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US 20040039462A1
(19) United States
(12) Patent Application Publication (10) Pub. No.: US 2004/0039462 A1
(43) Pub. Date:
Chen
(54) MULTI-CHANNEL WIRELESS
(52)
Feb. 26, 2004
Us. 01. ............................................... .. 700/94; 381/79
PROFESSIONAL AUDIO SYSTEM USING
SOUND CARD
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Inventor:
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Heng'chlen Chen’ Talpel Clty
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ing circuit having a ?rst transceiver for Wirelessly transmit
ting digital audio signals to external speakers, a sound chip
electrically connected to the signal broadcasting circuit for
processing audio signals sent to the signal broadcasting
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circuit, and an interface connection for connecting the sound
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card to the computer. The multi-channel Wireless audio
system also includes a plurality of Wireless speaker modules,
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each including a second transceiver for receiving the Wire
Aug 21 2002
less digital audio signals from the signal broadcasting cir
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cuit, a digital to analog converter for converting the digital
Pubhcation (jassi?cation
audio signals into analog audio signals, an ampli?er for
amplifying the analog audio signals, and a speaker for
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for a computer. The sound card includes a signal broadcast
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ABSTRACT
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Feb. 26, 2004
US 2004/0039462 A1
MULTI-CHANNEL WIRELESS PROFESSIONAL
AUDIO SYSTEM USING SOUND CARD
nately, undesirable RLC effects of the speaker cable can
affect the quality of the audio output, and adversely affect the
frequency response.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
[0001]
1. Field of the Invention
[0002] The present invention relates to a professional
audio system, and more speci?cally, to a professional audio
system that uses a sound card to Wirelessly transmit multi
channel signals to speakers.
[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art
[0004] In professional audio systems, a large number of
audio channels can be used to output sounds for various
input devices. For example, compact disc players output
sound in stereo format, Which uses tWo audio channels. The
Dolby AC-3 standard outputs 5.1 channels, Which includes
5 discrete audio channels plus a loW frequency channel. In
professional audio systems, audio systems With many audio
channels are commonly used, and each of the audio channels
can be sent to a unique speaker for output. When a computer
sound card is used in an audio system, a sound chip in the
sound card processes audio signals, and outputs the audio
signals in the form of a number of audio channels. Each of
these audio channels can then be sent to a speaker through
a cable going from the sound card to each speaker. Any
number of audio channels and corresponding speakers can
[0007]
It is therefore a primary objective of the claimed
invention to provide a multi-channel Wireless audio system
in order to solve the above-mentioned problems.
[0008]
According to the claimed invention, a multi-chan
nel Wireless audio system includes a sound card for a
computer. The sound card includes a signal broadcasting
circuit having a ?rst transceiver for Wirelessly transmitting
digital audio signals to external speakers, a sound chip
electrically connected to the signal broadcasting circuit for
processing audio signals sent to the signal broadcasting
circuit, and an interface connection for connecting the sound
card to the computer. The audio system also has a plurality
of Wireless speaker modules, each including a second trans
ceiver for receiving the Wireless digital audio signals from
the signal broadcasting circuit, a digital to analog converter
for converting the digital audio signals into analog audio
signals, an ampli?er for amplifying the analog audio signals,
and a speaker for converting the ampli?ed analog audio
signals into sound.
[0009] It is an advantage of the claimed invention that the
multi-channel Wireless audio system does not need speaker
be used With the sound card. Sound cards that can accom
cables to connect speakers to the sound card. This makes
modate 2 channel, 5.1 channel, or 7.1 channel systems are
positioning the speakers much easier, and no speaker cables
commonly found.
have to be hidden out of the Way. Speakers can easily be
moved to neW positions Without Worrying about the length
[0005] Please refer to FIG. 1. FIG. 1 is a block diagram
of a Wired professional audio system 10 according to the
prior art. A sound card 12 is connected to a plurality of
speakers 14, Which are positioned in various locations
around a room. For example, FIG. 1 shoWs a front left
speaker 14 and a rear right speaker 14. These speakers 14 are
stated as an example only, and any number of speakers 14
can be used. Typically, one speaker 14 is used for each
channel provided by the Wired professional audio system 10.
In addition to the speakers 14, the sound card 12 can also be
connected to a joystick 16 and to a microphone 18, as is Well
knoWn in the art.
[0006] Unfortunately, not only does the setup for the Wired
professional audio system 10 require a large number of
cables connected to the sound card 12, but it also makes
connecting the speakers 14, the joystick 16, and the micro
phone 18 much more troublesome. Care has to be taken to
make sure speaker cables are positioned out of the Way to
alloW easy movement around the Wired professional audio
system 10. Moreover, if one of the speakers 14 is to be
moved, care must be taken to ensure that the corresponding
speaker cable is long enough to reach the neW location of the
speaker 14. Speaker cables used in professional audio sys
tems are very expensive, and can be 30 to 100 meters long.
Moreover, speaker cables have to be carefully designed so
that audio output is not affected by RLC characteristics of
the cables. For example, suppose that a speaker has a poWer
rating of 1000W With a resistance of 8 Q. That means that
the speaker cable leading to each speaker Would have a high
amount of current being carried through it. Since the fre
quency response for the speaker is desired to be above 20
kHZ, that means that the total resistance of the speaker cable
(including the tWo ends) has to be less than 1 Q. Unfortu
of speaker cables. Additionally, Wirelessly broadcasting
digital signals eliminates the need for expensive speaker
cables that can adversely affect audio output characteristics,
and Wireless transmission does not lead to audio quality
degradation.
[0010]
These and other objectives of the claimed invention
Will no doubt become obvious to those of ordinary skill in
the art after reading the folloWing detailed description of the
preferred embodiment, Which is illustrated in the various
?gures and draWings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
[0011] FIG. 1 is a block diagram of a Wired professional
audio system according to the prior art.
[0012] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of a Wireless profes
sional audio system according to the present invention.
[0013]
FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of a sound
card of the Wireless professional audio system.
[0014] FIG. 4 is a functional block diagram of a single
channel speaker module used in the Wireless professional
audio system.
[0015]
FIG. 5 is a functional block diagram of a multi
channel speaker module used in the Wireless professional
audio system.
[0016] FIG. 6 is a functional block diagram of a joystick
and a joystick adapter according to the present invention.
[0017]
FIG. 7 is a functional block diagram of a micro
phone and a microphone adapter according to the present
invention.
Feb. 26, 2004
US 2004/0039462 A1
DETAILED DESCRIPTION
[0018] Please refer to FIG. 2. FIG. 2 is a block diagram
of a Wireless professional audio system 20 according to the
present invention. A sound card 22 contains an interface 30,
such as a PCI bus interface 30, for interfacing With a host
computer. A sound chip 24 is connected to the interface 30,
and is capable of processing sound and joystick signals. A
signal broadcasting circuit 32 is connected to the sound chip
24, and is used to Wirelessly send multiple audio channels to
analog signals are sent to the sound chip 24 for proper
processing of the microphone 28 audio signals.
[0022] LikeWise, the present invention sound card 22 is
also capable of receiving control signals from the joystick
26, and sending feedback signals back to the joystick 26.
When the sound card 22 receives control signals from the
joystick 26, the transceiver 46 sends the signals to the
processor 40. The processor 40 then sends these signals to a
joystick control circuit 48 for proper processing of the
corresponding speaker modules 34. The signal broadcasting
signals from the joystick 26. Finally, the processed control
circuit 32 is also used to send and receive signals to and from
a joystick 26, and to receive signals from a microphone 28.
In the present invention, a joystick adapter 27 can be used
to enable joystick 26 to be used to send and receive Wireless
signals are then sent to the sound chip 24, and the sound chip
24 can send control signals to the host computer through the
PCI interface 30. On the other hand, the host computer is
signals to and from the signal broadcasting circuit 32.
capable of sending feedback signals to the joystick 26 by
sending the signals through the opposite direction. In this
LikeWise, the microphone 28 can be out?tted With a micro
case, the feedback signals Would ?rst be sent to the PCI bus
phone adapter 29 so that audio signals produced by the
interface 30, the sound chip 24, the joystick control circuit
microphone can be Wirelessly transmitted to the signal
broadcasting circuit 32.
48, and the processor 40. The processor 40 Would then
append an identifying code to the joystick feedback signals
so that the joystick Will be able to determine that the joystick
[0019] As With the example described in the prior art, the
folloWing description Will assume that the Wireless profes
40 sends the signals to the transceiver 46 for transmission to
sional audio system 20 uses a plurality of audio channels and
the joystick 26.
corresponding speaker modules 34. Of course, the present
is the appropriate target of the signals. Finally, the processor
[0023] Although the joystick 26 and all speaker modules
invention can easily be extended to include any number of
audio channels used in a professional audio system. With the
34 Will receive the transmitted Wireless signals, only devices
present invention, the signal broadcasting circuit 32 receives
With a proper identifying code Will be able to process signals
containing this code. In order to broadcast signals for all
audio signals from the sound chip 24, and uses a transceiver
46 to Wirelessly broadcast these audio signals to all speaker
modules 34. As Will be described later, each speaker module
34 only produces sound generated by the audio channel
corresponding to that speaker module 34.
[0020]
Please refer to FIG. 3. FIG. 3 is a functional block
diagram of the sound card 22 of the Wireless professional
audio system 20. The sound chip 24 mixes audio signals, and
separates the signals into distinct audio channels. Audio
audio channels to the speaker modules 34, the sampling and
control circuit 44 Will take turns selecting different audio
channels to be output from the multiplexer 36. Moreover, the
sWitching and transmission of each different audio channel
is done quickly so that all audio channels can be broadcast
to all speaker modules 34 in real time. In this Way, all audio
channels can be Wirelessly transmitted to all speakers in the
Wireless professional audio system 20. LikeWise, Whenever
signals from each of the audio channels are then fed from the
sound chip 24 into a multiplexer 36. To minimiZe the
feedback signals need to be sent to the joystick 26, the
sampling and control circuit 44 Will take turns betWeen
sending these feedback signals to the joystick 26 and send
complexity of the signal broadcasting circuit 32, the multi
ing audio signals to the speakers 34.
plexer is used to select one audio channel at a time for
processing and transmission. A sampling and control circuit
44 is used to select one of the inputted audio channels to be
outputted from the multiplexer 36. Signals from the selected
audio channel are then converted into digital signals via an
analog-to-digital converter (ADC) 38. Operation of the ADC
38 is also controlled by the sampling and control circuit 44.
[0024]
Please refer to FIG. 4. FIG. 4 is a functional block
diagram of a single channel speaker module 34 used in the
Wireless professional audio system 20. The basic structure of
each speaker module 34 in the Wireless professional audio
system 20 is identical, so FIG. 4 can be used to represent
each of the speaker modules 34. A transceiver 50 is used to
processor 40 so that the signals can be appropriately pack
receive all Wireless digital signals transmitted by the trans
ceiver 46 of the signal broadcasting circuit 32, and these
aged and compressed for Wireless transmission, and the
sampling and control circuit 44 helps to control operation of
the processor 40. Finally, the processor 40 sends the digital
processing. The processor 54 Will then compare the channel
identi?er included in the received signals With a channel
Digital audio signals are then sent from the ADC 38 to a
signals are then sent to a processor 54 for appropriate
speaker modules 34. During the packaging operation, a
unique channel identi?er is put into the packaged signals to
denote Which channel signal is being transmitted.
identi?er stored in a channel selector 52. If the identi?er
does not match, the speaker module 34 does no further
processing on the received signals. If there is a match, the
received digital signals are then sent to a digital-to-analog
[0021] In addition to outputting audio signals to speakers,
Atiming control circuit 56 communicates With the processor
the signal broadcasting circuit 32 is also used to receive
audio signals from the microphone 28. In this case, the
transceiver 46 receives a digital form of the microphone 28
audio signals, and sends the signals to the processor 40. The
processor 40 then sends the digital audio signals to a
digital-to-analog converter (DAC) 47, Which converts the
54, and helps control timing for operation of the processor
54 and the DAC 58. Analog signals produced by the DAC
signals to the transceiver 46 for Wireless transmission to the
microphone 28 signals into analog signals. Finally, the
converter (DAC) 58 for conversion back into analog signals.
58 are then sent to a mono ampli?er 60 for ampli?cation
before being sent to a speaker 64 that converts the ampli?ed
analog signals into sound. A diagnostic circuit 62 is used to
notify the processor 54 of any problems that are detected in
the operation of the mono ampli?er 60 and the speaker 64.
Feb. 26, 2004
US 2004/0039462 A1
[0025]
The speaker module 34 shown in FIG. 4 is a single
channel speaker, meaning that it is only capable of playing
sounds from one audio channel. Please refer to FIG. 5. FIG.
5 is a functional block diagram of a multi-channel speaker
module 134 used in the Wireless professional audio system
20. Operation of the multi-channel speaker module 134 is
nearly identical to operation of the speaker module 34
shoWn in FIG. 4. The only difference is the addition of more
channels to the speaker. As an example, the multi-channel
speaker module 134 shoWn in FIG. 5 is a three-channel
speaker, Which produces loW, medium, and high frequency
sounds, but any number of channels could be used in the
present invention.
[0026]
A transceiver 150 is used to receive all Wireless
digital signals transmitted by the signal broadcasting circuit
32, and these signals are then sent to a processor 154 for
processing. The processor 154 Will then compare the chan
nel identi?er included in the received signals With a set of
channel identi?ers stored in a channel selector 152. If the
identi?er does not match, the multi-channel speaker module
[0028]
Please refer to FIG. 7. FIG. 7 is a functional block
diagram of the microphone 28 and the microphone adapter
29 according to the present invention. The present invention
uses the microphone adapter 29 so that a conventional
microphone such as the microphone 28 can be used to
Wirelessly transmit audio signals to the sound card 22. The
microphone adapter 29 contains a microphone port 80 for
plugging the microphone 28 into the microphone adapter 29.
When the microphone 28 transmits audio signals to the
sound card 22, the audio signals are sent through the
microphone port 80 to an ADC 82 for conversion into digital
signals. The digital signals are then sent to a processor 85 for
packaging, and then transmitted by a transceiver 86 to the
signal broadcasting circuit 32 of the sound card 22. Atiming
control circuit 84 communicates With the processor 85, and
helps control timing for operation of the processor 85 and
the ADC 82. Thus, the microphone 28 can Wirelessly trans
mit audio signals to the sound card 22 through the use of the
microphone adapter 29.
[0029] In a preferred embodiment of the present invention,
all Wireless signals used in communication betWeen the
transceiver of the signal broadcasting circuit and the trans
ceivers of the speaker modules, the joystick, and the micro
134 does no further processing on the received signals. If
there is a match, the received digital signals are then sent to
a DSP 157 for signal processing. Based on the channel
identi?er included With the received signals, the DSP 157
then sends the signals to one of three digital-to-analog
phone are direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) signals
converters (DACs) 158 for conversion back into analog
signals. A timing control circuit 156 communicates With the
processor 154, and helps control timing for operation of the
audio system is able to send audio signals from the signal
broadcasting circuit of the sound card to speaker modules
processor 154 and the DACs 158. Analog signals produced
by each DAC 1158 are then sent to a corresponding mono
that conform to the IEEE 802.11b netWorking standard.
[0030] Compared to the prior art, the Wireless professional
via Wireless transmission, eliminating the need for speaker
cables to connect audio processing circuitry With speakers.
ampli?er 160 for ampli?cation before being sent to a cor
In addition, the present invention sound card can also be
used to support a Wireless microphone and a Wireless
responding speaker 164 that converts the ampli?ed analog
joystick. Transceivers are used in the speaker modules, the
signals into sound. A diagnostic circuit 162 is used to notify
joystick, the microphone, and the signal broadcasting circuit
the processor 154 of any problems that are detected in the
of the sound card to facilitate the Wireless communication.
operation of the mono ampli?ers 160 and the speakers 164.
The ?exibility that Wireless transmission provides makes
positioning the speakers much easier, and speakers can
easily be moved to neW positions Without Worrying about
the constraint of speaker cables. Additionally, Wirelessly
broadcasting digital signals eliminates the need for expen
sive speaker cables that can adversely affect audio output
[0027]
Please refer to FIG. 6. FIG. 6 is a functional block
diagram of the joystick 26 and the joystick adapter 27
according to the present invention. The present invention
uses the joystick adapter 27 so that a conventional joystick
such as the joystick 26 can be used to Wirelessly transmit to
and receive control signals from the sound card 22. The
joystick adapter 27 contains a joystick port 70 for plugging
the joystick 26 into the joystick adapter 27. When the
joystick 26 transmits control signals to the sound card 22,
characteristics, and Wireless transmission does not lead to
audio quality degradation.
[0031]
Those skilled in the art Will readily observe that
numerous modi?cations and alterations of the device may be
the control signals are sent through the joystick port 70 to an
made While retaining the teachings of the invention. Accord
ADC 72 for conversion into digital signals. The digital
ingly, the above disclosure should be construed as limited
signals are then sent to a processor 75 for packaging, and
only by the metes and bounds of the appended claims.
then transmitted by a transceiver 78 to the signal broadcast
ing circuit 32 of the sound card 22. On the other hand, When
the joystick adapter 27 receives feedback signals from the
What is claimed is:
sound card 22, these signals are ?rst received by the trans
1. A multi-channel Wireless audio system comprising:
ceiver 78 and then sent to the processor 75. The processor 75
Will then check an identi?cation code embedded in the
feedback signals to see if the code matches an identi?cation
code stored in a device selector 76. If the codes do not
a sound card for a computer, the sound card comprising:
match, the joystick adapter 27 does nothing. If the codes do
match, the processor 75 transmits the feedback signals to a
DAC 74 for conversion into analog signals. These analog
signals are then sent through the joystick port 70 to the
joystick 26. Thus, the joystick 26 can maintain bidirectional
Wireless communication With the sound card 22 through the
use of the joystick adapter 27.
a signal broadcasting circuit having a ?rst transceiver
for Wirelessly transmitting digital audio signals to
external speakers;
a sound chip electrically connected to the signal broad
casting circuit for processing audio signals sent to
the signal broadcasting circuit; and
an interface connection for connecting the sound card
to the computer; and
Feb. 26, 2004
US 2004/0039462 A1
a plurality of Wireless speaker modules each compris
ing:
an interface connection for connecting the sound card
to the computer; and
a second transceiver for receiving the Wireless digital
at least one multi-channel Wireless speaker module
audio signals from the signal broadcasting circuit;
a digital to analog converter for converting the
digital audio signals into analog audio signals;
an ampli?er for amplifying the analog audio signals;
and
a speaker for converting the ampli?ed analog audio
signals into sound.
2. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a multiplexer having
a plurality of input nodes and one output node, each input
node being used to receive audio signals of an audio channel
from the sound chip, the output node being used for out
putting audio signals of a selected audio channel, and an
analog to digital converter for converting the audio signals
of the selected audio channel into digital audio signals.
3. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a packaging and
comprising:
a second transceiver for receiving the Wireless digital
audio signals from the signal broadcasting circuit;
a plurality of digital to analog converters for con
verting digital audio signals into analog audio
signals;
a plurality of ampli?ers for amplifying the analog
audio signals; and
a plurality of speakers for converting the ampli?ed
analog audio signals into sound.
12. The audio system of claim 11 Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a multiplexer having
a plurality of input nodes and one output node, each input
node being used to receive audio signals of an audio channel
from the sound chip, the output node being used for out
putting audio signals of a selected audio channel, and an
compressing circuit for compressing the digital audio signals
outputted from the analog to digital converter and dividing
the signals into packages before Wireless transmission by the
analog to digital converter for converting the audio signals
of the selected audio channel into digital audio signals.
13. The audio system of claim II Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a packaging and
?rst transceiver.
4. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a sampling and con
compressing circuit for compressing the digital audio signals
outputted from the analog to digital converter and dividing
the signals into packages before Wireless transmission by the
trol circuit for controlling operation of the multiplexer and
the analog to digital converter.
?rst transceiver.
5. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a processor for control
ling operation of the Wireless speaker module.
6. The audio system of claim 5 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a channel selector for
identifying a selected audio channel, and the processor of the
Wireless speaker module processes only those digital audio
signals corresponding to the selected audio channel.
14. The audio system of claim 111 Wherein the signal
broadcasting circuit further comprises a sampling and con
trol circuit for controlling operation of the multiplexer and
the analog to digital converter.
15. The audio system of claim 11 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a processor for control
ling operation of the Wireless speaker module.
speaker module further comprises a diagnostic circuit for
16. The audio system of claim 15 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a channel selector for
identifying a plurality of selected audio channels, and the
processor of the Wireless speaker module processes only
detecting performance problems in the ampli?er and the
those digital audio signals corresponding to the selected
speaker, and for notifying the processor of any problems.
8. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein each Wireless
audio channels.
17. The audio system of claim 15 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a timing control circuit
for controlling timing of the digital to analog converter.
detecting performance problems in the ampli?ers and the
9. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein the Wireless
speakers, and for notifying the processor of any problems.
7. The audio system of claim 5 Wherein each Wireless
speaker module further comprises a diagnostic circuit for
digital signals transmitted from the signal broadcasting
18. The audio system of claim 11 Wherein the Wireless
circuit to the plurality of Wireless speaker modules are direct
sequence spread spectrum signals and conform to the IEEE
digital signals transmitted from the signal broadcasting
802.11b netWorking standard.
10. The audio system of claim 1 Wherein the sound chip
of the sound card comprises a joystick input port for
receiving control signals from a joystick and a microphone
input port for receiving audio signals from a microphone.
11. A multi-channel Wireless audio system comprising:
a sound card for a computer, the sound card comprising:
a signal broadcasting circuit having a ?rst transceiver
for Wirelessly transmitting digital audio signals to
external speakers;
a sound chip electrically connected to the signal broad
casting circuit for processing audio signals sent to
the signal broadcasting circuit; and
circuit to the plurality of Wireless speaker modules are direct
sequence spread spectrum signals and conform to the IEEE
802.11b netWorking standard.
19. The audio system of claim 11 Wherein the sound chip
of the sound card comprises a joystick input port for
receiving control signals from a joystick and a microphone
input port for receiving audio signals from a microphone.
20. A multi-channel Wireless audio system comprising:
a sound card for a computer, the sound card comprising:
a signal broadcasting circuit comprising:
a ?rst transceiver for Wirelessly transmitting digital
audio signals to external speakers;
a multiplexer having a plurality of input nodes and
one output node, each input node being used to
Feb. 26, 2004
US 2004/0039462 A1
receive audio signals of an audio channel from the
a plurality of Wireless speaker rnodules comprising:
sound chip, the output node being used for out
putting audio signals of a selected audio channel;
a second transceiver for receiving the Wireless
and
an analog to digital converter for converting the
audio signals of the selected audio channel into
digital audio signals;
a sound chip electrically connected to the signal
broadcasting circuit for processing audio signals
sent to the signal broadcasting circuit; and
an interface connection for connecting the sound
card to the computer; and
digital audio signals from the signal broadcast
ing circuit;
a digital to analog converter for converting the
digital audio signals into analog audio signals;
an arnpli?er for amplifying the analog audio sig
nals; and
a speaker for converting the arnpli?ed analog
audio signals into sound.
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