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Best practices and tips for packaging speaker(s) for ASR testing

Rick Sykora

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Jan 14, 2020
Stow, Ohio USA
After a couple of DIY speakers arrived in pieces, thought it might be helpful to share some helpful hints on how to get your speaker to Amir (and returned) intact:
  1. If you have polyurethane foam pieces from other shipments, they offer good protection for a speaker in a box. Notably if you can cut them to form fit them to the cabinet.
  2. Prepare for the fact that the box will get dropped by shipping staff and conveyor systems have diverters that will puncture through cardboard. Corner pieces of foam or (even better) hard cardboard will protect the speaker and reinforce the box for the return trip.
  3. While cabinet damage may be unsightly, driver damage is expensive and will likely prevent testing of your speaker. For any baffle that has a driver, allow extra space between it and the box. At a minimum, add an extra layer of cardboard on that side of the box. If I have scrap paneling, will often cut a piece to bolster the exposed baffle and then line the remaining space with bubble wrap or air bags.
  4. Protect smaller drivers by taping over them with paper (or even better the driver shipping surround). Bear in mind, your package is NOT going to be handled carefully. One lesson (from personal experience) is to error towards making sure the item is more secure in the box. Loose items only get more chance to accelerate and can result in forces that unseat drivers and crossovers.
  5. Seal the box well with packing tape. This might be brown or clear or some strapping tape, but should be shipping tape. This is one case where duct tape is NOT a substitute. The shipping company may refuse to insure or ship a package that has duct tape on it. Have heard various reasons, but one obvious one is what happens when some duct tape is torn and catches in conveyor parts. This can delay your package arrival and potentially others too!
  6. Since often reusing a box or is a generic one, but a big label in the box identifying the contents. As Amir may have to open a box upon arrival, it may sit for a while before he can test. When he gets back around to looking for his next test subject, helps if he can readily identify yours amongst dozens of others.
Please excuse the preponderance of text, but will update with a few pictures when I have the chance. :)

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Staff Member
CFO (Chief Fun Officer)
Feb 13, 2016
Seattle Area
Some other problems I have found:

1. Spade connectors come loose. They need to be extremely tight or they will fall off. And nothing makes me more unhappy than having to take apart a speaker and reconnect these. :)

2. If anything is soldered, please make sure to use proper flux and plenty of solder to get secure connections. Cold solder joints or those without flux will appear to hold but then disconnect during shipping due to impact.
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