Wi-Fi-connected speakers are capable of delivering significantly better audio quality than Bluetooth options. They don't compress the audio content before playing it, which can have a negative effect on the sound, as it reduces the level of detail you'll hear. You can find out more about the differences between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming with this guide.
By connecting to your home network, Wi-Fi speakers can deliver seamless multiroom audio, coupled with easy controls from your smartphone or tablet throughout your entire home. Usually, every wifi speaker offers a mobile app that allows you to switch between the streaming services it supports, as well as tweak the sound settings.
Though Wi-Fi speakers provide excellent sound quality and multiroom audio they are expensive. In this Instructable, I will show you how you can build your supper quality Wi-Fi speaker with a low cost. The speaker I made has the following features:
- -Stream via WiFi or Bluetooth 5.0
- -Airplay, DLNA, Spotify Connect Supported
- -24bit,192khz Decoding, FLAC, WAV, APE supported
- -Multiroom & Multizone with multiple units
- -Android & iOS app Supported
- -Spotify,Deezer,Tidal,Qobuz,Napster,iHeartRadio available
- -Stream music from NAS, USB
- -IIS for external DAC use
1. WiFi Audio Receiver: To make a WiFi speaker you first need a WiFi audio receiver which can stream music wirelessly via a network. I used Up2stream Pro WiFi&Bluetooth HiFi Audio Receiver Board from Arylic. Up2Stream Pro, a WiFi and Bluetooth 5.0 HiFi audio receiver board can be used to upgrade your regular audio system WiFi and Bluetooth enabled with multiroom function. On their app, you can stream music from Spotify, Deezer, Qobuz, Tidal or local files from NAS, etc. 24bit,192kHz decode makes a great sound. AirPlay, DLNA, UPnP brings you more possibilities.
Up2Stream Pro has following features:
- Support WiFi & bluetooth 5.0 connected devices
- Bluetooth 5.0 receiver distance transmission around 20-30 meters.
- Adding I2S interface available (DOUT, BCLK, LRCK, GND).
- Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, Napster and more available by free update.
- Line in, usb music source can be retransmission to other unit and play it in sync.
- Add Ethernet interface to connect devices directly to the network via the cable.
- Replace the power interface with Micro USB.
The regular price of Up2stream Pro is $50. You can bye it from:
2. Audio Amplifier Board: For an audio amplifier, you have lots of options. First, you need to determine the power capability (Watts) of the audio amplifier. Then select mono or stereo. I used TDA8946 DC 12-16V 40W+40W Stereo Audio Amplifier Board for my project. You can buy this amplifier board from: aliexpress.com at $8.73.
3. 2Pcs 6 Inch 40W Speaker: If you use 40W audio amplifier board you need two 40W speakers. You can buy from aliexpress.com at $6.
4. 16V, 4A DC Power Supply: You can buy fromaliexpress.comat $6.50.
5. 3.5mm 1/8" Jack to 2 Male Stereo Phono Audio Speaker Adapter CABLE (RCA): Buy from aliexpress.com at $1.
6. 7805, 5V regulator: Buy from aliexpress.com.
7. Some wires
1. A-BF Soldering Station (buy from gearbest.com)
2. Wire Stripper cutter (buy from gearbest.com)
3. Multi-Function Rechargeable Hand Drill (buy from gearbest.com)
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Step 1: Making the Box (Front Side)
For placing all the components and speakers you will be required a box or case. I determined to make a wooden box for my speaker. The box size will be 17 inch X 10 inch X 8 inch. So, I took 4 pieces of wood of the above size. The most working I have done on the front piece. I cut two circles for two speakers. For placing the amplifier board a made a deep cut of size 2 inch X 6 inch which also includes 4 round hole for bringing out the knob of the amplifier board. Then I sanded all sides of the wooden piece to make it smooth.
Enjoy the video to see how I made it:
Step 2: Soldering Wires to the Speakers
Speaker cables connect the outputs of the power amplifier or the amplifier section of the receiver to the speaker. These cables carry the high-powered electrical currents required to move the internal components of the speaker (the magnets that move the drivers).
You need one pair of speaker cables for each speaker in your home theater (except the subwoofer, if it’s an active system that uses an analog audio interconnect cable). Some expensive speaker systems can use two pairs of speaker wires per speaker.
Before placing the speakers on the wooden piece I soldered insulated copper wire piece of 20 cm long to each input terminal of the speaker. It is better to tinned the wire pieces before soldering them to the speakers. After soldering the wires I placed the speaker to the right place of the wooden piece and fixed it to the wooden piece through screws.
Step 3: Placing the Speakers
After soldering connecting wires to the speaker I placed the speakers in the right place of the wood piece. I used 1/2 inch screws to fixed the speaker with the wood piece. Before fixing the speaker you should be sure that the speakers are perfectly aligned to the holes.
Step 4: Fixing the Amplifier Board
After fixing the speakers you need to place the audio amplifier board to the front piece. An audio amplifier is required to make sound waves (audio) louder by making their waveforms bigger (amplifier). So to play sound in a bigger speaker an audio amplifier circuit is required. Up2Stream Pro is not capable to drive these speakers directly without an amplifier circuit. To fixed the amplifier to the right place I used hot glue.
An amplifier's job is to turn a small electric current into a larger one, and there are various different ways to achieve this depending on exactly what you're trying to do.
If you want to boost a reasonably constant electric voltage, you can use an electromagnetic device called a transformer. Most of us have a house full of transformers without realizing it. They're widely used to drive low-voltage appliances such as MP3 players and laptop computers from higher-voltage household power outlets, They're also used in electricity substations to convert very high-voltage electricity from power plants to the much lower voltages that homes and offices require. In all these everyday cases, transformers are turning large voltages into smaller ones, (they're "step-down" transformers), but we can also use them the opposite way (as "step-up" devices) to boost smaller voltages into bigger ones.
Step 5: Connecting Speakers With the Amplifier Board
Connecting a speaker to a stereo receiver or amplifier with basic speaker wire seems like a straightforward process — and for the most part, it is. But you need to be aware of some important points to ensure the best results. For example, reversing wiring polarity is a simple but common error that can significantly degrade your audio experience.
Most all stereo receivers, amplifiers, and standard speakers (i.e., ones that are able to receive signals through speaker wire connections) feature terminals on the back for connecting speaker wires. These terminals are either the spring clip or binding post type.
These terminals are also almost always color-coded for easy identification: The positive terminal (+) is typically red, while the negative terminal (-) is typically black. Note that some speakers are bi-wire capable, which means the red and black terminals come in pairs for a total of four connections.
Basic speaker wire — not the RCA or Optical/TOSLINK kind — has only two parts to deal with on each end, a positive (+) and a negative (-). Simple, but there is still a 50-50 chance of getting these connections wrong if you're not careful. Obviously, this is something that is best avoided, because swapping the positive and negative signals can seriously affect system performance. It's worth the time to double-check that these wires are correctly connected before powering up and testing the speakers.
While the terminals on the back of stereo equipment tend to be easily identified, the same cannot be said for speaker wires. This is often where confusion can occur because the labeling isn't always obvious.
If a speaker wire doesn't have a two-tone color scheme, look for a single stripe or dashed lines (these usually indicate the positive end) along one of the sides. If your wire has light-colored insulation, this stripe or dash may be dark. If the insulation is a dark color, the stripe or dash is more likely to be white.
If the speaker wire is clear or translucent, check for printed markings. You should see either (+) or (-) symbols (and sometimes text) to indicate polarity. If this labeling is difficult to read or identify, use tape to label the ends after you know which is which for quicker identification later. If you're ever unsure and need to double-check (especially if you have a jumble of wires), you can quickly test the speaker wire connection by using a basic AA or AAA battery.
Speaker wires are most commonly found as bare, meaning that you would use a wire stripper to expose the strands at the ends. It's good to twist the bare wire strands tightly so that they stay together as a neat single twisted wire, no matter if your equipment uses spring clips or binding posts.
You can also find speaker wire with its own connectors, which can facilitate connections as well as help quickly identify polarity if they're color-coded. Moreover, you can install your own connectors if you don't like to fumble around with bare wires. They can be purchased separately to upgrade the tips of your speaker cables.
Pin connectors are used only with spring clip terminals. These pins are firm and easy to insert.
Banana plug and spade connectors are used only with binding posts. The banana plug inserts straight into the connector hole, while the spade connector stays secured in place once you tighten down the post.
Step 6: Completing the Box (Left Side)
After placing the speakers and connecting the speakers with the amplifier box I started to complete the box. I started with the left side. Before attaching the left piece to the front piece I make 3 holes in each piece so that I can add screw very easily. Then I added the pieces together with the screws.
Step 7: Completing the Box (Right Side)
I followed the same procedure to complete the right side.
Step 8: Connecting Up2stream Pro
Up2stream Pro requires 5V regulated supply for stable operation. On the other side, the amplifier board requires 16V dc. So I used a DC supply of 16 V and I used a regulator (LM7805) for getting 5V for Up2stream pro from the 16V supply. Up2stream Pro contains screwed terminal for connecting power supply. So, it does not require any soldering and it is a good option.
It also contains 3.5mm port for audio output and I used 3.5mm audio to double RCA to provide the audio signal from Up2stream pro to audio amplifier.
For placing the Up2stream pro inside the box I used small screws to fix it with the box wall. The Bluetooth and WiFi antenna contains epoxy on it. So you can directly place it to any surface just removing the bottom surface cover.
Step 9: Managing the Wires
For avoiding lose connection and displacement I add all the cables and wires with a zip tie. Antennas are placed with the inside wall of the box.
Step 10: Finishing the Works
After placing all the circuits and modules inside the box and fixing in place I put the top wooden cover with the screws. Then I added the control knobs with the potentiometers. The speaker is now ready to test and enjoy.
Power up the circuit from 16V power supply, connect it to the wifi using 4STREAM android app and enjoy.