Half a niceboy (Raze vertigo 2)
So my neighbor Sarah dropped a niceboy home. She literally dropped it in the garden, lying around the "rayitos de sol" (Lampranthus roseus). Luckily the niceboy is not a real person or the result of a bad night. It is just a speaker that started having a muffled sound. I told her I am into repairing stuff and she thought it was a good idea that I took a look at it, to see if I could fix it before she bought a new one.
THE DIAGNOSIS -
- First, I charged it (just a bit) and started it. The minute I switched it on, I noticed that the sound was bad. The starting sound was muffled, so it wasn't a fault in my phone's software or any other device. It was clear that it was the niceboy itself.
- I looked for information on the OEMs site, there was nothing to be found. So I wrote them an email asking for help to troubleshooting. I did it today and I am impatient and curious so I kept on going. [Edit: they replied a day after, the razor 2 has no factory reset settings and they recommend send it back to the dealer, and the dealer will send it further to them for diagnosis." I don't have time for that, plus I live in a remote place. ]
I tried looking for information online, you know, google search "[device] + muffled sound" but I found nothing about this specific device. So I looked for information on how a speaker works to know what to expect inside and started the disassembly.
Luckily nothing broke during the disassembly, and it's quite easy once you learn this trick:
1. Use a metallic pryer to remove the speakers cover. It won't break. It is a curved case that holds on place thanks to an elongated vertical shape that fits into the speaker body (see the picture and the red arrows). It is kind of like a snap-on case. You need to pry right in the middle of one of the edges, it doesn't matter which. To get there, I carefully inserted (without prying) the prying metallic tool at the corner, slide it to the center, and then pryed.
2. Remove the screws on each of the speakers and then you can access the connectors of the speaker and the motherboard. You will find a sort of red glue to keep the connectors in place, you can easily remove that with some tweezers.
Once I had access to the connectors, I played the music again and realized that one of the speakers sounded OK but the other one was muffled. I disconnected the right speaker and indeed the left speaker sounded clean and clear. I also checked the resistance of the muffled speaker and seems ok (4ohm).
I tried hard resetting the device (disconnecting the battery) but that didn't solve the problem (had it been a software issue, it would have probably been solved). So the problem is the right speaker itself. I didn't see any cracks on the speakers or a loose connector so I don't know what exactly makes the speaker defective, but I know it is the component causing the issue.
Niceboy doesn't offer replacement parts on sale online. But perhaps I can find an off-the-shelf component. [edit: indeed I have found it on Aliexpress, I will post the link once I make sure it works].
I will keep on searching.
In any case, the sound is much better with a single speaker, although the bass sound is almost non existent. Sarah might be able to listen to the news with the niceboy or some sort of sound that is not too bass intensive while I search for the spare part.
If your portable speaker sounds muffled, it could be only one of the speakers in it, and you can probably still use it for low demanding sound activities, until you find a spare part.