Instructables

Connect an Ipod or other Mp3 player to normal household speakers without an expensive and bulky amplifier!

Step 1: 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.
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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
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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
tcharaniya8 months ago
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)  tcharaniya8 months ago
You can just touch them, but need them really well together.
If you want something cheap and fun to play with, buy this:

http://dx.com/p/fx138-20w-digital-power-amplifier-headphone-amplifier-board-blue-206762
crtn21 year ago
i tried this with a pair of speakers from old TV and it works great. btw tried this way before i saw this instructable.
chekespeare2 years ago
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.
lilBrent2 years ago
Is there anything i can use to substitute for the clips?? or will it work without them?
Bartboy (author)  lilBrent2 years ago
You could probably just twist the wires together, or use heatshrink. I used these cause they're easy.
evanwehrer5 years ago
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)  evanwehrer5 years ago
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 Bartboy3 years ago
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)  oli11223 years ago
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.
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.
Oh, and great pictures!
Bartboy (author)  evanwehrer5 years ago
Yay! Macro function FTW!
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
Wait, so how does this work? it just looks like you made the wires longer on the speaker cable.
Bartboy (author)  tinstructable3 years ago
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.
Please help. I have the cable and connected them but it doesnt work...
Bartboy (author)  TheRealTobobias3 years ago
Just keep playing around with the wires, it took me a while.
jj.inc4 years ago
 Is it loud or just audible 
Bartboy (author)  jj.inc4 years ago
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.
jj.inc Bartboy4 years ago
 Thanks
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
anth1013 years ago
never mind i figured it out
anth1013 years ago
so what do i connect the head phone wires to?
3VIL G3NIUS4 years ago
 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 G3NIUS4 years ago
32 Ohms?
Are you sure about that?
 Yep im sure!
Bartboy (author)  3VIL G3NIUS4 years ago
Well that's a huge difference, but that won't break the ipod, only the speakers.
And I said to use cheap speakers.

 wrong way round. it wont break the speakers but it could break the iPod.
Bartboy (author)  3VIL G3NIUS4 years ago
How could it break the ipod?
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. 
megagrapen4 years ago
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)  megagrapen4 years ago
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.
bduivis5 years ago
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?
 hey i made speaker on bike instruct ...and yes you whould...
Bartboy (author)  bduivis5 years ago
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).
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_Brian4 years ago
Umm.. no. All that happens is the battery drains faster, well that happens to me.
longeke4 years ago
Can u wire it without the alligator clips??? or make your own alligator clips??
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