I bought a set of super cheap USB powered computer speakers on sale for $4 at my local grocery store a while back. I figured for $4, I couldn't really go wrong. They ended up being underpowered and just all around not great. So I thought with a few slight modifications (new amplifier, internal battery, etc.) I could turn them into a half decent set of travel speakers. Since they were so cheap to begin with, I'm not too worried if they get damaged/destroyed, so they're ideal little speakers to bring on camping trips and the like.


-Old computer speakers

-ON/OFF switch

-Female 3.5mm jack

-Replacement amplifier (Optional. You can reuse the original easily, I just wanted a little more power/quality)

-Battery (I used a 1200mAh LiPo I had lying around)

-Charger for battery

-Misc hardware (Depends on your exact speakers)


-Soldering iron and solder

-Heat shrink tubing or electrical tape

-Screwdriver (if your speakers are screwed together)

-Tweezers (not necessary, but very handy to get into tight spaces)

-Hot glue gun

-Epoxy/super glue

*Before I begin, I apologize for the lack of pictures from some steps. I got a little too into making it and forgot to take pictures of some of the steps!

I added a video of it playing. Not crazy powerful, but pretty decent for what it is :)

Step 1: Dismantle Speakers

First thing you need to do is take apart your old computer speakers and see what's inside! Obviously every speaker setup is different, so take yours apart however you need to. Mine simply had four #1 Phillips screws in the back of each speaker housing.

If you're keeping the original amplifier, then be careful when removing it. If not, don't worry too much haha. Mine was really crappy, so I decided to replace it with a 3.8w amplifier from Adafruit that I had in my parts box. It was a good choice since my speakers are 3w and the amplifier can run on anywhere between 3 and 5.5 volts, which is perfect for a lithium polymer battery. I cut the male USB and male 3.5mm cables off as close to the amplifier as I could. They're perfectly good cables and can be reused in another project!

<p>thanks so much</p>
hey can I use power bank.. <br>it also gives out a dc potential difference of 5v
<p>This is really cool. I just resurrected an old iPod mini with a 32GB CF card and the battery life isn't what I want. I am going to hack it into a larger battery and hard wire some speakers like this that run off the same battery. This is very helpful.</p>
<p>Thanks! That sounds like an interesting project! I'm actually planning on doing the cf mod on my original iPod 3G. Does it work alright with your Mini?</p>
<p>was skeptical at first but, hey! these sound pretty nice! Great job!</p>
<p>Thanks a lot :)</p>
<p>so nice can you tell me wuere to get the battery charger ? i have a pair of sony ericcson speakers but the amplifier circuit are damaged, maybe with a lm386 do the job for each channel . </p><p>thanks in advance, regards from mexico </p>
<p>Thanks! Here's a link to the charger I used:</p><p><a href="http://www.ebay.ca/itm/370683029370?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2649" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.ca/itm/370683029370?ssPageName=STR...</a></p><p>Yeah LM386 should definitely do the job!</p>
<p>seems nice and thiny , i suppose you just have to solder the battery there . i'll look for another things to ask for, thanks 4 your info !! </p>
<p>No problem! If you need any help with anything else, just let me know :)</p>
<p>Interesting but what is a LiPo battery? Normally just for enjoyment where do you use KW's of sound? Handy</p>
Hey Lipo is just short for lithium polymer. Just a type of high capacity rechargeable battery. You'd find them most commonly in cell phones, Mp3 players, small Bluetooth speakers, etc. It is a very handy little stereo :)
<p>nice job!</p>
Not that expensive. Thanks!
<p>No problem!</p>
You got one more vote in the gadget hacking contest
<p>Thank you very much! :)</p>
<p>cool i'm doing this on my free time!</p>
<p>Thanks! It's a great little rainy day project :)</p>
<p>Great job man! do you have any links to those specific speakers? Have been looking for some cheap computer speakers!</p>
<p>Hey thanks a lot! Here is a link to them with their basic information. I can't find a link to buy them online at the moment. I'm Canadian but living in Poland at the moment and I got the speakers on sale at a local grocery store. Here's the link anyways:</p><p><a href="http://www.media-tech.eu/products/speakers/MT3140R" rel="nofollow">http://www.media-tech.eu/products/speakers/MT3140R</a></p><p>Maybe you can find a set used on eBay or something? I'll keep trying to find them for sale online though and will post a link if I can find one. Hope this helps a bit at least :)</p>
awesome bro....but did u used regulated battery charger?
<p>Thanks dude! Yeah...It's a cheap Chinese one, but works fine, plus the battery has a protections circuit built in to protect it from under/over charge as well.</p>
Cost of building from scratch?
<p>I'd say about $16.00. Battery originally cost me like $10, speakers were $4, switch was $0.60, battery charger came from China on ebay for around $1.50 originally.</p>
<p>Nice build, great photos! </p>
<p>Thanks so much!</p>

About This Instructable


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Bio: I'm a 29 year old guy who's passionate about building and fixing things, sometimes if they aren't even broken. I get a ... More »
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