How to make a boombox that's less than half-an-inch thick

Joe Grand used a Raspberry Pi Zero and flat speakers to make a super-thin boombox. He commissioned Mar Williams to create the art. Build one yourself with Joe's instructions.

Combining 1980s music culture with a retro future, The World's Thinnest Boombox is a portable sound system featuring active electronics mounted onto an artistically designed printed circuit board. It measures 22 inches wide, 14 inches tall, and 0.45 inches thin, and blasts audio at over 90dB.

The hardware is based around a Raspberry Pi Zero 2 W computing module and ultra-thin TDK PiezoListen speakers. It also uses a Microchip CAP1166 capacitive touch sensor, a TI PCM5100A stereo DAC, two TI LM48580 piezo speaker drivers, and twenty-four NeoPixel RGB LEDs for a VU meter. It is powered by a 5000mAh rechargeable Lithium-Polymer battery. A cassette tape modified with neodymium magnets can be used to enable power to the boombox by placing it into the tape-shaped slot on the front of the circuit board.

The software includes Mopidy for music playback, Touch pHAT for capacitive touch, Pirate Audio for DAC integration, OnOff SHIM for safe power on/off behavior, rpi_ws281x for NeoPixel LED control, and pivumeter for VU meter.

The artwork was created by Mar Williams.

Design files are distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license unless otherwise noted. It is not for sale.