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Old 7th August 2013, 09:27 PM   #1
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Default Streaming macBook Pro and iPhone via bluetooth

I've made a few amps and also a DAC, but I am interested in building a small amp which I can stream music too via Bluetooth from a macBook Pro and my iPhone.

I have seen a cheap Bluetooth receivers on eBay.

(I tried inserting a link in this post, but it comes up with a message in eBay saying the item is no longer available???)

If you go to ebay.co.uk and search for item number: 390627419320, this is the item I'm looking at.


and wondered if this would be a good starting point.

I'm not sure on the protocols that the iPhone and macBook Pro uses, so some help would be great.

Is it even possible to pair my macBook Pro or iPhone to such a device?
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Last edited by portreathbeach; 7th August 2013 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 8th August 2013, 05:38 PM   #2
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OK. I found someone who has used this module, so I think I'll purchase it for experimentation.

Out of interest, here is blog of someone's build using it:

YZRandomE: DIY OVC3860 Bluetooth Receiver / PKB-PCBA Evaluation Board
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Old 13th August 2013, 07:49 PM   #3
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Part ordered. Should be here in a couple of weeks. The only problem I can see is that the module does the digital to analogue conversion, but when I get it, I'll connect the output of it to the 'analogue in' on my Gainclone amp and test the sound quality against my DIY 8 x Parallel DAC fed into the same amp.

My new amp will incorporate this module and be used in my conservatory, so as long as the sound quality from the module is pretty good, I will include it in the amp, otherwise, it will be an analogue only amp

I'll post my findings with this module when it eventually arrives.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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OK. The part arrived today so I had to give it a try. I powered it up and connected it to my LM4780 amp. I paired my iMac to it from another room and hit the play button......

Wow, what an amazing little device. The sound was great. I connected my macBook via the optical in on my DAC and played the same tunes, flicking between the two to check for differences in the sound. Obviously the sound isn't as good as the macBook playing through the DAC, but it's still very very good, maybe a little heavy on the bass, but still good.

I can't believe how small the device is. Here is a pic of it next to a 20p piece:

Click the image to open in full size.

Here it is connected up:

Click the image to open in full size.



The device pairs easily and it plays a few notes on the output when pairing is connected and disconnected.

There are a couple of things I don't like about the device.

1) The pitch of the pins is 2mm!!! That's why in the picture you can see I had to use a motherboard header connection and convert it to 2.54mm pitch.

2) I wanted the LED output to show a steady light when paired, instead, it flashes slowly when connected and fast when not connected!


Apart from that, it's great. I also managed to get the device to control my iPhone when I paired it. There are 13 tabs on each side of the board, you can use the 1.8v output tab and feed that into the FWD or BACK tab, and the iPhone skips songs. There are also vol+, vol- and mutes tabs, but I believe these are used on the BT reciever, not for controlling the volume of the device paired with it.
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Last edited by portreathbeach; 23rd August 2013 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 23rd August 2013, 04:04 PM   #5
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Just connected my DMM is series with the supply to see how much current the device uses.

It draws somewhere between 20mA when not paired, 40mA when paired to a device and about 90mA when streaming music, pretty impressive
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Old 23rd August 2013, 04:13 PM   #6
tomchr is offline tomchr  United States
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Bluetooth audio receiver for $16, shipped. Damn. Thanks for sharing. It looks like a neat little project.

Should you want to turn to WiFi instead, I suggest looking at Apple Airplay. The Airport Express supports it and has optical S/PDIF out. Just throwing it out there as an option.

~Tom
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Old 23rd August 2013, 04:19 PM   #7
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I'm currently listening to some electronic music (Ulrich Schnauss) through it via my macBook Pro, the sound is amazing for such a small device. Very detailed

Airplay is also very good, but I wanted to use BlueTooth, so anyone could connect their phone or audio device to it without any hassle.
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Old 25th August 2013, 09:38 PM   #8
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How does it compare when fed through your DAC?

I'm looking to incorporate exactly this kind of thing in my next build. Many of the 41HZ amp kits include a 5V out, too.
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Old 26th August 2013, 02:10 AM   #9
dangus is offline dangus  Canada
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I wrote off Bluetooth audio when I learned that it uses lossy compression. Bluetooth had the potential to be ideal for wireless headphones, but, last time I checked, there's no plans for lossless audio transmission over BT.
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Old 26th August 2013, 08:32 AM   #10
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Hi, Sadacose, unfortunately you cannot feed the output of the Bluetooth module through a DAC, it only has analogue out on it.

Dangus, I listen mainly to 320Kb MP3 files and find that there isn't that much missing at this compression. Bluetooth 2.0 is capable of 3Mbps transfer rate, so I'm not sure my 320Kbs tracks are all being sent. The sound quality is ofcouse not as good as optical out ->DAC ->amp, but it still sounds very good.

At the cheap price of these devices and ease of setting one up, I would recommend to anyone to get one just to experiment with.
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