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  1. #1
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    Bluetooth Music System for Riding With My Wife?

    When my wife and I ride rail trails together, I play lite music off my mp3 player through two powerful little speakers I purchased on eBay. One is on my handlebars; the other is mounted to my rear rack. Although each speaker puts out a good amount of power when used alone, I lose quite a bit when I piggyback them. So when she lags behind by more than 15 feet or so, she can't really hear the music anymore.

    Music is a big part of our rides, so I'd like to find some kind of Bluetooth system that will transmit between my bike and hers at distances of 30-40 feet, if this is possible. The music would have to play through my speaker and her speaker simultaneously, and sound quality is pretty important.

    Any ideas????
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  2. #2
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    When my wife and I ride rail trails together, I play lite music off my mp3 player through two powerful little speakers I purchased on eBay. One is on my handlebars; the other is mounted to my rear rack. Although each speaker puts out a good amount of power when used alone, I lose quite a bit when I piggyback them. So when she lags behind by more than 15 feet or so, she can't really hear the music anymore.

    Music is a big part of our rides, so I'd like to find some kind of Bluetooth system that will transmit between my bike and hers at distances of 30-40 feet, if this is possible. The music would have to play through my speaker and her speaker simultaneously, and sound quality is pretty important.

    Any ideas????

    Huh.

    I sometimes use a single bluetooth speaker that I got for $10. It works well enough on my bike. Unless you're listening to the radio (in which case you could both have your own sound systems that wouldn't interfere with each other), I don't know of any system that will play music through headphones and a bluetooth speaker (or, connect to two different bluetooth speakers).

    You could: get a y-splitter (which it sounds like you already have), plug a speaker in one side for your bike and plug a bluetooth broadcaster into the other and put the speaker on your wife's bike. If she got anywhere near 30 feet away, I think that in most cases, her speaker would sound horrible (but maybe you could find something that broadcasts with a bit more power).

    It may be the case that a bluetooth speaker is slightly behind a directly connecting speaker, so when you two are close together, it might sound a bit funny.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I guess what I'm asking about is a Bluetooth speaker that will actually work most of the time. Otherwise, it will add just as much stress to the rides as the current set-up. Has anyone developed such an accessory that's bike-specific?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I found this on Amazon- http://www.amazon.com/NYNE-NB-200-Po...cycle+speakers

    Thing is, you would have no problem connecting your player to it via the aux in, but I don't know if your speaker would then be able to sync directly to your wife's- unless your mp3 player is a Bluetooth device itself.

    Another option would be something a long the lines of this- http://bontrager.com/model/09572, I'm sure you can find a cheaper alternative on fleabay.

    The simplest solution will be the most expensive- a tandem bicycle .
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    no1mad: I'm really surprised no manufacturer has jumped on this idea as something to market to riding clubs and families that like to ride together. I suppose the technology is not there yet? But why, then, are we able to pick up a cell phone and communicate with someone on another continent instantaneously and with near-perfect quality?
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    You know what? I'm not quite sure aobut all of this stuff myself, but I'm fairly sure that you'll get some answers in the Electronics and Gadgets forum, so I'm moving the thread there.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  7. #7
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    I have a similar need but for golf carts. We play music on the course and use an ipod or phone paired up to a jawbone jambox. Those speakers are great and would definitely be small enough to carry on a bike. The bluetooth spec allows for large distances (hundreds of feet and possibly many hundreds) and it also allows for a broadcast mode. But support for broadcast mode is rare (one source pairing with multiple receivers). Perfect for my need--and possibly yours would be a jawbone jambox on each mobile vehicle (bike or cart) with a single source for music. We might try to locate a source capable of bluetooth broadcast mode. I'll post if I find one.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  8. #8
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    But why, then, are we able to pick up a cell phone and communicate with someone on another continent instantaneously and with near-perfect quality?
    Cell phones are optimized for speech frequency range and characteristics, and what passes for near perfect quality there is woefully inadequate when it comes to music. Speaker size plays a role, small box is physically unable to produce low frequencies at the same volume level as other frequencies, leaving the bass output thin. Unless we're talking about headphones.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    If you've both got an iPhone or iPod, http://www.pairshare.com/ does exactly what you want.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    >>>Cell phones are optimized for speech frequency range and characteristics...<<<<

    I know, I know. It was a rhetorical question that basically meant "Why hasn't this technology come nearly as far as the technology to make phone calls?" But a better question would be, "How am I able to capture streaming music with seamless, crystal clear quality on my cell phone from a source possibly thousands of miles away, yet I can't transmit from my damned iPod to a speaker 50 feet away?"
    Papa Tom

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  11. #11
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post

    The simplest solution will be the most expensive- a tandem bicycle .
    couldn't agree more

  12. #12
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I guess what I'm asking about is a Bluetooth speaker that will actually work most of the time. Otherwise, it will add just as much stress to the rides as the current set-up. Has anyone developed such an accessory that's bike-specific?
    I think (but am not positive) that the transmitter has more to do with range than the receiving speaker.

    That being said, the solution I laid out for you above should work if you guys are close enough (and it's cheaper to try out than a tandem although a tandem is probably more fun!). If you're worried about the lag, you could always get two bluetooth transmitters and two bluetooth speakers (and then there should be no lag).
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  13. #13
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Do a search on bluetooth boombox.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
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  14. #14
    Si Senior dbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplager View Post
    I think (but am not positive) that the transmitter has more to do with range than the receiving speaker.

    That being said, the solution I laid out for you above should work if you guys are close enough (and it's cheaper to try out than a tandem although a tandem is probably more fun!). If you're worried about the lag, you could always get two bluetooth transmitters and two bluetooth speakers (and then there should be no lag).
    +1 Previous recommendation should work.

    I have not definitively found a bluetooth device that will pair to multiple endpoints simultaneously. I have considered the above described solution for my problem as well. I was just hoping to limit the extra hardware. AND you'll need to figure out devices that are battery operated but still have reasonable range for bike separation. I'll keep looking.
    David Green, Naperville, IL USA "The older I get, the better I used to be" --Lee Trevino

  15. #15
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    yet I can't transmit from my damned iPod to a speaker 50 feet away?"
    You can. I gave the answer already in this thread.

    Two iPod touches, iPhones or iPads is all you need, though some decent speakers or headphones might be nice too. Actually, if you have a bluetooth speaker and a speaker plugged into your headphone jack, you might be able to play to both at the same time as well, and then you only need one iPhone/iPod/iPad, and Android devices would probably be fine too, no app needed. (The question would be about if the headphone jack is turned off when using a bluetooth speaker or not.)

    Note that any digital music sharing is likely to introduce delays. You know how the sound is all whacked when you're at the department store and they have a row of TVs all on the same channel but the sound is slightly out of sync between each one? That'll happen with anything that shares music digitally. (Analog stuff won't have this problem.) Fortunately, in practice it doesn't really seem to be a big problem.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Papa Tom's Avatar
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    I have an iPhone, but my wife's got an Android. dougMC: Does the app work across platforms? Otherwise, does anybody know where I can get a used iPhone really cheap? All my iPods are shuffles!
    Papa Tom

    "I just need a rest...and by 'rest' I mean a really long bicycle ride."

  17. #17
    Just Plain Slow PhotoJoe's Avatar
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    Recipe for frustration. If you play your music through a speaker and transmit the same signal to your wife, hers will experience the latency of the bluetooth process. So, when you are close enough to hear each other's music, there will be an echo. CPLAGER mentioned the lag. This is it. I guess if you broadcast yours via bluetooth also, it would even out.

    What about the Cardo BK-1 system? I know very little about them, other than you can talk between them and pair them to a phone for music and calls. Can you send the music to the other paired haedsets?
    If at first you don't succeed, Skydiving is not the sport for you!

  18. #18
    Senior Member dougmc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
    I have an iPhone, but my wife's got an Android. dougMC: Does the app work across platforms? Otherwise, does anybody know where I can get a used iPhone really cheap? All my iPods are shuffles!
    iOS only as far as I know.

    As for what you could buy, an iPod Touch 2nd generation or later or iPhone 3G and later is all you need.

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