Introduction: Bluetooth Speaker Hack - Home Theater Streaming

Picture of Bluetooth Speaker Hack - Home Theater Streaming

This Instructable details the hacking of an off-the-shelf Bluetooth speaker and flickering LED tea light to become the streaming front-end for your home theater system, while keeping the Bluetooth speaker's original functionality intact.

I was probably the only person on the planet without a Bluetooth speaker. Rectifying the situation was made easy by a colleague who spotted a great deal for the Canz 808 Bluetooth speaker. The speaker itself is surprisingly capable for something this small and a handsdown winner for portability, but I do like the sound produced by my home theater receiver a lot better. I have a smartphone capable of streaming whatever music I want, and a speaker that can connect wirelessly to my smartphone, and I'm still thinking..... "wouldn't it be great if this speaker had a line-out jack that I could plug into my home theater system?" A quick bit of googling came up with commercial products that would enable Bluetooth streaming to my home theater system for reasonable money. But, I already had the speaker and I don't need 2 different products. So I hacked the speaker apart to create a line-out connection to my home theater receiver. Now I can use the Bluetooth speaker either as small standalone speaker like the manufacturer intended, or connect it to my home theater system for those times when I need a little more wall rattling ooomph.

And it just feels like magic being able to change the music selection in real-time from the phone in your hand.

This is guaranteed to void your warranty! The modification is neatly concealed on the underside of the speaker so that the final hack looks like the original product.

Step 1: Stuff You'll Need

Picture of Stuff You'll Need
Even small projects require a largish amount of stuff. Here's my suggested list. 
  • Bluetooth speaker - Canz 808. Mine came from Sams for $20. Also available at
  • RCA cables for connecting to the home theater receiver. I hacked ones I had in my project box. If you need to buy a set, Radioshack has them - 6ft Stereo Patch Cable with RCA ends
  • USB cable that is included in the speaker box
  • Small flickering LED tealight. I hacked the latching pushbutton out of it. If you have another source for a small latching pushbutton, that will work fine. Improvisation encouraged!
  • 26 Gauge hookup wire. 28 Gauge would be better as the 26 gauge is a little on the thick side but 26 gauge was all I had available.
  • Soldering Iron and solder. Your choice of leaded or unleaded. Radioshack has both types. I use their standard 60/40 Rosin core.
  • Side cutters and wire strippers
  • #0 philips screwdriver
  • Heat shrink - 3/8" and 1/16". For the smaller wire you can try 1/8" if that's all you have available. Radioshack has a variety pack that will work just fine:
  • Dremel rotary tool with a small metal burr for removing plastic from the inner edge of the speaker enclosure.
  • Drill with 3/16" drill bit
  • Small round file for fine-tuning hole made with the 3/16" drill bit.
  • Small punch for punching through the rubber base ring on the speaker to allow access to your installed pushbutton - this will make sense later!

Step 2: Speaker Dissasembly

Picture of Speaker Dissasembly

To start, remove the rubber ring at the base of the speaker. It is glued in place by the manufacturer so just carefully pull it off. The rubber ring conceals the 3 screws that attach the base to the speaker. Remove these screws with a small phillips screwdriver and gently easy the black plastic base off. Be careful not to damage the wires for power+sound that attach the base to the speaker. No big deal if you do accidentally break something - just adds to the work you'll need to do!

There are two small screws that attach the PCB to the black base. Remove these screws to free the PCB as you will need access to the underside of the PCB later for wiring in the audio signal to the USB connector. 

Step 3: Mounting the Switch

Picture of Mounting the Switch

The LED tealight has a small latching pushbutton switch that we need to disable the enclosed speaker when the bluetooth device is used as a streaming front end for the home theater receiver. First remove the battery from the LED light and then pry the base out. This is by no means a gentle operation but be careful not to accidentally rip the terminals off the switch.

The switch will be mounted to the Bluetooth PCB. One of the PCB holes will be sacrificed as shown in the picture. Enlarge the hole with the 3/16" drill bit so that the switch button fits though it. I used a small file to adjust the hole as needed. 

Step 4: Wiring the Switch

Picture of Wiring the Switch

There is a black and a red wire that connects to the internal speaker. Using a pair of side cutters cut the red wire leaving enough wire on the speaker side (about and inch) so that you can solder an extension piece of wire to it. With the extension soldered, add a small piece of heatshrink or wrap vinyl electrical tape around it to insulate the connection.

Run the extension to the middle of the switch. Cut the extension wire long enough to reach the switch in the switches mounted position and ensure you have a little slack int he wire. Strip the wire that is still attached to the PCB and attach it to either of the remaining switch terminals. THe switch will be used to enable or diable the internal speaker. When streaming through the home theater system, you want the switch to disable the sound out of the Canz speaker. When used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, the switch is used to enable the sound from the speaker module. 

Now hot glue the switch into position. Minimise hot glue that extends past the edge of the PCB as this will need to be trimmed off to get the PCB back into the housing.

Step 5: Connecting the Line-out

Picture of Connecting the Line-out

Cut two pieces of 28 or 26 gauge hookup wire about 2.3" long and strip and tin the ends. On the backside of the pcb, solder the wires to the positive and negative speaker connections as shown. Solder the other ends to the USB connector. The line out connection will utilize the USB D+ and D- pins which are unconnected on the PCB.

Step 6: Reassembly

Picture of Reassembly

All the internal wiring work is done. To reassemble the Bluetooth speaker, you will need to make clearance in the housing for the latching pushbutton switch. The easiest way to do this is with a Dremel rotary tool and a metal burr attachment. Work at low enough speed that you don't melt the plastic and be careful not to slip and damage the battery.

We sacrificed one of the base mounting screw positions for the switch. Now drill out the mounting hole with the 3/16" drill bit and test for fit. You may need to make some small adjustments to get everything lined up properly. I used a small round file for this.

Reassemble the PCB to the base and then screw the base to the speaker. Punch a hole in the rubber ring to lineup with the switch and glue the rubber ring back to the speaker using a touch of contact adhesive if necessary.

Step 7: Line-out Cable

Picture of Line-out Cable
The cable has a dual purpose. One end is used for charging the speaker, the other end is the line-out connection for your home theater receiver. 

First cut the supplied USB cable connector off at about 3 inches from the back of the connector. Strip and tin the wire ends with solder. This needs to be done on the USB A and B connector sides. ON the A side, we don't need the Green and White wire as these now carry audio for the mini-B connector. Insulate the ends of these 2 wires so that they are electrically isolated from the cable. Make sure not to create a short circuit.

Cut the RCA connectors off one end of the cable. I normally cut so that I have enough cable left so that the connectors are usable on future projects. Strip and tin the wire and then connect the two grounds together and the 2 signal wires together. The output of the speaker is mono and the home theater receiver input is stereo so we feed the same signal into the left and right terminals of the home theater receiver.

Now solder everything as follows:
  • USB White connects to RCA joined Red/White
  • USB Green connects to RCA joined shield
  • USB Black connects to the the USB cable "A" black  (GND)
  • USB Red connects to the USB cable "A" red (5V)

Before soldering, cut heatshrink as needed to insulate the connections after soldering. To give overall strength, a heatshrinked a couple of pieces over the entire connection area of the cable.

Step 8: Test and Enjoy

Picture of Test and Enjoy

Using the freshly installed switch on the base of the speaker to turn the internal speaker output off, plug your new combination cable RCA ends into an available Audio input on the rear of your home theater receiver. I had CD inputs available so that is what I used. If you have AUX inputs available, that will work fine. Connect your smartphone via bluetooth and you should be able to hear the sound output from your home theater receiver. I set the home theater volume about 1/3 up and then use the smartphone to adjust volume remotely using the volume controls on the smartphone. This works out well for most my listening needs.
So if you got an unexpected bluetooth speaker as a gift for the holidays, you now have options to increase it's utility. Enjoy!


JeffH27 (author)2015-10-27

I did a similar hack but used a 3.5MM switched headphone jack. It eliminates the need for a separate switch and you can use standard patch cables instead of having to hack the USB cable. I may do an instructable showing the process when I do the same on my stereo bluetooth speaker.

RhiskiA (author)JeffH272016-02-01

can you share your instructable??

MidnightMaker (author)JeffH272015-10-27

I look forward to seeing your instructable. alternate ideas are always welcome!

Wesley666 (author)2015-09-18

Wasn't planning on doing this, but I have two of these speakers I am using for another project, and this was helpful for getting inside them! Haha! Thank you!

MidnightMaker (author)Wesley6662015-10-27

Happy I was able to help!

en_rov (author)2015-08-31

Pretty sure the receiver is stereo, look for a schematic

MidnightMaker (author)2015-08-19

Yes it is - see step 5

RémiD1 (author)2015-08-10

Do you know how to remove the black plastic to see the upoer parts?

MidnightMaker (author)RémiD12015-08-10

No sorry I don't.

illumation_ (author)2015-07-22

Ehmm but this not stereo, nice but not stereo.

rodski (author)2014-10-12

i was thinking about this last week,.& yes found it here again.,planning to build this in my free time..Thank you for sharing.

RajatK1 (author)2014-10-07

Thanks for this great idea

jjuliano (author)2014-03-28

Great idea. I just did it for my boat. I didn't add the switch, just wired it to the aux of my stereo. It works well but there's a lot if static in the sound. Is there anyway to reduce this. I have the sound coming from my phone at about 1/4, which seems to help. Anything else I can do?

MidnightMaker (author)jjuliano2014-03-28

Hi, I have no static at all. The sound is perfect even at 3/4 volume. Did you disconnect the speaker in the Canz? If not you might have issues from driving the speaker and the aux input at the same time. The switch disconnects the speaker from the circuit, otherwise the impedance will be very low putting a strain on the canz amplifier.

Raphango (author)2014-02-03

Greaaat! =D

Gotta do it sometime!

freedenair (author)2014-01-21

oh ACDC fan! My man ! :D

egambon (author)2014-01-18

I see that the output + is split between red/white does that mean this device doesn't operate in stereo?

MidnightMaker (author)egambon2014-01-18

Correct - this is a mono speaker... it's what I had!

boomer543 (author)2014-01-11

Really like this and would love to try it. I don't have the right switch and couldn't find it at Radio Shack. Any thoughts about a source for a switch? Can I use a 2 pole push button or do I need a single pole?

MidnightMaker (author)boomer5432014-01-11

With this speaker, the switch size is a constraint because the cavity available is small. A double pole switch is fine. Just connect to the one pole. I got my switch from a flickering tea light. Basically any latching switch will work.

blface (author)2014-01-08

awesome. I never knew about this site until just now. This kind of stuff is my passion. I'm so happy right now!

MidnightMaker (author)blface2014-01-09

There is so much good content on this site, it would probably take years trying to get through it..... so it's a good thing you have started now! Welcome!

Build_it_Bob (author)2013-12-29

Very nice project ! I will keep this in mind for sure.


eight (author)2013-12-30

So nice to see hardware hacking... Thanks for taking the time to share a really nice, detailed Instructable, Midnight Maker !

MidnightMaker (author)eight2014-01-02

You are welcome - thanks for commenting!

Bowtie41 (author)2013-12-29

Interesting approach.Maybe I'm missing part of what you wanted to do,but I needed a similar speaker.Since I already had lots of 1/8" to RCA cables laying around.Like: i didn't care about needing a line level input,all I did was take a 1/8" female jack from an old transistor radio,and put it in the speaker case.I wired it like it did in the radio when you used to use earphones.You plug in the cable,the signal runs out the cable,you unplug it,the speaker plays.No switches,or any extra parts other than the jack and little bit of wire,solder,etc.They can also be had in stereo,for those with full stereo BT speakers.Hope this helps others.

MidnightMaker (author)Bowtie412014-01-02

A nice approach for sure!

Asilay (author)2013-12-29

Great Hack, Ive had the same idea for a while. Thanks for the info. You just need to be carefull. The speaker output you are using is not the correct signal type for line inputs. A line out carries a signal which is about 1 volt RMS. Even though the Canz speaker output is very low compaired to most speaker amplifiers it can still be adjusted and vary the voltage. This will induce noise and distortion if the canz volume is increased. For more stability you must build a small converter to give a constant line level output
Here is a easy example.

mid_life_crisis (author)Asilay2013-12-30

This will reduce the level, but there is nothing about it that will make it constant.
It will help protect from overloading the input of the stereo with too high a voltage but will do nothing to prevent noise induced by the speaker output being too high.

Metal film resistors give the best sound. Also keep the unshielded wires as short as possible to help keep out interference.

MidnightMaker (author)Asilay2013-12-29

Thanks for the additional info

mpep (author)2013-12-29

Quote:"I was probably the only person on the planet without a Bluetooth speaker. "
Nah mate. I don't have one either!! :-)
Well done. Looks good.

jbejm (author)2013-12-29

Maybe is good but it's not a stereo output. For this I can get blutooth reciver for $10.00 to 50.00 and use it in sterio mode. That's what I'm using at home and in the car (I paid $20.00). Plus I can connect any headphones to it if I want to use for walking.

chuckyd (author)2013-12-29

So, if you had a high quality sound system, how would you make it for stereo?

petermonti (author)2013-12-29

You to good !

mnc (author)2013-12-29

Here is my version, and its stereo :)

MidnightMaker (author)mnc2013-12-29

Thanks for your comments, I can use the speaker standalone as the manufacturer intended, or as a streaming front end.

thetomas539 (author)2013-12-29

Hi! i love your work :) i did similar. i bought this bluetooth adapter from ebay
( and simply conect to 5 V in home stereo and works !

tubaroi (author)2013-12-28

You can use an earphone Bluetooth with a jack 3mm. It's cheaper.

MidnightMaker (author)tubaroi2013-12-28

Thanks for your comment but an important feature for me was to have a standalone Bluetooth speaker when I wanted, and a home theater connection streaming front end when I wanted. A speaker makes more sense for this utility than headphones.

tubaroi (author)MidnightMaker2013-12-28

Make a wire with 1 jack 3mm + 2 jack connect to home theater aux in. It's very easy. But you can use micro card when you need.

tubaroi (author)tubaroi2013-12-28

Sorry, you can't use micro card.

nwoods3 (author)2013-12-28

Would it not be easier to simply buy a bluetooth reciver

GTColo (author)2013-12-27

Great! This does everything I wanted to do. In my shop, I can put the amp in a dust free environment and easily control the volume when I get a phone call. Thanks!

MidnightMaker (author)GTColo2013-12-28

You are welcome - mine is also connected to my old amp in my workshop!

pantalone (author)2013-12-27

Nice hack! If only it were stereo...

MidnightMaker (author)pantalone2013-12-28

You can do a similar hack to a stereo bluetooth speaker. There are some inexpensive ones on Amazon

About This Instructable



Bio: There's always time for one more project!
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