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Wireless adapter for USB DACs

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

 

For a few days I've been exploring the route of wifi enabling my DAC, and I could not find any clear solution. What I need exactly is a dongle that would take any wi-fi signal, like from my Android tablet, and output it through usb connection to the USB input of my DAC.

 

I've read that it is possible to use regular TV signal transmitters connected to coax input but I have some doubts regarding this method.

 

Generally, there are many wifi dongles that connect through USB but they all need some kind of software to be installed, so they will not really work when plugged into a DAC.

 

What I think would be needed is a usb powered wifi dongle running some kind of server, something along the line of this: http://liliputing.com/2012/06/pocket-tv-usb-stick-turns-a-tv-into-an-android-powered-pc.html but dedicated for audio, rather than TV.

 

Is anyone aware of any such product?

 

PS. It seems that Arcam sells wifi dongle for their rDac but I'm not sure if it would work with other DACs, and I was hoping to find something cheaper.

post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Hi there,

For a few days I've been exploring the route of wifi enabling my DAC, and I could not find any clear solution. What I need exactly is a dongle that would take any wi-fi signal, like from my Android tablet, and output it through usb connection to the USB input of my DAC.

What you need doesn't exist. Period. Because USB can't work that way.

So the better alternative is, let's back up a few steps, and ask "what are you trying to accomplish" - because that's going to let people find a solution to your problem, regardless of what buzzwords go into it. smily_headphones1.gif
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

I beg to disagree. Arcam's rWave seems to do just that, only I dont know if its compatible with every USB DAC. Also, the HDMI stick I linked to in the first post is really an interface- less Android wireless server, and it is powered from a USB port which is exactly what I am looking for, only with USB rather than HDMI.

 

Seriously, I can't see why USB can't work that way. Of course, most if not all USB DACs do not provide the power on their ports but that can be easily dealt with.

 

Regarding your alternative, if the idea is somehow unclear to you I am happy to clarify it, though I thought that the first post was quite clear :/

post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Upon further research I've found that rWave is a dongle that plugs into the PC rather rhan DAC...

 

Generally there are some some dongle kits that replace the USB cable, there is even a whole new standard of wireless usb prothocool which has the same versatility as good old wired USB. The only problem is that it works over a different standard of wireless communication than regular 802.11 standard found in routers, smatphones, tablets, etc. and requires dedicated drivers available only for win xp and vista. 

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

To sum it up, I've found two perfectly functional alternatives that will work for both a PC or tablet, be it Android or Apple.

 

The first one is IOGEAR Wireless 4-Port USB Sharing Station GUWIP204, this device simulates USB connection over regular 802.11 standard home network, should work with USB DACs as it is said to support USB speakers as well. The only problem is that I am not sure if that would not somehow collide with accessing internet for devices that connect with a router through 802.11 wifi.

 

The second one is Belkin Bluetooth HD Music Receiver G3A2000, it works over Bluetooth so I guess there would no interference with home network. What is interesting here is that it has coax and toslink s/pdif outputs, making it compatible with most any DAC.

 

If you are into DIY you could integrate any of the two into your DAC for all-in-one-box solution, have fun!

post #6 of 18

Both WiFi and Bluetooth use the same 2.4 GHz band.
Both can cause some interference.

 

Bluetooth bandwidth is limited. The best you can get is 512kb/s for two-channel audio so lossy compression.

 

USB over WiFi probably works but do observe that USB audio is an isochronous stream.
It is a quasi real-time stream so latency is an issue.

 

I do think your original idea is the most promising one.
Take an Android stick/mini PC.
Check if it does support USB audio (only recent Android does)
Try DLNA or a media player like XBMC that runs locally on this platform

 

Success

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR offers 3Mbit/s, at least theoretically. According to wikipedia in practice it is somewhat above 2 Mbit/s, wchich would be almost enough for redbook, or just enough for some flacs.

 

 

The problem with Android sticks is that they are all equipped with HDMI plug rather than USB, although there are multimedia servers running Android 4.1at just that price (see minix on eBay). I'v read about ppl setting up xmbc on such servers and controlling them via smartphones, so if the USB input of a DAC is not bus powered then there shouldn't be any problems I guess.

 

Still, I was hoping for something a tad cheaper and more integrable into one unit (with common power supply and maybe in one enclosure). I need to read up a bit on bluetooth audio, it would be a waste to buy a transport incapable of redbook quality.

 

USB over wifi is very interesting, but I'm not sure if it would work with devices that need specific drivers, like most asynchronous converters, from what I've read it's a hit or miss with anything that is not a regular printer/keyboard/mouse, with USB speakers there are many chips available after all.

 

ould you elaborate on the impact of latency on usb audio playback?

post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaciekN View Post

Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR offers 3Mbit/s, at least theoretically. According to wikipedia in practice it is somewhat above 2 Mbit/s, wchich would be almost enough for redbook, or just enough for some flacs.

 

 

The problem with Android sticks is that they are all equipped with HDMI plug rather than USB, although there are multimedia servers running Android 4.1at just that price (see minix on eBay). I'v read about ppl setting up xmbc on such servers and controlling them via smartphones, so if the USB input of a DAC is not bus powered then there shouldn't be any problems I guess.

 

Still, I was hoping for something a tad cheaper and more integrable into one unit (with common power supply and maybe in one enclosure). I need to read up a bit on bluetooth audio, it would be a waste to buy a transport incapable of redbook quality.

 

USB over wifi is very interesting, but I'm not sure if it would work with devices that need specific drivers, like most asynchronous converters, from what I've read it's a hit or miss with anything that is not a regular printer/keyboard/mouse, with USB speakers there are many chips available after all.

 

ould you elaborate on the impact of latency on usb audio playback?

 

So is bluetooth "not as lossy" as many think?  I have been thinking about picking up that Belkin G3A2000... but the BT lossy format turned me away.

 

thanks

post #9 of 18

2Mbps is more than enough for redbook, redbook is only about 1.4.

post #10 of 18

oops never mind... redbook = CD.

 

found my answer.


Edited by kramer5150 - 3/26/13 at 2:25pm
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

The problem is that sheer bandwidth is one thing and bluetooth sink used to send audio over bluetooth is something totally diffrrent :-\ 

 

Most popular sink A2DC allows for 512 Kbp/s per channel max regardless of the maximum bandwidth.

 

the thng is that individual vendors may use their own prothocools to allow for less compression, whether that's tje case with this Belkin, well, I've e-mailed them with this qiestion so we'll see.

 

Interestingly though I've seen a bluetooth device claiming lossless transmission, it was called Jasmin something, priced around 450$...

 

Edit: redbook = 1.4 Mbp/s per channel, if u want stereo signal you should aim at 2.8 Mbp/s, 2.822 Mbp/s to be exact, but theoretically you need less when usong FLAC.


Edited by MaciekN - 3/26/13 at 3:24pm
post #12 of 18

Hello MaciekN

 

I don't have a reply to your problem, because I have a similar one. I want to connect a USB/SPDIF converter to my PC using a wireless USB link and it seems rather complicated. There was a product made by Cable Unlimited but it has bad reviews and the company does not exist any more.

 If you found a solution i'd be more than glad to hear about it.

 

 Best regards

 

   Tigro11 

post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 

It seems that the only solution would be to run a low power music server with a streming application. USB Audio is also needed so I was thinking of perhaps a Raspberry Pi with an OS that supports this and an app that allows you to manage your music files stored on a network hard drive. A used Samsung Galaxy SIII is also an option since it is one of the few Android devices that work with USB DACs (so devices with built-in USB -> S/PDIF converters). If you want to try a pendrive- sized Android computer then from what I've read its easier to set up whenyour usb/spdif convertger has its own poer supply since usb audio implemented in Android 4.1 is dedicated for things like docking stations, so devices that do not need power from the usb port. Overall, if you your converter requiresw dedicated software then wireless usb hubs (like those linked to earlier) are a hit or miss, bluetooth might a safer option but only if you have a sender/receiver par that supports aptx ot SKAA sinks, and from what I've seen on the net there are only products dedicated only for specific devices like this soundcard or that DAC. The last option is to use video FM transmitters plugged into coax out of your converter and coax in of your DAC but this solution is of dubious quality. Sorry for the wall of text and have fun finding your way!

post #14 of 18

Hi

 

Thank you for your answer

 

    Regards

 

             Tigro11

post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 

I was just browsing ebay and I've found this little device: http://www.ebay.com/itm/2G-DDR3-Android-4-2-Quad-Core-A9-8G-HD-TV-Box-1080P-WIFI-HDMI-RJ45-Media-Player/300949359539?rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D222002%26algo%3DSIC.FIT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D17216%26meid%3D648957591750486314%26pid%3D100005%26prg%3D8039%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D300950409633%26       It looks like a very nice one box solution, it has both usb and toslink conectivity, has wifi and it even comes with a dedicatd IR remote if you dont want to waste the battery in your smartphone, and its only around 70$, not that much for a dedicated media server.

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