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Looking for wireless/bluetooth speakers that can be used for multi-channel audio



  • Hello,

    I am looking for a wireless or bluetooth speaker that I can use for a sound installation. The idea is to have several speakers and send different audio channels eg. from Isadora or Ableton Live to each of these speakers, so that I can hear something different on each of the speakers. Do you know of a speaker that is capable of this?

    Thank you very much!

    Best regards,

    mrtz


  • Beta Platinum

    A piece of hardware like a PC or a phone is only pre-installed to send a signal to one other audio device with Bluetooth. Why do you need Bluetooth, why can't you use a USB audiocard and put down some jacks.



  • because I need them to be used without cables, some of them being carried around by performers.



  • Do you need the sounds to be triggered live or can they be prerecorded? i did a performance with 4 Minirigs and 4 iPod Shuffles, pressing play on the Shuffles (with them back to back, one in each hand) at the same time was pretty easy and accurate way to sync up the soundtracks. (I included a minute of silence at the start of each soundtrack to enable the dancers to get into position after syncing)

    Are you on Mac or Win? 

    If they need to be live, then I think there's a way of setting up the OSX sound so that you can send different channels to different devices, but i don't know how many devices you can bluetooth into simultaneously. a workaround would be to have the files playing off of different computers networked together with one control machine.



  • Hi Mrtz,

    I tried to do this for a performance, it never worked more than one channel. And in terms of reliability, bluetooth speakers were not good (audio lags, connection loss..)

    My bet was to use batteries powered speakers plugged into wireless In-Ear monitor systems.

    4 audiocards outputs -> 4 InEar monitors transmitter      =====     4 InEar wireless monitor receivers -> 4 Self Powered Speakers.

    Worked very well, and HF Range was awesome..

    Best

    Philippe



  • @dbini They sould be triggered live. Thanks for your answer!



  • @fifou Dear Philippe, Thanks for your answer! Sounds plausible, although I was hoping for a more "plug-and-play" solution using just small speakers. Anyway, I think I will do a test with in-ear systems, thanks! Which battery powered speakers did you use?


  • Beta Platinum

    @mrtz said:

    idea is to have several speakers and send different audio channels eg. from Isadora or Ableton Live to each of these speakers

    Hi,

    There are super cheap FM transmitters like this 4 channel device . I have a bunch of these that came from a clearance sale with some other gear. I have just tested one and got a signal at approx 30 mtr using a regular battery operated transistor radio. The issue might be how crowded the FM band is where you want to use it and how much other interference that might affect these in your venue. The more you spend the better range and quality you will get with radio transmitter and recievers.

    This one looks like you might get more than 4 channels, of course you will need one for each output channel from your audio interface. 

    I haven't tried these in production, but they are cheap enough for use as a proof of concept before paying out a bigger expense.

    best wishes

    bonemap



  • @bonemap Sounds also interesting, how is the audio quality?


  • Beta Platinum

    @mrtz said:

    how is the audio quality?

    I would not trust the super cheap units to provide a flawless sound quality during production with moving receivers. Although the quality sounded OK in my tests with a handheld portable radio and a 2.1 soundbar with a built in tuner.

    Best wishes

    Bonemap



  • @ Mrtz

    I used some cheap self-powered-amped speakers and little passive speakers too (amped by the internal earphones amplifier of the receiver pocket). It depends on what audio power you need.

    If you need high audio level, I would use self powered-amped ones (JBL Clip 2 by example. They are bluetooth but they have a minijack input too..)

    Sorry, the photo is blurry..

    Best

    Philippe



  • @fifou Thanks a lot, also for the photo! I have a JBL Clip 3 and will try with it.



  • +1 for Philippe's technique. a sound card like the Edirol FA101 has 10 channels out and is plug and play, wired into IEM transmitters will give a stable setup. Those Sennheiser receivers are solid. I'd recommend Minirig for the amp/speakers - they have the best sound quality/loudness/battery life/footprint ratio I have found yet. (Simon McBurney uses this setup during Complicité's The Encounter)