As a car owner, sometimes you may find yourself in some tricky situations. Try picturing out this particular situation. You have ditched your car, and it had very good car speakers. You are not planning to dispose these speakers, and you would wish to convert them into home speakers.
How do you handle such a scenario? How do you turn these car speakers in home speakers? It is not an easy task, but is it possible to successfully turn car speakers into home speakers? To succeed in doing this, there are several things that you might need to consider first. For instance, you will need to consider the amplifier ratings and your speaker ratings.
To stop scaring you before you even give it a try, just consider yourself very lucky. Explained below are three ways on how to turn your car speakers into home speakers. You can also watch this video for more information on how to turn car speakers into home speakers
Related article: Best Pioneer Speakers
1. Check The Impedance
Most car speakers are normally rated 4 ohms while home speakers are rated 8 ohms. This means that if you were to just hook up your speakers on the home speaker’s amplifier, you are likely to damage them. This unlikely situation will not create a long-term solution. For you to somehow go around this, you will need to hook up the speakers in series.
Are you wondering how to connect speakers in series? Doing it is easy. Assuming you have two speakers A and B, connect the positive input wire (red) to the speaker A positive terminal. Then connect the negative wire (black) from speaker A negative terminal to positive terminal of speaker B.
Proceed and connect the negative input wire (black) on the negative terminal of speaker B. There you have it, the speakers are in series.
The total impedance value is arrived at by adding the individual values when connected in series, what this means is that if you have 2 speakers of each 4 ohms then the impedance will add up to 8 Ohms and the load created will drive the speakers well.
A limitation might come in terms of sound quality and loudness, especially if you are hooking up speakers with different impedances. Take for instance if you are hooking up speakers with impedances of 4 ohms and 8 ohms each of 25 Watts.
The two speakers will deliver a total of 50 watts to the circuit meaning that 4 ohms will need to dissipate only around 16 Watts while the 8-ohm speaker will dissipate 33 ohms. Now you can see the logic behind this; the 8-ohm speaker will be stretched.
2- Find The Right Amplifier
Before you can decide to install your car speakers into your home theatre system, you will need to find the right amplifier. An amplifier that can feed the car speakers without failing. In short, it should support speakers with an impedance of 4 ohms to 16 ohms. Since most car speakers are 4 ohms which seem to be a low impedance, it means that they will demand more power from the amplifier.
Another thing to consider is that an amplifier might have a rating of 4 to 8 ohms, but in reality, that is only the nominal rating, the real impedance fluctuates according to frequency. It will, therefore, be wise to consider an amplifier that will support more than just the range of the speaker ratings. You should get a stable amplifier with constant power feed that will work well.
If you have a home amplifier, check whether the amplifier heats up when using car speakers. If it does, it means that it is overworked and therefore you should consider getting another one with higher ratings. What is important is knowing the operating specs of the amplifier. Some amplifiers are supposed to be cold when being used.
3- Build Speaker Enclosure
The car speakers need enclosures for them to work well as home speakers. There are two ways to DIY build them;
By using T/S parameters
For you to successfully convert your car speakers to home speakers, you will need to build them an enclosure. Not every enclosure works fine for speakers. Check the T/S parameters of the speakers so that you can get an idea of the type of enclosure to build the speakers. The most important parameter to check for is the Qts (Driver Total Q).
Qts basically describes the electrical or the mechanical part of the speaker. It is the Total Q of the mechanical properties of the speaker (Qms) and the electrical properties of the speaker (Qels). In general, Qts is how strong the magnet and the motor are.
So, how does Qts determine the size of the speaker enclosure? As a standard guideline, speakers with Qts of 0.4 and below shows that they have a transducer that work well in vented enclosures.
Those with Qts of between 0.4 and 0.7 show chances of working best in sealed enclosures. Speakers with Qts of 0.7 and above show chances of working best on infinite baffle applications or free air.
There are some exceptions though, some speakers might have Qts that suggest that they should work best in sealed enclosures but they work best on ported enclosures. Try therefore to do a wider research about your car speakers.
Use Volumes To Build An Enclosure
If you can’t access the T/S parameters, the best thing to do is to approximate the volume of the enclosure using the impedance ratings. For 4 ohms driver, find a sealed box of roughly 15 to 20 liters. That means that for 8 ohms speakers, the total volume should be between 30 to 40 liters. Then build an enclosure, the sound quality might not be accurate, but it will take you a long way.
Types Of Enclosures
I. Sealed Enclosure
The best type of enclosure to build for car speakers is a sealed enclosure which is mostly referred to as acoustic suspension enclosure. In this type of enclosure, the back wave does not counteract with the front wave since it is trapped in the box.
A sealed enclosure is the least efficient type of enclosure since the entire back waves are wasted. It is, however, the most popular type of enclosure and the easiest to make. They are also excellent in cone control and frequency response which contribute to good sound production.
This is, therefore, one of the enclosures you should consider making if you decide to use the DIY method of making an enclosure.
II. Bipole Speaker Enclosure
This type of enclosure is one with two speakers facing away from each other. Bipole speakers are great for propagating sound, directing sound towards the listener and creating excellent room reflections.
Good room reflections provide better soundstage and response of the axis. It is because of this reason that the speaker placement doesn’t matter a lot. Instead, what matters is that you should be keen not to place the speakers on the wall.
The only limitation that comes up with this kind of a system is since there are so many reflections occurring, most of the timing and the phase cues are lost, and hence imaging does not merge that of the monopole design.
III. Aperiodic Loudspeaker Enclosure
This is another type of enclosure that can be DIY made. Essentially, it is a leaky or poorly sealed box. The enclosure vents the inside through a port that is stuffed with damping material or a damped ported.
This type of vent is called an acoustic vent or a resistive vent. Basically the 60% of the interior space of the cabinet should be stuffed with damping material. While doing so, be careful to leave a path where the driver will vent.
For enclosures of volume less than 50 liters, they should have one vent, for volumes between 50 to 80 liters two vents, for more than 80 liters 3 vents are needed.
For more information: Best 6x8 Pioneer speakers
Can A Car Subwoofer Be Converted To Be A Home Subwoofer?
A car sub-woofer speaker can be converted to a home subwoofer, but it may not yield the same results as that of a home subwoofer. There are some few reasons that make a car subwoofer a little different from a home subwoofer and more likely to be converted to a home speaker. Here are some of the difference;
- A car subwoofer is designed to use automotive cabin gain where the bass or low frequencies are enhanced due to small space. On the other hand, a home subwoofer uses the living room for room gain where the low frequencies are less boosted in comparison to a car.
- A car subwoofer is designed to survive occasional abuse by the user while a home subwoofer can suffer high distortions even with little abuse.
- A car subwoofer is designed to withstand harsh environment for instance changes in temperature, vibrations and much more while a home subwoofer is basically designed only for home conditions.
- Car subwoofers are also designed to appeal to the consumer meaning that they can also look good at home.
From this small comparison, a car subwoofer and a home subwoofer are designed differently, but they are similar in functionality. You can therefore still convert your car subwoofer to be your home subwoofer.
There are so many technical differences that make a car speaker hard to be turned into home speakers. However, if you are really enthusiastic and curious to attempt, then you can make a good home audio system.
Rules are made to be broken, right? Try it out and you might realize that you have made significant sound production improvement for your home theatre. We hope this article on how to turn car speakers into home speakers has been of help. Thank you for reading!