Monday , May 28 2018

How To: Build your own wireless streaming system

Google Play - YouTube Music Key

Music Streaming services are great – be it Google Play Music All Access, Spotify, Mog, Rdio, they all have their pros and cons, but getting that music from your tinny phone speakers to real sound system is sometimes hard, so, here’s a way to get your music from your phone to a wireless system for relatively cheap, under $75 cheap.

You really only need a few components,

  • Speakers
  • An Amplifier
  • A way to receive the music wirelessly from your device

I was lucky enough to have some old surround sound speakers around that were more than sufficient for my needs. You can easily pick some up off eBay, gumtree or potentially from garage sales or second hand stores around your local area quite cheaply. If you decide you want something a little more punchy, you can spend up to $100 on speakers to get a reasonable quality pair to ensure your experience is that bit more sound immersive.

Similar to the speaker options; the amplifier can be purchased from eBay, you don’t need anything flash just a 12V car/caravan amplifier (check the resistance on your speakers to ensure that you’re not going to blow the amp up the first time you turn the system on) which can be powered by a 12V powerpack as long as it’s putting out high enough amperage. I purchased my amplifier from eBay for a whopping $11 including shipping and used an old powerpack from a UHF Scanner.

Amplifier Lepai

Now, the important bit; selecting a Bluetooth music streaming receiver. There’s a number out there with varying specs, the final decision will need to revolve around your usage case and budget. I grabbed a Logitech Bluetooth adapter which you can pick up (like I did) for around $43 from eBay through to the RRP of $49.95 from some retailers or through the Logitech online website.

2014-07-31 11.51.49

Each of these components on their own aren’t particularly exciting, but combine them and you’ve got a “home made” wireless music streamer. So you need to pick what room in your house you want to have your new streaming setup, how visible you want it (the bluetooth adaptor looks rather cool!) and if you want it to be mobile.

Once you’ve got it installed, the setup is extremely simple. Plug the cables into the bluetooth adaptor; there’s a power adaptor and 2 x RCA plugs that need to go through to the amplifier. Ensure the speaker cables are in place from the amplifier to each speaker and power on the amplifier.

Once you’ve powered everything up, all you need to do from here is to pair your phone with the Bluetooth adaptor. It’s like any other Bluetooth pairing process:

2014-11-02 01.16.06

Then as long as you’ve connected the cables correctly and have power on everything, pick your tune and hit play!

2014-11-02 01.24.03

There’s a few caveats to this setup, it’s Bluetooth based, so it will generally drain your battery a little faster than you’d normally like. It can also be a little susceptible to distance, so if you have a large home the sound may drop out if you move the source too far away. But other than that, have at it.

Have you been thinking about a streaming music player for your home? Will this setup be useful to you?

Phil Tann   Journalist

Phil is an Android enthusiast who spends most of his time reading up on U.S. Android news so he can get the low down on what could possibly hit Australian shores. Coming from a background in IT & T sales, he’s in the perfect position to give an educated view on hardware and software.

8 comments

  1. Great article. But how to do the same with wifi instead of blue teeth? So far all roads lead to airplay.

  2. Good article. I would do something like this for a bit of fun.

  3. I’ve got a Sony bluetooth speaker I got from Officeworks a bit back. I paid $110 but you can get them now for about $85. It is decent quality, has a respectable range, comes with a mains plug but also gets a good life out of four AA batteries.

  4. Nice article. Going to put this one on the diy list for the weekend. Thanks phill.

  5. good one, i did exactly this about a month ago. it sort of spontaneously occurred to me that if bluetooth speakers were ubiquitous, there had to be a receiver i could plug into my amp. most of my music is locally stored but i’ve used play music on it too. THE FUTURE etc.

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