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Wifi speakers project?

Discussion in 'Radio and Wireless' started by awparker85, Jun 14, 2011.

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  1. awparker85


    Jun 14, 2011
    I know this is a bit ambitious, but I am trying to build a project as a potential prototype for some further work and I'm not sure how best to start.

    I am looking to put it together, but I personally don't know a great deal about the nuanced technical aspects of the project. I am willing to work with someone else, but don't know where best to begin.

    If the only input for the speaker is wifi, how minimal could the speaker system be? I am looking for it to include a wall jack so it could be plugged in to the wall for power. So really, the 3 main parts would be the speaker, wall plug for power and wifi receiver along with any parts needed to handle the minimal amount of software to work between those.

    For this sort of thing, are there certain certifications or types of specialists I should involve who might know more? I'm sorry if this isn't the best venue for this, but any guidance or words of wisdom would be hugely appreciated. If there is a better place to ask this sort of question, I'm happy to reach out elsewhere as well.

  2. poor mystic

    poor mystic

    Apr 8, 2011
    in my opinion the first thing you need to decide is the work that the system must accomplish. Wi-fi speakers might be used by Drum&Bass fiends (!!) or by those listening to the cricket, whose requirements will be quite different.
    Having made your decisions about the required sound level and bandwidth you can go on to determine the power requirements and overall quality of the amplifier and speakers. This will in turn tell you how much it'll cost, whereupon you'll quite possibly re-iterate the whole process.
    I think that there are lots of people here who can give you valuable input into this kind of project but the golden rule is to shop around! It may be (I haven't looked) that there are fora for designers, just as there are many fora for electronics people at all levels.
    One of the most valuable resources in making new designs is equipment already on the market. You can analyse the commercially available gear and see what would satisfy you as well as get an idea of how much the Chinese are selling it for. Whoo! That'll be a bad shock!
  3. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    If, when you say "wifi", you mean 802.11, then you (at a minimum) will need an implementation of the protocol stack, and some method of delivering the audio over an IP stream. You'll need to be able to set IP addresses, channels, passwords (for secure networks), choose access points, etc. On the PC end you would need some sort of driver that was capable of interfacing to the network to packetise the sound and send it out.

    If you actually mean bluetooth, then it's easier. Bluetooth devices can act as audio devices, and the selection of what you're connecting to is easier (because it's typically very short range). You'll still need some sort of driver on the PC unless you can get an off-the-shelf bluetooth audio dongle to incorporate into your design. If you're making your own bluetooth device you'll have a some of the challenges listed above, but in a somewhat reduced form.

    If, by wifi you mean a dedicated wireless link of your own design, then all you need is to connect your sound outputs to a suitable transmitter (power, bandwidth, frequency, etc., to be determined) and have a matching receiver at the other end.
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