Balenasound + Home Cinema Setup


I stumbled upon this project when looking at DIY Sonos solutions using the IKEA SYMFONISK, and I’ve got to say, it looks fantastic, exactly what I need.

The only stumbling block so far is the living room/home cinema setup. Originally I liked the idea of Sonos because I could use their sound bars for my TV, but also include that soundbar in the groups so I wouldn’t have to buy extra speakers for the living room for multiroom audio.

The problem with this is that soundbars aren’t as good as a separate receiver and bookshelf speakers and I’m locked into that terrible ecosystem where old devices are suddenly considered legacy and unable to work with each other.

So my question is, how can I integrate balenasound into a home theater setup. where I could say ‘Hey Google, play xxxxxx in the living room’ and the receiver would auto switch to the right channel, and the music start playing?

I’m open to any solution (including home assistant etc) as long as it is seamless.

By the way, I am an EEE and I have a few ideas for snapcast/Balena devices that I think the community would like!

Hi @sgtsiff, balenaSound developer here :wave:

balenaSound can definitely help in turning “legacy” speakers into smarter ones. If I understand you correctly however you’d want to be able to multiplex them right? So sometimes you play music through balenaSound but other times through the TV, correct? Then there is the matter of controlling it via an assistant (google, alexa, etc). If so, that’s an interesting scenario I don’t think I’ve seen around here.

For starters I want to clarify unfortunately you’ll need some serious hacking to get this to maybe work with balenaSound :stuck_out_tongue: I’m not aware of any hardware multiplexer or similar that would allow you this type of control. You could build one yourself I guess, challenge would be how to detect when each source (balenaSound vs TV) is playing. For balenaSound you can hook into the play event (see here), for the TV it gets a little tricky. An idea is to intercept the audio coming from the TV and split it, send it to a microphone on the Pi and monitor that. It would take some electronics and programming skills to build something to test it. I can help you out from the balenaSound side of things but I don’t really have the cycles to dive into the rest unfortunately.

By the way, I am an EEE and I have a few ideas for snapcast/Balena devices that I think the community would like!

Happy to hear them :slight_smile:

Not so cheep but probably the best solution:
You could always go for an Google/Alexa compatible AV-Receiver and get your audio Output from HDMI of both worlds and select from there.