Many people opt to build their own speaker enclosures. While there are many important considerations, such as speaker type and size, you can use a simple online calculator (see the Resources section) to build the right speaker box for any application. While speaker enclosures are most popular for subwoofers in the car, this article is applicable to car and home audio applications.
Things You'll Need
- Speaker specifications (available online) or manual
- 3/4 inch particle board or fiberglass, or 1 inch high-density plywood
- Measuring tape
- Wood screws
- Caulk gun
- Fiberglass insulation (optional, car audio subwoofers)
- Speaker box design calculator (see Resources)
- Speaker wire
- Carpeting or paint (optional)
Download the software for the type of speaker box you desire (see Resources). You can also use an online calculator.
Using either the manufacturer's specifications or user manual, plug in the required info into the software. This will give you the measurements needed to create your box. Write down or print out the results.
Choose your material: particle board, plywood or fiberglass. Particle board works well with smaller speaker sizes, or if you are building a box for only one speaker. Choose plywood for a two-speaker enclosure and/or larger speakers. Fiberglass is the most popular choice, as it is attractive, easy to paint and can help improve speaker performance.
Cut your material into dimensions specified by your software.
Using a silicone-based caulk, caulk the material together at the joints.
Allow it to sit for several hours (preferably overnight) to dry. Once dry, drill screws into the material for extra holding power. Be sure to caulk over them to prevent any air leakage.
Measure speakers and cut holes to for them on the face of the box. You may want to cut them a little smaller to prevent any air leakage.
Hook wiring up to the back of speakers before placing them in the box. Cut a small hole in the back of the box to accommodate the wiring. Run the wiring through the back of the box, being sure to caulk the hole once complete.
Add either carpeting or paint to the outside of the box to give it a professional appearance.
Apply caulk around the speaker holes and place the speakers on top. Screw the speakers in place and attach grills.
Tips & Warnings
- Buy plenty of extra material. You can usually return what you don't use, depending on the size you have left.
- Be sure that you do not leak any air. It will degrade the sound and the box usually will not last.
- The dimensions given by most of the design software are measured from the inside, meaning that you will need to add the thickness of the material in order to have exact measurements.
- Photo Credit small speaker image by timur1970 from Fotolia.com
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