How I combined multiple audio sources into one Bluetooth headset

 

Back in the day  i’d have to hold the phone up to my ear whenever I wanted to use GPS or anything with the screenreader, and if a bus went by, it was   a complete   fail.    then in early 2013  my friend Hai Nguyen Ly gave me a pair of the Aftershokz 1st generation bone conducting  headphones and my workflow in public was changed forever. I could use my iPhone  anywhere and besides being able to hear it in any situation quiet or loud it didn’t bother anyone around me either.

 

The problems above were very similar with talking watches which is why until the Apple watch I had always preferred braille watches. I’ve found a lot of cool uses for my Apple watch but the problem of its audio coming out the speaker in public still remained.

 

Aftershokz came out with their Trekz   Titanium model earlier this year, and among other things in their marketing speak was mentioned Bluetooth multipoint; that their new flagship model could pair with 2 Bluetooth devices. I was excited, if i could get the audio from both my iPhone and Apple watch into the same pair of bone conducting  headphones that would be huge, but alas pairing with 2 devices did not mean simultaneously.

 

Over a year  ago my friend @cajunluke

told me about the Belkin  audio splitter Rockstar, and I’d also remembered Allison Sheridan and Dave Hamilton  talking about the Amtech Bean Bluetooth receiver, but it could only receive, if there was a bluetooth transmitter? A plan began forming in my mind.

 

 an Amazon delivery later I had a Rockstar and 2 Anker audio bluetooth adaptors  , which can both transmit and receive, though not simultaneously, and a bunch of patch cords and was ready to go.

 

The Rockstar has been out for a while and using it to combine wired audio sources is widely understood, but I was trying to  combine both  Bluetooth and analog audio  sources and also put them altogether, out to a Bluetooth headset.

I wondered how to combine 2 Bluetooth devices together when neither had a keyboard nor a display, but the Aftershokz and the Anker Bluetooth adaptor pair nicely as long as you remember to get them both into pair mode simultaneously it works most times.

 

One adaptor is set to receive and is paired to the watch. The other adaptor is set to transmit and is paired to the Aftershokz.

I wear cargo pants so the large pockets are great for a bunch of cables plugged altogether, the shorter the patch cords the better.

 

the system works very well, the more devices plugged into the Rockstar the lower the volume is because of resistance but so far there’s still enough volume to go around for me. Having the audio from my watch in the headset makes it much more productive for me in public even if no one was around to be annoyed by the watch speaker. When I used Apple pay  VoiceOver lowers the volume  for security, i could still hear it and much better through the headset. 

I also do BrainPort testing for Wicab 

and the Rockstar has 5 audio jacks so I can  plugged that in also which greatly improves how I hear it especially in loud environments.  

 

I’m surprised that seemingly few know about the Rockstar, but also haven’t heard of anyone combining it with Bluetooth adaptors. I know it will be part of my workflow for some time.

11 thoughts on “How I combined multiple audio sources into one Bluetooth headset

  1. I got a client who is a Mac trainer that was supposed to be multipoint with same issues. Have things improved with bluetooth in 2018? Any headset recommendations for simultaneously pairing devices? And while I have your attention, how may I mute Mac notifications so they do not speak in front of clients? Thanks!.

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  2. I wish this were easier to do!
    I’ve found where to get a Rockstar device (your link was quite helpful there), but now I can’t find a bluetooth wire-to-transmittion device.
    I wonder why there’s no easy consumer standard for this, it seems like such an obvious need to me.

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  3. I came here looking for a receiver able to CONNECT, not just PAIR with two BT transmitters, but looks like there isn’t one yet. I’m very surprised, I thought there would be a market for those things, I’d assume more people want to listen to multiple devices at once (should be possible to also transmit mic to one of those, like – to a phone). The problem is that most descriptions on Ali and similar are quite ambiguous and usually claim that x supports multiple devices at once, but they most likely just mean pairing, not actual connection and data being exchanged.

    I’ll bookmark this. If I find a device that let’s me do it without carrying multiple other things like you do, I’ll report back.

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  4. I always thought that headphone manufacturers would make this things but this is the first time I heard of it from another person as I have college roommates I can’t make noise sometimes I hope that one comes out with something like that and people talk about that

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