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Cheap-o Bluetooth Speaker Teardown

Back in July I went out on a limb and bought a no-name bluetooth speaker off of eBay for less than a fiver. While I was fully prepared to be completely underwhelmed by the audio quality of the device which I found myself unboxing a month later, I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, given the price I paid, I was actually extremely proud of my purchase.

Seven months later and I still feel the same way. Despite having gotten a chance to play with a (much) better speaker, the Nokia Play 360, I'm still quite happy with this cheap-o speaker. It traveled with me from Hamburg to Berlin, and then on to Tübingen. When I visited Rome with my family for Christmas, it came along for the ride- er, I meant flight. Finally, it came with me to the States when I moved back.

Along the way it's been an absolute treasure to have, and it's rendered the audio produced by my computer's speaker's to seem absolutely unacceptable by comparison. Driving the old car need no longer be accompanied only by the built-in AM radio's scratchy reception. Put simply, this speaker has earned a spot in my bag and travels with me a lot.

I did make a few adjustments to the unit that I thought were necessary. For starters, I removed the clear plastic indicator window and scuffed it up. At night, the flashing blue light that indicated power status was illuminating my entire room with blue light... off and on, off and on... it prevented me from daydreaming let alone sleeping. Once I'd returned to the States, I also modified the battery cover by removing the plastic protrusion spacers that prevented the original battery from rattling around. Why? Because the stock "BL-5C" battery had a capacity of 500mAh, but I had a (slightly) larger "BL-6C" battery of 1,250mAh capacity I wanted to use instead.

However it's not until I disassembled the device that I noticed something rather unusual:


As you can see, the center subwoofer piece doesn't actually do a single thing! I'm kind of curious as to why the builders of this bluetooth speaker didn't relocate the circuitry to this center location and thereby shorten the dimensions of the device without affecting stereo separation... whatever little it had to begin with, that is.

Anyway, looking at the circuit board you'll notice that the speakers ought to be rather easily replaced. What they might be replaced with, I've not a clue, but for the right tinkerer there is the possibility of building something else with these components. All I was concerned about was transforming that blinking blue spotlight into a soothingly frosted blue indicator, which was a success. As was the fitting of the larger battery, which went without a hitch and has resulted in unbelievably long battery life. I'll have to time it and get back to you.

Comments

  1. That "subwoofer" piece in the middle is actually pushed in and out with the air pressure generated by the other 2 speakers which is designed to increase bass response, pretty cool idea! most "expensive" speakers use them aswell now.

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