Wifi volume wall plates? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 12-03-2011, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone run across a wifi volume control embedded in a wall plate? Would like to control whole house audio per room with iPhone. Everything wired but did not run IP cabling to volume plates, just speaker cabling.
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post #2 of 17 Old 12-03-2011, 12:34 PM
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uh? what? u say iPhone (wireless) then u say a fixed wall control. What is it?
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post #3 of 17 Old 12-03-2011, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Conceptually, wifi control of a room volume via an iPhone app. Their are IP-based solutions but Ethernet wasn't run to each volume control per room. Designing a whole house audio volume control system can get a bit complicated. Currently planning to use an iTach WF2IR box to control an Aton speaker selection router but that takes quite a bit of bouncing between apps (iRule, iTunes for AirPlay) etc.
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-19-2013, 10:33 PM
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It's been 3 years.  Have you stumbled on a wifi wall plate V/C by chance?  I haven't, but have been looking for a few months now.  The technology is certainly available.

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post #5 of 17 Old 11-26-2013, 05:38 AM
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What's wrong with IP control via iPhone etc. of the equipment at the headend vs. at the volume control locations? There are lots of solutions for this that have been around for nearly a decade.
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-26-2013, 07:27 AM
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With any decent automation system in place you can use a dimmer switch and translate dim level to zone power and volume of an amp/receiver with integration capabilities.
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post #7 of 17 Old 12-01-2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by az1324 View Post

With any decent automation system in place you can use a dimmer switch and translate dim level to zone power and volume of an amp/receiver with integration capabilities.

With any decent automation system in place you would have an audio amp/switcher/preamp that does volume over IP for each zone anyway.
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post #8 of 17 Old 12-01-2013, 08:45 AM
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Yes but that's not a physical volume control device.
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post #9 of 17 Old 12-02-2013, 01:36 PM
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A physical volume control device doesn't need power.

Wi-Fi needs power.

You can't pull the power off an amplifier (and the amp may not even be on) to run a Wi-Fi connection to your home... or perhaps the right device could.

I would say that a power switch location can be replaced with another product, such as Insteon or some other power line product and that product could then be interpreted by a control system into a volume control scenario.

On the other hand, I could see a stand-alone company like Russound or someone else making a 'speaker line' volume control unit which would broadcast something back to a proprietary amplifier or pre-amp system.

You could always get a RF remote like the wall mounted KP-900 from Universal Remote, but it comes back to some of the same old issues...

http://www.universalremote.com/product_details.php?id=22&s=residential&c=user_interfaces&p=KP-900

Of course those questions are:
Why do you need a volume control which is Wi-Fi vs. a RF one, or using another interface such as iPhone or similar?

Why limit yourself with volume only when most places need a lot more control?

How do you magically power this device? Your phone needs a charge every day.

What is it going to talk to via Wi-Fi? It would only work as part of a proprietary system at this point I would think.

I've often considered the KP-900 as a nice in-wall solution to getting source and volume control in some of my rooms if I didn't have a control wire in place already.

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post #10 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 02:24 PM
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WIFI speaker volume control

It has been 6 years since the last post in this thread so maybe there is something new because I have the same need. I have a Niles amp powering 8 pairs of in-wall speakers, with each pair having an in-wall manual volume control. I have another room with unused in-wall speakers but no volume control in the room. The wires for these speakers go to the room with the Niles amp and the amp can handle adding the speakers to one of of the speaker pairs already in use. The problem I have is that I cannot control the volume of the additional speakers. I am looking for a volume control functionally the same as the in-wall volume controls with the addition of WIFI and an app. Bluetooth would not have enough range. I could rig up a manual volume control near the amp but would rather not have to walk to the amp to change the volume. Does anyone know of such a WIFI device?
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post #11 of 17 Old 04-15-2019, 03:39 PM
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https://www.amazon.com/Smart-Control.../dp/B01BRL5NZ2

Something like that? (but it's bluetooth)

If it were me, I would sell the Niles, buy a Russound MCA-88 that is a true audio matrix that supports app volume (and selection) for all zones.
Sure, it will run $2K but much more sanno system.
You would tie off the wires in the Niles wall controllers and put a coverplate to replace the volume controls to reuse the speaker wires.
Then you have a modern clean system.
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Last edited by smoothtlk; 04-15-2019 at 04:42 PM.
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post #12 of 17 Old 04-18-2019, 10:17 AM
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I'm looking at this like "What in the world is this post I made???" - Then I looked at the date.

Ah, that makes more sense.

It still holds the same that someone would need to make a speakerline solution to this. I would think they could do it if they wanted to. Something like the MCA-88 but with volume controls that also contain control data in them. When you spin them, it doesn't really adjust the volume with a potentiometer, but by sending a command back to the main controller.

The Bluetooth unit above is convenient, but isn't WHA, it's just one zone. So, you can't play the same thing in a half dozen locations. Kind of defeats the idea. I still think that the concept of using one of the multitudes of centralized 'smart' WHA solutions is much better and just cap off the volume controls. Go entirely to your phone/tablet as the controller.

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post #13 of 17 Old 04-20-2019, 08:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV_Integrated View Post
I'm looking at this like "What in the world is this post I made???" - Then I looked at the date.

Ah, that makes more sense.

It still holds the same that someone would need to make a speakerline solution to this. I would think they could do it if they wanted to. Something like the MCA-88 but with volume controls that also contain control data in them. When you spin them, it doesn't really adjust the volume with a potentiometer, but by sending a command back to the main controller.

The Bluetooth unit above is convenient, but isn't WHA, it's just one zone. So, you can't play the same thing in a half dozen locations. Kind of defeats the idea. I still think that the concept of using one of the multitudes of centralized 'smart' WHA solutions is much better and just cap off the volume controls. Go entirely to your phone/tablet as the controller.
That solution exists...our Controller is also an optional streaming Source. And the volume and Matrix capability is built into the software. The low level outputs can go to a Matrix for blending of non streamed audio sources (like a DirecTV box) or just to a bunch of dumb amps as the outputs.
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post #14 of 17 Old 04-20-2019, 08:44 AM
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The Monoprice whole home amp can power 6 zones and with the addition of the iTach Flex IP/ WiFi to RS232 adapter and the Monoprice Whole Home Audio app on the iOS AppStore you can have WiFi control for around $700. Two additional amps can be added to expand the system to 18 zones if needed.

If the music services provided by the Amazon Echo Dots are sufficient then you could have one Dot plugged in as a source at the amp via the 3.5mm line out and controlled by a second Dot in the zone being powered. Just tell Alexa to increase or lower the volume as needed.


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post #15 of 17 Old 05-13-2019, 02:02 PM
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I've researched this quite a bit in my quest to find out what is the 'modern' way to do whole home audio that isn't Sonos and isn't tied to one expensive specific brand which would likely stop support eventually. I've come to 2 conclusions.

1. Get a 'dumb' 6 zone amplifier like THIS Monoprice amp and put a Google Chromecast, Alexa, or similar device on each zone. With the Chromecast audio (discontinued) you can then setup groups such as 'Whole House' or 'First Floor', etc.. and just say "OK Google, play Spotify on the 1st floor". There are zero physical keypads or volume controls. The big downside is you can't mix and match inputs and zones which is a big part of WHA. So I can't have a TV input that is playing on zone 1&2 and a Chromecast input on 3&4, and bluetooth on 5&6. I originally was going this route, went as far as buying the amp, chromecasts, and ethernet adapters. I switched to route #2 because I wanted the ability to have many different input types and also wanted keypads as well as phone control as I didn't want to always be forced to use my phone. Also, I've found that the Chromecast audios are finicky at times and my phone will lose connection with them which takes a bit of time to reconnect to them.

2. Get THIS Monoprice 6-zone controller and amplifier. Wire up keypads (if you prefer) so then you have full physical control at each zone. To get phone control you can do a quick search on this forum and find out how to use the RS232 serial input to control the amplifier. There is a bit of setup required to make this work, but really isn't too complex if you're somewhat tech savvy. Basically involves buying an RS323 to ethernet adapter, setting up a bit of code from Github on a rasberryPi or some other home server, and purchasing a $5 phone app.
Now if you are really tech savvy, you can learn how that API works and write your own code to control it. The reason to do this is you could then tie it into a central home automation controller such as HomeSeer and build out a custom UI using HS3Touch Designer to control the amplifier from a wall tablet, PC, phone, etc. Could even go as far as buying some Lutron Pico remotes which can be programmed through HomeSeer to control the specific functions of the amplifier and you can mount these in the wall (here's your wireless volume control), on a stand or use as stand-alone controllers. Many options open up if you go down this path, just involves a lot more tinkering.


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post #16 of 17 Old 02-18-2020, 10:37 AM
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This post may help someone think about this..... and maybe stimulate somebody to offer a direction. I can control the volume of any of about 24 speaker pairs using the Chromecast, but not every visitor to the house wants to fumble through fiddly (Google Home) cell phone software to modify the volume levels in a room. Sometimes you just want to go to a wall plate and turn the volume down with an old fashioned dial in the wall. The speaker wires pass near these wall plate locations in my home, but I run too much power for L-pad attenuators (or other attenuators) that operate on the megawatt level that speakers do, and of course I don't want to mess with the sound after the amps are finished creating all those watts. I refuse to believe that in this day and age of IOT that nobody makes a wall plate volume control that wirelessly (through Wifi) connects to a receiver/robot volume control. In my case the volume needs to be changed down in the equipment rooms that lies just before the input stage of the power amplifiers and after the pre-amplifiers. The best that I could come up with at the moment was to buy a bunch of used old android phones that could still run Google Home and load that app and then use the Wakey app to keep the phone's screen on all the time and then open the Google Home chromecast app and leave each phone so that the room in question is loaded in the app, showing that room's volume control and then stick the cell phones to the wall over the wall plate cutouts. I have been testing this and it seems to work OK for the moment, but it seems like periodically the Google Home forgets what room I told it it was in and it reverts to the intimating list of every single room and every single chromecast audio and chromecast video device in the entire house -- a truly nasty interface. Really, I don't want an electronic interface to the volume control at all. If I had my druthers, I would adapt something like the JBL Nano Patch+ passive volume control into a wall plate: amazon product B01I3B0OH6 But of course this doesn't solve the problem of not wanting to run new wires in the wall (and other problems of long line level runs). I see there are plenty of bluetooth volume controls, but bluetooth won't reach through the walls and floor from my wall plates to the place where the power amplifiers intake their inputs from the pre-amps. I don't agree with involving the selection of power amps in this whole thing, so I don't see any reason to buy amplifiers at the same time as all that is needed is a remotely controlled passive attenuation. At Markertech so far I found a wall plate controller for volume and also a line level volume control for 3 channels. This is called RDL D-RC3 Remote Audio Mixing Control for the wall plate, and RDL FP-MX3R Remote Controlled Line Level Mixer down in the equipment room. They make the point that the actual audio signal never has to travel up to the wall plate (horray!). The purpose and features of this combination is fantastic, but unfortunately, this system isn't wireless because the connection between the two devices happens with a RJ-45 twisted pair cable. I really don't see why I should have to tear the walls apart to join these two elements in today's world when wifi should do it. Maybe the next step is to see if some kind of radio sender/receiver can be affixed to the two RJ-45 jacks on either end. This solution is something like $400 at the moment, further limiting the appeal.
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post #17 of 17 Old 02-19-2020, 07:36 AM
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DerekDrew,
When you post, use paragraphs.
Makes the info readable.
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