The Tubophon consists mainly of steel tubes with a plastic coating and thermal insulation, such as are used for district heating networks. 19 different tones are produced from 125 m of tube. The tubes are sealed at the playing end with a plastic cap as a drumhead, the other sides of the tubes are open and circular or oval-shaped. Like other percussion instruments the Tubophon is played with drumsticks or mallets striking the drumheads. The tubes themselves do not resonate but it is the air pressure created that produces the tone. With small, short tubes explosive, high tones or even shell-like beats are produced when the drumhead is struck. With the large, long tubes sometimes several base tones with several overtones are produced, depending on the stroke technique.
It is difficult to describe the sound that is created, but this is what makes the instrument unique. In its present construction the tones cannot be retuned. This "coarseness" of the Tubophon, however, gives it its charm and the player has a lot of fun discovering the instrument.