Hard Drive… Speakers?

Speaker out of a hard drive

Speakers really aren’t that complex to make. In fact, if you’re clever about it, you can make a speaker out of just about anything. [Afroman] is kicking it old school with a hack he first did back in 2001, but now, in video form: Make your own HDD Speaker!

All you need is an old hard drive you don’t care about anymore, a bit of flexible wire, and an externally powered amplifier (no your cellphone will not work!). If you don’t have an amp, [Afroman] even has a tutorial so you can build your own Class D Amplifier on a breadboard!

First off you’ll need to crack open the HDD enclosure. You might need a torx or hex key to get past the manufacturer’s “safety screws” though. Once it’s open you’ll need to locate the hard drive head — this is the small metal arm that looks kind of like a record player tone arm. It’s actually controlled by a coil, you know, just like a speaker…

Get out your multimeter and start probing! The ribbon cable coming from the hard drive head will have two wires that have a resistance anywhere from 4 to 40 ohms — this is actually the coil that controls the head, hence the resistance. Solder your wires in there and give it an amplified audio signal, and that’s it!

For a slightly more functional speaker, why not make one out of glass? Or maybe fabric?

17 thoughts on “Hard Drive… Speakers?

    1. The HDD speaker is an ancient how-to, but I loved the Class D amp vid provided. I laughed at the part “to ensure you don’t damage your MP3 player in case you screw something up” (and a bottle of vodka is pictured.) Oh man, I’ve done that before….

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