The Poor Man's Speaker

If you have ten minutes to spare, an old musical greeting card, a 9V battery, and a $5 amp module, you can listen to music on the cheap!

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I wanted to create a portable speaker/amplifier that was very affordable, used components I could find around the house, and be assembled and disassembled easily for different configurations and customizations. (with the right modifications and adapters, you could even plug in a guitar or keyboard, I have tried it and it does work. (your mileage may vary)

LM386 Mini Audio Power Amplifier Board
9V Battery & Battery adapter
Speaker Wire
Aux Cable
Musical Greeting Card (or any speaker rated under 10 watts)
  • 1 × LM386 Mini Audio Power Amplifier Board DC3~12V
  • 1 × 9V Battery
  • 1 × 9V Battery terminal connector
  • 1 × Speaker of your choosing
  • 1 × Speaker Wire

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  • 1
    Gather the items.

    Purchase the device: LM386 Mini Audio Power Amplifier Board.

    I found a 2 pack off eBay for a little over $10.

    I had a 9V battery in the junk drawer and had a 9V battery adapter from another project not being used. You can also purchase those in bulk (very handy to have)

    Gather some speaker wire (probably a smaller gauge works better here). I have a spool that I purchased a while back that I was able to use. 

  • 2
    Insert the respective wires in the correct places on the board. Screw them down.
  • 3
    Attach the speaker of your choosing. You may also add electrical tape or solder to make a better connection.

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