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Ideas for DIY multiroom streaming (+ main system TV/Movie playback) on a budget


New Member
May 6, 2023
To set the scene... around 20 years ago I was listening to FLACs ripped from my own CD collection on a Logitech Squeezebox -> Musical Fidelity X-DACV3 -> Audio Alchemy DLC -> Cambridge Audio SA200 -> Mission 752. Our TV was also connected to the DLC so one could have TV/Movie sound on this system and there was a second Squeezebox in the bedroom. I was really happy with this for many years but...

A few years ago I downsized just above everything (all the above - gone!) and moved into a new house. This is a relatively small house in Europe and took the opportunity to install ceiling speakers as that seemed like a good idea to keep rest of the rooms clean and open. Basically the system is now (everything here is duplicated 1 x for lounge, 1 x for bedroom):

Chromecast Audio -> SMSL SA98E -> Focal IC-106 x 2

Obviously ceiling speakers are not serious hi-fi which is why the source/amp are modest. TBH though, this system works relatively well for 'elevator music'. Ie. something in the background. I used to like Google Music and was migrated against my will to YouTube Music, but luckily on a very favorable plan. YTM has numerous annoyances but is convenient and in the context of 'background listening' is OK and a good match for the Chromecast Audios. I know streaming services aren't great with regard to sound quality but just can't imagine going back to physical media or even rips - streaming is just too convenient - you got me!

So what is this post about?

2 main 'problems' to solve with the situation right now are:

- Obviously sound quality isn't great.
- Am just using the TV (Sony Bravia) inbuilt speakers for TV/Movies which isn't great either.

In order to address the sound quality at least in the lounge for music & TV I am starting to get some modest, but hopefully better sounding components together. As eluded to before, space is an issue so have gone with a 2.1 system of Q Acoustics Concept 20 + 3060S sub (please don't beat me up - space issues!).

Am yet to choose an amp for the Concept 20s . It would be super nice to have something that has HDMI ARC input, bass management and the abiity to stream from numerous services but something like that seems rather expensive - NAD 3045, Bluesound Powernode, etc. and prices just go up from there.

I like to 'tinker' and started thinking about a cheaper solution. Basically we have 2 sources: TV and... lets call it 'streaming'. TV only has to come out of the 2.1 system but would be nice to send 'streaming' elsewhere in the house (ceiling speakers when you just want something in the background or bedroom).

As Chromecasts support multiroom streaming this could be achieved with a 3rd Chromecast Audio (second hand) or a WiiM and put that by the TV with an amp that just has to switch between these two (the Chromecast or the TV). The analog sound from either TV or Chromecast can be improved by adding a DAC later.

An SMSL A300 would seem to fit the bill so leaning towards at least trying one of these. Others have said that a Loxjie A30 can drive the Concept 20s which I am skeptical about but maybe could also give that a try.

Anyhow, that would be the 'easy' solution, and comments on that welcomed, but... where's the fun going the 'easy' way ;)

I should also mention that we have an automation system (Loxone + ioBroker for 'fun' add-ons). To this automation system I have added a bluetooth remote that controls the TV/Chromecasts via their various protocols. This remote can play/pause/skip music, change volume, etc. as well as fully control the TV (the system knows when the TV is on or music is playing so therefore which device to send commands to). Works surprisingly well. I bring this up because this automation would allow control over various DSP modules. I know for example that one can control a MiniDSP 2x4HD or Flex device via USB and use one as a pre-amp.

Therefore a (probably insane) idea I had using Wondom/Dayton Audio DIY digital modules (much more economic than MiniDSP!) that is a little more 'out there':

- Take the digital sources (toslink from TV + Chromecast Audio) and convert into I2S.
- Use a single ADAU1701 board simply to mix/select one of these sources and/or attenuate the result. This is basically a 'master' pre-amp and would be controlled directly from our automation system (via BT remote). From what I can tell the ADAU1701 commands can be sent over USB (via a separate module) or over I2C/SPI (via a microcontroller).
- Output from 'master' pre-amp goes into a DAC (sadly most likely through an I2S to toslink/coax adapter as good/cheap DACs with I2S input seem hard to find) then into a power amp driving the Concept 20s. In fact the ADAU1701 has analog outputs which would avoid the need for an external DAC but I don't read great things about it's sound quality. Could try it direct and upgrade to external DAC later if need be.
- Bonus feature - the ADAU1701 could do some bass management for the 3060S and I think for a sub perhaps it's internal DAC would be good enough.
- When music is required in other rooms (via ceiling speakers) send the I2S digital signal (from the 'master' pre-amp) to our comms room (where the ceiling speaker amps are) over Cat7 cable.
- Add a second ADAU1701 board with this I2S input in front of the 2 x SMSL SA98E amps that drive the ceiling speakers. As mentioned, DACs of the ADAU1701 aren't reported to be great, but they should be good enough for ceiling speakers. Again, control this from the automation system so each set of ceiling speakers has it's own volume/mute control.
- Bonus feature - as the ADAU1701 is a DSP pretty sure the ceiling speakers could benefit from some form of EQ it could provide.
- Bonus feature - as the source always comes from the single Chromecast Audio in the Lounge or TV... well - only a single Chromecast Audio is required (so would have one spare for when it eventually breaks) and one could also have TV sound throughout the house (super rare, but imagine listening to sports commentary while doing other things and only returning to the lounge to watch when things sound interesting).

Does anyone have any thoughts/opinions on how viable - or most likely not! ;) - this crazy idea is?

Sorry if this has been bit of a long winded post to get here, but not easy to describe.

P.S. Oh - I did also think about trying to get analog audio from the lounge to comms room using balanced feed over the Cat7 cable, or doing the source selection/mixing/volume in the analogue domain or similar but surely staying digital for as long as possible in the signal path would be better?


Major Contributor
Oct 18, 2019


Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Mar 29, 2021
Sorry for being the asshole who gives unsolicited advice, but it becomes really hard to engage with your requirements if it takes 2 paragraphs for you to get to what is it that you'd like to talk about, and suddenly there are 10 different topics being all discussed at all once. Maybe you can start with what is it that you want, and then go into the details of your current setup and keep the questions to one or two at a time? You can always open different threads for different topics, we can not do the job of a system integrator for you in one single thread.


New Member
Sep 13, 2023
For a budget-friendly DIY multiroom streaming setup, start with a Raspberry Pi or an old computer as your media server. Install a media server software like Plex or Kodi to manage your content. Connect it to your main TV.

To stream to other rooms, use affordable Raspberry Pi devices or Chromecasts as media players. These can be connected to TVs or monitors. Set up a shared network storage solution like a NAS or use a spare external hard drive to store your media.

For audio streaming, consider using Bluetooth speakers or smart speakers like Amazon Echo Dots in different rooms. Sync them using multi-room audio features. Alternatively, invest in inexpensive audio casters like Google Chromecast Audio.

This DIY approach allows you to enjoy movies, TV shows, and music throughout your home without breaking the bank.
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