DIY Bluetooth audio streamer

Get superior audio quality without spending a ton of money

There are a lot of ways to stream music at home. Dedicated Bluetooth speakers, like the Supertooth Disco or Jawbone Jambox work well, but because they are designed for portability they don't sound all that great. At home, the Chromecast is cheap and easy if you already have a home A/V system to distribute the music, or you can splurge and pick up a Sonos for better sound and features like multi-room broadcasting. But, as we all know, a DIY junkie always has his or her eyes open for something better.

I've got an alternative that lets you not only stream music from your Android (or any portable device that supports Bluetooth 3.0 or higher with A2DP) or computer, but will sound as good as you want it to sound, determined on how much you want to spend on speakers. Realistically, you can spend $200 and have the very best audio possible while streaming over Bluetooth, or you can spend $100 and have something that sounds really good and the satisfaction that you did it yourself.

And it's really easy to set up once you figure out which parts to buy.

DIY Bluetooth audio streamer

We'll talk more about the components in a bit, but first let me explain what you're doing here. You're taking a cheap (but surprisingly good-sounding) "bookshelf" amp, and using a Bluetooth audio receiver as its input. Add a pair of speakers, and you have instant stereo from Google Play Music, Pandora, or any online streaming source.

It's small, it's cheap, and it sounds great.

Here's what you'll need.

The amplifier

Lepai 2020A

There are literally hundreds of small "bookshelf" amplifiers (a pretty generic term for a small amp that will drive small passive speakers) out there to choose from. Prices start at about $20, and as you add more features — like sub output or multi-channel outputs — things can get much more expensive. I'll leave the discussion of which bookshelf amp is best for another time, but what's important to remember is that we're talking about a device that streams audio from the Internet, so we can get away with the cheaper alternatives. Streamed audio is not known for it's amazing sound quality (you're streaming compressed audio at a maximum of 320kbps), and adding Bluetooth to the mix means that you will never have perfectly flat "audiophile" quality sound coming in to this system. That means you don't need something like an expensive tube amp to preserve sound that was never delivered.

This may sound like I'm claiming that all streamed music sent over Bluetooth is bad, but that's not at all what I'm saying. I'm just saying that it isn't ever going to be perfect, so you don't need equipment that can send out perfect audio to your speakers. In a basic 2-channel setup like what I'm describing, all the amplifier is doing is passing along a signal that's boosted a bit to your speakers. It's easy to preserve the quality of the source audio with a cheap amp.

For this project I went with the Lepai LP 202A+ that I picked up for $19.59 from Amazon. It's small, it provides enough power for a decent pair of speakers, and has a bit of tone adjustment via front knobs for treble and bass. It's certainly not the best small amplifier you can buy, but as mentioned, we don't need the best for this project.

A Bluetooth audio adapter

Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter

This is the "brain" of the whole system. The Bluetooth audio adapter is what your source — be it your phone, a tablet, or your Bluetooth-enabled desktop or laptop computer — is going to connect to. It acts just like a set of Bluetooth headphones, so that means it can send all audio out or act as a media audio destination in apps that support it. Google Play Music is a good example here, and you can find your Bluetooth adapter listed in the "cast" button in the Android app. If you've used a set of Bluetooth headphones or something like a Jambox, you know how this all works. If you haven't used a pair of Bluetooth headphones or a stand-alone speaker, you'll figure it out easily.

Cast all the things?

For my Bluetooth adapter, I went with the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter. You can find this on Amazon for $29.99, and it works really well. Another great option is the Monoprice BlueTooth Music Receiver. Basically, all you need is a device that uses Bluetooth 3.0 (or higher) and features A2DP audio streaming, and a way to connect the output to the audio input on your amplifier. I've been playing with several different types and models, and have found no noticable difference in the audio quality, but with all Bluetooth devices, the important part is that they stay connected to your Android. The two I mention above have given me zero issues in that area.

The speakers

Speakers

This is the most important part of the system, and will make all the difference in the sound quality. It's also the part that can be the most expensive, and you'll never find two music lovers who can agree on which speakers are the best. There's two ways to think here:

I want a fairly cheap system that sounds as good or better than a stand-alone Bluetooth speaker.

I will spend a little more money and have a system that gives me the best possible sound from audio streamed over Bluetooth.

If you fall into the first category, a $30 pair of small cube speakers will do you just fine. Sure, you could spend more money and have something that sounds better, but your sub-$100 audio system will sound better than those expensive Bluetooth speakers you see online and at Target.

If you want to spend more money, you'll have a single-room sound system that sounds better than anything else you can buy. What you won't have is some of the extra features that come with something like a Sonos system. There's a reason that those networked speakers are so expensive, but it's not always about the audio quality.

Impedance

What you'll need to remember in either case is that you need the right kind of speakers. If you know your amplifier is set up for 4 or 6 Ohm speakers, get 4 or 6 Ohm speakers. My speakers happen to have an impedance of 6 Ohms. The amplifier I bought will drive them because it drives low power speakers from 4 to 8 Ohms. If you have no idea what this means, get standard 8 Ohm speakers and you'll be fine. The important part is that you get a pair of passive speakers, and not a pair that you plug into the wall outlet so that they have their own power source. You're providing that with the amplifier you bought. If you're in doubt, just ask someone.

For my little setup, I went with a pair of Pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers. I grabbed them while they were on sale at Amazon for $99.99 with the idea that I would strip them and use the cabinets to build my own speakers. But they sound so good, I've scrapped those plans and roll with them as-is. The good news is that they, too, are overkill for a streaming audio system. There are plenty of $50 Bookshelf speakers that will sound just as good, because the source of the music is no better than they can deliver. See what's on sale, and read some reviews. Don't get discouraged by the insane amount of arguing you'll see about any speakers, just look for reviews from average users like you and me who just want their music to not sound like crap. Audiophiles like to fight on the Internet even more than smartphone fans.

One last thing to keep in mind is the power of your amp. In my case, the little Lepai will only put out about 17 watts per channel, and if I had went with any bigger or better speakers there wouldn't be enough "oompf" to drive them correctly. Chances are that if you buy an off-the-shelf small amplifier, any pair of off-the-shelf small speakers will be fine, but read the specifications to make sure you can output enough to properly drive them.

Setting it up and trying it out

Jam on.

This is the easy part. On the back of your amp you'll have a place for audio input. Your Bluetooth adapter gets connected here, and chances are the cable you need to connect them will be in the box with your adapter.

You'll also see a place for left and right audio out, and thats where the speakers connect. Run a speaker wire from each to the speaker itself, and make sure to connect positive to positive and negative to negative (red to red and black to black). Your speaker wire will have a stripe on one of the conductors, be sure the striped wire is on the same color at each end. Do the same for the other speaker, and plug everything into the wall.

Audio inputs

Next, grab your phone and make sure Bluetooth is on. Follow the pairing instructions that came with your adapter. Next, turn the volume down on your amp and try it!

Take a few minutes to set the tone controls to your liking and ramp up the volume to enjoy your new Hi-Fi audio streaming system!

Extra bonus protip round

Chromecast who?

If you have an A/V receiver already hooked up with the right speaker setup (2.1 channel audio for life!), your Bluetooth adapter beats the pants off of a Chromecast. No more wishing your favorite app had Chromecast support, because you can send the audio out from anything on your phone to the best speakers in your house. It's the best way I can think of to make your dog howl or keep your neighbors up at night.

Jam on!

 

Reader comments

How to build your own Bluetooth streaming home audio system

99 Comments

It's totally worth taking on; I did it about a year ago with the Lapai and a pair of passive Daytons. I can't believe I never thought to just hook up my Bluetooth adapter to my A/V receiver! Then I won't have to walk my lazy ass to the mini amp to change the volume! What a dummy I am! Thanks from me, too, Jerry.

I've been running with a BlackBerry Bluetooth Gateway on my home receiver for years! AV hooked up to Video 3, Channel B running outdoor all weather speakers outside on patio! Everyone uses that thing in my house! Parties are a blast, guest even hook up to it!

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That's the best thing I've ever used! Connected to my phone by NFC and used it all over the house and now it's in the car. It even connects automatically like bluetooth should. Fancy feature for cheap and I don't have to buy a new car with that feature! I wish more people knew about this thing...

It's not even really a project per se, these are like standard issue audio components that anyone with a decent hifi stereo or home theater (i.e. not a low end pre packaged HT in a box) will have handled... The components that Jerry selected are abfor as good as you can do for $150 too, so if you just wanna jump in I wouldn't even bother with any further research.

Those Pioneer speakers by Andrew Jones are renowned as one of the best entry level values out there, the Lepai amp is the cheapest little T-amp of it's kind with a proven track record. I've used both myself, as well as a different Logitech BT adapter. Those speakers, as well as their larger siblings (the BS42) go on sale all the freaking time too, not hard to catch them for a good price.

I built my parent's home theater with the same speakers... In my room I use a pair of Infinity Primus largely because the front firing bass port means I can place them closer to the wall. These are all big speakers, which I'm sure is a negative to some but they blow the grills off any little $200 BT speaker box.

The other nice thing about this kinda setup is the flexibility... If you decide to move you can expand and go 5.1, if you want better speakers later you can use these as rear channels, you can use the amp down the line with other stuff, if anything breaks it's much easier to repair/replace one part, etc etc.

Actually, this may be a perfect 'project' for outdoor sound system!

Think about it:
You want a decent sound system outside on the deck, by the pool, around the firepit... You might have a great sound system inside the house, but, don't feel like running wires up, down, and around the infrastructure of your domicile - this is perfect! A little amplifier, bluetooth with some marine or indoor/outdoor speakers? This is perfect solution!

Thanks, Jerry!

I did something similar to this in my Polaris RZR's in roof stereo system. Just used a Cobra Bluetooth receiver and plugged it into the audio input Jack. Now I can stream or play from my music file on my Nexus 5 while using Back Country Navigator's topographical, satellite images ect to guide me to my destination.
My iFanboy friends never had a clue all of this could be done from an Android phone.
I don't like 1 pony show gadgets that clutter. This set up is extremely clean looking.

Opinions of this user may be biased due to being one of those Nexus people.

Those Andrew Jones speakers are really nice, I have the complete 5.1 package for my home theater. I cringed at the thought of you ripping them apart lol.

I've got the FS full size version of those speakers and they are amazing for the price. My only issue with using bluetooth to stream is the very short range. I can walk more than a few feet away before it starts cutting out. Wishing there was a way to use a chromecast to stream any audio over wifi.

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I get "normal" range with the Logitech, but normal is still only 30-40 feet :(

If you can come across an old receiver at a pawn shop or yard sale (I picked up an old Sherwood with turntable inputs for $10 last year, but it disappeared with one of the kids lol) you can use the chromecast with great results.

Hmm never would have thought to use old tech like that with new tech such as the Chromecast. That would be a worthy article idea/category. Merging old tech with new so we can bring new life into seemingly obsolete electronics.

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There's some newer BT (4.0?) adapters that claim better range but I haven't tried them, I mostly use BT in my bedroom, car, or at small get-togethers so I don't need to walk away farther than BT2.1/3.0 allows.

I just set up an outdoor a/v setup at my brother's house that the audio is similar to what Jerry has outlined. He wanted a long range bluetooth solution so we went with a moto stream.Great range and it looks pretty good. Twice as expensive but does the job.

Are you me? Lol

I set up an outdoor stereo just last week with a moto stream. Good range and sound quality.

I looked into a bookshelf amp, but ended up picking up a Technics amp for $30 off Craigslist instead. It and the moto are in the garage, and a pair of Yamaha outdoor speakers ($60) are outside. It actually sounds pretty good, especially given the poor acoustic properties of a back yard.

Next step is figuring out how to run wires inside, so that the same music is playing outside and inside (probably not worth the hassle, but I'm a sucker for little details like that).

Ha, I have my moto stream and speakers, just waiting for an amp to set up my back yard system.

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I use bubbleupnp to chromecast all my music and videos. You can use your phone as the media server or install another server on your pc. It is great.

They really are an amazing value, not the prettiest and certainly not the smallest, but if the sound is your primary concern they're very very hard to beat for the money. A minimum amount of research will tell anyone the same thing, super easy to recommend.

Move up a little and you might get tons of debate, at $150-200 per pair there's a few other worthy choices from Polk, Infinity, etc... I often like to mention Infinity's Primus line in particular because if you wanna put them right up against a wall their front firing bass port makes them a better choice than most.

The Pioneer set is just a great value tho, and goes on sale every other month, and has been around for a couple years.

Bubbleupnp with the Bubbleupnp Xposed module can stream to Chromecast from any Android app. You need root.

Yup. I'm into my third summer with this as my screen porch system. Midway through the first summer, I dumped the bluetooth and plugged directly into an unused phone (currently a Gnex) on wifi. Terrific with Prime music.
One difference: using the 41's from Andrew's first offering. The Lepais ARE the best in category.
2.1 channel audio for life!

I had been procrastinating on completing this same exact project for a few months. Only difference is that I planned on using the Micca MB42x speakers. They have great reviews on Amazon and only cost $79. There is also a $50 model that are also more than worthy of recognition. Apparently these speakers rival others that are much more expensive.

Here's the link if anyone is interested
http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00E7H8GG2/ref=s9_simh_gw_d0_g23_i3?pf_rd_...

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Those Micca MB42X speakers are really nice.

The Club model from Micca is also very nice if you need something a bit smaller, but IMO they need at least 20watts input. Less, and they just don't sound "right".

I bought the Logitech Bluetooth adaptor about 3 years ago & just plugged the audio output directly into my home receiver. Awesome sound from any BT capable device. Something like this project would be great for my garage though. I really wish someone would bring back a good quality boom box like the ones from the eighties. Big cabinet, big speakers, and big sound but with modern internals and Bluetooth capability. For me that would be ideal.

Posted via a beautiful Ebony backed Moto X on Verizon or the amazing Nexus 10 using the Android Central App

"I really wish someone would bring back a good quality boom box like the ones from the eighties. Big cabinet, big speakers, and big sound but with modern internals and Bluetooth capability. For me that would be ideal."

Look into the jobsite radios from Milwaukee, DeWalt, Makita, etc. The larger ones can be a little spendy, but they're very rugged, very loud, and can be run off rechargeable power tool batteries if you want to walk it around, ghetto-blaster style.

Nice write up. I've been looking for a small Bluetooth speaker set for the kitchen but haven't been all that impressed with what I'd seen. I might need to just build my own.

I know what I'm doing next! I have the receiver already so just need the BT adapters and these two suggestions fit the bill.

I've been rolling like this for a few months, too. Exact same amp, different BT receiver, and some old killer Pioneer floor speakers that shake the whole block,...

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Klipsch promedia on craigslist, bluetooth dongle and done. These have nice sound and you can probably find them for a good price as people retire their destops and don't think of the ease of adding bluetooth

The Promedias aren't even remotely in the same league as what Jerry recommended... They're decent PC speakers, and you'll probably get more bass cause of the sub, but that's about the only thing going for them. There's no replacement for some nice big 4-6" mid woofers in the audio world.

Can i use this for any sound output... ie phone calls, ytube, showbox,movies basically all sounds?......

moved from nexus 5 to HTCm8

If you wanna use it for calls you might wanna look into a Bluetooth adapter that has a microphone, something like the Sony MW600...

Did this last year using the HomeSpot NFC-Enabled Bluetooth Audio Receiver attached to my HiFi system. Works as expected, but BT doesn't offer the fidelity I was expecting. Need to try a BT receiver that supports apt-X.

It's definitely worth paying extra for AptX.
These days it's maybe 50 to 70 for a Bluetooth receiver that supports it, over 25 to 35 for one which doesn't

Bluetooth cannot stream the whole audio band so it produces poorer audio quality. There's a technology called APTX that contains a codec used in movie theatres and live concerts that enables streaming of the entire audio spectrum at CD quality. There are Bluetooth APT-X receivers that you connect to your amplifier. It requires that your phone can transmit APTX, which select phones and tablets from Samsung and HTC do. There's a website for APTX, telling the background and history here:http://www.aptx.com/

I was going to ask why there was no mention of getting an Apt-X bt dongle. Seems to be a bit of an oversight if the argument is to build a "better than average" speaker setup.

Would be nice to see an article covering options for "audiophile" music streaming to some real speakers. Why no app to support high quality streaming of high res FLAC files on chromecast?

Yeah, read that site more carefully, there's actually multiple types of Apt-X and the one used in phones isn't the lossless type used in other applications. I'd used apt-X adapters with a setup like this as well as my car stereo and I haven't been impressed, I could never tell it apart from regular BT in a blind test (tried). BT does introduce extra compression, but the BT codecs and bitrates sent out by mobile devices these days is better than it was just a few years ago.

I use an Avantree hands free Bluetooth widget in my car which has AptX, I can definitely tell the difference over the A2DP unit I used before. It's even noticeable on poor quality material (mp3 artifacts) where the A2DP codec gets upset by those artifacts.

Those lepai amps cannot be beat for the money! I have the previous version of those pioneer speakers and they sound fantastic too. I did give up on bluetooth everywhere except the car though since I just don't trust the sound quality...

Ehh, if you're getting better speakers and it's gonna be your main system for critical listening I'd agree, I'd try to get an old AVR with a Chromecast or something... But for a garage/low end/background music system it's indistinguishable.

Right now, I have a Blackberry Bluetooth gateway connected to a JVC receiver and Polk Audio speakers. I've been looking for away to get rid of the receiver and the the table it sits on and this is it. The bookshelf amp was the piece I needed - thanks, Jerry!

Good article, there's nothing particular special or new here for anyone that's done some research into better sound systems in the past, but all the components are still really good recommendations and exactly what I'd suggest for the money.

A lot of people out there have actually never been exposed to a system this good (or at least they don't hear one this good very often)... It'll blow away many cheap HTIB setups, BT speaker boxes, etc.

I get a kick every time someone in the PC gaming forums I frequent upgrades from a PC 2.1 system with tiny satellites to something like this, they pretty much never regret it and always ask why they didn't do it sooner.

Those little t-amps are often underrated, when you pay 10x more for an entry level AVR you're paying for all sorts of extra features: video/HDMI inputs/output, Dolby 5.1 decoding AND licensing (that stuff isn't free to implement), automatic config with a mic, etc...

The one thing you're not necessarily paying for is better SQ. There ARE some slightly better T-amps but it's not like night and day, there's also some decent class A desktop 2.0/2.1 amps out there (that WILL sound better than a similarly priced AVR), but they'll cost you 10x too.

In the same vein as this, you can make any pair of headphones a semi wireless pair by simply plugging them into a BT adapter/receiver. Adapters like the Sony MW600 even have a display for track/artist info, playback controls, and a mic for call functionality.

If you have headphones with a removable cable you can just buy a short 1-3ft cable and clip said adapter to your shirt collar or sleeve. I do this all the time with my V-Moda M80 or even my IEM... The IEM's cable still dangles to pocket (where I tuck the adapter) but it frees up my phone/tablet.

I'll often play music from the tablet in my bag in this way while traveling to preserve the phone's battery.

I'm looking at doing this for my Roland drums. Would be nice to eliminate some wires when hooking up to the surround sound. Thanks for the post.

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Thx Jerry! Which if the two: Bluetooth 3.0 (higher or lower) & A2DP audio streaming affects sound quality, range, and stability? I've been looking to add BT to a 10+ old yamaha setup

No description of differences between the standard Bluetooth A2DP, the apt-X and the apt-X Lossless streams... Those three are different from each other...

Does any mobile device actually use Apt-X lossless? That'd be news to me, tho it's often a pain to even determine if Apt-X is in use...

A year ago I build my wireless system with this lepai amplifier (amazing perfomance), sony mw600 and sony speakers. Fantastic sound in a 150 uss investment.

I've had the MW600 for a few years, really love that thing, track/artist info on it's screen didn't work with my previous phones but it works perfectly with the Nexus 5 (BT profile/stack issue on older phones). I've got one or two other BT adapters, and I've returned one or two more, but the Sony's the one I use the most.

The Logitech one Jerry recommended (or something with longer range) might be better for permanent use with speakers tho, since it's simpler/cheaper and always on when plugged in... Using one that auto sleeps turns into a drag for a static setup. (I forget if the Sony does)

The MW600's (or one of Sony's newer versions') display is probably not very visible from a distance anyway, tho the mic might be usable... Can't say I've ever tried speaking into it from afar. The controls could be useful either way, specially if you're setting it to stream from a PC rather than a phone.

Nice write up. Concerning Bluetooth and aptx, I know Outlaw has a decently priced model with some nice features like NFC.
http://www.outlawaudio.com/products/btr100.html

I have original plastic T amp, and those had battery support, so it could be used in the go.

I do recommend checking out larger woofer speakers if size permits. I had Roland monitors with 4 inch low end and it wasn't too good, then two way Klipsch KSB 1.1 for a long time with 5.25" drivers. Then moved to 6.5 inch woofer Polks. A very good improvement in bass going to 6+ inch. I've used 8 inch KRK monitors and 6 inch is good.

Nice. I'll order one and give it a spin.

The few aptX dongles I have tried didn't offer very much improvement, and we're too expensive for the little difference they did give.

I did this a couple years back on my A/V receiver that powers my room to room sound in the house. Works awesome. No regrets.

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Im starting a bathroom remodel and im going to put the amp and bluetooth adapter in the vanity and do a set of ceiling speaker..
Thanks!

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Great write up. The Lepai amp has some great reviews on Amazon, and they're cheap. There are some that cost a little more that have an FM radio, remote, and ?? bluetooth, I think.

I have some of those old early 2000 iMac Harman Kardon round speakers that I've been thinking of repurposing.

Jerry
Have you thought about trying to use a wifi router and the magicplay app to compare the sound?
It might be an even cheaper option if a person(like me) has an extra wifi router sitting around.

Hey Jerry, Can you comment on the range with those bt adaptors? I have an old crappy one now. I think its bt 2.0 and it is lucky to go 10 feet if there is a wall or person in its path. I may have to upgrade to one of the ones your suggesting or pony up a few more the Motorola one.

I would love one that just breaks all kinds of FCC rules and lets me walk all around my house and yard with my phone in my pocket and a strong connection. But that is where chromecast is Superior. Once you start playing music your phone is free.

Hi, great article, I was also going to implement this with my little setup :)

You could also suggest the newly released Motorola Stream which incorporates NFC and looks nice.

However, "very best audio possible" and "streaming over Bluetooth" can't be in the same sentence due to Bluetooth limitations.

If you seek Lossless quality (or even lossy 320Kbps) there are hardly any wireless technology available (especially for lossless). Kleer could be a solution but unfortunately not widely available.

You can go one step simpler and use a blue tooth adapter and a set of good computer speakers. The amp and volume controls all in one right package. I've been salvaging old sets of computer speakers from around my basement and connecting them to adapters for instant customized streaming stations in the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms, etc. Best one is an old Cambridge audio system with 4 speakers setup in my kitchen. Even set up some creative labs splash proof speakers and integrated them into my bathroom.

Just a heads up, the additional BT connector is no longer needed with Screen Casting now available :)

Although, this ties up your TV, if what you wanted to do was jam out to tunes while gaming while the TVs muted or something.

Cal Naughton, Jr.: Hey, when you have the stereo and TV on, how do you change the volume on the stereo?
Ricky Bobby: "If you have the stereo on..." Why do you have the stereo on while you're watching TV?
Cal Naughton, Jr.: 'Cause I like to party.

Nice write-up Jerry.

I've got my own little BlueTooth setup in my goalie mask. I wanted to listen to the NHL playoffs a few years back while I was playing. The range/signal is a little bit of an issue depending on which rink I'm playing at. I'll have to look and see if I have any pix of my setup laying around.....

I have an N5 and a G watch. This is my first experience with bluetooth.

If i had the audio equipment in the article above, would i be able to maintain the connection between my phone and g watch while sending music to the bluetooth audio adapter or would I need to unpair my phone and watch, then pair my phone with the bluetooth audio adapter? Thanks.

I popped over to the bluetooth site for research and it looks like I can maintain the connection between my phone and watch while also sending info to the BT audio adapter, but I just wanted to make sure.

It will work fine, some dedicated BT devices sometimes dont allow multiple connections (like a headset or speaker), but phones themselves can almost always connect to multiple devices without issue. You can even connect to a BT receiver like the Logitech one suggested AND a BT headset at the same time and have both remain functional (just gotta go into settings and deselect media playback from the headset probably). The watch wont interfere at all with anything.

Thanks was going to post a comment asking for suggestions for an NFC enabled BT adapter. This one looks good.

I am asking because I want to learn.

Why would someone want NFC in their audio adapter? Wouldn't the device sending the info to the adapter have to essentially be touching it the entire time? I have a printer with NFC and I have to touch my phone to the printer for it to accept the print job. Thanks

NFC should just be used to establish the BT connection. This way guests can simply tap and play without having to enter the settings to find the devise and enter passcode etc.

if u use bigger speakers, can u get better bass than sonos. i have a sonos and am disappointed with the bass, even with the subwoofer.

Another interesting idea might be to attach a Rocki Play (http://www.amazon.com/ROCKI-PLAY-Plug--Streaming-Speakers/dp/B00K6KYC2Q/...) to the amp rather than the BT adapter. Admittedly it is an extra 30 bucks but I think the real value could well come from having a few of these systems. It works by connecting over your WiFi like Chromecast, so you could actually create say three or four of the systems Jerry has outlined, connect them all to a Rocki Play on the same WiFi network and when you stream your music to it, it'll actually play through all the speakers with a Rocki Play on the same WiFi network. I see this as being a far cheaper way of having many of the benefits of a Sonos-style system at a fraction of the price.

My setup: Nexus 7 (2012) tablet with pogo dock, Polk Audio T15 speakers, gracedigital 100w bluetooth amp. Works like a charm, and only use bluetooth in a pinch thanks to the audio out on the pogo dock.

I got the lapai amp and a danibo Bluetooth receiver. It supports nfc and as a bonus, it has a rechargeable battery. I picked up an old klh bookshelf speaker from goodwill for $7. Stripped it down, painted it, threw on some rubber feet and screwed the lapai on the side. I bridged the channels on the amp for some extra oomph. Sounds great and I spent only $48 total! Thanks Jerry!

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Great article, but in my opinion a poor choice of components. I spent some considerable time testing various chip amp based amplifiers and speak combos to build a portable system (the article doesn't mention that most of these little amps are 12V so perfect for boombox projects). I ended up with a SMSL amplifier. Those lepai one's are cheaper but junk and for a few $ more you can get something which is sonically pretty reasonable. I bought a set of dual concentric style kef bookshelf speakers for my system. While impedance is important in this sort of setup, speaker sensitivity is what you'll find limits volume. These little amps have 6-8w per channel at best, so need speakers that are easy to drive.

One final consideration is that the output gain on those bluetooth devices is low, so again a factor for volume. I had intended on integrating bluetooth into my box, but so far I've not found anything which performs as well as a direct cable connection.

Kick ass blog. Cheers! Have built a system now and love it. But, wonder if I'm overloading my little Amphony amp. I noticed a slight fizzing noise and strong burning component smell coming from the Amphony unit today. I immediately unplugged it.

Setup:
Amphony Bluetooth amp (2x 40w RMS)
to 4 way speaker switch (left and right pos/neg in and 4 sets of left/right pos/neg out)
to 4 speakers (small ones together, large on separate channels as in different rooms)

Speakers:
2x Pye 100w mini cubes (8 ohms impedance, part pcb3bk)
2x wharfdale Linton 2 speakers (old wooden boxes, recommend 10-100 amps, 6 ohm impedance)

I wonder if it has been overloaded but only one speaker was switched on and no music had been played for several hours when I discovered it.

We almost never have all 4 speakers on (they are in different rooms).

I wonder if I should purchase a lempai amp to pre amp between the amphony and the speakers?

The sound has been perfect so I gave had no reason to think anything was wrong until this moment.

Any tips would be awesome!