How to Make an Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi?

Raspberry Pi is one of the best single board computers on the market. With Raspberry Pi, you can build your own Android TV Box or set up an RPI web server. There are endless possibilities with the Raspberry Pi, and we love this tiny computer. We built an audio streaming device with Raspberry Pi to showcase its utility and bring you another great tutorial. With balenaSound and a Raspberry Pi board you can: turn your old speaker into a smart Bluetooth compatible speaker. Additionally, you can stream music from Spotify and it’s also compatible with Apple’s AirPlay. So, without wasting time, let’s get started with our guide.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

In this Raspberry Pi project, we have detailed instructions for building an audio streaming device. Even if you’re new to this, don’t worry, we’ve covered everything from flashing the operating system to customizing balenaSound and wirelessly streaming music to your old speaker. If you already know the requirements or how to flash BalenaOS, you can expand the table below and navigate to the desired section.

Requirements for Creating an Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi

Before we move on to the steps of setting up our audio streaming device, here are the hardware and software requirements for this Raspberry Pi project:

1. Compatible with Balena Sound Raspberry Pi 4, 3, 2 and v1. It also supports Raspberry Pi Zero, Zero W, Zero 2 WiFi, CM4 and the latest 400.

2. Then, a power adapter for your Raspberry Pi.

3. An SD card 8GB or more storage.

4. Finally, you will need an audio connector. If your speaker already has a 3.5mm cable, you don’t need to buy an aux cable.

Download and Flash BalenaOS on Raspberry Pi

1. First go ahead and download Balena Etcher (free) on your PC, Mac or Linux machine. It will allow you to install BalenaOS on the SD card.

2. Next, we need to download balenaOS. Hungry GitHub page Select Balena Sound and click “Deploy with Balena”. This is an extremely important step. There is currently a bug on BalenaSound’s official page that it is not deploying the operating system correctly. Therefore, I recommend you to review the GitHub page to avoid any problems in the process.

3. Once you click “Deploy with BalenaWhen you press the ” button, it will take you to the balena login page. Create a free account and log in here.

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Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

4. Next, give your Fleet a name. After that, select the Raspberry Pi version you have from the “Default device type” drop-down menu. And don’t forget to keep the Fleet type as “Startup”. Finally, “Build and deploy” button.

note: Make sure the “Build and deploy” button appears here instead of “Create new squadron”. If you have the latter, go back to the GitHub page and click the “Deploy with Balena” button.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

5. On the next page, “Add device“.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

6. Here, Confirm your Raspberry Pi select the device type and select the balenaOS version you want to install. I recommend keeping everything as default.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

7. Then scroll down and Choose “Wifi+Ethernet”. Enter your WiFi name and password here. Remember that the WiFi name (SSID) and password are case sensitive, so provide the credentials as is. It allows your Raspberry Pi to automatically connect to WiFi when powered on. Finally, click on the “Download balenaOS” option. By the way, you also have the option to connect your Raspberry Pi via the Ethernet port.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

8. Now, a ZIP file of approximately 160 MB will be downloaded to your PC. Next, open balenaEtcher Select the program we downloaded in step 1 and the ZIP file.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

9. After that, insert the SD card into your computer and click “choose destination“. Here select your SD card.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

10. Finally, click the blue”flash!” Press the button and the SD card will be ready with balenaOS in a few minutes.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi (2021)

Build a Raspberry Pi Audio Streamer with Balena Sound

1. After flashing the SD card, add Plug it into your Raspberry Pi board and turn it on.

2. Go to the web dashboard where we downloaded BalenaOS. Here, in the right corner, you will find a “Versions” section “balenaSound” is mentioned below. If nothing appears here, you need to go back to the GitHub page again and start with the “Deploy with balena” button.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Balena Sound on Your Raspberry Pi

3. Now wait for a while while Raspberry Pi tries to connect to your WiFi network. After a few minutes, reload the web clipboard and You will see that your Raspberry Pi has been added to the device list. and communicating with Balena’s cloud server.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Balena Sound on Your Raspberry Pi

4. Then click on Raspberry Pi, it will show you all the details including the operations it performs in real time. You don’t need to do anything here. On the right you will find log showing all packages it has downloaded and updated. After 10-15 minutes, balenaSound is up and running.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Balena Sound on Your Raspberry Pi

5. A call to confirm that everything is OK. List of services with “Running” status below. If everything is green and marked “Running”, it means your Raspberry Pi powered audio streaming device is ready to go.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Balena Sound on Your Raspberry Pi

6. Now, connect your speaker Connect it to the 3.5mm headphone jack of Raspberry Pi and open Spotify on your phone or computer. A new “balenaSound Spotify XXXX” speaker will appear at the bottom of the device selection screen in Spotify. Tap on it and you’ll be able to stream the song to your speaker just like that. Note that Chromecast or casting from an Android device is not yet supported.

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note: You may need Spotify Premium to use Spotify Connect.

Build Audio Streaming Device with Balena Sound on Your Raspberry Pi

7. However Bluetooth support. You can easily connect your Android device or computer to the audio streaming device via Bluetooth. Then Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music etc. You can play songs from your favorite streaming music app. Make sure to disconnect Spotify Connect before establishing a Bluetooth connection.

  • How to Make an Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi?
  • How to Make an Audio Streaming Device with Raspberry Pi?

8. The best part is, Native support for AirPlay. Basically, you can easily stream your music on iPhone and other Apple devices without having to rely on Bluetooth. This is great, isn’t it?

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi? Here’s the Fix!

1. Don’t worry if your old speaker, which now serves as an audio streaming device, has low sound output because there is an easy fix. On the Balena web dashboard, local IP address.

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi?  Here's the Fix

2. Next, open it in a web browser and turn the volume of the device “one hundred%“.

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi?  Here's the Fix

3. If you still think the sound output is low, press “Device VariablesSelect ” from the left sidebar in the web dashboard and change the device value of “SOUND_VOLUME” to “100”.

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi?  Here's the Fix

4. Next, create a new variable named DISABLE_MULTI_ROOM and change the value to “one“.

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi?  Here's the Fix

5. Now, Restart your Raspberry Piand the low sound problem should have been eliminated this time.

Low Sound Output with Balena Sound on Raspberry Pi?  Here's the Fix

Add Bluetooth, AirPlay and Spotify Connect Support to Your Old Speaker Using Raspberry Pi

So you can create an audio streaming device with Raspberry Pi. While the Raspberry Pi has countless other utilities, I particularly like this project. It allows me to reuse my old speakers and stream music from Spotify, YouTube or any other platform from anywhere in my house. The best part is that you don’t need a powerful Raspberry Pi 4 to build an audio streaming device. You can also do this with older and cheaper cards like the RPi 3 and 2. Anyway, that’s it for us. If you want to install Pi-hole on your Raspberry Pi, follow our linked tutorial. And if you have any questions, let us know in the comments section below.

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