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post #1 of 13 Old 09-16-2014 Thread Starter
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Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

Ok, I thought there would be tons of threads on how to bluetooth stream direct to speakers via a standalone bluetooth audio amp. I need a hardware solution.

I am looking to do this for the onwatch crew so they can listen to their own audio without needing the belowdecks stereo. Also the offwatch should be able to listen to what they want below.

My idea is to have cockpit speakers wired to a standalone bluetooth receiver audio amp. The helmsperson can listen to their phone/device as they like. Not looking to shake the hull with huge sound. It would be nice to have a unit that could kick out moderate volume so that the deck crew can hear it. Boat -Norseman 447.

I would love to hear recommendations on what works well. I looked at several of the commercial "marine" solutions. Some by Jensen. Most are small instrument sized flush mount solutions but in my looking at reviews of these units they all seemed to be very small units and several reviews remarked that they got very hot and some failed due to heat. -I will be sailing in the south pacific/Mexico and other hot climes so these aren't going to cut it. Anyone use one of these?

There are several remarkably low priced units that do what I require found on Amazon etc. I am really needing some guidance from someone to help me sort out which of these might work. I'm sure some of these really cheap units are chinese junk.

It would also be nice to have an energy efficient unit. The amp needs to run on 12v.

I have heard bluetooth audio can squash dynamic range but on the other hand a buddy of mine heard a stereo system that was playing bluetooth and he said is sounded awesome. The bluetooth solution would be best. Having a mini-stereo plug on deck would not last long and it would get tripped over.

Open to suggestions!! Gracias in advance!

s/v Loki lying Ensenada, Mexico
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-16-2014
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

IME most watchstanders use earbuds.

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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

Oh. So you connect the earbuds to the speakers. Wow. You got another post. How about answering the question as opposed to snarkism. I don't need ******* idiots here.
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

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Originally Posted by CheckedOutRob View Post
Oh. So you connect the earbuds to the speakers. Wow. You got another post. How about answering the question as opposed to snarkism. I don't need ******* idiots here.
I wasn't being snarky. I was sharing my experience.

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Originally Posted by CheckedOutRob View Post
I am looking to do this for the onwatch crew so they can listen to their own audio without needing the belowdecks stereo. Also the offwatch should be able to listen to what they want below.
I do lots and lots of deliveries. Music is rather personal. The ability of the offwatch to rest is paramount. The watch uses earbuds and the offwatch uses earbuds. The only time we use the in-built entertainment radio is on movie night. YMMV.

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post #5 of 13 Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

Calm down Rob. SVA's reply was a perfectly fine response to your post.

As to your initial question, any head unit with Bluetooth would seem to do what you want. Watch would just need to turn off any speakers in the cabin. That said, cockpit speakers may still disturb the off watch trying to sleep. My cockpit speakers can clearly be heard in the quarterberth.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

A little bit of research suggests that the bandwidth of Bluetooth is sufficient for streaming MP3s, including the higher-bit-rate ones. Most people seem to think that MP3 sounds fine. I don't - compared to CD, it sounds compressed (well, that's because it is). For your purposes I think it will be fine, though. A little compression might even be desirable in that environment.

I Bluetooth-stream podcasts in the car all the time, sounds fine. But at home, on the big stereo, I use an Ipod 160 GB with all my CDs on it, in lossless compression, with a high quality docking port.

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post #7 of 13 Old 09-17-2014
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

Just add a Bluetooth receiver to the AUX in on the existing stereo then FADE to cockpit... Most cheap car stereos these days offer Bluetooth built in and they all have a fader..

I have installed a few of these:

Millenia MIL-BTREC Bluetooth


The MIL-BTREC should have enough pre-out power to drive an amp directly but then you lack any sound control..

The easiest solution is a waterproof Jambox type Bluetooth speaker the batteries last well into 10+ hours on many of them....

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-17-2014 at 02:21 PM.
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

Rob-
"how to bluetooth stream direct to speakers via a standalone bluetooth audio amp."
You're the odd man out here. No one does it that way.

If you want to stream BT music from a source to speakers, you buy something like the Jambox that Mainesail mentioned. There are hundreds of "Bluetooth speakers" on the market from $10 Shenzhen specials to $300 Bose speakers. The amp is always built in, and that's just the way it is done.

Done on land, rarely on boats. If I was offwatch and had to listen to music all night from the cockpit, I'd kill someone. That's why people use earbuds, either wired or BT and usually wired to the music player in their pocket, whether that's a cell phone or ipod. They're NOT going to go below to change the tunes.

And you can easily find BT receivers that allow any earbuds to be plugged in. Speakers? No. It just ain't done that way on boats.

Arguably, the night watch especially should not be listening to music. Sure, it passes the time away. It also ensures they can't hear a thing when they also can't see a thing, and that's just not a sharp watch.
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

So apparently no one else thought I was snarky. <- snarky comment.
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Re: Need Audio Amp -Bluetooth Direct to Speakers

I've seen pictures of Snarky, and you don't look anything like him. Even on the web. Although, your webcam could use cleaning.
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