Many earbuds can play at high volume without distortion. Use them to drive paper cups, and the sound is surprisingly good. I first put this together when I really needed to listen to some jams at work. Put the ghetto back into the blaster!

Project Steps

Prepare the cups.

Cut small Xs in the bottoms of 2 paper cups.

Insert the earbuds.

Carefully insert the earbuds into the Xs. They should fit snugly.

Turn on the jams and rock out.

See how much amplification you can get out of paper cups!

My earbuds do play at very high volumes without distortion … so the sound from my ghetto blaster is actually really good. This is a cheap, easy trick and will save you serious money.


This project first appeared in MAKE Volume 19, page 139.