How to make a Microphone

By Jeremy Price

A microphone has many uses, broadcasting voice and sound for everyone from singers to speakers. It is often referred to as a "mike" or "mic" for short. Microphones can be used in studios, concerts or social gatherings and attach to camcorders, computers, karaoke machines and an array of other devices. While they have a variety of signals and strengths, their basic purpose is to carry acoustic sounds further than they could travel on their own. You can make a microphone basic using household items.

Things You'll Need

  • Cleaning cloth
  • 3 used AA batteries
  • 12-foot audio wire or cable
  • Rubber or latex gloves
  • Speaker
  • 6- to 9-volt battery
  • Piece of plastic or wood, anywhere from 1/2-by-1/2 inches to 1/2-by-3 inches
  • 2 nails
  • Steel-blade knife

Step 1

Peel the metal covers off each AA battery to expose the carbon sticks inside. The carbon sticks look like small black rods. Wear latex or rubber gloves to protect your hands while cleaning off excess acid or other substances from the carbon sticks.

Step 2

Cut one carbon stick to the length of 1 to 2 inches with a steel-blade knife and use the small piece of plastic or wood to file the stick to a point at each end. The end should resemble a sharpened pencil, and made as pointed as possible.

Step 3

Create small holes in one end of each of the other two carbon sticks. Use a small nail for this purpose.

Step 4

Insert the carbon stick that has been filed to a point in the holes of the two remaining sticks, forming a "T" shape. The distance between the holes should equal the length of the third carbon stick.

Step 5

Cut the wire into three lengths. You will need two 3-foot lengths and one 6-foot length.

Step 6

Insert the T-shape carbon sticks into the small piece of plastic or wood to hold them in place. The sticks should penetrate all the way through the plastic or wood.

Step 7

Run the 6-foot wire from beneath the left carbon stick directly to the speaker.

Step 8

Run the first 3-foot wire from beneath the right carbon stick directly to the top left of the 9-volt battery. Run the other 3-foot wire from the top right of the battery into the speaker.

Step 9

Talk into the microphone for testing.

Tips & Warnings

  • The better quality of the headphones the better the microphone.