DIY iPad Speaker Volume Booster (Poor Man’s SoundBender)

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Did you see the SoundBender on Shark Tank but don’t want to shell out $19.95 for one? Here’s a speaker booster solution that is easy to make yourself and costs next to nothing.

Easy Volume Booster for iPad

The iPad Speaker

The iPad speaker is located on the back of the iPad which aims most of the sound away from you.

If you’ve got an iPad, you know that the built-in speaker is not very loud. The speaker faces to the rear and slightly to the side of the device so the sound is not aimed directly toward you. You may have found that you can increase the volume considerably by cupping your hand behind the speaker grille, but this is not exactly practical or comfortable.

You could purchase a tabAmp (shown at right), SoundJaw, or SoundBender (as seen on Shark Tank). These are devices that clip onto the iPad and bounce the sound toward you for increased volume. But all of these devices stick out from the edge of your iPad, adding to the overall size. They also aren’t practical to keep attached all the time unless your iPad is stationary (and if that’s the case you probably have it connected to speakers). And these gadgets are yet another thing you have to keep track of and carry with you when you move around with your iPad, whether for travel or just around the house.

I’m going to show you a simple speaker volume booster that works similarly to these accessories, but is easy to carry with your iPad at all times, won’t get lost, and won’t take up any extra space. Best of all, you can make it yourself and it will cost next to nothing! All you need is a plastic wallet card the size of a credit card and some double-sided tape.

DIY iPad Volume Booster Project

When needed, place the plastic card over the speaker with the edge positioned beyond the side of the iPad a bit, so the sound is bounced toward you instead of away from you.

The idea is that we are going to apply strips of double sided tape onto the card, and then the card can stick to the back of your iPad. When you need a volume boost, just move the card to the corner of the iPad to cover the speaker grille. You will be surprised at just how much of a volume increase this will give you! And when not in use, the card sticks to your iPad, taking up no extra space, adding almost no weight, and you will always have it with your iPad when it’s needed!

About the Supplies

Plastic Wallet Card and Double-Sided Tape

All you need for this DIY iPad volume booster is a plastic wallet card and some double-sided tape, preferably with a backing.

If you bought a screen protector for your iPad, you probably received a small plastic card with it for pushing out the bubbles after applying the screen protector. As long as it is about the size of a credit card, it should work fine for this project. Alternatively, you could use a store rewards card, a “used up” gift card, or make your own by cutting one from some plastic packaging. You just don’t want to use a valid credit card, obviously! I am using the card that came with my MediaDevil screen protector, which is printed with a calendar.

For the double sided tape, it’s best to use a thin tape that has a backing on it. The reason for this is so that you can apply some extra backup strips of tape to your card. That way if you are traveling and the tape loses its sticking power, you can just peel the backing off your spare strip and keep going without having to carry double-sided tape with you.

The tape I used was a paper-crafting tape that I’d had around the house for years. The stickiness of this tape lasted a very long time. I was able to use the same strip of tape for several months and only had to switch to my backup strip when I dropped the card on the floor and it fell–sticky-side down, of course!

The gallery below will show you more detail of how it’s all put together. The built-in iPad speaker is never going to blow you away, but I am always surprised at just how much extra volume this little trick produces. I use it all the time for watching quick videos and whenever I don’t want to bother with hooking up to external speakers.

If you want to improve the sound even more, you can take a heat gun to the credit card you’re using and bend it slightly so it matches the curve of the iPad chassis. When you are using audio, just move the card so it sticks out a bit more than you would leave it otherwise.

“If you’re happy and you know it turn the volume up and blow it out.”
Blow It Out by The Features


Categories: DIY

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4 Responses to “DIY iPad Speaker Volume Booster (Poor Man’s SoundBender)”

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  1. George says:

    Hi Sean, thanks for the cool and inexpensive DIY iPad speaker clipon idea!
    I took it a step further and eliminated the need for replacement self-sticking tape.
    I used self-sticking velcro and put the fuzzy side on the iPad cover exterior andthe sticky hook side on the back of my golf range card. You can put the card inside the screen side between the cover and the iPad.

  2. Lisa says:

    THANK YOU :))

  3. Maggie says:

    In my defense, it’s 3:30 am (can’t sleep). Reason for defense…..Why would I need the piece of two sided tape with backing in tact on one side of my card? I read the velcro comment~another great idea. My tentative plan (again, 3:30 am) is trying the command no-damage picture hanging strips. I have some of the small .5 – 2lb wt strips on hand so we’ll see. Thank you for sharing such a cheap easy alternative to paying for a confusing app that I don’t give a jack about figuring out. Hell, I don’t give a Jill either. Lol (cut me some slack….3:30 am, remember?). Thanks again!

  4. Maggie says:

    Wow! I just noticed the dates on the previous comments. Oops. At least you know that your idea is still being read about and appreciated years later. Get a patent!

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