Poor man's multi-room audio for ST

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)

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.


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

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

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.

Would it be possible with ST, VLC and Chromcast Audio to turn on speakers in each room as one walked from room to room? If not, any inexpensive alternatives? I’m planning a remodeling project and I’d love to have follow-me-around-sound (without earbuds).