Poor man's multi-room audio for ST

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#1

Just thought I’d share my setup to get multi-room audio using Bluetooth speakers. I have VLC running on a server and VLC Things running on ST. I already have Blue Iris running on a server so this is not a dedicated server just for ST. I also have a Bluetooth splitter and 2 Insignia plug-in speakers from Best Buy.

With this set up I’m able to have multi-room audio. This is no Sonos, but it’s cheap and it’s good enough for me for TTS announcements. If I want multi-room music all I have to do is run Pandora on my server.

A Bluetooth splitter (3.5mm to Bluetooth and supports 2 Bluetooth speakers) ($16.99)

Two of these Bluetooth plug-in speakers, one upstairs and one downstairs: ($19.99 each)
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-plug-in-bluetooth-speaker-white/8417024.p?skuId=8417024

With this set up, if you want 4 or more speakers, all you have to do is get a 3.5mm analog splitter and plug it into your headphone jack (sorry iPhone 7) on your server, and get another Bluetooth splitter.

With Bluetooth, one downside I notice is that after 15 or so minutes they would power down to save energy, and when there’s a TTS announcement the first several seconds is cut off. I found a way around that by playing a silent wave file on repeat with Media Player.


#2

Are you able to send to specific speakers or does it tts to all?


#3

It does it to all. I have one in my Master Bathroom so I can hear TTS announcements when I’m in the shower…


(Christopher Masiello) #4

You could also buy a few Google Chromecast Audio units. They’re $35 each, but you shouldn’t need to buy extra bluetooth speakers. They’ll plug into just about anything with a line in. (Stereo, bluetooth speakers, old computer speakers, TV, etc.)
They let you do all types of custom grouping so that you can do the same type of single/multi-room audio options as Sonos. If you’re using a computer with VLC they should stay connected fine.
Love your idea, just another option to pull it off.
Another, more costly option is to pick up a few Apple Airport Express routers. You can get them from $10 - $40 each on Ebay. They’re small and have USB and Audio out ports. You can use AirPlay to do the same type of single/multi-room streaming. Of course, it helps if you’re using a lot of Apple products already.