How to Make Your Own Sound Bar for Impressive Audio and Style

Earlier this year when we were testing sound bar here at the Popular Mechanics office, I noticed that the models we had were of slightly different shapes—but they were all basically black plastic. Yes, some are available in white or silver, but I had to think of making my own design. Of course, the performance of a commercially available, professionally designed sound bar is hard to beat. But I realized it’s possible to make one you’ll be proud to show off for less than $200.

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The sound bar I built is an active model with its own 2.1 channel amplifier, right and left channels as well as a subwoofer. The right and left channels are 50 watts each, and the subwoofer is 100 watts. The amplifier has controls for volume, treble, bass, subwoofer frequency, and subwoofer volume. The sound bar also has Bluetooth capability, so it can function as a stand-alone speaker. I chose Dayton Audio Products for the individual speakers, four 20-watt compact transducer-style speakers, and a 40-watt mega-bass exciter. To house the components, I designed a mid-century modern-inspired enclosure with rounded corners and retro speaker fabric.

How to Make Your Own Sound Bar for Impressive Audio and Style

You can follow this speaker project exactly, choosing the finishes and fabric of the speaker for colors or tones that suit your taste. Or you can use this project as inspiration to design your own enclosure, and/or choose a different amplifier module and speakers. In either case, I encourage you to get creative and make something great.

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