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Poll: Have you incorporated Bluetooth into your builds yet?

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  • #16
    I liked using the Dayton audio KAB230 and the tinysine boards, both have been really reliable setups.

    I have been contemplating using a raspberry pi zero for a while now, or even just the raspberry pi 3 I have lying around and building one and using it's Bluetooth capabilities

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
      It's amazing--if not overwhelming--how many Bluetooth amp boards there are out there. And they are so inexpensive!! It really puts a ton of power in DIYers hands to make active little speaker setups.

      But how do you really know which are worth anything? Are there people out there measuring these to find out which are worth their salt?
      Bluetooth is Boomer wish fulfillment. And our hearing is such that super fidelity is unnecessary. The first time I really noticed bluetooth was JR's Tiny Tyms project. I was going to make these for someone, but the PE amp/BT module is severely backordered. I bought them some Edifier BT speakers instead.

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      • #18
        I've messed with a few bluetooth-enabled projects in the past several years. I mostly ended up using bluetooth because most of what I make ends up being given away, and everyone wants bluetooth. I don't seem to use it all that much myself. Rich, when he worked at PE even asked me if I'd include it in my Micro-B 2.1 plate amp that I made back in 2015, but it was just too difficult for me to implement at the time as I was just getting into this stuff.

        I think it really depends on what the intended use is. When I want to sit down and listen to good music for an old-fashioned 'listening session,' I usually go to the big stereo with CD's or often YouTube if the audio quality is there... mostly because there is also video to look at as well.

        Mostly though, I listen to music while I'm doing other things, cooking, cleaning, moving around... so for that, bluetooth on a smaller radio setup is just fine for me. I don't necessarily want loud and bassy music when I'm just doing something in the kitchen talking with my wife. So for the majority of the time, bluetooth quality seems fine with me. I've used Bluetooth 3.0 and up mostly and I don't find it bad to listen to.

        What I usually end up doing is dumping many of my favorite CD's ripped as MP3's onto a tiny USB jump drive and playing that on my little radio creations. The quality is great, and the volume is there... sometimes bluetooth ends up being too quiet in some setups. What I'd really like to see on these little player units is the ability to up/down folders (CD's) as well as tracks. Changing songs on most of the little MP3 player boards is just a pain because of this.

        The little amp, bluetooth, MP3 player Dukk linked to is actually pretty cool. It handles it all in one neat package. The specs state that it rolls off the lows somewhat supposedly, but I can't detect it really. It's decent and I've used it a few times now and have a few more projects planned as well. A few times I've used the Sure bluetooth board that PE sells and have just had bad luck with that thing... inconsistent operation for some reason, I won't use that again.

        I've even experimented with some cheap non-mech car radios for their nice appearance, and volume knob -- which most preamp/faceplate units don't have. I borked one up that my TechTalk friends helped me mod, but I have a few more coming to mess with... if they ever get here... apparently 'customs' is Chinese for "maybe we'll just let this package sit here in this pile for a month or two." Anyway, I can't complain for the price and free shipping, right?

        I have a few cheap mini faceplate boards coming from Aliexpress that include Bluetooth 5.0 as well as the ability to play MP3, etc. files from a USB jumpdrive or small card. It is about 2" wide by 1" high approx. They were like $2.50/ea. with free shipping. Remains to be seen if they are any good, but you're right... the amount of mini-micro bluetooth player devices out there is just crazy. I plan to pair it with a 1 inch by 1.5 inch 50 watt per channel amp board ($1.29/ea.!!!) and see what happens.

        It's a fun time to be a tinkerer in things audio!

        TomZ
        *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
        *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

        *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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        • #19
          Click image for larger version  Name:	image_78721.jpg Views:	0 Size:	73.6 KB ID:	1441294 I've had several Sure Bluetooth modules stop working and also had a few Sure kab bluetooth amp boards stop connecting. The external Avantree modules have been excellent though. I have been using them for years without issue. My wife also uses a Nobsound bluetooth amp that has been fine for a couple years now.
          Click image for larger version  Name:	2020-Latest-Nobsound-Mini-Bluetooth-5-0-TPA3116-Digital-Power-Amplifier-HiFi-Stereo-Wireless-Audio-Receiver.jpg Views:	0 Size:	189.7 KB ID:	1441293

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          • #20
            Jeff,

            I've always liked those amps because of the big knob on the top. I suspect that's a big part of the reason why it sells well. Nice to know that it's good quality too.
            So you've had issues with the Sure bluetooth board as well? Thought I got a few duds, but maybe they're all duds. I figured it would be one of the best in terms of quality considering the price and look of the construction, but these super-cheap boards I play with are far better.

            Nice radio setup by the way!

            TomZ
            *Veneering curves, seams, using heat-lock iron on method *Trimming veneer & tips *Curved Sides glue-up video
            *Part 2 *Gluing multiple curved laminations of HDF *Cello's Speaker Project Page

            *Building the "Micro-B 2.1 Plate Amplifier -- Part 1 * Part 2 * Part 3 * Part 4 * * Part 5 'Review' * -- Assembly Instructions PDF

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            • #21
              Thanks Tom! It's a Quark boom box. I won't buy another Sure Bluetooth module. Hopefully the Dayton Bluetooth amps are more reliable than the early Sure versions. The Sure amps still work fine but have to be used with Aux, Bluetooth won't connect anymore. Here's some of the duds, sadly there are more. I bought a few at a time. They all worked fine at first.
              Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_20200523_144516423.jpg Views:	0 Size:	614.8 KB ID:	1441297 Junk!
              Last edited by Jeff F.; 05-23-2020, 07:19 PM.

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              • Jake
                Jake commented
                Editing a comment
                That's one of my issues. I've had a couple boards in finished projects that died after later use.

              • Jeff F.
                Jeff F. commented
                Editing a comment
                Same here. I built a Sprite boom box for a guy I work with. The Sure module failed so I replaced it with a new one. Then the new one failed too. I finally got the Avantree and it's been fine.

            • #22
              Turn the nob, you get sound.

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              • #23
                I think bluetooth is good for casual listening and gift giving, but I do find myself resistant to it for one reason or another. Ironically being a dad of two relatively young children, most of my listening is casual, so go figure.

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                • #24
                  I haven't yet been involved with any bluetooth devices. I'm not one of the generation that has a smartphone permanentlly attached to my hand so haven't been interested.

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                  • Jeff F.
                    Jeff F. commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I hated Bluetooth when it first came out and for a while after too. The sound quality was bad. Other people seemed to think it was fine but I could here the noise and muddiness that they didn't seem to notice. More recent Bluetooth sounds pretty darn good though at least to me. The source stream quality has a lot to do with it as well. I listen using Bluetooth mostly now because it's just so convenient and the quality is now acceptable for me.

                • #25
                  I only have a tablet for BT use. I do not have BT enabled or music stored on my dumb-phone, as it's a phone for texting or calls. My daughters school-chromebook can BT I think, but the laptop requires the 3.5mm connection. I plan on getting a small FM USB-powered radio to add to the assembly.

                  I built it for my wife's use at her place of employment via a BT enabled iPad for music when the children are going to sleep. She said she wants a different one, but we'll see first if she's even able to use it or not.

                  So- it was built for BT use, but I personally will not use it that way very much.

                  Later,
                  Wolf
                  "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                  "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                  "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                  "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                  *InDIYana event website*

                  Photobucket pages:
                  http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                  My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

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                  • #26
                    Wolf - Which FM USB powered radios would you recommend?

                    George

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                    • #27
                      I added the Lepai LP40PA 40W Mini Plate Amplifier Bluetooth to a set of LouC's Nugget II's and a set of Mzisserson's New Horizons for my nephews. Works well in college dorms.



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                      • #28
                        George, all I've seen have been fleabay or slow boat finds. There is a HanRongDa that does what I want for about 20$. Sangean makes HD radios that might be even better. I've not looked or used anything to recommend just yet.
                        Wolf
                        "Wolf, you shall now be known as "King of the Zip ties." -Pete00t
                        "Wolf and speakers equivalent to Picasso and 'Blue'" -dantheman
                        "He is a true ambassador for this forum and speaker DIY in general." -Ed Froste
                        "We're all in this together, so keep your stick on the ice!" - Red Green aka Steve Smith

                        *InDIYana event website*

                        Photobucket pages:
                        http://photobucket.com/Wolf-Speakers_and_more

                        My blog/writeups/thoughts here at PE:
                        http://techtalk.parts-express.com/blog.php?u=4102

                        Comment


                        • #29
                          I did not even consider BT much in the past, but now that the only radio station my wife listens to got out of tune in and only use an embedded player in their site, I'm needing to add BT to the mix.
                          My Statement monitors
                          My Piccolatas
                          My LM3886 amp

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