Transforming A Bookshelf Speaker Into A Portable Boombox

Boombox made from a shelf speaker

There’s a lot of fun to be had in modernizing an old boombox but what about turning one of those ubiquitous shelf speakers into a portable boombox, complete with a handle for carrying? That’s what [GreatScott] did when a friend gave him a just such a shelf speaker.

These days you’d very likely use your phone as the audio source so he included a 20 watt stereo class D amplifier which could be disconnected at the throw of a switch if not needed. To power the amplifier he used 16 18650 lithium-ion batteries which were leftover from previous projects. He estimates they should give him around 100 hours of enjoyable tunes. And to make further use of the batteries, he also added a USB charger so that he could charge up his phone from it, something else which is nice to be able to do when on the road.

A battery management system (BMS), an XT60 connector for charging the batteries, his battery level indicator circuit which we talked about before, a new passive audio crossover, and some rather nice work on that case all round out the boombox. Check out his full construction in the video below and make sure to stay until the end when he gives a taste of its awesome sound (you may even swear your desk is vibrating from the bass despite wearing earbuds, like we did).

And on the subject of speaker-to-boombox conversions, here’s one from a few years ago which makes use of a car MP3 player module giving it FM, USB, and SD card support.

7 thoughts on “Transforming A Bookshelf Speaker Into A Portable Boombox

  1. It would have been acceptable if the bookshelf speaker was broken in the first place, but no, he actually ruined a still-working one.
    IMO this one’s not a hack but vandalism.

    1. i’ve done this a couple of times. goodwill has a horrible habit of selling ONE speaker of a pair. no one else usually wants them, so i can pick them up for cheap to do stupid little projects like this with.

  2. Though that is a draw latch the door and hinges may rattle or buzz on the bass. Speakers have to be solid without loose parts, even a switch can rattle or a jack whistle with air. Bulkhead style jacks, waterproof. The amp is a little light on power, so bass probably wont make too much cabinet noise. Thanks for not using blurtooth, real connections!

  3. I was thinking of making some some battery operated bluetooth MP3 speakers using SLAs or 18650 cells. I was going to make the batteries removable and include a charger in one speaker for both batteries so when the speakers are at home, I only need to place one near a power outlet.

    I never worked out how to get the bluetooth modules, one for the left channel and one for the right channel, to pair to a single blutooth sender.

    On another note about HAD –

    This recent obsession with videos is sending me off looking for other websites to view. A video is fine even though I don’t often watch videos. But when there is nothing but a video then there is nothing of interest for me.

    I like to see documentation such as code, schematics and even PCBs. I have been a member here for a long time. I signed up to the .io site in 2014 but I remember being here for a long time before the .io site was even created. Probably early 2000’s

    1. Since blurtooth can only pair with ONE device, trying to use 2 for a separated pair of speakers is a no go. The power usage would double too. Why waste time on such outdated tech. Do you still use floppies?

      1. I don’t see what is so “outdated”.

        One bluetooth solution I thought of was to send stereo to one speaker and then have a second bluetooth link to carry one channel to the other speaker.

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