How to make homemade speakers with a plastic cup

Written by aaron kopf
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How to make homemade speakers with a plastic cup
Learn how to make homemade speakers with plastic cups. (party picnic and celebration disposable red plastic cups image by Steve Johnson from

Speaker cones function to direct the sound emerging from a speaker into a specific direction. Directed sound is much louder and crisper than undirected sound. Using this basic principle of electronic projection, you can make your own speakers using a few plastic cups and other household products. The plastic cups will act as speaker cones, directing the sound projecting from small headphones or ear buds into a specific direction with increased volume and clarity.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 4 plastic cups
  • Knife
  • Headphones or ear buds
  • Adhesive tape
  • 4 pins

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  1. 1

    Cut a small triangle in the centre of a plastic cup's base using a knife. The triangle piece should be approximately the size of a small piece of candy and should be discarded. Repeat the procedure on a second cup.

  2. 2

    Insert a headphone or ear bud into each triangle. If you look down into the cup, you should see the small speaker positioned in the centre of the cup's base.

  3. 3

    Apply a liberal amount of tape to the back of the headphone or ear bud, which serves the dual purpose of holding the speaker in place and preventing any sound energy from escaping out of the triangular hole.

  4. 4

    Turn another cup upside down on your work surface. Turn one of your speaker cups on its side and lay it on the base of the upturned cup.

  5. 5

    Insert two pins through the speaker cup into the upturned cup's base, thereby securing the cups together. The lower cup acts as a solid foundation for your homemade speakers and will also resonate a fraction of the sound energy projected from the speaker. Repeat this process with the second cup.

  6. 6

    Place your cup supports side by side, aiming your homemade speaker cones in the direction you would like the sound to project. You might wish to label one speaker "Left" and the other "Right" to preserve the stereo sound experience.

Tips and warnings

  • Try to keep each headphone as solidly attached as possible to each cup. If the headphone is rattling in place, much of the sound energy will not be directed into the cup.
  • Always exercise the proper precautions when working with knives. Failure to do so can lead to serious injury.

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