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I'm trying to use an existing wired LAN in my office to create a DIY PA system. I have existing audio speakers that take typical RCA, 3.5mm or XLR inputs and want to attach them to the network to play sound or announcements. I also have two sets of microphones that I woudl also like to connect to the network to transmit sound to the speakers.

What I'm wondering is if there are any simple adapters that would allow you to plug in a microphone (or line input) to broadcast to a set of receivers that are connected to normal wired speakers to transmit sound over an IP networK? So far, the options I have been seeing are mainly for extending an audio signal over a single direct Ethernet line, but not across a network that may have Ethernet switches and other hardware in between. Any ideas/suggestions?

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This is basically going to take you into the realm of Audio over IP. There is really only one game in town for this sort of application, which is Dante. (www.audinate.com) There are other players, but you are really going to want to approach this from a standards perspective. You will need some Dante termination adapters (ethernet to XLR) which you can (I believe) get from Amphenol. I would recommend using active speakers unless you want to put an amplifier in the chain.

The microphones will need to be attached to some form of preamp and mixer/matrix device which will also need to be Dante-enabled in order to be able to attach to your ethernet network.

Dante is recommended primarily because of its ability to support routed networks, which a lot of other protocols do not. AES67 is an emerging AES standard in the area of Audio over IP which I believe allows interoperability with other Audio over IP standards/protocols.

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