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Open Hardware Mobile Wireless Serial Audio Transmission Unit for Acoustical Ecological Momentary Assessment Using Bluetooth RFCOMM

Acoustical Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) is a necessary step towards understanding noise exposure in everyday life and can also help identify obstacles in the speech understanding of hearing impaired people. Smartphones would represent a desirable tool for this task, but no simple solution has been proposed yet. Stereo audio transmission between mobile devices via Bluetooth using the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) is a common technique. However, due to software restrictions in Android, this profile is limited to act as a source and is prohibited from receiving a stereo audio stream. In this contribution we present a solution to transmitting uncompressed stereo audio data via Radio Frequency Communication (RFCOMM) enabling an Android smartphone to act as a receiver. Although, in contrast to A2DP, this solution is limited to stereo, 16 kHz and 16 bit, the resulting audio quality is sufficient for speech signals and acoustical measurements.

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