Bluetooth 4.0 Audio Receiver

kylie-speaker-components

Once you have the components:  driver (speaker), power supply, blue tooth receiver, amplifier and assorted wires and cables.  Do a dry run of the assembly to ensure that it all works well together.  This was my first time assembling any kind of electronics, so I was a bit nervous when it came time to solder wires to the correct connections.  This assembly went very smooth, I only had to redo a couple of connections to get everything working before soldering.

 

kylie-speaker-guts

Once I had everything secured inside the enclosure, (yea for hot melt glue!).  I put the back cover on place and now you can see the power led.  I decided to keep the power cord inside and secured.  Kylie is notorious for breaking cords, so hopefully this will survive longer than usual.

kylie-speaker-back

 

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This project was lots of fun!  It even sounds pretty good.  If you are looking for something unique to build either for yourself or as a gift, this is a great way to go.  I found that this project pushed me into areas that I was not comfortable with and forced me to expand my skills.  Something we all can benefit from doing.

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