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I am in need of producing an audible sounds in my circuit, when instructed by a microcontroller which it is attached to. So far, the cheapest way I have found is to use a piezoelectric style buzzer, but want to know if there are even cheaper alternatives.

I need the sound to notify the user that the device is on by beeping (relatively quietly) every few second. Therefore, the decibel level of the sound is not a big concern.

If piezoelectric buzzers are the best way of doing this, is there a specific type of them which are lowest in cost?

Edit: I just thought of using headphone speakers (really cheap ones may do as well) to produce the simple beeping noise. Now I am not sure if I could buy such small speaker modules (don't know if that's the correct word) separately. But I did find this older question and I will look into the method to see if it satisfies my needs.

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closed as not constructive by Olin Lathrop, Leon Heller, Nick Alexeev, Brian Carlton, W5VO Nov 20 '12 at 4:22

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    \$\begingroup\$ What's up with the negative response? Please explain why you dislike the question so that I don't make the same mistake twice. This is not a shopping question, and I don't want a link to purchase anything. I simply want to know if there are lower cost alternatives to solve the same problem. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Nov 18 '12 at 15:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ magnetic buzzers and piezo buzzers are typically 25 cents in reasonable volume. How cheap do yopu need? \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Nov 18 '12 at 15:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ You got a negative response since you didn't attempt to solve the problem yourself. It's just someone's opinion, take take it too personally. \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Ennis Nov 18 '12 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Richman Thanks. 25 cents would be good, but for the quantity I need, I haven't been able to find that price. I think I want to make roughly 25 units, and want the 25 cent price point to make a sound. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Nov 18 '12 at 15:32
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just had a though: do you think I could extract the small speaker modules from headphones and use them at max volume? I'm going to look into that a bit more. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Nov 18 '12 at 15:33
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If cheap is what you're looking for (and face it, we all like cheap) and if you're only building one or two of these, look around your house for a noisy item and salvage the components from it.

Edit – now I see the volume you need.

Check overstock and salvage sites. And remember, if you're making a business case, take shipping cost (and time!) into account, and take 'salvage time' into account. Sometimes it's cheaper to just buy the blasted things at retail prices and move forward.

Edit 2 - I assume there is circuitry. Look into having your boards produced for you. That way assembly time is reduced and quality is increased.

http://www.expresspcb.com/ExpressPCBHtm/Costs.htm

https://www.protoexpress.com/

They might seem a little pricey but someone has to assemble the boards. If this is supposed to be a sustainable business (your question doesn't say why you're asking...) then you can't depend on you or your buddies to produce the boards for free pizza.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That would be fine, but I want to make sure that I can make a lot of these products if I need to. So I'm planning out the cost of each and every piece of it to estimate some sort of a materials cost, which is why I need to find the cheapest way of doing this. I hope you understand. \$\endgroup\$ – capcom Nov 18 '12 at 15:35
  • \$\begingroup\$ @capcom added some edits... \$\endgroup\$ – Tony Ennis Nov 18 '12 at 15:46

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