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Impromptu Mobile Phone Amplifier

Have you ever been somewhere hanging out with friends and use your phone as music player?  The phone’s little speakers just aren’t able to produce full, rich sound.  But you can use common household objects to help.

My phone has its speakers facing out the bottom of the phone.  As a result, I can place the phone in objects and acoustically amplify the sound.

I first experienced this by having my GPS on and setting my phone in a cup holder in the car.  I noticed how the voice was far louder in the cup holder than it was in free air.  That got me thinking.

I was with family playing cards and had the phone playing some music.  It was too quiet to hear well.  So I got a clean wine glass and inserted my phone into it and voila, louder, deeper sound.

The next day, I decided to use my sound level meter and a variety of glasses, cups, containers and vases to measure the results.  I found that rigidity of glass produces better quality sound than plastic.  The shape and spatial volume of the glass affected not only acoustic volume, but also the quality of the sound.  The best container was a large vase with a flared top.

The sound was 10 dB louder (3 dB is twice is loud, if I recall correctly) and the entire frequency spectrum was dramatically improved, most noticeably the bass.

I’m not sure how well this works with phones whose speakers are facing forward, but it’s a cheap, easy experiment for you to try.  Now the Bose Wave Radio makes sense!

As I am posting this blog, I see that I’m not the first to think of such things.