There are times when you have some killer tunes bumping on your phone, but a stereo docking station is nowhere to be found. So should you call off the party, simply because the technology isn’t on hand? Of course not.
With a little improvisation and some MacGyver-style know-how, you can easily amplify your smartphone’s speakers using common items from around the house. As you can see in the infographic below, there are two methods, depending on where the speakers are located on your phone.
Smartphones with Bottom-Facing Speakers
To make a simple amplifier for a smartphone with bottom-facing speakers, you’ll need these items: tape, a Pringles container, a utility knife, a highlighter, a roll of toilet paper, a binder clip, a can of spray paint (optional), and of course, your mobile phone.
Steps 1 & 2: Begin by using the highlighter to mark an area at one end of the Pringles can – this area should be the approximate width of your phone so it will fit snugly. Then use the utility knife to make a rectangular cut according to the dimensions of your mobile device.
Step 3: Next, take the binder clip and position it near the center of the tube. Place the metallic clips onto the container so that binder’s opening area (used for binding papers) is facing away from the container. Tape the metallic clips to the tube so it stays upright when your phone is placed into it.
Step 4: Now, you can optionally spray paint the tube your color of choice. Be careful to do this in a ventilated area, and take care not to breathe any fumes. Wait for the paint to dry before moving to the next step.
Steps 5 & 6: Pull two or three 14-inch strips of tissue from your toilet paper roll. These don’t need to be precise, but you can measure them if you feel it’s necessary. Ball them up and put them into the opposite end of the tube.
Step 7: Insert your smartphone, hit play, and get ready to party.
Smartphones with a Rear-Facing Speaker
In order to construct an amplifier for phones with back-facing speakers, you’ll need to gather up some items: your phone, three bobby pins, a utility knife, and a plastic disposable SOLO cup.
Step 1 & 2: Start by bending two of the bobby pins out into a 90-degree right angle. Then bend them back in so that they will fit snugly around the bottom of your phone. Make sure one end is a little longer than the other.
Step 3: Cut a rectangle that’s roughly the dimensions of your phone’s speaker into the cup. Be sure to leave a little more room at the top according to where the speaker is positioned on your phone.
Step 4: Cut four little holes into the cup. The holes should be slightly less than the width of your phone.
Step 5: Put the two bobby pins from steps 1 & 2 into the holes according to steps A and B in the diagram below. Use the third bobby pin by running it through the top holes, bending it to securely hold the other two booby pins.
Step 6: Place your phone into the clips and hit play. Depending on the weight of your phone, you may need to weigh the cup down in order for it remain upright (Note: do not use a liquid). Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll be all set to enjoy some great music with your friends.
DJ Miller is a graduate student out of Tampa, FL. He is an avid gadget geek with a passion for creativity and ingenuity. He first learned how to make this homemade speaker with his T-Mobile Smartphone and then realized it could work for everyone. You can follow him on twitter @MillerHeWrote.