Multi-Room Audio with a Pi, AirPlay and Bluetooth

Sonos are, I’m sure, great. Denon’s HEOS systems appear to be a worthy contender too.

But what if you want to play music from your personal collection or spotify into multiple rooms without spending a small fortune? For bonus points I also wanted to be able to have the possibility of some control from OpenHAB (my home automation software of choice) as well as mobile devices.

After a bit of searching Forked-DAAPD looked like a great contender. It runs on the Pi, uses the MPD protocol and can output audio via local audio devices, airplay and thanks to a very recent update, bluetooth speakers. As I’d recently been gifted a couple of Neet AirStreem AirPlay Receivers I thought this would be a great solution to multi-room audio.

I quickly set it up on my Pi Zero using the instructions and got it synced to the two AirPlay receivers playing music from my personal collection. Then I added Spotify using the libspotify-dev package and could stream my Spotify playlists. Throwback Thursday is a personal favourite – you never know what your test audio will be.

Now, my home isn’t the biggest and the areas I wanted to cover were:

  • Living Room
  • Kitchen
  • Spare Room
  • Bathroom (Stretch goal!)

The Living Room has an AV receiver that should cast music, but the receiver is a little old and doesn’t have any wireless audio inputs. That means the Pi will have to be plugged in via HDMI (which is a little annoying because it means I can’t plug it into the UPS on the other side of the room).

My partner bought me a Jam Classic Bluetooth speaker for Christmas which has lived in the Kitchen. I’ve paired it to my phone previously to listing to Spotify or podcasts while cooking or doing the washing up. Why not link it to the Pi?

So that leaves me with two rooms and two AirPlay receivers. The plan is to be able to stream music upstairs when I’m working in the spare room and to the bathroom while I’m having a shower. More on my plans for the bathroom another day, but it involves towels and NFC.

So there we are. That’s probably enough scene-setting and writing for one blog post. I’ll cover how to set up a Pi to stream music around the house in the next post

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *