A Non-Food Kitchen Tip: DIY iPad Speaker Amplifier

Oh hey kitchen! Let’s hang out.

With Thanksgiving coming up, it’s only natural that I’m gonna spend a little more time in the kitchen than normal. Because in addition to putting the “regular” food on my family, I’m preppin’ for Thanksgiving at my sister’s place. (Side note: If you’re curious about our tentative vegan menu, keep reading.)

Whenever I spend time in the kitchen I like to listen to music, podcasts, TED talks, etc on my iPad. But when things get really goin’ — like the chopping, the sizzling and when at my sister’s place, the 4 kids…it can be hard to hear my itty bitty iPad even with the volume all the way up. Or maybe I’m just deaf.

No matter. Here’s a video showing how a DIY iPad speaker amplifier helps my aging ears. There’s also bonus footage of a DIY iPhone speaker amplifier! Keep reading after the video to see how to make it.

It’s subtle in the video but this really does help me hear over cooking noises. The iPad speaker amplifier idea is based on this product (and physics, good ol’ physics!) which basically bounces the sound waves in a specific direction. But this doesn’t cost $25. It costs…I dunno. How much do index cards cost?

All you do is cut an index card in the middle about 2/3 deep (as shown). Then you’ll end up with flaps. Take one flap and pull it over the other to make a sorta half funnel thing. Tape it down on both sides.

DIY iPad Speaker Amplifier- Luminous Vegans

Affix this behind the speaker of the iPad with some tape so that the pointy funnel end is aligned with the edge of the iPad. Make sure the iPad is facing in your general direction because that is where the sound will “funnel” to and hence sound louder.

DIY iPad Speaker Amplifier - Luminous Vegans

You can fiddle with the sound amplification by adjusting how funnel-y your index card is by pulling the one index card flap over the other even more or even less. This whole thing works even better if you don’t have a cover on the iPad like me and it’s just on a stand.

For the iPhone speaker amplifier…well, you just stick your phone in a cup speaker side down. A trick I learned from a friend.

So now you can get your cook on and get your learnings on simultaneously!

Our Vegan Thanksgiving Menu

Stuffed Seitan from PPK

Mashed sweet potatoes topped with coconut bacon

Brussel sprouts salad with dried cranberries and candied pecans

Mushroom gravy

Stuffing (updated: first time making homemade!)

Cranberry sauce

Fruit cobbler (Haven’t decided on the fruit yet because that’s how I roll)

Though my sis veganizes as many of her side dishes as possible, I like to bring and create a whole meal to share. Plus leftovers. I’m making the seitan, candied pecans, coconut bacon and cranberry sauce ahead of time because they can be stored up to 3 days (maybe even more for the pecans and coconut bacon). The rest we’ll be free-stylin’ at my sister’s place!

Do you listen to music (podcasts, etc) when you’re in the kitchen? What are your Thanksgiving plans?


24 thoughts on “A Non-Food Kitchen Tip: DIY iPad Speaker Amplifier

  1. sweetlesss

    You are a genious!!!! I’ve been trying to figure out an easy solution to this problem!!!! It s even easier than I thought! Ha. Thanks for the tip 🙂

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Glad I could help Sarah! I’m definitely a fan of easy solutions to problems. Hope it works out well for you. I find that it helps me hear over most cooking noises (except maybe blending).

  2. acookinthemaking

    Great idea! I don’t have an iPad but I am going to try that phone in a cup trick for sure.

    There will be no vegan menu at my Thanksgiving, so I’m fending for myself. I am bringing spinach artichoke dip in a bread bowl to share as an appetizer, but for the meal I’m having a stuffed portabello, mashed potatoes, and roasted asparagus. Then for dessert I’m doing Chloe Coscarelli’s chewy ginger-molasses cookies and if I have time I may also make cupcakes (but really, who has time?) 🙂

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Your “fending for yourself” sounds like a fabulous vegan menu to me! I will bet you like a gajillion dollars that at least one (if not all!) of your fellow omni diners is going to be eyeing your food like crazy. And those chewy ginger-molasses cookies sound so good. Save me one?

      And you’re right about not having time. I’ve been trying to get as much done as possible before we head out. I spent 1+ hours in the kitchen tonight. Mainly working on Isa’s stuffed seitan roll. Fingers crossed it tastes ok.

      Have a great holiday Ashley!

  3. Camille

    I don’t have an iPad, but if I did I’d try this. I dated a guy recently who placed his iPhone in a small mixing bowl as we were cooking and that seemed to work pretty well (but we were listening to music, so it didn’t matter as much). I’ll probably listen to my old jazz standbys (Ella and Nat) as I’m cooking this week.

    Have a beautiful holiday, Ketty! ❤

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Sticking it in a bowl! That’s genious! When my friend showed me the cup thing, I was like wow! That’s so simple and easy and it works. Oh, jazz music while cooking just sounds so comforting for some reason. I should definitely add that to my playlist!

      Have a great holiday as well Camille!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      How fun! An iPad will be the perfect piece of entertainment for the airstream too! I remember when I first got my ipad, I was like glued to it exploring all the apps, etc. It’s great for taking in the kitchen for reading recipes too. I used mine to listen to music and follow Isa’s stuffed seitan recipe today.

      1. Becky

        I listen to so many, but my current faves are On the Media, Throwing Shade, and 99 Percent Invisible. Ooh! And Progressive Kitch, put on by my EDB co-editor Tanya! What about you? I’m always looking for new ones!

        1. luminousvegans Post author

          Wow, you listen to so many that I’ve never heard of. I’ll have to check them out. Usually I listen to This American Life and whatever TED talks sound interesting…I was also listening to this zombie podcast called “We’re Alive” for a while but haven’t caught up on it. On occasion I will listen to Comedy Bang Bang or WTF with Marc Maron.

  4. Cadry's Kitchen

    I don’t have an iPad, but that’s a revelation about putting an iPhone in a cup to amplify the sound! Many times I’m at the pottery studio with just my cell phone and the crappy studio radio /CD player, which gets terrible reception. (It’s not easy to get into a creative groove when there is static blaring.) Now I can just put my cell phone in a cup and listen to my own tunes. Genius!

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Awesome! A reader mentioned also just putting the phone into a large bowl. That seems like it would work even better because there would be more surface area vibrating. I’m gonna try this out as well.

    1. luminousvegans Post author

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Cobbler/crumble is an excellent way to use up fruit. We didn’t actually make the cobbler this year. But maybe I can get Neal to make it for breakfast today….


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