Sunday, December 8, 2013

DIY Gramophone iPhone Speaker

Have you seen those gramophone speakers for iPhones at places like Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn? I think they are just the coolest things. Super sculptural and they actually work! I really wanted to recreate one, but I could not figure out where to find a horn that was a reasonable price.

So I started thinking about what else I could use to recreate this. And then I realized, a funnel might do the trick! I picked up a galvanized steel funnel with a flexible tube (like this one) at my local automotive shop. I sprayed the funnel with a bronze spray paint to fancy it up a little.

While the paint was drying, I explained to B how I imagined the base would need to be drilled. He went out to the garage and 10 minutes later he had a "prototype" ready to go.

Basically, he used his dremel with a 3/4" spade bit to bore a hole into the back of the base (a piece of Redwood 4x4, approximately 6" long), about half the depth of the base.


Then, he marked out on the top of the base where the iPhone would sit. (It should be situated over the end of the hole you just made for the funnel)

Using a drill with a 1/4" drillbit, B started at the right edge of the marked out area and drilled down at a diagonal to meet the other hole.

Then using the dremel with a router bit, he cut away the section where the iphone would sit, which positioned the opening under the iphone speaker.

We sanded and stained the base (Mission Oak stain).

As a last step, we added little felt feet to the base and put the funnel tube into the hole.

Ta-da! A gramophone inspired passive speaker for the iphone!

We popped the phone in the base, turned on iTunes, and the sounds started coming out of the funnel!
It was pretty cool. Ultimately, the sound was not as amplified as much as I'd hoped, which is why I named this a "novelty" speaker. I mean, it won't replace your Bose sound system or anything, but you can bend the funnel to project the sound in different directions.

I think this could be a great Christmas gift for a music-loving friend. The materials are under $10 bucks (wood, funnel) and you can paint or stain with whatever you've got on hand!

So that's it. Pretty and pretty unique. Do you have anyone on your list who you'd make this for?

Linking up to Dare to DIY.


  1. This is pretty darn cool! What a great idea. Even just as decoration, it works!

  2. This is amazing. It looks so pretty who cares if it works!

    1. Maybe I should have just called it a little sculpture. Haha

  3. I love the look. this is really cool, even if it doesnt play the music loud like Bose or whatever it still looks v cute.

  4. This. Is. Amazing!!!! I never would have even considered trying to DIY this. You have officially inspired me. And what a fabulous gift!

  5. holy moly!!!!!! this is amazing! wow. i don't even have words.

  6. Jonny Zor, I'm not sure how I managed to delete your comment:
    Hi! Great idea, it looks so cool with the combination gramaphone/ipod. One question, and you'll have to forgive me, I don't have an iphone (yikes), does the iphone have a small speaker? It must right? Nice idea, thanks for sharing it."

    In response, yes it does! On the right side of the bottom of the phone, about a half inch wide (so just over the small hole you would drill). Hope that helps!

  7. I just absolutely love your project. I had no idea such a flexi funnel existed. What a perfect piece for your DIY. I love the stain you chose and the brass spray paint on the funnel. Totally loving this. Pinning!

  8. Thanks Katja! I didn't completely know what the funnel was intended for when I bought it. I even checked with my husband to make sure an automotive store was the right place to find one!

  9. Can this project also be made for iPhone 4/4s?

    1. Hi William, great question. This project was actually done for an iPhone 4 so the placement of the speaker hole should work great. I now have an iPhone 5 and noticed that the speaker location (and width of the phone) have changed. Guess I will have to make another!

  10. This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.

    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Excellent
    job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and
    more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

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    It was inspiring. Keep on posting!

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