Using multi-zone ceiling speakers


I’m unsure if this project is my salvation or not.
So I’ve installed 10 ceiling speakers across my house (living room, kitchen, bedrooms, etc) thinking that it would be really easy (and cheap) to connect them to an Wi-Fi amplifier and then just pick a source like Spotify and the zone I want it to play. Turns out it’s not easy at all and all the amplifiers capable I found are crazy expensive.
Can this project achieve this? I need an amplifier anyway right?
Can anyone please point me in the right direction?

Thanks a lot!

Hey there @BMCouto,

Welcome to the forums!

I’m unsure if this project is my salvation or not.

based on the context above I’m assuming you are referring to our balenaSound project ?

I need an amplifier anyway right?

not sure about these amplifiers. can you provide some examples?

It seems like you require multiple target devices you can stream to. That would be a device per zone.
This means that you could set up a raspberry pi per zone for instance. You might also need a DAC or audio amplifier depending on your speakers.

This way you would find the devices in Spotify and select the one you want to stream to.

I suggest you read the documentation here balenaHub - IoT embedded device apps, edge computing resources, and developer tools or check out the original guide here

Hope this helps. Please do note these are suggestions only.


1 Like

Hello @BMCouto,

I do believe balenaSound will handle what you’ve installed and provide you with a pleasurable listening experience throughout your home. I use balenaSound throughout my home and I love it!

For each room, you will need to purchase a Raspberry Pi, an SD card (recommended: Sandisk Extreme 8GB or larger) an amplifier module for the RPi, a good quality power supply and some misc hardware. There are a number of companies who make amps that can attach to a Raspberry Pi. Consult the balenaSound docs for suggestions [1]. You don’t need the same hardware for each room. You can use smaller (cheaper!) RPi boards for rooms that don’t accept audio input, e.g, they are clients, but not servers. The docs explain those differences [2].

Once you have some hardware in-hand, follow the directions to set up your balena account and install balenaSound [2] onto the SD cards, assemble, connect one of the devices to a set of test speakers, and try using the system to see how it works for you. If you want to spend the least amount on a test, get yourself just a Raspberry Pi 4 with USB power cord and SD card, and an aux cable, install the SD card, and connect the aux cable between the RPi and another device, like a boombox that has an aux input. Then send some music to it from your phone or iTunes. That will get your feet wet, and you should be able to decide from there whether you’re interested in investing in more hardware to fill in the rooms. Note, the headphone jack on the RPi does not have very good audio quality. So don’t let that discourage you. Using an amp that attaches to the RPi can render nearly audiophile quality.



Thanks for that excellent guidance @koyaanisqatsi! :slight_smile:

1 Like