Introduction: Connect an Ipod or Other Mp3 Player to Normal Household Speakers Without an Expensive and Bulky Amplifier!

Picture of Connect an Ipod or Other Mp3 Player to Normal Household Speakers Without an Expensive and Bulky Amplifier!

Do you have loads of extra stereo speakers, that either came with cheep stereos that broke or you just have them for no apparent reason? In this Instructable I will show you how you can connect them to any Mp3 player or any device with a sound port for less than 5 $.

Step 1: Gather Up Those Materiels.

Picture of Gather Up Those Materiels.

You will need the following:

2 alligator clips ( may substitute heat shrink tubing, but this is easier)

1 Pair of wire strippers and cutters, I used gardening scissors because of their ability to do both.

1 Pair of cheep headphones, I used some westjet ones.

1 Speaker, mine is just a cheep sony one.

That's it!

Gather them up and continue!

Step 2: Stripping.

Picture of Stripping.

Now, the first thing to do is start stripping, but first you have to cut the wires ( DUH! ). Cut the wires on the headphones wherever you see fit, I did it about a foot in front of the headphones.
Then strip of about half a centimeter.

Done that?

Then let's continue!

like the macro mode on my camera?

Step 3: Testing the Connection

Picture of Testing the Connection

Ok, so you have the wires stripped (usually speaker wires come pre-stripped, but if not, do the same thing on them) now clip one on the headphone wire. ( Plug in your ipod/ mp3 player into the headphone cable now and start playing some music) Now try touching the other clip to the other wire. If you get sound, connect it! But if not switch them around.

Now that you've done this, you're done! If you have any problems, comment down below and ill help.

I realize I've done the opposite, but it will work just as well

Step 4: Sound Quality

Picture of Sound Quality

This is a quick video of how good the sound quality is.

Hope you enjoyed this, please rate and comme- oh whatever, it's not like me telling you to comment changes anything......



EHB98 (author)2016-07-29

Hi I have my speaker connect but plays quiet any way to make it louder?

Bartboy (author)EHB982016-08-02

You can buy a very cheap and small amplifier.

They require a power supply.

SàraM184 (author)Bartboy2017-02-16

do amplifier only works with batteries? is there one which can be plugged-in?

SunitaG3 (author)2016-05-27

Hey hi i have speakers n tried connecting headphnes but not able to connect n play .. please help me to connect in right way

JennG2 (author)2016-05-05

i think this is genius! Keep thinking outside of the box! :)

VosD (author)2015-10-02

hi, just wondering on how you'd set up two speakers? left and right for stereo sound? :)

Deisha (author)2015-08-15

Could someone tell me whats the name of the amp to connect the speaker wires to the mp3 ? I would like to buy one instead.please

arshal.metallicka (author)2014-11-05

not trying to be rude, but this set-up would be better as long as you don't exceed 3watts bcoz it might damage your ipod

tcharaniya (author)2013-08-17

do you have to use the alligator clips? or would you be able to just touch the wires together? or attach them with electrical tape or something?

Bartboy (author)tcharaniya2013-08-18

You can just touch them, but need them really well together.
If you want something cheap and fun to play with, buy this:

crtn2 (author)2012-11-30

i tried this with a pair of speakers from old TV and it works great. btw tried this way before i saw this instructable.

chekespeare (author)2011-10-28

mmm...How old are you? . I think you do better if you get an old computer amplified speaker and just disconet the original speaker cables and then connect your bigger speaker to that cables. be careful and be sure to disconect the power cord from wall.

lilBrent (author)2011-06-02

Is there anything i can use to substitute for the clips?? or will it work without them?

Bartboy (author)lilBrent2011-06-05

You could probably just twist the wires together, or use heatshrink. I used these cause they're easy.

evanwehrer (author)2008-12-02

I don't mean to be rude, and I'm not saying this isn't a great instructable, but the amplifier is there to provide power to the speakers, so doing this could damage your iPod and destroy your battery.

Bartboy (author)evanwehrer2008-12-02

No, it won't damage the ipod or destroy the battery, but it will wear the battery down more, like using a headphone splitter with two headphones. I would suggest plugging it in when you do this. And yes, the amplifier provides power to the speakers, so you can go a bit louder, but this works better than the cheap ipod speakers.

oli1122 (author)Bartboy2011-02-22

It will damage your ipod battery. By draining the extra power needed for a speaker of that power can cause permanent damage to your ipod. By using more power than recommended you will dramatically shorten your ipod life time from around 5 years to 1 or 2.

Bartboy (author)oli11222011-02-22

I've had my ipod video for over 4 years and the battery on it still works better (lasts a lot longer) than my new iPhone.

nicholast (author)evanwehrer2010-07-25

If you don't know what your talking about please don't post stuff like this, it won't hurt anything. You just might get shorter play time off the iPod.

evanwehrer (author)evanwehrer2008-12-02

Oh, and great pictures!

Bartboy (author)evanwehrer2009-04-23

Yay! Macro function FTW!

Nefertari770 (author)2010-08-12

ok I have tried both variations of the wire connection and it is still not working and I am rather frustrated. Is there anything else that could be wrong?

i could be that the speaker needs the amp do to its power use because if its not it a large speaker using up alot of your battery life

tinstructable (author)2010-07-21

Wait, so how does this work? it just looks like you made the wires longer on the speaker cable.

Bartboy (author)tinstructable2010-07-21

It's one of those stereo speakers, that you usually have to plug into an amp. By cutting a 3.5mm cable, you can connect it directly to an MP3 player.

TheRealTobobias (author)2010-07-15

Please help. I have the cable and connected them but it doesnt work...

Bartboy (author)TheRealTobobias2010-07-17

Just keep playing around with the wires, it took me a while. (author)2010-02-17

 Is it loud or just audible 

Bartboy (author)jj.inc2010-02-18

It's louder than the built-in ipod speakers (Ipod touch and Ipod Nano only), but obviously it would be a lot louder with an amp. (author)Bartboy2010-02-21


bsnowman17 (author)jj.inc2010-06-22

A simple mosfet or bjt amplifier could make it much more amplified, and its a simple circuit that shouldn't cost more than a couple bucks to make

anth101 (author)2010-05-25

never mind i figured it out

anth101 (author)2010-05-25

so what do i connect the head phone wires to?

3VIL G3NIUS (author)2009-11-19

 really really please use a amplifier! or you could damage your iPod! headphones are generally 32 ohms, most home audio speakers are 8, 6 or 4.
running any amplifier at less than half the rated ohmage cause damage to it. 
and about those connections its stereo not mono so each of the wires that go to each earphone have a negative and a positive so you really should hook it up on only one of the wires (preferably the right side) and use the negative and positive on that side. if you don't you could accidentally short one channel without realizing it has happened. and that could damage the amplifier as well.

Bartboy (author)3VIL G3NIUS2009-11-20

32 Ohms?
Are you sure about that?

3VIL G3NIUS (author)Bartboy2009-11-20

 Yep im sure!

Bartboy (author)3VIL G3NIUS2009-11-21

Well that's a huge difference, but that won't break the ipod, only the speakers.
And I said to use cheap speakers.

3VIL G3NIUS (author)Bartboy2009-11-22

 wrong way round. it wont break the speakers but it could break the iPod.

Bartboy (author)3VIL G3NIUS2009-11-23

How could it break the ipod?

3VIL G3NIUS (author)Bartboy2010-01-10

sorry bout the late reply...
a ohmage too low for a amp causes it try and push too much electricty through it so it gets fried.
think of a battery they can go nice and happy on a decent load, but put something that takes too much current on it and it will heat up and get damaged. 

megagrapen (author)2009-11-21

didn't work for me, i'm using an 8 ohm, 1 watt, RCA speaker,some cheep headphones a friend gave to me, no alligator clips, and an 8 gig ipod tough 3g,
Please Help!!!

Bartboy (author)megagrapen2009-11-22

Hmm, I really don't know, but I'd guess you didn't get the polarity right.
Try, try, and try again is all I can say.

bduivis (author)2009-04-23

Hey guys, I'm wondering, don't I need an amplifier? cause when you hook up your ipod to your speaker it still needs power right?

Dracanse (author)bduivis2009-11-19

 hey i made speaker on bike instruct ...and yes you whould...

Bartboy (author)bduivis2009-04-23

This method works well enough, but it is not as loud as it would be if you used an amplifier. This method is louder than those cheep speakers that don't take batteries or plug in. Watch the video to see how loud this is (Note I filmed this with a 49.99$ camera).

Axel_Brian (author)Bartboy2009-05-20

But if you use your mp3 without an amplifier the components inside will heat up and probably burn or melt because theres not enought resistance

Bartboy (author)Axel_Brian2009-05-20

Umm.. no. All that happens is the battery drains faster, well that happens to me.

longeke (author)2009-07-23

Can u wire it without the alligator clips??? or make your own alligator clips??

Bartboy (author)longeke2009-07-25

A: Yes, but it won't work as well. B: Good idea....

Father Christmas (author)2009-01-27

i like the idea. but i absolutely hate using speakers with my mp3 player. it just isnt worth it. I have one of those cheap 4gb elements(kmart and sears FTW!! jk) the battery doesnt really die any faster, but its built in speaker is generally louder.

About This Instructable




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