The biggest and baddest and quite frankly the loudest Bluetooth speaker I’ve ever seen was a SOUNDBOKS thing being pulled in a gear wagon along the 505 jeep trail above Eldora.
At the helm of this wagon, and I shit you not, was a bearded dude in a bunny costume. At 10,600 feet. Not that the altitude should matter, but for some reason it does to me. There was also a guy in a full-size worm costume and a bunch of other friends clearly going camping.
I’m pretty sure it took a half mile of separation for my buddy and me to hear only silence again on our hike. We weren’t pissed, we were just impressed by this mega loud speaker they had.
The strangest Bluetooth speaker I’ve seen looks like a snail on the ground, and it’s got wheels and an extendable handle. And it was pulled by this well-dressed guy at every high-end audio show I’ve ever been to, like Denver’s annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in October.
Seriously, if you go, there is better than a 75 percent chance you’ll see this guy wheeling around his snail speaker.
I don’t think it sounds so great, for one thing because it’s a two-way design with a tweeter that never seems to reach your ears at standing height.
That’s why we’re using only full-range speaker drivers in the DIY Bluetooth speaker project we’re wrapping up this week.
It’s also the same reason we’re using the Balanced Mode Radiator speakers from Tectonic Elements — the dispersion pattern for all frequencies is enormous compared to other designs.
By this point, we’ve done everything but wire the speakers up and turn the thing on. The reason I saved the wiring for another column is that the way we will wire these speakers up has to do with a thing called “impedance.”
If you bought the cheap 3.5-inch BMR drivers for this project, you’ll notice they’re labeled 8 ohms. Impedance is expressed in ohms, and impedance is simply a measure of how difficult a speaker is for an amplifier to drive. The lower the number, the easier it is, and the louder it is.
That’s why, with two speakers per side, we want to wire them in parallel, positive to positive and negative to negative, because that lowers the impedance. Wired in parallel, the two 8-ohm speakers look like one 4-ohm speaker to the amplifier. The ONEU 50 watt amplifier says it can handle 4 ohms, so we’re doing it.
Connect the terminals of the speakers to each other with short wires, and then connect a new pair of wires from one speaker’s terminals to the amplifier. Repeat for the other channel.
Well, that’s about it. To use the Bluetooth speaker in a suitcase, open ‘er up, turn on the amp and set the volume to high (you’ll control the volume with your phone instead), shove a pillow in the empty space and zip ‘er back up. Let the party commence.
The great thing about this project is that it does not need to be housed in a suitcase. You can make this in a buffalo skull, for Pete’s sake. Don’t actually do that, by the way.