Wireless audio from any device to any combination of wireless speakers

ErockJ

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Jul 3, 2015
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Hi Folks!

I'm trying to come up with a smart way to make it easy to play any audio (i.e. music, video, games, skype calls, sound effects, etc.) from any [apple?] device (i.e. phone, tablet, laptop, smartTV, stereo receiver) to any combination of rooms or sets of speakers that I choose (i.e. living room, bedroom, gym).

Right now, I have mostly apple devices, and I'm using Apple airplay to stream audio from any apple device to any room (via AppleTV or Apple Airport Express, manually connected to wired speakers). But only a few applications (such as itunes) allow me to stream that audio to multiple rooms or speakers at the same time. I use Spotify, for example, a lot, and cannot stream to multiple devices with that app. So I can play Spotifly music from my phone or laptop to my Gym, but not my gym *and* bedroom at the same time.

I know there are an increasing number of good wireless speaker systems, like SONOS, but those seem to come with their own applications, and make it very difficult or expensive to connect other devices.

SONOS, as just one example, would make it easy for me to stream music from any device to any combination of rooms (that have SONOS speakers in them). But they don't seem to make it very viable for me to stream other audio from other sources.

I cannot (without huge investment in multiple otherwise unnecessary SONOS sound bars) send audio from my SmartTVs to the other speakers in my home.

Nor does there seem to be any way to send my general laptop (MacBookPro) audio to any wireless speaker set. So SONOS makes music easy to transmit, but other audio (from games, skype, or other applications) cannot be streamed at all. One thing I like about my current solution is that my macbook pro, iphone, and ipad can all utilize any single set of wireless speakers instead of their low-quality internal speakers. So, if I'm sitting in my bedroom with my ipad, I can send all the ipad audio to my bedroom speakers. I cannot, however, send that or any other audio to all of the speakers throughout multiple spaces.

Any thoughts on a more universal solution? I'm fine in making a substantial investment, but not unless it accomplishes everything I want it to. And it doesn't seem like this should be as challenging as it is. Mostly, I blame proprietary technology that intentionally won't play well together.

In my dream world, this system would be the voice of my smarthouse. Dropcams seem to be pretty effective "eyes." At some point, I'd like to investigate some "ears" (maybe like a mic system that can monitor for voice commands throughout my home), and some sensors that can place me (or my phone) throughout the house. And then I want it to all interact brilliantly (and hopefully not attack me while I'm asleep or anything... I've seen Terminator 3! I know how this all ends!)

So... bonus points if the solution plays nice with my other smart house stuff. I currently have Philips HUE bulbs throughout the house, A Honeywell Lyric Thermostat, some Nest Dropcams, a few WeMo devices, The TED (Energy Detective) electricity monitor, and am always looking for other fun ways to automate and app-control my house.

Thanks in advance for any brilliant thoughts on the subject!
EJ
 
There are large scale home control systems such as Crestron, Savant (which is Apple based), Control4, and URC Total Home Control that can be configured to do almost anything if the designer/programmer is clever and your wallet is big enough. Some can be used with Sonos for music. These are expensive and require profession installation and programming.
If you leave the home control aspect aside Sonos is as close as you can come. The Sonos Connect has an input which can be connected to an airport express. That can be sent to any other Sonos speaker or ConnectAmp. You select it as an aux input on the Sonos app.
Since Sonos can by itself access any streaming music service and audio files on your network your devices (phones, tablets, computers) act as remotes not sources. You can stream from these devices directly but if you have a NAS on the network with all your music files you don't need to.
 
There are large scale home control systems such as Crestron, Savant (which is Apple based), Control4, and URC Total Home Control that can be configured to do almost anything if the designer/programmer is clever and your wallet is big enough. Some can be used with Sonos for music. These are expensive and require profession installation and programming.
If you leave the home control aspect aside Sonos is as close as you can come. The Sonos Connect has an input which can be connected to an airport express. That can be sent to any other Sonos speaker or ConnectAmp. You select it as an aux input on the Sonos app.
Since Sonos can by itself access any streaming music service and audio files on your network your devices (phones, tablets, computers) act as remotes not sources. You can stream from these devices directly but if you have a NAS on the network with all your music files you don't need to.
 
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