I first saw an article about hard drive speakers some time ago, but never thought about building my own until I saw this interesting project and decided to take a closer look. When I recently came into a pair of old hard drives, it was the perfect time to build my own set.
This is a very easy project to undertake. All that is required is to disassemble the hard drive (you will need some Torx screwdrivers) and solder two wires to the appropriate contacts on the hard drive’s read head. These wires are then attached to the speaker outputs of your amplifier (I used my vacuum tube amplifier to drive the speakers).
After playing with the finished speakers I found that if I restricted the read head’s movement by trapping the speaker wires between the two magnets at the base of the head’s armature (as shown) the speakers would produce much cleaner audio. By restricting the read head’s movement I prevent it from vibrating against the platters which can cause annoying scratching and rattling sounds. The downside of this is that you can no longer see the head’s armature move with the music, which is a pretty cool effect. Regardless of how you construct your own set, hard drive speakers sound best with music that contains a lot of treble. Check out the video below to hear how my speakers sound playing some Bach.