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Old Yesterday, 07:17 AM   #1
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Default Need a cheap, loud, mediocre-sound-quality speaker

Hi guys,

Unsatisfied with commercial offerings, I'm making a DIY metronome/tone generator, and I need to pick out a good speaker for it. Coming from a computer science background, I have pretty much no idea how to pick out any parts except for microprocessors, so I was hoping you guys could help me discover a few good speakers for my application.

Here's what I'm looking for:
- alarmingly loud
- small enough to fit in a handheld device
- very cheap (<= $5)
- somewhat good low-frequency response

Here's what I don't care about:
- sound quality
- high frequency response

Sorry if this is a poor question, but I don't really have any idea what sort of distributors or manufacturers to check. I just go to digikey for everything, but their speaker selection wasn't great.

I'm using the MAX98307 d-class amp for my project, and will probably use an Atmel ATSAM3S1CB MCU with an on-chip DAC.

Thanks for any help,
John
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Old Yesterday, 07:54 AM   #2
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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I would think a miniature type with a mylar cone would be ideal.
KDS2008 - -- - MINIATURE SPEAKER | CPC

You'll never get any LF response from such a small speaker but they will make a loud click when suitably driven. Make sure you get an 8 ohm type (low Z) and not a 64 ohm or other high-ish value.
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Old Yesterday, 08:16 AM   #3
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Thanks Mooly!

I will keep this solution on my radar, however, I also want to be able to produce some basic sine-wave chords (even if they don't sound too good). I will order a few anyways and see how they do.

So far I've been looking at CDM-20008 (400+Hz, 92dBspl, $1.80) or AS01808 (250+Hz, 80dBspl, $3.02). These seem to be the closest to what I want, but I'm a little unsure of the meaning of "dB spl"... I think it means dB/watt at 1meter... so I'm not sure how loud they will be. my max98307 amp can provide up to 3Watts.
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Old Yesterday, 08:24 AM   #4
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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The db figure is a bit meaningless I think because it doesn't quote any conditions or test set up. In practice, one small speaker will be much like another.

Producing chords from pure sines could be a problem simply because in a real instrument we hear all the harmonics... lets think of an example... Bachs famous BWV565 Toccata and Fugue. Listen to that on a tiny cheapo AM transistor radio and its still instantly recognisable in all its glory. Now play a sine fundamental through that same speaker and below around 100 to 200hz (I'm guessing at the figures) you won't hear anything much at all.

For a metronome though the mylar speaker should be great.
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Old Yesterday, 08:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
The db figure is a bit meaningless I think because it doesn't quote any conditions or test set up. In practice, one small speaker will be much like another.
Alright, thanks. That's very frustrating. I can't believe companies can get big bulk contracts without even discussing their test setup in the datasheet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
Producing chords from pure sines could be a problem simply because in a real instrument we hear all the harmonics... lets think of an example... Bachs famous BWV565 Toccata and Fugue. Listen to that on a tiny cheapo AM transistor radio and its still instantly recognisable in all its glory. Now play a sine fundamental through that same speaker and below around 100 to 200hz (I'm guessing at the figures) you won't hear anything much at all.
thanks for pointing that out to me. I want to produce tones down to about 100Hz. I guess that I will have to try some experimentation with whatever speakers I get and see if there is a way to trick the listener's ear into thinking the low pitches are really there by using a square or sawtooth wave instead of a sine wave. This is a practice tool, after all, so I don't really care about the quality of the pitch, as long as its discernible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mooly View Post
For a metronome though the mylar speaker should be great.
I agree, it looks perfect for a metronome that just clicks, but I want to make a metronome and tone generator combo device.

Last edited by saxophony; Yesterday at 08:38 AM.
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Old Yesterday, 10:49 AM   #6
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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If you have a laptop or anything with small speakers then try this. Attached is a test tone going from 440 Hz down to 20 Hz over 30 seconds. The amplitude is constant. Where does the audio disappear for you.

The file is just an MP3 created with Audacity and zipped so as to attach it to forum.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Test Tone.zip (254.5 KB, 3 views)
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