Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

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murray
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Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by murray » Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:40 pm

I've got a little Intel NUC computer that sits on my desk in-between my screen and keyboard. The NUC has an audio port on its front face and I currently have a cheap speaker plugged into it (the speaker uses a separate USB cable for power which I've got plugged into the back of the NUC). My usage would probably only be a couple of hours a week, mainly watching Youtube videos and playing the odd game. I don't require hifi quality or anything like that.

Because the audio cable sticks out an inch or so, I'm a little worried of knocking it and damaging it, so I thought why not go wireless and get a Bluetooth speaker and then I wouldn't have any cables to worry about (my NUC has Bluetooth built-in). I've seen many Bluetooth speakers in the local shops and they start around $10 and go up from there depending on what functions you require. Some are nice-sized little boxes or hockey puck size that would fit nicely on my desk.

But then I wondered about how to power a Bluetooth speaker. My understanding is that some can be plugged into a USB port (just like my current speaker), some can be plugged into a wall power outlet (I wouldn't want this as I'm running low on power points and already have a power strip with lots plugged into it), and some contain rechargeable batteries and therefore would be truly wireless. I'm guessing that some may run on AA batteries but I haven't seen any of those yet in my research.

So I'm wondering, does anyone here use Bluetooth speakers with a desktop computer? If so how are they powered? If they're rechargeable then how often do you need to charge them up? Anything else I should consider before I buy one?
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

lordmax
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by lordmax » Sat Mar 02, 2019 11:33 pm

Hi,

I'm using a bluetooth speaker whit recharcable battery.
They're completly separated from pc and I can put them everywhere.

Battery last for over than 10 hours and I recharge during night time

buyed on amazon for 'bout 15 euros

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murray
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by murray » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:07 pm

Thanks for the info, good to know that it works well for you.
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

Mute Ant
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by Mute Ant » Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:28 pm

I use a grey-rubber cased 'KS Miami' and a Bluetooth dongle in the back of my desktop machine...
[advert]
+ Mint easily detects the speaker's Bluetooth and connects it as an audio-sink.
+ Speaker charges from flat in 3 hours using a USB cable (supplied).
+ Plays music for 6 hours on one charge. Just on-and-silent it lasts much longer.
+ Hardware 'off' switch, to be sure to be sure.
+ Does not have a built-in microphone. I wouldn't want a drive-by listener to hear me talking to the cat.
+ Built-in FM radio decoder.
+ Accepts a microSD card and plays the music files it finds.
+ GBP25 from a supermarket.
+ Sounds like the musician is sitting in your room, it's really HiFi (to 58 year old ears).
- You can't swap the battery, it has to be recharged as a speaker (so I bought two).
+ You can't swap the battery, which makes it safe for children to carry around.
[/advert]
While you're waiting, read the free novel we sent you. It's a Spanish story about a guy named "manual".

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murray
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by murray » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:50 pm

Mute Ant wrote:
Sun Mar 03, 2019 6:28 pm
I use a grey-rubber cased 'KS Miami' and a Bluetooth dongle in the back of my desktop machine...
Something like this?
+ Hardware 'off' switch, to be sure to be sure.
Ah, I'd definitely want this, thanks for the reminder!
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

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AndyMH
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by AndyMH » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:39 am

I use this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01 ... UTF8&psc=1

Decent sound quality given the price.
It is permanently plugged into the laptop via usb to provide power but talks via bluetooth. Interestingly, the sound quality through bluetooth is better than hardwired via the aux input.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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murray
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by murray » Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:33 pm

AndyMH wrote:
Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:39 am
I use this:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01 ... UTF8&psc=1

Decent sound quality given the price.
It is permanently plugged into the laptop via usb to provide power but talks via bluetooth. Interestingly, the sound quality through bluetooth is better than hardwired via the aux input.
Thanks for that. Interesting that the sound is better via Bluetooth!
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

Mute Ant
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by Mute Ant » Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:43 am

'...sound quality through bluetooth is better than hardwired via the aux input...' Actually this is quite common with mixed digital-analogue circuits on commercial-grade circuit boards. The 0V ground voltage 'bounces' with every change in current and the loudspeaker amplifies that bounce into a random audible fizz.

This sort of problem used to be my day-job with high-contrast video displays... a thick copper ground-plane or solder over the top of the tracks is a useful prophylactic.

If the noise goes away using a wireless connection, the audio signal is intact, it's the 'earth' of the connecting cable(s) bouncing. Radio-frequency noise is coming out of the PC and being 'decoded' by the electronics of the speaker. It's not feasible to redesign the PC. Simple cures are...
o A ferrite cylinder clamped around the wire(s), which bounces the radio-frequency interference back into the source.
o An audio-isolation transformer cable. Electric guitars use these to stop valve amplifiers from killing the musician.
o Run the speaker from battery, or a USB mobile phone charger. It works for me. The background fizz I used to get was from the PC USB and it completely vanished using just the battery or using an independent 5 volt supply.
While you're waiting, read the free novel we sent you. It's a Spanish story about a guy named "manual".

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murray
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Re: Bluetooth speakers on a desktop?

Post by murray » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:31 pm

Thanks for the explaination Mute Ant, very enlightening!
Running Mint 19.2 Cinnamon on an Intel NUC8i5BEH with 16GB RAM and 500GB SSD

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