Knowing how to turn wired speakers into wireless bluetooth speakers is a great way to breath new life into wired speakers. By following the simple steps below, adding bluetooth capability to wired speakers can be done with minimal effort and relatively cheap
To turn wired speakers into wireless bluetooth speakers you’ll need a Bluetooth receiver as well as aux and RCA connections. You may have to solder some wires to connect the speakers and receiver.
Although turning regular speakers into Bluetooth speakers is maybe not the fastest and easiest process, it’s a great way to do something with those old speakers that have been collecting dust in your garage for years. Keep reading for tips and tricks!
How to Turn Wired Speakers Into Wireless Bluetooth Speakers
It may seem like a crazy thought that you can convert an old hi-fi to wireless, but technology is pretty amazing.
Before I delve into how to convert wired speakers to wireless, I do want to make clear that you will have to modify wires.
That may entail cutting parts of the RCA connections, and at the very least, soldering wires.
If this is something you’re not comfortable with or don’t feel safe doing, then please don’t. You’re much better off going to any electronics store and buying a nice set of Bluetooth speakers.
With that warning out of the way, let’s go over the steps to turn regular speakers into Bluetooth-capable speakers.
Step 1 – Buy a Bluetooth Receiver
The process of converting your old speakers to Bluetooth is not completely free, sorry. If you don’t already own a Bluetooth receiver, that’s the first thing you’ll have to purchase.
I’ve talked about Bluetooth receivers a bit on the blog before but let me explain them in more detail now.
A Bluetooth receiver takes a device that’s usually not Bluetooth-compatible such as your old speakers and allows it to receive streaming audio, effectively making it a Bluetooth device.
Most Bluetooth receivers will include a female RCA connection and a female aux jacket, although some Bluetooth receivers have a male aux input.
If it’s the latter, that receiver is usually designed for the audio system in your car rather than everyday listening.
For your purposes, you’ll want the Bluetooth receiver with the female RCA connection and female aux jacket.
A Bluetooth receiver is not too terribly expensive, as you can usually get your hands on one for under $40.
Step 2 – Determine Whether Your Speakers Are Active or Passive
Speakers can be either passive or active, so allow me a moment to explain which is which.
Passive speakers lack a power supply of their own. What this means is that you’re going to have to use an A/V receiver or an amplifier to boost the sound of the line-level signal.
Line-level signals are already low-voltage by their very nature, so you cannot forego this step if you want to enjoy booming audio from your old speakers.
Active speakers, which are sometimes referred to as powered speakers, do have an external power supply built-in. This pushes more current and voltage to the line-level signal.
That said, some people will still use a preamp even with active speakers because you have even greater volume control than you do without the preamp.
If your active speakers already have some measure of volume control, then there’s no need for a preamp in this instance.
Step 3 – Connect Active Speakers to Bluetooth
With an active speaker setup, just connect the speakers to the output channel of your preamp, then connect the Bluetooth receiver to the preamp’s audio input channels (it doesn’t matter which).
You’re leaving the other channels open so that you can use them for any other audio devices you might want to turn on.
Step 4 – Connect Passive Speakers to Bluetooth
What if your old speaker is passive instead?
You’ll recall that you can use an A/V receiver or an amplifier to increase the volume of the passive speaker’s line-level signal.
For those with an amp, all you have to do is find an open audio input channel and then connect the Bluetooth receiver. It’s pretty easy-peasy, all things considered.
If you’re using an A/V receiver for higher-quality audio, then you’ll have to choose either the Direct In or HT Bypass channel (whichever you have available) and plug the Bluetooth receiver into one of those channels.
Direct In and HT Bypass channels allow you to forego using a preamp entirely. However, the A/V receiver will lack EQ, gain, or volume control.
What if your A/V receiver has neither a Direct In or HT Bypass channel? In that case, then connecting the Bluetooth receiver to an audio channel that’s empty and available besides those two channels will suffice.
That said, the volume of your speakers will be a lot lower than you’re used to.
Step 5 – Prep the Speaker Wire Cables
I’ve talked about RCA cables and aux cables, but there’s yet another one you might run into as you turn regular speakers into Bluetooth speakers. That’s the banana plug.
A banana connector is called a banana socket or jack when referring to the female plug, and a banana plug for male plugs.
It’s a single-wire connector with both negative and positive plugs.
If your old speakers have an RCA-to-banana-plug connector, then for two banana plugs, you’ll see one RCA plug.
If not a banana plug, then your old speaker might use speaker clips. A speaker clip features spring-loaded negative and positive terminals for bare wires.
Ideally, you should use RCA-to-speaker wire cables for the best results when converting regular speakers to Bluetooth speakers.
You could always modify an existing RCA cable if you wanted to make it suitable, but I again caution you to look at my warning from the intro.
If you’re going to strip or otherwise tinker with wires, please wear safety equipment and only do what you’re comfortable with. You could end up with electrical shock as well as other more serious injuries.
For those who wish to modify the RCA cable, what you’d do is remove some of the outer tubing until you can see a dual set of wires.
Next, strip the rest of the tubing and then plug the negative terminal into the positive terminal. Then the modified RCA cable should be usable for your purposes.
If your old speaker uses speaker clips and a stereo aux connection, then the modification will be more complicated still.
That’s due to how stereo aux connections, in one plug, contain two channels compared to one channel for an RCA connection.
When stripping the stereo aux cable, you’ll come across three wires. These wires are the ground, right, and left wires.
The ground wire might be uncolored, or it could be black. The white wire is the left wire and the red wire is the right wire.
You’ll want to split the ground wire, which will require using two gauge wires that you connect to the ground wire. Then you’ll take all three wires and solder them until they’re unified.
Next, take the positive terminal’s left channel in one old speaker and connect it to the positive terminal’s right channel in the second speaker.
After that, connect the ground extensions to each to the speakers’ respective negative terminals.
Pair Your Speakers to Your Bluetooth Receiver
It took a lot of work, but your Bluetooth receiver is now connected to the old speakers.
Power on your Bluetooth receiver now. Once your receiver is on, plug in your speakers.
Select the pair setting on the Bluetooth receiver. Find your smartphone or whichever device you want to use to play music and pair it with the receiver.
Once you begin playing tunes, they should come out of your speakers.
Play with the speaker settings to get the volume just right. Remember that if your speakers are passive speakers, then the audio volume won’t be fantastic compared to a set of active speakers.
After adjusting the volume to your preferred level, kick back, relax, and enjoy some music. You’ve certainly earned it!