Most sound systems have different jacks for microphones and speakers.
Does that mean they are different, and one can’t be a substitute for the other?
Despite the common assumption, speakers and microphones are pretty similar.
Consequently, a speaker can be used as a microphone, but how you proceed depends on their connectors.
If your speaker and microphone use the same connector, plug it into the microphone jack, and it will start functioning as a microphone.
However, if the connectors differ, you must solder the microphone’s connector to the speaker wires.
Concerning designs, one can liken a speaker and a microphone to fraternal twins.
They may not resemble each other, but these twins are related, and the genes are quite similar.
For instance, both microphones and speakers are transducers, thus converting energy from one form to another.
Nevertheless, the pair doesn’t transform the same energy form into another one.
On the contrary, a speaker will transform electric energy into sound, and vice versa, for microphones.
Therefore, turning a speaker into a microphone requires you to reverse the energy conversion.
Simply put, you are turning your speaker upside down, thus serving the purpose of a microphone.
Should a Speaker Be Used as a Microphone?
It isn’t advisable to use a speaker as a microphone.
For example, the speaker’s sound quality won’t be par with what a microphone produces.
Expect a speaker’s recording sound to be poor for picking too much ambient noise.
The impracticality of using a large speaker as a microphone is also indisputable.
So, whereas it is possible, it isn’t an excellent alternative per se.
Unless it is the only available option, consider using a speaker as one and a microphone for its designed purpose too.
How Do You Turn a Speaker into a Microphone?
If you want to use your speaker as a microphone, follow this guide diligently;
Gather the Necessary Tools
There are tools you need to turn your speaker into a microphone, and they include the following;
- Male XLR plug
- Pair of gloves
- Pair of pliers
- Pair of protective eyewear
- Power saw
- Soldering iron
Once you have these tools, you are ready to get started.
Open Up the Speaker’s Body
You won’t access its inner parts unless you open up the speaker’s body.
However, you need this access to turn your speaker into a microphone.
If yours has a sturdy body, that’s where the power saw comes in.
It goes hand in hand with protective gear such as eyewear and gloves since it is a power tool.
Use it to cut the speaker body if it is necessary to open it up.
Choose the Speaker to Use
Speakers often come in pairs; you can choose to use both or one.
A high recommendation from the experts is using the low-frequency speaker instead of the pair.
Using both speakers is discouraged since it will adversely affect the sound flow.
So, as we advance, we focus on using the low-frequency speaker since experts recommend it.
Cut the Wire to Its Mid-Range Driver
It is no secret that most drivers have mid-range and low-frequency drivers.
Avoid the low-frequency driver and instead focus on its mid-range counterpart.
Cutting this wire ensures that no sound goes up to that driver since it is no longer necessary under these circumstances.
On the other hand, ensure you don’t cut the wire to the low-frequency speaker since it is crucial for the occasion.
The bottom line is there’s a need to know the wire you should cut and be careful while at it.
Solder Wires on the Male XLR Plug
After completing step 3, take the XLR plug and solder wires into it.
It is the last step of turning a speaker into a microphone, but it is also vital hence the need to proceed cautiously.
The plug has 3 pins, but fortunately, their labelling is deliberate hence low chances of getting it wrong.
One of the connections is between the speaker’s body and the first pin.
As for the other two pins, run them into your speaker, with one as positive and the other as negative.
In most cases, pin 2 is positive, and 3 is negative, but it is always wise to consider the electric thumb rule stating that black is negative and red is positive.
Test Your Microphone
At this juncture, what’s left is testing whether you faired well in turning your speaker into a microphone.
If you follow the guide well, you will have a microphone that’s working excellently.
However, you can only know by testing, and that’s what this step is about.
Do All Speakers Have Microphones?
First, speakers are known for amplifying signals from a microphone upon passing through them.
That said, speakers can work excellently without microphones, thus explaining why not all speakers have microphones.
There is a high chance that an audio was recorded using a microphone.
Whereas speakers will play such audio excellently, a microphone is unnecessary when playing the records.
Can I Use a Bluetooth Speaker as a Microphone
Yes, you can use a Bluetooth speaker as a microphone, but it requires too much work to get it working.
You will have to tear it apart and turn it in and out upside down for it to serve the purpose.
It doesn’t come as a surprise, given the complex design and connections enabling such speakers to receive audio from other devices via Bluetooth.
That leaves you no choice but to tear out its loudspeaker and solder it to the microphone plug for that functionality.
You will create a customized motherboard by converting the Bluetooth speaker to a microphone.
So, one can say without any fear of contradiction that it isn’t easy to turn a Bluetooth speaker into a microphone.
However, there are exceptions in cases where a Bluetooth speaker comes with an in-built microphone.
Under such circumstances, using a Bluetooth speaker as a microphone is easy.
That said, you can use a Bluetooth speaker as a microphone as long as you are willing to do what it takes to alter its functioning.