I'm new to electronics/robotics and I'd like to start with a simple project that uses a speaker to play sound clips when a certain event/input/stimulus is detected.

Looking on Digi-Key and similar sights, there's a billion little two-wire speakers like this one, but I'm not sure how to make sense of their characteristics/attributes to determine whether they will suit my needs or not.

Are all speakers capable of producing just about any sound, if driven correctly? Or are different speakers "capped" to simpler sounds, like the typical 8-bit audio sound of older video games? What characteristics of speakers determines what kinds of sounds they are capable of playing?

For instance, on Digi-Key, you can search for speakers by a large variety of attributes, such as:

  • Series (Agile, APS, ASB, etc.)
  • Technology (Magnetic vs Piezo)
  • Type (Exciter, General Purpose, Subwoofer)
  • Frequency Range
  • Impedance
  • Efficiency
  • list goes on

Again, I'm just looking for a speaker that can play some sound clips (that I'll probably record on a computer or phone). Once I know that I'm dealing with a speaker that can play sound clips, I'll start dealing with the headache of figuring out how to drive it and get it to play them.

I do need a small speaker that can fit on a small (bread loaf-sized) hobby project.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!


A small speaker like this one should be able to play tunes as you have mentioned. You can use an arduino or a raspberry-pi to stream audio over as shown in this link.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Akhil (+1) -- but why would that speaker be able to play the tunes I mentioned? What characteristics/qualities does it possess (that other speakers might not possess) that allows it to do this? $\endgroup$ – hotmeatballsoup Dec 4 '20 at 13:02
  • $\begingroup$ I am not entirely sure, but the description says that it can play tunes and interfaces well with microcontrollers. The only criteria I used for the search was the audible range and small size you mentioned. $\endgroup$ – Akhil Kurup Dec 4 '20 at 16:07

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