My old Bluetooth speaker stopped charging the other day, so it was time to investigate why.
Most modern Bluetooth speakers have a lithium-ion battery that is charged via a USB cable. The three things that can prevent your portable Bluetooth speaker from charging are:
- Bad solder joint on the USB charging socket.
- Low or Under-voltage lithium-ion battery.
- Faulty micro USB cable.
All three of the above faults can be repaired easily with a few simple electrical tools. Don’t throw out that portable speaker. You can fix it.
In this post, we will be repairing a cracked solder joint on an Aqua Sports Bluetooth speaker. The procedure is the same for JBL, Bose, Beats, UE, or Sony speakers. If your Bluetooth speaker charging port is broken then read on for the repair guide.
Opening up a portable Bluetooth speaker.
The first step is to open up your Bluetooth speaker to see if there is an easy fix. In my case the USB charging socket was loose. This means that there is a cracked or broken solder joint that needs re-soldering.
The hardest part is to work out how to open up the speaker. Often these screws are hidden under stickers, plugs, or the sound grill.
After the screws are removed you can fault find fast. Using a magnifying glass I could see that the solder joint was bad. The micro USB port was also loose as an indication of the problem.
In addition, if you have a waterproof speaker then try not to damage the seals.
Soldering up the micro USB charge plug
I like to use a portable Weller gas soldering iron for all of my jobs. It saves having to look for a power outlet. Therefore if you plan on doing a lot of soldering in the future then a variable temp solder kit is the way to go. X-Tronic makes a very good soldering iron model #3020.
A quick tip for soldering is to use a clean tip and a fresh dob of solder. You only need to quickly touch the old cracked solder job to melt it again. If your soldering tip is too large you can file it down for a nice fine solder tip.
After resoldering the positive and negative terminals it was time to test the charge circuit.
This is when I ran into another problem. As the waterproof Bluetooth speaker battery had run flat, the faulty charge circuit had prevented any top-up charging. A quick test with a multimeter showed that the battery voltage was close to 0V. It should be around 3.7V
How to charge a Bluetooth speaker with a broken charger port
Over time the lithium-ion battery had dropped to a dangerously low level. Surprisingly the charging circuit was unable to start charging when the 18650 battery was close to 0V
This is when I had to get out my trusty Opus AA and 18650 battery charger to see if I could get a charge into the battery. The only problem is that the 18650 lithium battery is fully wrapped in plastic.
You need to scrape or cut away some of the protective plastic on each of the positive and negative ends of the battery. After that, it can be installed into the Opus charger. I used a small screwdriver and a sharp knife to open up both ends of the battery to expose the terminals.
The 18650 battery can then be charged upon the Opus battery charger. I only wanted to put a small amount of charge into the battery to make sure the portable sound system charge circuit was working.
Once the 18650 battery was topped over 2V I was able to re-insulate the battery and install it back into the portable speaker. The charging circuit kicked in and we were good to seal it back up.
Making sure the problem doesn’t happen again.
There is a slight design flaw with my aqua jam Bluetooth speaker. This micro USB charging port is only held together via the two solder terminals. Over time they can weaken and crack.
This is why I use a hot glue gun to make sure the USB port will be secure over time. Just don’t get any glue into the terminals.
As this is a waterproof Bluetooth speaker so it is important to make sure that all of the silicone seals were in position before screwing it back together.
If you find that one of the rubber seals is broken, you will have to use some silicone to fix it before screwing the speaker back together.
The video below shows how to fix a JBL speaker charging port that had completely fallen out. It’s a common problem.
It is important to always keep your lithium-ion batteries topped up. If you don’t use an appliance for a few months just put them on charge every few months.
All the best in fixing your Bluetooth speaker not charging fault. This seems to be a common problem with many portable speakers lately. Even motorcycle helmet sound systems are prone to breaking their USB ports. I guess they get thrown around and can get damaged easily. These micro USB ports are fragile. Don’t throw them into landfills fix them yourself.
If you need any help repairing your Bluetooth sound system then leave me a comment below.