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What to Do With Old Speakers

what to do with old speakers

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You can repurpose old speakers into charging stations, Internet radios, or boomboxes, or upgrade them for wireless connectivity. Additionally, one can creatively repurpose old speakers. To dispose of speakers in an eco-friendly manner, you can disassemble them for parts, recycle them, or donate them.

Discover more innovative ideas on what to do with old speakers in this guide.

Repurposing Old Speakers in Creative Ways

Transforming old speakers into new, functional items is not only eco-friendly but also a creative and fulfilling process. Here’s how you can repurpose those old speakers:

retro big speakers

Charging Station Conversion

Creating a charging station from your old speakers starts with disassembly. Carefully remove the speaker parts. While at it, salvage key components like the amplifier and transformer. Find a container large enough to house these parts.

Drill holes in the container for wires, and create a speaker grill on the lid for sound output. Secure all components with electrical tape. This unique charging station not only charges your devices but also plays music, combining utility with entertainment.

Internet Radio

To convert your old speakers into an Internet radio, you need a Raspberry Pi and some basic carpentry skills. Start by installing Mopidy on your Raspberry Pi. This application allows you to play music from various sources, including Spotify.

You’ll need to configure Mopidy with your Spotify account details. Then, connect the Raspberry Pi to your old speakers using appropriate cables, usually a 3.5mm to RCA cable. Finally, control the music on your Pi remotely using an MPD client on your smartphone or computer.

DIY Boombox

Building a boombox from old speakers is an ambitious yet rewarding project. It involves using the speaker casing and integrating a portable power source, amplifier, and potentially new speaker drivers. You’ll need to plan the layout of components to ensure they fit within the speaker casing.

Wiring the components together and ensuring they are powered correctly requires some electrical knowledge for this project. The result is a unique, portable boombox that retains a bit of the old speaker’s charm.

Chromecast for Wireless Connectivity

Adding a Chromecast to your old speakers is a straightforward way to upgrade them for wireless connectivity. First, check if your device is compatible with Chromecast. You’ll need a TV or monitor with an HDMI port and a stable Wi-Fi connection.

Plug the Chromecast into the HDMI port and connect it to your Wi-Fi network. Then, connect the Chromecast’s audio output to your speakers. Now, you can stream music wirelessly from your phone or other devices to your old speakers, giving them a new lease on life.

Bluetooth Speaker Upgrade

Converting old speakers into Bluetooth speakers involves adding a Bluetooth receiver to the system. First, purchase a suitable Bluetooth receiver that is compatible with your speaker’s inputs. Connect the receiver to the speaker’s input, usually through standard audio cables.

Once connected, the receiver will convert the wireless Bluetooth audio signal from your phone or PC into an electrical signal that the speakers can play. This upgrade is a simple yet effective way to modernize old speakers and enjoy wireless audio streaming.

old speakers

Practical Uses Around the Home

Repurposing old speakers into practical and decorative items around the house can be both fun and environmentally friendly. Here are some creative ideas:

Crafting an Earring Holder

To make an earring holder from an old speaker, start by disassembling the speaker and removing the grill. This grill, with its holes and sturdy frame, is perfect for hanging earrings. Sand any rough edges for safety. 

You can paint the grill to match your room’s decor or leave it as is for a vintage look. Attach the grill to a wall or inside a frame, and your unique earring holder is ready to use.

Making a Unique Table or Shelf

Turning an old speaker into a table or shelf requires some basic woodworking skills. Begin by hollowing out the speaker cabinet. Sand the surfaces smooth, and apply a coat of polish or varnish for a finished look. You can attach legs to the bottom to create a small table or mount it on a wall as a shelf. The speaker’s original design can add a retro or industrial touch to your space.

Other Decorative and Functional DIY Ideas

There’s a range of other decorative and functional uses for old speakers. For instance, you can convert the speaker boxes into unique planters for indoor plants. Just ensure you waterproof the inside to protect against moisture. 

Alternatively, you can repurpose small speaker boxes into quirky storage boxes for items like keys or remote controls. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and the materials at hand.

Responsible Disposal and Recycling

When it comes to the responsible disposal and recycling of old speakers, there are several steps you can take to ensure that they are handled in an eco-friendly manner:

  1. Remove Speaker from Enclosure: Unscrew and remove the speaker from its enclosure.
  2. Detach Grilles: Carefully remove the grilles, typically attached with Velcro, snaps, or screws.
  3. Pry Off Foam/Rubber Ring: Gently pry off any outer foam or rubber ring from the speaker.
  4. Remove Cone, Spider, and Foam: Extract the cone, spider, and any additional foam components.
  5. De-solder Wires: Carefully de-solder any wires connecting the speaker components.
  6. Unscrew Basket from Top Plate: Detach the basket from the top plate to access internal parts.
  7. Salvage Reusable Parts: Collect valuable parts like drivers, amplifiers, transformers, and circuits for reuse or recycling.

The Environmental Impact of Electronic Waste

Electronic waste, including components found in old speakers, can have a significant environmental impact if not disposed of properly. E-waste often contains hazardous materials that can be harmful to the environment and human health. Therefore, it’s crucial to handle old speakers responsibly to minimize their environmental footprint.

Older speakers from the 1970s or 1980s may not qualify as e-waste due to their less advanced electronic components. However, speakers with more modern electronic parts should be treated as e-waste and recycled appropriately.

Safe Recycling Practices for Electronic Components

Many localities offer recycling centers or specific days for disposing of electronic waste. It’s advisable to contact your local government or municipal authority for the appropriate methods of speaker disposal.

For speakers that don’t qualify as e-waste, consider donating or repurposing. Organizations like Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and Habitat for Humanity often welcome donations of functioning electronics. Alternatively, individuals can creatively repurpose components of the speakers for various home DIY projects.

Selling and Donating Old Speakers

Selling or donating old speakers is a great way to ensure their continued use and prevent them from becoming waste. Here’s how you can go about it:

Tips for Selling Online

You can sell old speakers online through platforms like eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace. Key tips for a successful sale include taking clear, detailed pictures from all angles, writing honest and informative descriptions, and setting a fair price based on similar items.

It’s also crucial to be responsive to inquiries and open to negotiation without underselling yourself. Additionally, presenting the speakers well at garage sales and being prepared to negotiate on price can help you make a successful sale.

selling old speakers online

Donating to Charities or Schools

You can donate old speakers to various organizations, such as thrift stores, local community centers, schools, and religious organizations, where they can be used for events, in classrooms, or for services. Before donating, it’s advisable to clean the speakers and ensure they are in working condition.

It’s important to call ahead to confirm that the organization accepts electronic donations and to check if they can provide a tax receipt for your donation. By donating, you contribute positively to your community and help others benefit from something you no longer need.

Options for Giving to Electronic Stores for Refurbishment

Giving old speakers to electronic stores for refurbishment is another viable option. Some electronic stores accept old electronics for repair or refurbishment, after which they might resell them.

Refurbishing your old speakers not only gives them a new lease on life but also ensures responsible handling and reduces electronic waste. It’s recommended to contact these stores in advance to understand their policies on accepting old electronics for refurbishment.

old speaker parts

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Old Speakers Be Repaired and How?

Repairing old speakers is often possible, depending on the issue. Common problems like a damaged cone or faulty wiring can be fixed. For example, you can repair small holes in the speaker cone with rubber cement.

Sometimes, a damaged driver (the part of the speaker that produces sound) can be replaced. When replacing a driver, it’s important to match it with the speaker’s specifications, including size and power handling. A multimeter can be helpful for testing the components. If you’re not experienced with speaker repairs, consulting a professional is advisable.

Are There Any Organizations Specifically Looking For Old Speakers?

While there may not be organizations specifically seeking old speakers, many charities, schools, and community centers welcome donations of functioning audio equipment. Organizations like Goodwill, The Salvation Army, and local thrift stores often accept electronic donations and can put your old speakers to good use in various community projects or educational purposes.

What Should Be Considered Before Deciding to Throw Away Old Speakers?

Before discarding old speakers, consider if they can be repaired, donated, or repurposed. If the speakers are beyond repair, recycling them responsibly is important to prevent harmful materials from entering landfills.

retro speakers

Retro Speakers: Revamp or Remove?

Old speakers are like retro fashion; sometimes, they just need a little update to become trendy again. But let’s get real. Sometimes, these old speakers are part of a bigger pile of items you just don’t need anymore.

That’s where we at EZ CleanUp step in. We’re here to help you declutter and make space for new memories. If you’ve got a garage full of “future projects” that turned into “never happened,” give us a shout. We’ll help you clear out the old, responsibly and efficiently.

Call us now! Let EZ CleanUp be your backstage crew for a cleaner, more harmonious home.

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