Paper Speakers

@ s_jacoby  on Flickr

@s_jacoby on Flickr

Paper Speakers

Paper and fabric speakers are made by running 5-9V amplified sound signal through a very conductive coil in close proximity to a magnet. Unlike most speakers that have the wire coil wrapped cylindrically and placed around the magnet, here the coil is in the plane and directly adhered to the membrane that moves the air creating sound.

The coils can be made from a variety of conductive materials. Copper tape, Conductive fabric tape, conductive fabric and stainless steel thread work really well. Gold leaf does not work as well (yet!) in comparison. The coil can be one sided or two sided. A continuous spiral gives better results than one that backs up on itself. Learn more in the details section.

General Objectives:

  • learn sound is being produced
  • understand electromagnetism 
  • learn how sound can be amplified 

The participants will:

  • understand how a speaker works
  • create their own speaker from coil foil, paper and a magnet
  • be able to design and test different speakers designs 


  • Introduce the concept of electromagnetism
  • Show sample of different speakers and talk about how they work 
  • Review design processes for the first paper speaker
  • Test and measure sounds produced by the different speakers
  • Create first prototype of a paper speaker 
  • Prototype  and remix set-up 
  • Share and discuss creations

What you need

  • paper
  • coil foil
  • magnet
  • sound source