Surround setup with rear channels transmitted over bluetooth

This might be a bit of a dirty setup, but it’s probably the best I can do right now.

I own quite a bit of audio gear, yet I’ve never really had the itch to try a good surround system. Now I do, just one small problem. I have no good way of running a cable to my rear surround channels in my current room (hoping to move out sooner rather than later, but I need to finish school and find a job first which’ll take a while).

So I’ve been playing with the idea of transmitting the rear two channels over bluetooth from my Intel NUC to a RPi connected to an amp and stuff (I do have outlets on that side). All the necessary hardware is here/on the way, just to find the right software to do this.

1: Take surround sound encoded data from my TV into the sound card (it’s on its way), since the TV has a toslink output as the sole sound output option.
2: Front 2 channels over USB to my Cambridge Audio DAC, connected to a good amp for music purposes
3: Center channel directly into the aux in of a simple amp
4: Surround over A2DP (presumably?) to the RPI connected to the amp for the rear 2 channels
5: No sub. Don’t have one yet, can’t really use it here either :stuck_out_tongue:

Does this idea have any viability in it? Or is it completely outlandish?

And what would be software, if there is any, to make this all happen?


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You could just buy this setup that Linus reviewed recently … not cheap but very impressive.

I know very little, but just a head up.
Bluetooth, especially if you want more than the crappy call-quality feed, is a very slow thing.
it is very common to have seconds of delay, so if you want it to be in sync with a picture and other speaker, make sure your TV have an option to control audio delay.

RF will be way better than bluetooth

Actually, as long as all the equipment supports the latest versions of Bluetooth since 5.1, the delay is nearly indistinguishable.

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–[ jeez, small computers are super expensive these days…]–

I wonder if wifi (e.g. netjack) would do better than Bluetooth for this particular use case…

… I’m thinking, get a 2G/8G mmc variant of a radxa zero for like $30

good news - plenty of power, built-in 5GHz wifi antenna and storage… all for about $30
bad news - no analog out DAC, only microhdmi … so you’d need e.g. a USB dac or a microhdmi to analog audio out ($5-$10 for a decent quality one).

Reason I’m thinking of wifi is precisely as others have pointed out, in my own experience Bluetooth quality has always been finicky… where as with with network audio, you can do 24bit/96KHz with relatively very little bandwidth compared to modern network speeds (2.5Mbps uncompressed). Wifi dropouts can be managed with buffers, e.g. 10-15ms buffer would probably be sufficient… And software would handle correct pacing and ensuring things are in sync.

I’ve already got a Pi 3B, so that shouldn’t really be an issue. I’m also open to just running a 3.5mm cord to the rear channels that I just unplug when not in use. Though wireless would be much preferred.

Wifi seems like a good option, accespoint is right above the TV anyway :stuck_out_tongue: Unifi AP-AC Lite, should be plenty.

Audio quality for the rear channels is not that important.

Thanks for the suggestion, though I’m not going to buy any other speakers or amps. I already have a ton of stuff, should be able to figure out something to use what I have.

Read up on this stuff yesterday. It seems like PulseAudio can theoretically do what I need - but that’s PulseAudio, so I’m not sure if I really want to do it like that.

Another option I have is using Jack, so I guess I’ll watch some tutorial video’s for that.