Top 5 Specs and Constraints: Foam Exciter Speakers

For my project, I had originally wanted to create a minimalist desk with some hidden features integrated into it. I looked at material costs for the woods I had wanted to use, the table legs, and the components for the integrated features, as well as looked into the skills and tools required to make this project. Unfortunately, the costs of this project exceed the my own budget and the scope of this class, and the table would require specialized tools that the Idea Forge does not have, in order to make this table the way that I would like it to be.

As a result, I have decided to switch my project, and instead create foam exciter speakers for my final project. Foam exciter speakers are basically a square of foam insulation, with little exciter speakers attached to the back, which you can hang up in any space as speakers. The foam acts to amplify the sound from the exciter speakers, and supposedly these speakers have fairly high sound quality for the price. I would like these speakers to have a minimalistic aesthetic, and will paint the front of these with some muted abstract colors as well. I’d also like to add LED backlighting behind the speakers, to highlight them when in use.

My top 5 specifications for this project are:

  • Working Speakers – These speakers need to work, and produce sound. I have never worked on building my own audio speakers, so this is something I am worried about.
  • Paint – These speakers need to have an interesting paint job on them, as the appearance of the speakers has the biggest impact on the aesthetic of the project.
  • They need to fit cohesively into the space – I would like to put these speakers into my living room, so they need to fit into the space I have. I would also like them to match the decorations of the space currently, or be minimalist enough that they are not noticeable unless focused on.
  • The LED backlighting – The LEDs for this project need to be backlit behind the speakers. I would like them not to stick out of the sides of the speakers, and add an ambient light effect to the space.
  • Bluetooth – I would like this project to incorporate bluetooth into the speakers, so I can connect wirelessly to the speakers.

For this project, I am prioritizing the working speakers, and the paint on the speakers. Because they are speakers, it is important to me that they actually work and produce sound. The paint on the speakers will make the biggest impact on how they appear aesthetically, so it is similarly an important specification to me.

The top 5 constraints that I face are:

  • Lack of audio setup skills – For this project, I will need to do a lot of research on how to build audio systems, as I have never worked with speakers and amplifiers before.
  • Lack of painting skills – I have done very little artistic painting, with the extent of my painting skills coming from painting houses.
  • Budget – Although these systems are on the low end for how much can be spent on audio systems, each of the components can still add up the price significantly, so I will need to balance my budget with the sound quality that I am hoping to get from this.
  • Room to work – For this project, I do not have a good space in my house to be cutting and sanding foam boards.
  • Mounting the speakers. For these speakers to work effectively, they need to be hanging. I am not quite sure yet what I will use to hang these speakers, and how I will get them to be level with one another.

I think that my lack of experience with painting will be the most difficult constraint for this project. These speakers work best with minimal paint on them, but I would still like to add a painted design to these, so I will need to learn enough about painting to apply a cool design without using too much paint.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • Hey Travis, great post! I think the pivot to the speakers was a great move. Your focus on working speakers and cool paint jobs makes sense. Overcoming challenges like not knowing much about audio or painting will be tough, but it’s neat how you’re figuring it out. Good luck with your project!


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