DIY Gas Can Speakers Blast Your Tunes

Gas Can Speaker

Have you ever wanted to build your own speakers, but were a bit overwhelmed with all the information out there on cases and packaging? A recent Instructable by [Txje] goes over how to build a set of simple gas can speakers.

While using gas cans as speaker housings will not result in the best audiophile quality sound or be the cheapest option out there, it sure looks awesome, and is a great way to get started with building your own speakers. After testing out the speakers and electronics, holes in the gas cans are cut and the terminals and speakers are installed. “As an added bonus, the pour spout serves to release pressure in the speaker can. You can get everything you need for ~$69 from Amazon and/or Home Depot.” Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers.  Once you have built the speakers, now you can experiment with different fill material to see what results in better sound quality.

This is a simple, yet fun looking build. Something like this can make a nice gift for someone who spends a lot of time in their garage. What other crazy objects have you used for speaker enclosures?

24 thoughts on “DIY Gas Can Speakers Blast Your Tunes

  1. >Not a bad price point for two very cool looking speakers.

    hum… you can do a pair of decent looking *and* looking speakers from scrap wood with cheap hand tools. Why the hell would you spoil speaker in some random rather soft plastic boxes ?

    This build is FUN, ok, but that’s all :)

      1. Or proper frequency response it seems. These speakers will sound about as good as the cheapest plastic stereo you can find at a discount store, probably worse. The soft plastic will move differently with different frequencies, some frequencies will be a lot more dampened than others.

        Apart from that there is no absorbent padding in there so there will also be a lot of internal resonances, and the wires aren’t fastened down so you will also have them rattling against the side of the can in time with the base.

        Don’t get me completely wrong, there are a lot of decent plastic speakers out there, but they are made from much harder plastic, they also usually have some internal structure to make them more sturdy, and they will also have at least a little bit of sound absorbing padding to dampen resonances.

        1. Your first point stands, but your second point is wrong. Both the summary and the Instructable itself talk about filling the speakers with something after it’s all put together (the article suggests polyfill).

          1. No, that’s not how acoustics works. Sure the damping material will help, but you want *rigid* sidewalls (the stronger, the better) so as to produce less vibration where it’s not wanted. When the container vibrates, it produces sound with undesirable harmonics (usually out of phase with the primary driver) and sounds terrible. You want the sound to come out of the driver (*designed* to accurately reproduce sound), and not the enclosure.

  2. Sadly the cans will flex a LOT causing boomyness and a loss of efficiency. Filling them with Polyfill packed in the cans will make a big difference and get rid of a lot of the boomy.
    Bonus points if the cap is modified to have a (on a guess, I dont have the speakers thele parameters) 4 ” long tuned port you could make those cans sound really respectable.

  3. I got a kicking stereo in my garage. 6 speakers, 2 amps. When I crank it up it is almost like I’m at the Club! Somehow I don’t think a pair of speakers in plastic cans is really going to be quite the same.

  4. WOW! So many haters! Well, haters gonna hate I guess… I think they look cool! While the audio qualities of cheaply made polypropylene bottles are questionable, with a bit of work, you get them solid enough, and attenuating enough to get some decent sound out of them…Little epoxy maybe, some insulation of sorts…

    1. I don’t think anyone is expecting something built like this to sound like studio reference speakers, but building speakers out of semi-soft plastic is not a good idea.

      You could probably get fairly good sound out of a rigid plastic box such as an electronics enclosure from fiber reinforced plastic. It might be possible, if a bit of work, to coat the inside of these jugs with fiberglass or carbon fiber composite and get a really sturdy case like that, or even just build a square box inside and use the jug as a cosmetic cover.

      1. I thought the same thing. Make your speaker cutouts and then line the inside with a few layers of fiberglass for rigidity. They would sound much better. I want to try this now. Great idea for a unique looking and easy to carry enclosure!

  5. Mix up some quick setting urethane resin, pour into the cans (before cutting holes) then roll the can around all directions to form a seamless inner lining.

    Put a piece of good quality plastic wrap over the nozzle opening before screwing the cap on so you won’t get the cap stuck on. Once the resin is set, cut an opening under the cap to do a second layer to make the lining thicker and more rigid.

    Let the resin cure a couple of days, then cut the speaker and other holes.

    Something to try is a urethane bonding agent (like Smooth-On’s Ure-Bond) to see if it will make the resin stick to the polywhetever the can is made of. Might have to wash the inside with detergent then dilute hydrochloric acid then clean water rinse and dry before using the bonding agent.

  6. Use some Marine speakers (cover painted to match the canister), line it with Fiberglass, and put the wires in the back and you’ve got some damn fine speakers for a Jeep. :D

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.