How to increase portable stereo volume past max?

I have a portable stereo that has an sd card slot and usb slot for music. I use it in a factory, but the volume is not lod enough for me to hear at certain machines. Is there a way of increasing the volume PAST what the stereo's max is? If so, how?


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thegeeke6 years ago
There are ways of amping your stereo beyond it's max, but it will cause clipping (distortion caused when the volume is beyond it's max and clips off the top of the spectrum). You probably wouldn't care whether or not it clips, but eventually it will destroy your speakers.

I used to do audio production for a living... I can't tell you how many times consumers try to do this and regret it.

"Turn it up to 11"
rickharris6 years ago
head phones. IF the factory noise is that loud and your not wearing hearing protection your employer may be breaking the law.

If you can't hear the sound of your portable stereo, it is either
a) just not loud enough (i.e. a piece of crap) - find another one
b) loud enough, but the environment is just much louder - use a headphone, a pair of noise limiting headphones (better) or try to make the environment more quiet (your co-workers will thank you, but I know, that's not always an option)

You could try to use a software like Audiacity or similar to max out the MP3s - but that's not something I would recommend as it will increase disturbances and/or might be problematic for your health (if too loud).
Re-design6 years ago
Feed the output into a separate amp.

For instance, you can plug the mediocre output of a cell phone (IPhone, Android, etc.) into your computer soundcard's line-in input and use the soundcard amp. Or you can build a small amp, or you can purchase powered speakers with an on-board amp and volume control.

( I bought a small set of speakers for my android to use when I go camping for just that reason. They cost me all of $10, and they're usb charged)
My MP3 player's headphone output spends a lot of time plugged into a line-input on my stereo system...

Headphones may not be permitted around some machines, for safety reasons. Check with your employer.
Understood...I'm too lazy. I just power up Winamp or Pandora on the computer. I have a stereo, but it is busy collecting a nice coat of dust up in the spare bedroom. ;-)
Re-design6 years ago
Or hook it to an fm modulator (transmitter) and listen thru a pair of ear protecting fm headphones.

Like these.
Only 2 ways:

1.) As Re-design said, use a separate, more powerful amp. In this case, the current boombox acts as a source only, not an amp. Feed the new amp from a line level output. If there aren't any, use the headphone output with the appropriate cable.

2.) Replace the existing speakers with more efficient speakers. These can be either the internal ones (replaced direclty) or external ones (via a switching jack you install inline with the internal speakers).

Pros and Cons:

#1 - (Pro) Best option to really ramp it up and drown out the other machinery as you can get any amp you can afford. (Con) Worst option for portability as you would need external speakers to go with the amp and most likely a power source (mains power). Not very portable then, huh?

#2 - (Pro) Best option for portability because the upgraded internal speakers won't take up any more room, though they "may" make the boombox heavier. External speakers can be of bookshelf size with straps and (a) handle(s) attached to aid carrying. Still portable, but less so. (Con) Speakers are still driven by the original boombox's amp, which, let's face it, is probably only a few watts RMS. More efficient speakers will help, but only so much.

There is a 3rd option that I hesitate to mention, because you wouldn't be asking for help if you could do this... Find the signal path to the boombox's amp and replace the amp with a more powerful one. This involves a lot of reverse engineering and you MAY end up with a useless piece of electronics if things go awry.

Some places to look for parts, kits, speakers, bits and pieces, etc.:
Ramsey Electronics - Great for kits.
MCM Electronics
- Kits, speaker components, speakers, and other miscellaneous stuff.
- Parts, kits, etc.
Parts Express - Kits, components, speakers and speaker components.

Remember to always ask questions with the on-line staff or via phone.

4th option just thought of - build an amplified speaker base you can strap to the bottom of your boombox. It carries as one and if you use mains power, you can have a pass through outlet on the back to plug the boombox into like many component stereos used to have. This could be the best of both worlds as you would only need to amp this up at that particular piece of machinery. The rest you could use just the boombox (if you are still satisfied with the sound...).