What to Do With Old Speakers

You can do a number of things with old speakers, and donating them or upcycling them is a great way to keep the speakers out of the landfill. There are several practical projects you can make with speakers you don’t want anymore. 

I’m Donovan, a lifelong musician and audiophile with years of experience in the music business. I’ve gone through too many speakers to count over the years and know what to do with old ones through first-hand experience. 

This post will show you what to do with old speakers. I’ll give you some ideas of how to pass the speakers on or turn them into another project if they no longer work. My goal is to help prevent you from throwing them in the trash. 

Let’s get after it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Donating old speakers to a used music store or thrift store is an excellent option if the speakers are still functional. 
  • If your old speakers don’t work, you can turn them into an art project such as a planter or toolbox. 
  • You can also turn speakers into a bookshelf, box, or storage container if they no longer work properly. 
  • Try to avoid throwing your speakers in the trash if you can. There are plenty of ways to upcycle them or donate that are better for the environment. 

What to Do With Old Speakers: 7 Great Ideas

Before I tell you what you can do with old speakers, I want to point out what you shouldn’t do! Don’t just throw your old speakers into the garbage. You can donate, recycle, or turn them into many fun or practical projects. 

If your old speakers don’t work anymore, they may seem like trash. But they are not! I’ve done many different things with old speakers over the years, and that’s way better than simply throwing them away. 

Below you will find some various ideas for what to do with your old speakers. This should give you a few ideas on what’s possible and what is the best approach for your situation.

1. Donate Old Speakers 

If your old speakers are still working, never throw them away. Donating them to a used music or electronics shop will ensure they get into the hands of someone who wants a set of speakers but might not be able to afford new ones. 

Most thrift stores or charity stores will also accept old speakers as long as they work. You can typically just swing by the donation center and drop them off, and you might even be able to get a write-off on your taxes for doing so. 

You can also donate directly to anyone you know who can use the speakers. Before taking them to a charity store, check in with your friends and family. You might just make somebody’s day by hooking them up with a new (to them) set of speakers. 

If you want to bring the speakers to a charity store, call before you go there to ensure they accept speakers. The shop also might have specific donation hours or locations you need to know of. 

2. Turn Old Speakers Into a New Table

If you have larger old speakers, you can easily turn them into a small table that will look cool. This is a great way to upcycle the speakers, and you can get years of new life out of them and have a nice addition to your home. 

You can gut the old speaker and take out the electronic components within it if you want to. Or you can just leave it as is. You just need to attach four legs to the bottom of the speaker, and it becomes a table. 

I’ve done this project before by cutting off the legs of a broken chair and attaching them to the speaker. I used a drill and some wood glue to keep the legs in place and also restrained the wood on the speaker to make it look nicer. 

If you aren’t very crafty or don’t have any tools lying around the house, this might not be a realistic approach. But you don’t need to be an expert to convert your old speakers into a sweet little table that you can put in your living room or anywhere else around the house. 

3. Bring an Old Speaker Back to Life by Making it Wireless

If you have an old speaker that still works and you want to make it more modern, it might be possible to turn it into a wireless speaker. 

To do this, the speaker must have an AUX input where you can plug in a Bluetooth receiver. But that’s pretty much all you need to do to give an old speaker new life and make it work with all your electronic devices. 

An AUX jack is the standard headphone jack in many electronic devices and is also known as a 3.5mm input. The Bluetooth receiver will plug right into this input, and then you can connect the receiver to your phone or computer. 

Keep in mind that you’ll still probably need to power the speaker somehow. If it’s wired to a receiver, you’ll need to keep it set up this way to get audio out of it. Bluetooth receivers are affordable, which can be cheaper than buying a brand-new speaker. 

4. Convert Old Speakers Into a Garden Box

Another one of my favorite ways to repurpose old speakers is to turn them into garden boxes or planters. I’ve done this several times and have grown veggies and other plants from my speakers. 

This is a good option for old speakers that don’t work anymore, but you could technically do it with working speakers. The first step is to cut off one side of the speaker and remove all of the internal components. 

You might need a saw or screwdriver to remove a speaker panel. Just be careful not to completely destroy the speaker when trying to take it apart. You only need to remove one panel. 

Once you have the speaker emptied out, fill it with good potting soil and plant seeds or starts. Then sit back and wait while you watch the fruits of your labor grow. 

5. Use Speaker Grill as a Small Tool or Jewelry Holder

This idea doesn’t involve using the entire speaker, but it’s still worth exploring if you need a place to hang small tools or jewelry. Speaker grills are the round, usually metal, sections of the front of the speaker, and the holes in them make for perfect hangers. 

You need to take off the grills before you can use them. Most speakers will have these screwed on, and you can take them off easily with a screwdriver. Others might be set or glued in place, so you might need to do a little prying. 

Once you have the grills off, you can set them up however you want to and hang your items. Gluing them on a board is a good option, and then you can place the board upright just like you would with an ordinary jewelry or tool hanger. 

Jewelry like earrings and necklaces should hang easily from the grill holes. For larger items and tools, you should get small hooks that will attach to the grill and then hang your tools from those. 

6. Recycle Old Speakers

If your speakers aren’t working and you don’t want to repurpose them into anything else, you can also recycle them. The trick with this is that you’ll likely need to disassemble the speaker into various parts that can be recycled. 

The metal grill and other metal parts can be recycled at metal recycling locations. The wood might be able to be used at a lumber yard, or you can turn it into compost. The electronics might be able to be recycled as well. 

This isn’t as easy as recycling aluminum cans and glass, but it’s still far better than throwing the speakers into the trash. It should only take a few minutes to take the speakers apart into the various components that can be recycled. 

7. Keep Old Speakers Around

If you have the room and your speakers still work, you may want to hang onto them. You never know when you might want to set up a new music room or home theater. And you can also gift them to someone you know down the road. 

Be sure to store old speakers where they won’t get wet or damaged by the sun. In a garage on a shelf is a good idea. Speakers can last for years in storage, and the average-sized option doesn’t take up too much space.  


Here are a few short answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to what to do with old speakers. 

Are old speakers worth keeping? 

There are plenty of ways to reuse or repurpose old speakers, so they are worth keeping if you are interested in doing this. If not, you should donate them to a used music store or thrift store rather than throw them in the trash. 

Can old speakers be donated? 

Old speakers can be donated if they still work properly. You can typically donate working older speakers to a thrift store or used music or electronics store in your area. Donating them is always better than throwing them away. 

Can a speaker be recycled? 

Certain elements within a speaker can certainly be recycled, but you might need to take the speaker apart to do so. There aren’t that many places that recycle whole speakers, but you can always consider donating them if they still work properly. 

Do charity shops take speakers? 

Most charity shops will take speakers as long as they still work. If the speakers are broken or in disrepair, the shop likely won’t accept them because they cannot be resold. You should call or contact the charity shop near you to find out for sure. 

What can I do with old speaker wire? 

You can recycle most old speaker wire at metal recycling centers. It’s not worth much money, but it’s better than throwing it away. You also might be able to donate the wire to used music or electronics shops. 

Final Thoughts

You have plenty of options for things you can do with old speakers. If they are still operational, donating them to a charity store or music store will help someone get their hands on speakers they might not otherwise be able to afford. 

All of the repurposing options here are relatively easy to accomplish, but there are plenty more ways to reuse an old speaker. Do your best to find a good home or purpose for the speakers rather than throwing them into the trash. 

Have you ever done anything with older speakers different than what I mentioned? Let me know in the comments below. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *