Saturday, 7 July 2012

WiFi Not HiFi

When I first started my journey into open source software I resolved that the experiment would cost me nothing (unless you count the sunk cost of an old DELL Dimension 8400 and a replacement hard drive): those days are long gone! Now it seems that I'm happy to spend money on new hardware and gadgets just to see if I can make them work with Ubuntu!

One of the nice things about being single again is that I can indulge my technophile tendencies without embarrassment. Moreover, having my own home means that I no longer have to share my office with my bedroom or my lounge with my kitchen (alright, I do share my lounge with my kitchen, but that's how the apartment is designed!). However, recently I've been thinking that it would be nice to stream music from my server in the office to my lounge without having to fire up my thirty year old Technics! I looked at Bluetooth speakers, but the intervening walls made connectivity a problem, so I started wondering if I could find some WiFi speakers.

Well, I did find some and today they turned up in the post!

Veho VSS-002W Mimi Qube speakers work using a wireless dongle operating at the 2.4GHz range. In Ubuntu 12.04 it's a Plug 'n' (almost) Play device. Just plug the dongle into a spare USB port and then open the Sound settings dialog (System Settings > Sound). If all's gone well, you should see two options (Digital & Analogue) both labelled SYNIC Wireless Audio. Select your preference and you're good to go.

To be honest, the sound quality isn't the greatest but it can be tweaked using the Rhythmbox equalizer and placing the speaker on the floor. That said, its sound reproduction is perfectly adequate for all but the most pedantic audiophile and it saves a lot of hassle as well as a lot of wiring.

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