This post presents images and first impressions on the final prototype of the Aero One portable loudspeaker. The audio quality is adequate for the size and cost of the device. The low frequencies are a bit quiet, probably due to the chosen drivers and the low-power amplifier. On the other side, an approximated runtime of around 6h with high volume and a considerably longer runtimes at room volume are very appealing.
In my previous post I described my ideas about a lightweight portable audio system, the Aero One. Most open questions are solved now, e.g., concerning the driver and some new issues that arose during the prototype assembly. Following, you can find an overview outlining my decisions to these points:
- The Visaton FR 10 WP will be used as driver due to it’s smaller form factor.
- The current revision of Aero One won’t support Bluetooth. There was no module with a proper price that justified this feature.
- Regarding volume control – a stereo potentiometer will be used.
- Integrated charging capability using a solar cell is dropped, because available modules provide not enough power (1W).
- The housing will be based on a piece of massive cardboard pipe: the drivers will be mounted at each end.
- The user interface will be divided in two parts: On/off-switch & volume control on the frontside; micro-USB & audio jack on backside.
Lately – as days grew longer – I thought it was time to start a new project, Aero One. The keyword stands for a new portable audio system similar to The Bee, but smaller and lightweight. The weight and the dimensions of The Bee did not allow to carry it on a summer day to a park. A side effect, when not using The Bee was, that 15€ mini speakers came into action frequently. Indeed, they are better than raw smartphone sound, but compared to any loudspeaker with at least a small ambition for high fidelity sound… that’s not comparable. More expensive mobile products have not been an alternative for me, because 1) I rather like to build such stuff on my own and 2) I don’t like hyped music pills, where most of the price is due to the brand.
With the BG 20 Cross I built a portable audio system on wheels. But it was not suitable for all occasions, because it’s too big and too heavy. Accordingly I planned a smaller system, which could be carried by hand. Equal to my other systems I relied on Visaton drivers and the simulation software Boxsim. This time I challanged myself and tried to develop the crossover on my own. Nevertheless I consulted the Visaton forum to discuss and optimize my draft. Finally I finished my construction in spring 2013. You can see the result in the image below:
The Bee – Portable Audio System
Motivation and Requirements
Till now I focused on stationary audio systems for inside. As you might derive from the title this project targets on a mobile audio system. There are different reasons, why I decided to plan and build the BG20 Cross. The most reasonable was the need of such a system for the yearly tour on Labour Day (in germany: first of may) with my sports club. Accordingly the system had to match certain requirements:
- Powered by battery
- Proper duration
- Adequate audio quality and volume
- Low cost