Speakers and microphones are like fraternal twins. They are similar to some degree but not entirely apparent to the general viewer. Because of this similarity, you can use speakers as a microphone and vice versa. So how can speakers be used as microphones? Let’s find out.
Here’s how you can turn a speaker into a microphone and use it:
- Access the speaker body (so take out the speaker)
- Decide on whether or not you want to use both speakers
- Cut the wires to the mid-range driver
- Test your microphone
The process of turning a speaker into a microphone is easy and inexpensive. Don’t panic and give up, it’s easier than you think. It will all come to fruition in a couple of minutes, so give yourself time to learn. If you want to know how you can turn a speaker into a microphone, you’re welcome to keep on reading.
Also read: How To Connect A Microphone To Home Theater
Can Speakers Be Used As Microphones?
Yes, you can use speakers as microphones. It may seem like a foreign concept if you’re new to it, but it’s a possible endeavor. It involves a couple of simple steps, which you can find below, and a willingness to learn.
How Are Speakers And Microphones Similar?
First things first, how is this process even possible? As shared earlier, speakers and microphones are like fraternal twins from a metaphorical point of view. They are similar in a lot of ways.
Speakers and microphones both fall into a category known as transducers. What are transducers? Transducers are components that transform one form of energy into another form of energy.
In this case, speakers turn electrical energy into sound, whereas microphones turn sound into electrical energy. Do you see why they’re fraternal twins?
The only difference between these two components is their overall design. Manufacturers designed them in two different formats that allow them to perform their functions with zero hindrances effectively.
So in the process of turning a speaker into a microphone, you are reversing it. It’s one of the reasons why the entire process is simple; you’re turning it upside down.
How To Use Speakers As A Microphone – Step-By-Step
With that out of the way, it’s time to get into the actual process and get your hands dirty. Firstly, get the following tools:
- A pair of pliers
- A speaker of your choice
- A soldering iron
- A pair of protective eyewear
- A pair of gloves
- A power saw
- A male XLR plug
1. Access the speaker body
You want to access the inner parts of the speaker. The majority of speakers come with a rigid body that you may need to open up. You may require a power saw to open it up. Please note that a power saw is a power tool.
According to the OHSA, you do require protective equipment while handling power tools. It’s why a pair of protective eyewear and a pair of gloves are part of the list. While handling the power saw, ensure that you have the proper gear on and get cutting.
2. Decide On Whether You Want To Use One Or Both Speakers
Experts recommend using low-frequency speakers instead of both speakers. This way, you can avoid any unwanted scenarios with the flow of sound. You do have the option to use both of them, but this guide will involve only the low-frequency speaker.
3. Cut The Wire To The Mid-Range Driver
A general speaker will consist of a low-frequency driver and a mid-range driver. Since you will be using the low-frequency driver or speaker, it would be best to cut the wire that leads to the mid-range driver.
You don’t want any sound leading up to it since it is no longer serving a purpose.
Tip: Be careful not to cut the line leading into the low-frequency speaker. It would help if you still had that wire. So tread carefully and get your lines in order.
With that done, you can take the male XLR plug and solder the wires into the plug. The plug comes with three pins labeled accordingly.
- Pin 1 – moves from the first pin to the body of the speaker.
- Pin 2 and Pin 3 – run into the speaker itself. Pin 2 will be positive, and Pin 3 will be negative. According to an electric rule of thumb, red is positive while black is negative.
Solder the wires to the plug and mission complete.
5. Test the microphone
You might not believe it, but at this point, you have a functioning microphone. Test the microphone and revel in the glory of your creation.
Speaker and Mic FAQs
Can You Turn The Microphone Back Into A Speaker?
Since you did cut some wires, you will need to replace those wires. Nonetheless, the process of reverting the microphone into a speaker should be possible. Albeit, it will be a tad bit complicated.
Regardless, if you have a microphone, it will be a lot easier to turn it into a speaker. Microphones come with an audio output jack that you can use for the conversion process.
Can You Connect A Microphone Directly To A Speaker?
As long as you have the correct input connector, directly connecting a microphone to a speaker is possible. Although, you may not hear anything unless the mic has a built-in amplifier.
How Can You Use A Speaker As A Microphone?
You will have to get handy with it, but you can turn your speaker into a microphone, and you can do the same vice versa. It’s a quick and easy process.
- David Medairos, How to Turn a Speaker Into a Microphone, Tech Walla, https://www.techwalla.com/articles/how-to-turn-a-speaker-into-a-microphone Accessed October 25th, 2021.
- Raymond Ainyam, Can Microphones Be Used As Speakers? All You Need to Know! Geek Musician, https://geekmusician.com/can-microphones-be-used-as-speakers/ Accessed October 25th, 2021.
- John Papiewski, Differences in Microphones & Speakers, Is Still Works, https://itstillworks.com/differences-microphones-speakers-2168.html Accessed October 25th, 2021.
Jason is a home theater expert with over 10 years of experience in setting up home cinema rooms and systems. What started out as a hobby soon transformed him into an authority in the audio-visual field. He is passionate about providing readers with accurate and up-to-date information on the latest audiovisual technologies and their applications for home theaters. Read more about Jason.