AmpMe creates a multi-speaker setup using smartphones

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,062   +130
Staff member

Bluetooth speakers are a popular choice when it comes to listening to music among a group of friends away from home. Of course, that also equates to an added expense for something you may or may not use all that often and it’s yet another gadget you’ll have to haul around.

A new app called AmpMe appears to offer a compelling alternative that won’t cost you any money and doesn’t require you to lug around extra hardware.

AmpMe allows an unlimited number of smartphones and tablets to play tunes in sync, effectively creating what its makers describe as a giant, multi-room speaker setup.

As Engadget notes, it starts with a host who’s in control of playing tracks. From there, additional users can join by simply downloading the app and entering in the “party” passcode. Instead of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, the app uses an audio “fingerprint” sent out by the host device to sync up other “receiver” devices.

A receiver device can pause its playback to field a call, for example, then rejoin the group afterwards.

The app is available for Android and iOS devices and if you happen to have a Bluetooth speaker with a microphone, it’s compatible with that as well. Right now, it only works with SoundCloud due to its free nature although founder Martin-Luc Archambault said they’re working to add more streaming platforms to the mix.

While the technology is no doubt impressive, keep in mind that it’s simply creating a chorus of smartphones – most of which don’t exactly rate very high on the audio quality scale.

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Posts: 5,464   +6,145
"effectively creating what its makers describe as a giant, multi-room speaker setup."

no quite, according to Engadget

"The free app, available for iOS and Android, doesn't use Bluetooth or WiFi, but rather, plays an audio "fingerprint" on the host device (a series of beeps, to the human ear) that gets picked up by the mic on the receiving phone"

Each device needs to be within hearing range in order to work correctly. In addition to that, because this app uses sound to transmit the data, it susceptible to allot of interference and latency. Considering the wide range of real world variables, I can imagine allot of occasions where this app is going to create a very annoying echo effect.

Also take into account the variance of each device's hardware. Do the microphones have issues, how similar are all these device's speakers, and how fast is each device going to be able to process it.