Up2Stream Pro HiFi Audio Receiver Board Streams Audio over WiFi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, or USB

Up2Stream Pro

Last December, we wrote about Up2Stream WiFi audio module designed for people wanting to build their own DIY wireless speakers. The module is based on  MediaTek MT7688AN MIPS processor with 64MB DDR2 and 16MB flash storage The module also comes with a small baseboard allowing for an easier connection to speakers. The company has now introduced Up2Stream Pro model based on the same module, but with a baseboard adding more features including Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB, and audio jacks. Up2Stream Pro key features and specifications: Audio Output – 3.5mm AUX jack and I2S header Input –  3.5mm AUX-in SNR: 91db THD: 0.03% Sample rate –  24bit up to 192kHz FLAC, Wav, and APE codec supported, but NOT SBC, APT-X, APT-X HD, or LDAC. Multiroom & Multizone support EQ control Connectivity – Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth 5.0 Streaming Protocols – Airplay, DLNA, UPnP, Spotify Connect Compatible Services – Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Napster, iHeartRadio. Local Streaming from NAS or USB USB – …

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iMars Black is an Inexpensive Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Bluetooth 5.0 USB Audio Transmitter & Receiver

Last year I wrote about a Bluetooth 5.0 audio amplifier board and the potential benefits of Bluetooth 5.0 for audio applications which include support for configurable periodic data broadcast which may improve power consumption, and reduction of reconnection times. It’s unclear to me whether those are clear advantages in practical terms but I’ve just noticed iMars Black, a Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio transmistter & receiver being sold on Banggood for $3.99. Bluetooth 5.0 (D00251) transmitter and receiver specifications: Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0 A2DP, and AVRCP (receiver mode only) Range – Up to 15m (line of sight) Pairing name: ZF-169 Audio ports – 3.5mm Tx and Rx audio jacks Misc – LED: red or Tx, blue for Rx; Button to switch between Tx and Rx modes Power Supply – 5V via USB connector Dimensions – 39x25x12mm The Bluetooth 5.0 USB audio dongle ships with two audio cables, and a user manual. There are basically two use cases. The first pictured above is …

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Arduino Partners with Chirp to Enable Data-Over-Sound M2M Connectivity

Announced on August 12, 2019, Arduino has partnered with the London-based Chirp, a wireless data-over-sound software solution for machine-to-machine connectivity.  The system has the ability to work online or offline, as long as there is a loudspeaker and a microphone available. The software works with the Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense board in send and receive mode, while most Arduino MKR boards and Arduino Nano 33 IoT will also be supported by the SDK, but only to send data. The software and board are fully compatible with SDKs from a wide variety of platforms. The Nano 33 BLE Sense is available for purchase from the Arduino website, for $29.50. The sensor-rich Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense is application-ready right out of the box, and Chirp is ready to start sending encoded data from a device fitted with an audio speaker, to the board’s built-in microphone, where it is encoded and delivered. The sound is above the hearing range of human’s, …

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Android Patch Brings Bluetooth SBC Codec Audio Quality on-par with aptX

Android Bluetooth SBC HD Audio

In the context of CNX Software’s topics, SBC usually stands for “Single Board Computer”, but SBC also stands for “SubBand Codec“, a standard and mandatory Bluetooth codec which is supported by all headphones, portable speakers, car head units, and basically everything that plays audio over Bluetooth. SBC is known as a basic and low-quality Bluetooth codec, so people will often recommend using other codecs such as aptX, AAC or LDAC wherever possible, but ValdikSS has submitted a patch for Android which improves Bluetooth SBC codec audio quality on most existing devices, allegedly making it as good as the high quality aptX HD codec. ValdikSS explains this basically works by increasing the bitrate: My patchset bypass Android Bluetooth stack limitations and increase bitrate from stock 328 kbps to 452 or 551 kbps, depending on device speed capabilities. It’s already merged into LineageOS 15.1 and 16.0, Resurrection Remix and crDroid alternative Android firmwares. You’ll get the full detailed technical explanation in “Bluetooth …

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PecanPi Audio Streamer with Volumio, Squeeze or Rune Audio Goes for $399

PecanPi Audio Streamer

We’ve recently covered the upcoming Volumio Motivo audio streamer, but there’s another product for audiophiles running Volumio audio software. Orchard Audio PecanPi Streamer is based on Raspberry Pi 3 boards combined with the company PecanPi DAC HAT bringing high-quality audio to the Raspberry Pi. PecanPi Streamer specifications: SBC – Raspberry Pi 3 Model B with WiFi, Ethernet, 4x USB ports. PecanPi DAC HAT Texas Instruments PCM1794A high performance stereo 24-bit DAC, 192KHz sampling HW volume control and re-clocking via TI SRC4193 sample rate converter XLR Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 130dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 125dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 5Vrms RCA Output: Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR): 124dB (A-weighted) Dynamic Range (DNR): 121dB Total Harmonic Distortion + Noise (THD+N): -110dB or 0.0003% Output Voltage: 2.5Vrms Headphone Amplifier (Dual parallel OPA1622): 390mW peak power into 32 ohms 780mW peak power into 16 ohms Dimensions – 125 x 125 x 70mm (Aluminum case) …

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Volumio Motivo is a Gorgeous Audio Streamer Powered by SOPINE A64 SoM

Volumio Motivo

Volumio is a well-known Linux based open source music player for Raspberry Pi, UDOO, Cubox-I, Beaglebone Black, and other single board computers. Some companies even made audiophile boards with support for Volumio including Khadas Tone high-resolution audio board for VIM/VIM2 SBC’s, and the tiny VoltaStream ZERO following Raspberry Pi Zero form factor. But Volumio team has decided to make their own hardware with Motivo, an awesomely looking audio streamer designed in collaboration with Yottamusic engineering firm, and Design Narratives industrial design company. Motivo was introduced at High-End Munich, the world’s biggest Hi-Fi trade fair, and Pine64 posted some photos in a tweet claiming it was powered by their SOPINE A64 system-on-module. The full details about the device have not been published at the time of writing, but we can still derive some of Volumio Motivo specifications and key features from the photos and a few bits of public information: System-on-Module – SOPINE A64 with Allwinner A64 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, up …

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Pico-ITX i.MX8M Board Enables Offline Voice Control with Snips

Estone EMB-2238

A few days ago, we covered Estone Technology’s MJ-100 RK3399 rugged tablet. I’ve just realized Estone Technology used to promote their embedded product under the Habey USA brand, which we covered a few times here, and the company has also announced another new product ahead of Embedded World 2019 with their EMB-2238 Pico-ITX i.MX8M board specifically designed for voice control applications. The company setup two voice control demos with the board: one with Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS) and another with Snips that works locally without any Internet connection. We actually came across Snips previously for an article comparing microphone arrays, but I never looked into Snips into details or saw an actual demo. Let’s have a quick look at EMB-2238 board specifications first: SoC –  NXP i.MX 8MQuad  with 4x Arm Cortex-A53 cores @ 1.5GHz, 1x Arm Cortex-M4 realtime-core @ 266MHz, Vivante GC7000L/GC7000LVX with support for OpenGL/ES 3.1, OpenGL 3.0, Vulkan, OpenCL 1.2 System Memory – Onboard 2GB LPDDR4, …

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96Boards HiChips Parrot Board and 3-Mic Array Work with Amazon Alexa

96boards Parrot Board Amazon-AVS 3-Mic far field board

Early last year, Banana Pi unveiled Allwinner SoC-Only 3-Mic Far-Field Development Kit for Amazon AVS, a board powered by Allwinner R18 processor extended with an external 3-mic array board, officially supported by Amazon Alexa Voice Service (AVS), and sold for $129 plus shipping. There’s now a compatible board following 96Boards CE Extended form factor, and selling for just $79.99 plus shipping on Alibaba or 555.99 CNY on 1688.com. The board looks almost the same as the original 3-Mic far-field development kit, apart from the LS and HS connectors found in the 96Boards hardware platforms. Hichips Parrot board should not be confused with Allwinner R16 based Parrot board that was used by Allwinner internally, and never made available to the general public. Hichips Parrot board specifications: SoC – Allwinner R18 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 1.15GHz with Mali400MP2 GPU System Memory – 1GB DDR3 Storage – 8GB eMMC flash, micro SD card slot Video Output – HDMI Audio – 3x Microphones, 2x …

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