How to Buy Used Universal Mini Speakers

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How to Buy Used Universal Mini Speakers

Given the volume of audio devices now available, the style of speakers available has also exponentially increased and many are 'universal'. That is to say, the speakers can be used with a number of devices such as laptops, tablets, Smartphones, MP3 players or any other piece of equipment with audio capability. Portable, universal mini speakers will, therefore, be ideal if there are a number of devices that might be used in a public forum. In fact, all mini-speakers are designed to be portable, so a choice can be made based on connectivity or condition.

Connectivity

Wired speakers can be connected as easily as plugging in the jacks. Such speakers tend to function as a string connection - the jack plugs into the audio provider, a length of cable leads to the left speaker and then continues on into the right speaker, leaving enough slack that the speakers can be placed very flexibly around the device. Alternative connectivity is via Bluetooth. Although Bluetooth is used in wireless speakers, not all wireless speakers have Bluetooth and each requires a different method to connect to the device.

Non-Bluetooth Wireless

Wireless speakers connect via a wireless transmitter, which is connected to the audio output of the device, and the speakers receive this signal. Although the manufacturer's instruction manual should always be followed, connecting wireless speakers to any device requires similar steps.

Power the transmitter

Ensure that the transmitter has a fully charged battery or batteries.

Connect the transmitter

There tends to be an output labelled 'audio out'. Plug the transmitter's cables into this port.

Situate the speakers

Be aware that wireless speakers will have a limited range so do ensure that the speakers are placed within this range. Turn them on.

Turn on the audio source

To ensure that the audio is satisfactory, turn on the audio and, during play, and adjust the output knob until the music is at the optimal level.

Bluetooth Wireless

Although Bluetooth is now the standard on SMART phones and newer laptops, not all devices have in-built capabilities. Many desktop models, for example, do not have Bluetooth although it is simple to buy and install a Bluetooth SUB adapter. Using Bluetooth wireless speakers involves 'pairing' the devices in order to sync an the audio device to the speakers. Again, although each manufacturer will have instructions as to the process of pairing, the method is generally as follows:

Power up

Turn on the audio device (mobile phone, laptop or tablet, for example) that the speaker is to be paired with.

Turn on the Bluetooth function

Often located in the settings menu, this is generally as simple as turning the Bluetooth on. To activate a USB adapter, plug in the adapter to a port, and then wait until the computer indicates recognition. Bluetooth connectivity will turn on automatically.

Turn the speaker on

On the speakers, press and hold the Bluetooth button for at least 5 seconds. When the indicator flashes, the speaker is live.

Pair the speakers and the device

A prompt will allow the user to select a device to connect to. If asked for an input key the default for the majority of Bluetooth devices is either 0000 or 1234. If this does not work, check the instruction manual for the model-specific key.

Look for the flash

To determine if pairing has been successful, watch out for the status indicator to flash.

Used Speakers

Although new speakers will be available for sale, it is possible to save a little money by choosing a set that have been pre-owned. As well as used models, there are also the options of buying refurbished units or choosing from listings categorised as for parts or not working. All speakers require an amp, but mini speakers may be more likely to come with an in-built amp rather than one that is accessed via, say, the stereo system. There are three conditions that used speakers may be sold in:

Seller refurbished

Sellers will often refurbish speakers before offering them for sale.

Manufacturer refurbished

Being denoted manufacturer refurbished does not necessarily mean that the speakers have been damaged - it may just refer to surplus stock, which will generally have undergone checks before sale. Sometimes, however, the manufacturer will fix speakers that have been returned due to a fault.

For parts

Sellers may offer speakers for sale that are non-functioning. In such circumstances, a buyer may choose to attempt repair after purchase, or simply use the speakers for parts.

Repairing Non-Functioning Speakers

Sometimes the functionality of a set of used speakers will be less than optimal, although not strictly non-functional. In such circumstances a repair may be relatively simple and, by buying a set of for parts speakers, the devices can be revitalised with replacement components scavenged from a non-functioning set. Whenever undertaking a repair or replacement, ensure that careful note is taken of the location and method of connection for each component.

Find out which speaker is malfunctioning

Using the equaliser on the audio device, shift the balance from one speaker to the other to determine the faulty item. Make sure to keep the volume relatively low in order to make sure that the other speaker is not inadvertently damaged.

Take it apart

Disassemble the broken speaker with care. Try to loosen any fabric seams or remove any metal or plastic parts with care, taking careful note of how they were originally placed.

Wire disconnection

It should be quite clear to see where a wire has come loose. By carefully soldering the wire back into place, the speaker should regain full functionality.

Cone damage

If the cone is torn or punctured, glue or tape can be used to repair the hole. If choosing to use glue for the repair, ensure that the hole is completely covered, leaving no area open.

Voice coil damage

If the coil has melted, causing a gap, it may be possible to unwind enough excess wire to fashion a new connection. The bigger the gap, the more distortion. A piece of wire from a broken speaker, however, may allow the wire width to be matched and re-soldered to form a bridge, thereby reducing distortion to a less noticeable level.

General replacement parts

By purchasing a for parts speaker of the same brand or model, all parts can be carefully swapped out to increase functionality.

Test all repairs

Make sure that all tests are undertaken at a low volume level to prevent further damage. It may be necessary to check that all parts or replacement components have been correctly fitted.

How to Buy Used Mini Speakers on eBay

To buy speakers, first go to the eBay homepage, opening the All Categories tab, then scroll down the page until reaching Sound & Vision, click the iPod & MP3 Player Accessories tab and then select Audio Docks & Mini Speakers. Further filters will then appear in the left hand column. Alternatively, use the bar at the top of any eBay page and key in "mini speakers".

Conclusion

Speakers will determine the overall effectiveness of any audio or music system and choosing the right set can make all the difference to a musical performance. Portable universal mini speakers can be used with a number of devices. Laptops, SMART phones, MP3 players and tablets can all be turned into public performance devices with the right set of speakers. Mini speakers are available with Bluetooth connectivity, non-Bluetooth wireless connections or wired. Sellers occasionally offer used speakers that are non-functioning - with the implication that they can be repaired - or for parts. By using matching replacement parts a set of non-functioning speakers can be returned to full functionality.

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