Instructables

Converting HP laptop harman/kardon speakers to external speakers?

Hey, I just tore apart an old HP Pavilion zd7000 for the speakers (nicest laptop, nay, compact speakers I have set ears upon) and was wondering how I'd go about hooking them up as an external speaker (3.5mm input) with the option of either battery or wall power. I suppose I'd need the input voltage, a variable resistor for volume, and a switch for power. I'd also need to change the red/black and blue/black wires into an 3.5mm female audio jack (red is left channel, blue is right, and black are ground). Of course, it can't be as simple as that... help me out, please!

I apologize for poor photo quality. All I have is this iPod, and the camera's not quite the best in the world. The big black panel is attached to the right channel for resonation reasons, I believe, and the small tube (not seen) on the left is for bass boosting.

Update: I've tried hooking them directly to a 3.5mm jack, as user Re-Design suggested (thanks!), but there's a lot of clipping, and it drains my iPod's battery like crazy, so an amp is a must. Would the amplifier out of some old PC speakers work?

zack2473 years ago
well, the amp from some pc speakers would work great for this, and that "resonating board" is most likely hollow, it helps witht he bass too, its just shaped differently than the other speaker for space reasons.

re-design said you needed a speaker bos, but really, the speakers are essentially already in a box, its just not very box-shaped, a shell to house the speakers (Dont's take them apart) and the amp would be nice though.
i suppose you could make your own box (after removing the speakers from their plastic bass boxes) for the speakers, but the boxes the spekaers are in are already sized up for optimal sound quality from those speakers.

just wire it all up, and it'll be good to go!
Re-design3 years ago
You can just put a plug on them and plug them into an mp3 player.  They don't need any voltage supply, they get their power from the amp.

But without being in a speaker box (the computer case was acting as a speaker box) they will sound awful.  You have to keep the sound from the back side from reaching the sound from the front side and canceling out each other.

There are several instrucables on building small speaker boxes.

Here is a link to the plug pinout.  Grounds go together and then hook the right and left wires correctly and it really is just that simple.
orangesrhyme (author)  Re-design3 years ago
Poor sound quality was a concern as I was thinking about it today. My reason for an amp was so I could have minimal drain on my batteries, as well as a louder sound. Thanks for the pin diagram, though! :)