Wireless Audio

    Aug 03 2011 | 11:02 am
    I've just been thinking about something I want to achieve, realising that it's something I've never really dealt with nor heard much about in 7 years of using various pieces of audio equipment. I've used some quite cheap wireless headphones before (with a base station and chargeable headphones) but this was quite a while ago.
    What I'm after is something affordable which allows a listener to move around a space wearing stereo headphones, receiving audio from the output of a computer. They don't have to be wireless headphones if a wireless receiver and a standard set of headphones can be used in conjunction.
    Any recommendations? Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

    • Aug 03 2011 | 12:49 pm
      If you're using regular headphones with a wireless receiver, doesn't that essentially turn them into a pair of wireless headphones?
      What was wrong with the wireless ones you used a while ago, other than the quality (which might be due to the fact that they were cheap) ?
    • Aug 03 2011 | 2:08 pm
      What I mean is that I don't have a wireless receiver either, I'm just looking for any recommendations for hardware that's out there.
      As for the wireless headphones I used before, I've had issues with range, power/charging and noise on all the selectable channels.
      I hope that's clearer :-)
    • Aug 04 2011 | 1:09 pm
      Any takers on this at all? I'd rather go with trusted opinion than the results of a Google search!
    • May 14 2013 | 12:09 am
      i am also looking for a solution for eight or ten independent wireless stereo headphones. because of latency i would prefer radio frequency. bluetooth doesn't seem to be very reliable. or maybe wifi ?
      thanks for any advice
    • May 14 2013 | 12:27 pm
      Take a look at in ear monitoring systems, for instance http://en-de.sennheiser.com/wireless-monitoring-s
      This is professional grade solution.
      I've done a performance with this system (was using 8 simultaneous stereo transmitters and 40+ receivers with standard headphones plugged in through mini jack) http://www.mipro.com.tw/p3_en.html?C1=8&C2=57&C3=&C4=
    • May 14 2013 | 1:58 pm
      nice. thanks a lot for the advice. so you used 8 single transmitting devices ? i am a bit confused how many channels i can transmit with one device like that http://en-de.sennheiser.com/microphone-wireless-transmitter-monitoring-system-sr-2000-iem
      another idea i wonder about is to use android mobiles as streaming devices with a local computer and max and how hard it will be to sync to a video.
    • May 14 2013 | 2:06 pm
      With In Ear Monitoring (IEM) you can transmit up to one stereo channel per transmitter. Of course the device has the capability to select a transmitting RF channel. Since this hardware is often used in PA/Event/Stage/... situations this is a necessity in order to not disturb other users and to be able to make channel arrangements.
      Again, it's not the cheapest option, but very reliable, especially if you want to do multichannel stereo transmitting.
      Streaming wireless: data can grow (too) big very easy...
      There are other, smaller solutions that shouldn't be too difficult to attach to Arduino and others. They use the same RF band as Wi-Fi (around 2.4GHz) but their signal isn't Wi-Fi by standard. Problem with these devices is the range they take and the robustness of the signal which is far less compared to pro IEM hardware. Also they are rarely mini-jack plug and play and have a less wide frequency response...
    • May 14 2013 | 4:17 pm
      There are other, smaller solutions that shouldn’t be too difficult to attach to Arduino and others. They use the same RF band as Wi-Fi (around 2.4GHz) but their signal isn’t Wi-Fi by standard.
      could you name one ? i have no problem working with arduino (actually i would love too because of sensor stuff for orientation etc.) but haven't seen yet a solution of transmitting 8 stereo channels in hifi quality
    • May 14 2013 | 4:47 pm
      do you mean this one ? nRF2401A https://www.sparkfun.com/products/152 looks good but i wonder how to code/decode audio with it btw.: the range should be around 20m
    • May 15 2013 | 2:55 pm
      Senheizer make the best - but they're pricey....
    • May 15 2013 | 4:03 pm
      we used this before: http://www.abacom-tech.com/24GHz-Stereo-Audio-Transmitter-TX-AUDIO-24AE-P93511.aspx (but I see now that this module is obsolete ;-( )
      The module in your link is not for transferring audio but for data...
    • May 15 2013 | 7:44 pm
      thanks for the link - to bad its obsolete i will have a look for something similar
    • May 16 2013 | 4:52 pm
      I have solved this in the past by using bluetooth. As I recall paired bluetooth devices show up in the Audio Status window.
    • May 16 2013 | 5:46 pm
      As I recall paired bluetooth devices show up in the Audio Status window.
      on windows or mac ? i would like to connect ten bluetooth headphones to one computer every headphone has one individual audiostream but all of them are synced to one video do you think this is doable with bluetooth ?
    • May 16 2013 | 6:00 pm
      I seriously doubt Bluetooth will give you ten different channels in a stable. Of course I don't know the wireless distance you want to achieve...
      @Zerox_, is your audiostream mono or stereo? Maybe you should look at the possibility of making a remote controllable (eg Xbee) mp3/wav player and mesh network them...
    • May 16 2013 | 6:15 pm
      preferable stereo but if not possible mono with "(eg Xbee) mp3/wav player" you probably mean something like a waveshield ?
      i am thinking about cheap android mobiles and doing the streaming via wifi if the streaming is to difficult i just stream the raw source audio material (four channels) to all mobiles and do the processing/mixing individually on the mobiles or keep the raw audio material directly on the mobiles
      in didn't expect its so hard to get eight or ten wireless consumer rf headphones with individual frequency channels but they are always limited to three frequencies ;-(
    • May 16 2013 | 9:01 pm
      I was on a Mac. Can't remember the other details.
    • May 16 2013 | 9:06 pm
      for instance the Waveshield, or this one http://ruggedcircuits.com/html/rugged_audio_shield.html
      forget the path of having more than 4 channels with consumer wireless headphones/modules. You won't get there...
    • May 16 2013 | 11:31 pm
      ah. i didn't know there is also a high quality waveshield. thanks.
      what do you think about the android mobile path ? i mean its has an api, it has hifi, sensors for orientation, a headphone out, a via usb chargeable batteries, its small and light. i believe the hardest thing will be syncing the streamed audio on the mobiles to the video from the desktop computer ? setting up 10 stable streams via wifi shouldn't be to hard ? or maybe syncing local files on the mobile to the remote video with a kind of timecode ?
      thanks a lot for all your very helpful replies guy's ;-)
    • May 17 2013 | 5:29 am
      Even with high grade ear monitor systems, you may also need a splitter for more reliability.
    • May 17 2013 | 4:50 pm
    • May 17 2013 | 9:39 pm
      don't underestimate setting up 10 stable streams via Wi-Fi ;-) even if it's just for audio ;-)
      I would follow the path to send timecode data to your devices...but that's just my two cents...