Blog Forums DIY Speakers and Subwoofers Any ideas for small speakers for under PC monitor 5" cube-ish?

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    • #14162

      I saw these and was measuring the space near my monitor and it looks like I have roughly room for a 5″ cube to fit sound under the monitor.  I know this isn’t ideal, but perhaps the front panel could be angled up slightly if designed for this.  The closest things I was finding were Avantone MixCubes at 6.5 inch cubes with 5″ drivers.  I’m basically looking for improved sound over the literal speakers in my monitor at maybe an inch and 2 watts, but that overdrive really easy.  It would be great if it could at least let me know when bass notes are played without farting out and if I can hear voices that would be a win.


      It seems like something that would sell well, but maybe all the pc speakers people want are all “good enough”?  Is there a point at something better than logitech, but smaller than a bookshelf style speaker?


      Any thoughts or ideas?  I’ve not built anything yet, but this seems like something I’d make a bunch of if I got good at it, one driver, no xover (or baffle step maybe?) would a side port work, or be useless?


      edit:  ooh made it to the 100 post club!

    • #14163

      1st off, welcome to the triple digit club. Feels so good to contribute.

      To the under monitor units, there’s lots of ways to go about it. Obviously is to go with a round speaker in the 2.5 – 3″ range in order to get around the tight fit. I believe that most of what you’ll find will want a bigger box than what you are proposing. 5″ cubed is a tad over 0.07 cuft, and if you were to try to use Luan (1/4″) to build the box, that puts you at 4-1/2″ cubed inside – around 0.05 cuft. And really, 3/8″ would be the most you’d need for something that small. So check out some small drivers with small Vas and moderate Qts, say anywhere from 0.4-0.6 and a realistic Fo.

      While you are at it don’t dismiss any of the small oval speakers you’d find in the buyouts. even with a super high Qts, they can be made to sound decent with some experimentation. I have a set that I mocked up in a stiff cardboard box of the approximate size I was looking to make, and they were surprisingly good. And yes, angle the driver up a bit to help aim at the ears better. Personally, for that situation, I wouldn’t worry about baffle step as the desktop and monitor, along with anything else around them would change all the parameters anyway. Just optimize it for wall gain and clarity. 

      Last thing that would be part of my criteria would be power handling vs efficiency (SPL). Obviously, a low SPL and low power rating does not necessarily make for a rewarding experience. something in the mid 80’s SPL and at least 10 watts would be a good start.

      Good luck and hope you keep your eyes open for those jewels in the rough.

    • #14172

      The Reveal might work perfectly for that. They are a free plan that I eventually plan to redo.  But for know, the plans can be found here for free. I know @btrbandit made some and raves about them.  The best thing about them is they are really cheap to build.  I would use electrolytic caps and the cheapest inductors you can find. 

      Having said that, you will want something for bass.  These are really for 120hz on up. 

    • #14177

      @123toid My thought with those is the tweeter would be hidden and right against the back of the pc monitor.  What if it was a similar design with no tweeter and maybe angle driver up to help with the off axis?


    • #14178

      @imcokeman Id say you dont need to worry that much about the tweeter. If you make a standard woofer/tweeter 2 way design you can orient them horizonally to let the tweeter fire under the monitor e.g.

      That is my brothers desk. They are on their side and are facing directly out with no updward tilt. They sound almost identical to vertical orientaion and no issue with lack of high frequency


      Another option would be to make a mixcube copy with the Dayton CX120-8. Youtube channel ‘Gary Ford’ has  a 3 part series making and tuning an active mixcube copy that is flat down to around 80hz for about $100 a speaker

      Part 1 concept and build

      Part 2 crossover and tuning

      Part 3 fine tuning and EQ

      Josh Evans, Professional Live Sound Engineer, High End Commercial AV Install Technician
    • #14198

      Started looking and went straight to the 3-1/2″ drivers, on a hunch. 2nd or 3rd I looked at was the Dayton Audio DMA90-8.

      For it’s size, it has decent SPL and a pretty broad range. Plus you can buy 2 for a bit under the price of 1 of the CX120-8 (when the CX comes back in stock).  Keeping with the 0.07 cuft box (to start), sealed will have a Fb of 120Hz, and ported will have a Fb of 84.6 and an F3 of 79.6. A 1″ port x 3.5″ long would work, but I haven’t put it in WinISD to verify port velocity, since I don’t have it on my tablet. So the box might be a bit wider than you want, but it’ll fit, more or less.

    • #14200

       edit: my master work in blender

      @tvor-ceasar That looks decent so doing some more measuring and thinking, I’m thinking driver as close to bottom as possible, it can be really as tall as it needs to be, as long as it’s footprint is within maybe max 5.5 deep and 6 wide, but even 12″ tall wouldn’t really hit much especially if front face could tilt back a little to angle drivers if that makes sense.  i should really learn the tools and design stuff.


    • #14202

      If you can decide on the basic outside dimensions and the thickness of the box material, you can get an existing box volume to work with. Helps to find a suitable driver. Once I get my software rewritten, it’ll be free for use and you can make approximations to decide what to put into a more sophisticated program. 

    • #14203

      @tvor-ceasar I would be happy with roughly 5″deep x 5″wide x ?” tall (as required) however I think my focus on this is likely going to subside for a while due to these bad boys I just got that are roughly 4x4x6

       At first test they have far surpassed the PC speakers they replaced =)

    • #14204

      Radio Shack FTW!

      They look like the little brothers to the Minimus-7, albeit a lot newer. A couple of years ago, I found a pair of Minimus-3.5 speakers, which were just a 3″ full range. If the 33AV have a similar sound signature, then I can see why they sound so good.

      Found the manual. As you will see, these were RCA rebranded speakers, which is not necessarily a bad thing (depends on who you talk to). Specs may not be impressive, but coupled with near-field use and wall gain, they become quite useable. I also see they were intended to be used as a surround set, so a sub will fill them out nicely. And it doesn’t have to be a big sub either, especially if it sits near your feet. That’ll help you feel more than if it was over in a corner away from you and not bother others.

    • #14205

      @tvor-ceasar it seems the radioshack speakers have a bit of a following so I thought these would be worth a try, especially since they were free.  And seriously it doesn’t take much to compete with speakers built into a flat panel monitor =)  

    • #14225

      So, after a week, how are you liking the Optimus speakers?

      Back to looking at drivers. Remember when I said to keep an open mind and look at the clearance/buyout units? Here’s one that looks like it might have promise for something like what you were pondering: the YDP512-12. It’s small, efficient, and has a fairly wide response. Plus, it’s only 97¢. Nope, haven’t run any calcs, but it looks like it could work for that situation if price is a big concern.

      (Of course, it’s hard to beat pre-built free… 😁 )

    • #14228

      @tvor-ceasar Still liking the optimus, but those would seem to fit with the drivers in the right shape for the opening I’m working with.  Price is definitely decent on those even compared to free haha, although shipping would make them way more expensive proportionally, or i could by like 104 of them? oh nope there are quantity discounts lol

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