If you are tech savvy enough to download an app and plug an aux line in to the back of a speaker, then you have what it takes to build your own wifi sound system. You may also be happy to know that you can spend as little or as much as you like and still have all the conveniences that a wifi sound system offers. All you need is one or more active speakers which can range anywhere from $2 on Ebay (for a Bluetooth speaker) to $1,000 and up from a professional audio store, plus $35 for each Chromecast Audio device (you will need one for each speaker), and $10 to $15 for each audio cable. To illustrate how to build your system, I will use as examples the components that I used to build mine however keep in mind the active speakers that I used can be substituted with countless other active speakers of your choosing. For my system I chose the Presonus Eris E8 active studio monitors which have an eight-inch driver, silk dome tweeter, and 130 watts of output power. When I created my system my goal was to replicate the Sonos Play 5 speaker which I did successfully and actually realistically probably overshot it quite a bit. Anyway, here is a list of things that you will need to build your system:
- Active Speaker(s)
- Google Chromecast Audio Device $35 each (you will need one for each speaker)
- Adapter cord $10-$15 (the type depends on the input type of your speaker. If the input type on your speaker is the 3.5mm aux input then you don’t need to purchase one as this is the type that comes with the speaker.)
In my case as mentioned previously, I chose the Presonus Eris E8 which fills a large room very nicely. Of course I also purchased Google Chromecast Audio and an adapter cord. There are 3 different input types on the Presonus Eris E8, however I chose to use the 1/4-inch input. Therefore I purchased a 3.5mm (Chromecast Audio input type) to UNBALANCED 1/4-inch (speaker input) audio cable by Live Wire from Guitar Center. It is important to use an UNBALANCED cable if you are using an active studio monitor with a 1/4-inch input otherwise the speaker will sound horrible. The first thing you will need to do is decide where you will be placing your speakers. Ideally, you will want to place them in a location that is close to an electrical outlet. Unless you are using battery powered speakers you will need to run power to them and even if you are using battery powered speakers you will need a way to charge them every so often. You will also want to place them in a location that gives them an unobstructed line of sight to all areas of the room that you will be placing them in. Connect your Chromecast Audio device to the back of your speaker using the appropriate cable then plug in your Chromecast Audio device to a power outlet using the power cord included. Now power on your speaker. Next you will need to download the Google Cast App from the Google Play Store to your smartphone. Open the app and follow the prompts to connect your Google Chrome Audio device(s) to the internet. Once you’ve completed the set up, you can now start streaming music to any and/or all of your speakers. Through the Google Cast App you can name each of your Chromecast Audio devices based which speaker it is connected to, which room it is in, or whatever you choose. You can also create groups on the app according to which speakers you want to play depending on what you are doing or what room(s) you plan to be in. For example, if you typically clean the kitchen and the living room at the same time and like to listen to music while doing so but don’t want to bother your spouse in the other room, you might want to create a group called kitchen + living room and include all devices in these two rooms for this group. Then when you select the group kitchen + living room, all of (and only) the speakers in these two rooms will play. You can have as many or as few Chromecast Audio devices as you would like and can also create as many groups as you want. In addition, each Chromecast Audio device can each be parts of different groups. For example, in addition to kitchen + living room, you may want to also have another group called living room + patio that you play when you have guests over. If you have any questions at all about Google Chromecast Audio, please fill in the contact form below or post in the comment section below and I will do my best to answer them. Check out my post Looking for an Alternative to a Sonos Sound System? to learn how this system compares to the popular Sonos sound system.