Saturday, May 06, 2006

Expensive IPod Speakers

Expensive IPod Speaker Docks

I was out at Linens and Things yesterday picking up my $14 toaster oven (since I am a deal hunter – I’m not that domestic), I noticed for the 100th time another place selling ipod speakers that most ipods can plug into for upwards of $100. For instance. I really feel that’s highway robbery. So in the spirit of doing it yourself and Make Magazine, here’s my guide to making your own ipod speaker setup. I made mine from existing parts I had, but you can expect to spend no more than $30 with a small subwoofer.

First, you need to start with an ipod.

Now I recommend the 60GB Ipod Video in Black, but any model will work with this setup, even the Nano. I’ll even go so far as saying this will even support whatever apple puts out next. In fact, this is so universal it will work with non apple mp3 players as well. Take that apple.

Next go out and find a set of computer speakers.

I went with an old set from most likely the late 90s. You can tell from all the marks on it that these are definitely not brand new. Keep in mind mp3s were not as popular then, and even though it doesn’t say specifically it is compatible with the ipod, trust me – it still is. Those crazy people at Altec Lansing must have been really thinking ahead when they designed these to work with a product that didn’t even exist yet! :P

Once you have a set of general computer speakers - take a look at the connectors on it. You should have two connectors that are going to be used at this point in time.

First of all the power connector. (You power connector might look slightly different than mine)

You may have seen this power connector on many of your household electronic items.

And the audio connector. Also referred to as a mini stereo plug.

You me be surprised to find that this looks a heck of lot like the headphone connector you use to plug into your ipod already. Hmmmmm.

First, plug the speakers into a wall electrical outlet. If it doesn't fit the plug might be polarized - and you should just turn it around and try again. Don't be a Hero! If you can't figure this part out get some assistance.

Then plug the audio connector from your speakers into the ipod. You should feel it snap easily into place.

Here's a closeup of the audio connector properly installed.

And Voila. You've successfully created your own home speaker system for your ipod or other audio player.

You can trick it out some by adding the kickstand case to have your ipod sit up on it's own. Play some tunes of your own and rock out without paying the big bucks.


Anonymous said...

That made my night. Superb job detailing the connection instructions.


My connector looks like yours..

shannonm said...

That's amazing! I can't believe you got that working. AL was REALLY on the ball when they decide to use that particular connector.

Unknown said...

They do the exact same thing for iPod headphones too. The ones that are "specially made" for iPods sound the exact same as normal headphones but cost 10x as much.