Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers

Hey guys, so here's my first post on Instructables!

So this isn't much of a tutorial, but more of a guide to buying parts for building portable speakers. Over the past 4 months I've been putting a lot of time into research and development into making handheld portable bluetooth speakers. As a result I've acquired a good bit of knowledge on the topic. So I've made this post to basically share my ideas and knowledge and hopefully help all of you guys build yours :)

Short Bio: I'm a 16 year old aspiring industrial/automotive designer from Ireland. Electronics isn't my main field, so this has been quite an educational adventure for me.

I want to make this Instructable to be communal. If anyone has any wisdom/knowledge/interesting things to share/suggestions, share them below please! Lets all work together to get a better understanding of portable speakers :)

Step 1: Sourcing Parts (Basics)

Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers
Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers
Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers

When it comes to sourcing electronics, your only hope is buying from China. Yes, it is possible to buy elsewhere, but it costs significantly more. The most practical and safe site to use is Aliexpress. Other sites that I buy from include Ebay, DX, and (hopefully very soon) 1688.

Despite parts being very cheap from China, there are drawbacks/risks too. Eg. buying knock offs of original products (which isn't always a bad thing), products never arriving, products not as described, and products having little to no specifications included.

If you live in Europe and other far away lands, shipping can often take up to a month, so be sure you know what you're buying and have everything planned out beforehand.

Step 2: Some useful parts (Speakers)

Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers
Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers

So below I've just included some useful, very good value for money parts that I can recommend trying out:

Speakers:

36mm 4ohm 3W Speakers: http://www.aliexpress.com/item/10pcs-3W-4-Ohm-40mm...

These are pretty great speakers. Good build quality, very good high to mid frequencies, and pretty decent low frequency range too, I can hit about 100hz before it starts to fade out (Tested in a 160mmx50mmx50mm ported enclosure with 4 speaker drivers). In terms of power they're pretty underpowered. I can only achieve clean sound up to about 2W before it starts to distort.

Overall they're the best generic '3w 4ohm 36mm' speakers I've bought, I would recommend, but they're not ideal for powerful builds.

10W 38mm 8ohm Speakers: http://www.ebay.ie/itm/161355381698?ssPageName=STR...

These are pretty excellent. They were originally used in LG TV's, so they're definitely reliable. These are really high quality speakers. Great build quality. High frequencies aren't so strong on these, but they're still pretty good. Low frequencies are alright too, but the speakers don't move under around 65hz, whereas the speakers above would move right down to 35hz. These are really excellent speakers, but I wouldn't recommend them for portable battery powered systems because they're 8 Ohms instead of 4.

Bose Soundlink Mini Speaker Driver Knockoffs:

http://hifispeaker.en.alibaba.com/product/60104990...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/39414700461.html

I haven't tried either of these yet, but they're the same design as the speakers on the Bose Soundlink Mini. I'll update you once I've bought mine and done some tests.

Step 3: Some Useful Parts (Circuit Boards)

Passive Speakers, Portable Speakers and more! Guide to buying parts for bluetooth speakers

Amplifier:

This seems like pretty much the best amplifier that runs off 5V: http://www.ebay.ie/itm/281442306369?ssPageName=STR...

Charging Circuit:

(5V 1 Amp Input, charges 1 cell li ion batteries to 4.2V) http://www.ebay.ie/itm/400763851459?ssPageName=STR...

Bluetooth:

Found these modules a couple of days ago. They have bluetooth 4.0, connectors for function keys and an LED, and its super compact at just 30x30mm. I've bought a few of them so I'll let you know how they go once I try them out :) http://detail.1688.com/offer/42827201050.html?spm=0.0.0.0.A15aiJ

Step 4: Some Useful Parts (PASSIVE RADIATORS!!! :D

Here's some links. If you want to find some yourself, you'll need Google Translate. The whole site is in Chinese..

Also don't get yen and yuan mixed up!!

http://detail.1688.com/offer/42954391266.html?spm=...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/37483732122.html?spm=...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/38340466280.html?spm=...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/42954783085.html?spm=...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/1198146717.html?spm=0...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/1079645665.html?spm=0...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/1122791593.html?spm=0...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/834334530.html?spm=0....

The following are the same design found in the Soundlink Mini. They're a different design to the generic ones. I'd love to see what kind of difference they make..

http://detail.1688.com/offer/40136826895.html?spm=...

http://detail.1688.com/offer/38677850070.html?spm=...

Share these links guys, we gotta spread the word!!

Here's a passive radiator that user Lumpylouis found on eBay. It's a little bigger than the rest, (2.25 inches), but it has a spider connected to it which will help improve the sound. http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-x-ALTEC-LANSING-2-25-Bas...

Step 5: Bose Soundlink Mini Specs, Parts and More

So there's no doubting that the Bose Soundlink Mini has a crazy amount of bass and power for its size, and I believe that its a product that we should really look at for inspiration.

Below are some specs I found on it off a Chinese forum. I believe they are correct but there's a small chance that they're not.

1. MCU: Motorola 16F723A

2. Bluetooth module : CSR 57H687CG

3. AD: AKM 5381ET

4. DA: Cirrus Logic CS4350-DZZ

5. Power Management Chip : TPS62111 Ti

6. Amplifier : TPA3118 2 * 10W with 12V

7. PSU: 12V 0.833A

8. Battery : 7.4V-2.23A / 17Wh

Notice how the Amp runs off 12V but the battery is 7.4. Im guessing this was achieved with a step up converter. But from what I know they're not very efficient.. Does anybody have an explanation for why Bose chose to step up the voltage? If so explain in the comments :)

(Active Speaker and Passive Speaker knock-offs available to buy at the links on the previous steps)

Also here's a cool video of the Soundlink Mini without its front panels

Step 6: What's Coming Next:

So far I've built 6 prototype speakers, no.7 on the way! Does anyone want tutorials for anything else? If so comment below!

I want to make this Instructable to be communal. If anyone has any wisdom/knowledge/interesting things to share/suggestions, share them below please! Lets all work together to get a better understanding of portable speakers :)

If you want to be kept up to date on my speaker projects and more, you can follow me over here: https://www.facebook.com/BL.car.design.and.rendering

 
 

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