Use portable bluetooth speakers as surround speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-22-2013, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a problem with setting up surround speakers in my living room. Using wires to an AV receiver is difficult as I have to go past a window area and a hall door area.
Between the surround left and right, there is the hall door. So using wireless surround speakers with one wireless receiver is difficult, as I still have to wire across the hall door area..
Then there is the KEF wireless rear speaker kit which has 2 receivers. Unfortunately, in the corner where the left surround has to be placed, I have no power outlet to power the KEF receiver/amplifier.

I have been searching for solutions. Soundbar is an alternative, but a good soundbar is expensive, and I read not a true alternative for true surround.

So I got the following idea: to use portable Bluetooth speakers which are battery driven and use a bluetooth transmitter connected to the AV receiver.
The portable speakers are battery powered, so I am not depending on a power outlet. There seem to be some good sounding speakers from Bose and Jambox.
Mostly, I listen to CD's and look at TV with programs fed by STB, and then I just would use wired front speakers. Occasionally, I would see a bluray movie, and then I would use the rear Bluetooth surround.

This is just an idea. Please comment if it would work, and how good it would work.
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-22-2013, 03:02 AM
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Battery powered? I wouldn't do that.. I bet the fronts will outpower the backs in such a way that you wouldn't hear any surround effects. Not to speak the cost..

If you really can't wire the surrounds, then just forget about them all together and enjoy a 3.1 or even 3.2 setup. Invest that money into a better front stage and I'm sure you'll enjoy movies too. Surrounds is a nice addition, but you can enjoy movies too without them, don't worry.
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-22-2013, 12:25 AM
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I agree with PatrickVogeli. It would be better than you invest in a full set up or purchase bluetooth speakers that could give you what you need. I think you can check out the Jawbone JAMBOX. It's small but sound levels are great.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-23-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboman123 View Post

I have a problem with setting up surround speakers in my living room. Using wires to an AV receiver is difficult as I have to go past a window area and a hall door area.

I'm guessing that running wires through your walls or around obstacles is totally out of the question, right?
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Originally Posted by turboman123 View Post

Between the surround left and right, there is the hall door. So using wireless surround speakers with one wireless receiver is difficult, as I still have to wire across the hall door area..
Then there is the KEF wireless rear speaker kit which has 2 receivers. Unfortunately, in the corner where the left surround has to be placed, I have no power outlet to power the KEF receiver/amplifier.

You could try these plus any speakers of your choice:
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-382
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=300-384

Note that some folks have had reception issues, but it will probably work alright over a short distance with a clear line of sight. You could power the transmitter and one receiver/amp from outlets, and the other receiver/amp with batteries. In your case, you would use only the left speaker output on one receiver and only the right speaker output on the other receiver, of course. Unfortunately, these receivers cannot be bridged for higher output capability on a single channel, but they may still suffice.
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Originally Posted by turboman123 View Post

I have been searching for solutions. Soundbar is an alternative, but a good soundbar is expensive, and I read not a true alternative for true surround.

The most sophisticated (and rather pricey) soundbars use crosstalk cancellation or even dedicated drivers in a phased array to direct sound (like modern radars do radio waves) from the surround channels toward the side walls to get strong and well separated reflections, but none of these effects really sound like having actual surround speakers. The more affordable soundbars either create a virtual surround effect that is even worse or don't bother trying to simulate surround channels at all (really just replacements for the extremely poor speakers built into thin flat-panel TVs these days).
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Originally Posted by turboman123 View Post

So I got the following idea: to use portable Bluetooth speakers which are battery driven and use a bluetooth transmitter connected to the AV receiver.
The portable speakers are battery powered, so I am not depending on a power outlet. There seem to be some good sounding speakers from Bose and Jambox.
Mostly, I listen to CD's and look at TV with programs fed by STB, and then I just would use wired front speakers. Occasionally, I would see a bluray movie, and then I would use the rear Bluetooth surround.

Aside from the small size and limited output capabilities of such speakers, you wouldn't be getting an authentic substitute for surround speakers, which should literally surround you on both sides. Personally, I'd rather just live with a 3.1 system than put up with something that sounds wrong, although that wouldn't stop me from trying to do better. It seems that your best bet for true surround sound, barring difficult or more complicated solutions such as running wires through your walls or rigging a large battery and inverter for one corner of your room to power wireless receivers and amps, is the equipment that I listed above, as far as I know.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-05-2013, 12:00 AM
 
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It could be possible i think. there are different type of bluetooth speakers and i think you can use it as surround speakers. Try this Jawbone JAMBOX . Its one of the best bluetooth speakers.
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-29-2014, 02:05 PM
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I've got the same idea as Turboman123. I have bluetooth speakers built into my theater seats. And It would be great if there was a way to channel one 5.1 signal to two different sound cards. Wired Front,Center and Sub but bluetooth rear built right in the theater sofa is what I'm trying to accomplish .

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-29-2014, 04:59 AM
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Sorry for the thread hijack.

Has this come on recently? I want to be able to pair portable bluetooth speakers with my AVR for very occasional garden use.

My AVR has Zone 2 output (RCA), so I thought:

L/R RCA out from AVR to L/R RCA in on bluetooth transmitter, then pair 1 or more bluetooth speakers with the transmitter. I can not find any bluetooth devices like this; they all have RCA outputs which go to AVR inputs (so the reverse of what I want), allowing you to stream music from a mobile/tablet, which is not what I want!

Thanks
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post #8 of 8 Old Today, 08:35 AM
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Realize this an old thread but I am very happy with my solution and believe it can be tweaked to fit several applications. It is obviously cut and paste from my earlier review.

This long review sets out how I used two bluetooth v4.1 transmitter/receivers with two 3.5mm bluetooth v4.2 audio receiver adapters (4 units total) to get truly wireless sound so I go into specifics of all the components I used. It is really long because I plan on re-posting this in several forums as far as I know no one has done this. Throughout the review I have used the long product names so that you can actually find what I used.

In terms of the trond products they are great the key to my solution was aptx ll (which is why you need both a transmitter and receiver). I have the units about 20 feet apart and I get a clear signal and the latency is extremely low/NOT NOTICEABLE especially when paired with corrected receiver settings (more details below). You can run two complete setups (4 units total) with no interference. Pairing is excellent and I have had no dropouts. I couldn't be happier and trond support while not knowing if my solution would work were honest in letting me know they had no idea if my solution would work.

My detailed setup (with tax this solution was over $700 Canadian ($130 trond units/$520 speakers/$55 powerbanks/$40 speaker stands/$20 connectors) so definitely not cheap but truly wireless ZERO WIRES and the 5.1 field is very impressive),

YOU NEED TWO OF EVERYTHING! (this is just the one channel- you would need the exact same stuff for the other surround sound channel)

Marantz receiver (not included in the cost obviously) pre out (if you don't have preouts on your receiver you could possibly use a line out converter- something I thought of while working this solution).

I am running the line out to a FosPower Y adapter 1 RCA (Male) to 2 RCA (Female) Stereo Audio Adapter Cable ($10ish dollars)- you need this cable to run out the mono out and split it so it can connect the RCA to stereo cable included with the trond (it also amplifies the pre-out signal 4db at the line level which is key because it allows your rear speakers to play significantly louder).

You then connect those cables to the trond transmitter that you have paired to the trond receiver. I just followed the pairing instructions included with the trond units but I would suggest taking the units away from all other Bluetooth sources including turning off the Bluetooth on your phone. Once they are initially paired they stay paired and I had no issues with interference/switching sources.

At the front end I have the trond receivers plugged into usb wall plugs (so I guess I do have wires but you need to run your receiver off of something- if you needed to you could use a powerbank like I do for the rear speakers). You will want to use wall plugs or a powerbank as when plugged into a computer usb outlet I did pick up some hum.

At the rear end I have the trond receiver plugged into a Bose soundlink mini ii via aux (why I chose the bose it is at the end of the review) and plugged into a 20,000 mah aukey powerbank (I choose it because it was cheap and a good form factor so really any high capacity powerbank will do). I have them mounted on Boost industries WB-1134 ultra grip clamping speaker wall brackets (I chose these because they looked like they would work and were cheap- I highly recommend them, the build quality is great and they are half the price of others- but if something else looks good go for them).

Receiver settings- most receivers will let you set speaker distances my marantz has my fronts set at 14 feet away (because they are) but I set the rears to 34 feet away (when they are actually only 9 feet away- I am limited by my receiver to the channels only having 20 feet of distance between them). By setting the rears 25 feet farther away my receiver processes the rear channels approximately 21 milliseconds faster than the signal actually needs to be. As aptx ll delay is 40ms I have been able to reduce the overall delay to 20ish ms (1 second equals 1,000 ms). As films are 24 FPS you are seeing a frame every 41 ms as a result obviously there is zero noticeable delay as my rear audio is HALF a frame late. I would suggest you check your receiver settings to see what you can specifically do with it.

Balancing sound- I have Golden Ear 3d array X for my LCR speakers, I am running the Bose speakers 13DB higher to achieve balanced sound (confirmed through phone DB meter). I have no problems achieving balanced sound up to 85DB with the rears configured like this- although that was just for a brief period of testing as I watch my movies generally around 70DB when I want full blown sound.

Bose soundlink mini ii- I thought there would be lots of speaker options but it turns out there were few that met my criteria which you will want to keep in mind.
1. Play loud enough without distortion
2. Can be charged via USB- this is key to having a truly wireless system
3. Are a traditional front firing speaker (lots of the portable speaker options are designed to produce a 360 degree sound field.
4. Don't have an auto off feature (or is the case with the bose the auto off can be turned off).

In terms of battery life- the trond units use very little/negligible power compared to the wireless speaker. I honestly need to do WAY more testing before giving an accurate time estimate on the bose speakers but I can say that they sip power when on but not playing a signal (I have the tronds on ready to work and the bose on but just the receiver off and obviously not using power). So far the figures I am getting is that I can have the bose powered on for the whole week and watch roughly 40 hours of tv/movies before the aukey and bose is drained. Changing the battery once a week is a small price to pay for 5.1 PLEASE TAKE THESE ESTIMATES WITH A HUGE GRAIN OF SALT as I do need to test further. I will say based on what I have been seeing these are conservative estimates.

Yes this solution is expensive. If you can run wires obviously do it- you would have way better speaker options and no battery packs so it is 100% better option. If you can run power plugs to your rear speakers and your only issue is not wiring speaker cable, you once again have a ton more options with several of the speaker companies offering "wireless" options. Although I would consider the trond solution even in that scenario since it only cost me $130 for the transmitters/receivers and you could just plug them into any powered speaker that has an aux in.



Will update with long term thoughts.
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