If you love audio and are looking for a fun project, why not build your own speaker? You don’t have to build one from scratch (although you could). There is a whole world of DIY kits that you can assemble with relative ease, but still call your own. A speaker kit skips the hard steps — like finding all your own components, speaker drivers, crossover boards and other hardware — and basically just asks you to assemble the speaker, which is still a challenge and an accomplishment. It’s kind of like Legos, except you can listen to them.
There are advantages of building a speaker from a kit, aside from it being a fun project, but the main thing is that you can get a beautiful, high-quality speaker for significantly less than it would’ve normally cost. And with a personal touch to boot.
If you Google around for kits, odds are you’ll find plenty that cost in the thousands. Fortunately, you can get a great DYI speaker kit for way less than that.
KMA (Kirby Makes Audio), run by audio engineer and woodworker Jared Kirby, is a California speaker company that sells DIY build kits for passive speakers and powered Bluetooth speakers. Kirby also runs Salvage Audio, an audio company that makes higher-end speakers out of reclaimed wood.
KMA’s kits run between $100 and $300 bucks, and designed to be built relatively quickly (a few hours), requiring only a few tools, such as a screwdriver, wood glue and the occasional drill or sander. All the audio components are included.
If you’re looking for a fun new project, we’ve rounded up a few of KMA’s coolest DIY built kits below. Just make sure to buy one the models with the wood enclosure kit. And stain that wood with something nice.
KMA Mini Tower Speakers
Type: Passive bookshelf speakers
These Mini Tower Speakers can be placed horizontally or vertically, with their driver on top or bottom, and they’re still designed to sound great. Each speaker has a 3.5-inch point-source driver that KMA says helps the speakers deliver full-spectrum audio with “clear and natural highs.” Also, these are passive speakers so you’ll need an external amp for them to work.
KMA Fremont Bookshelf Speaker
Type: Passive desktop speakers
Think of these as the upgrades to the above Mini Tower Speakers. They’re still passive desktop/bookshelf speakers, but each speaker is larger and more powerful, with two drivers (a dedicated woofer and tweeter) instead of one. The pair make a great partner for a turntable or entry-level sound system.
KMA Elder Bluetooth Speaker
Type: Powered Bluetooth speaker
The Elder Bluetooth Speaker looks awesome and is really designed for those who want an easy speaker to stream straight from their smartphone. The speaker has two 4-inch woofers and a tweeter, both by Dayton Audio, and a built-in Bluetooth and audio amp all baked into it.