A few years back I bought a WOWee speaker/amp. It contained a battery, amp, and small inducer speaker. I strapped it on a small cooler and it worked great. After a few years of use, the battery life started to fade and it never really put out enough volume. This year I decided to build a new speaker cooler with a bit more power and better battery life. My main goals were to keep it relatively cheap and non-invasive. I didn't want to modify the cooler in any way and wanted the components to be completely removable. This configuration is extremely easy to build and can be done in minutes.
I ordered a Dayton Audio DTA-1 battery powered amp, a pair of Dayton Audio DAEX25 exciter speakers, and the cooler I wanted to transform. I had some other hardware on hand such as zip ties, mesh wire cover, heat shrink tubing, adhesive velcro pads, and wire. Construction is super simple. I put four velcro pads on the amp and fixed it to the cooler. I peeled off the backs of the adhesive pads on the speakers and mounted them on as well. I cut some wire to length, tinned the ends with solder to prevent fraying, and covered the pairs in a plastic cable cover mesh.
The cooler sounds great and is plenty loud for outdoor gatherings. I'm very happy with how this turned out and at ~$40 in electronics, I think it's a great value.
In a previous post I showed how I harvested the bluetooth electronics from a headset to make a bluetooth adapter. This can be used with this system to provide wireless bluetooth functionality. The range is decent and it has worked well.
The DTA-1 amp can be powered by 8 AA batteries or an external wall adapter. On batteries the amp will last 5-6 hours. I did, however, have some LiPo batteries from my quadcopter build. Upon measuring their voltage, I found that they would provide sufficient power to the amp. I soldered up a quick connector with some spare parts I had. The LiPo battery pack should, in theory, power the amp longer than the 8 AA batteries but I have yet to run a battery long enough to determine the full battery life.
Here's a short video of the cooler speaker in action. Of course, the microphone on my camera won't show the quality but it does sound very good in person.