Passive Smartphone Amplifier

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Amp your jams and charge your battery with this two-piece tune booster

I have thousands of songs in my phone, to say nothing of the apps streaming satellite radio, live sports, and more. But when I’m without headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, getting all that entertainment out of the phone and into my ears leaves much to be desired. When I found that lodging the phone in my car’s cup holder amplified and deepened the sound, I started putting it in a Solo cup as I listened in my shop. This proved an effective—if inelegant—solution to the volume problem, but did nothing for the fact the phone’s aging battery played fewer songs on every charge.

This project aims to tackle both these issues. First, the laminated amplifier box adds both depth and volume to your tunes. Second, the phone rest features an inductive Qi charger (see Buyer’s Guide, p. 60) recessed into the back, cleverly concealed beneath the wood but able to charge a phone’s battery right through it. Attach the two units with recessed magnets and slide your smartphone into the slot to enjoy music while charging. Or go totally wireless by disconnecting the two units and upending the amplifier box. Your phone stays upright and the jams stay pumping in a smaller footprint. Suit the unit’s dimensions to your particular phone. I strongly suggest first making a mock-up (see p.41) to determine your phone fit.

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