Building a Bluetooth speaker

 

Building a Bluetooth speaker

This is an archived documentation. It won't be updated anymore and it might not be accurate anymore.

While I personally did not like the older Raspberry Pi Zero due to its missing network connectivity, the new Raspberry Pi Zero W now is a very cool product for very small systems (I still prefer the RPI3 for projects where power consumption and space are not critical). The combination of the Raspberry Pi Zero W and our MiniAmp is so mall, that you can use it to activate almost any small speaker.

While I usually prefer listening to music from Spotify, recently I had to connect an Amazon Echo to an external loudspeaker (the internal speaker isn’t really designed to play back music).┬áBut how? The Echo has an line-out, but the HiFiBerry MiniAmp does not have an external input. Alternatively there is the option to connect a speaker via Bluetooth A2DP. While Audiophiles don’t like this, the sound quality isn’t that bad. Especially with small speakers, the limitation will be the speaker itself, not the audio compression of Bluetooth audio.

One problem with Bluetooth audio on Linux is the setup of BlueZ and PulseAudio. Both software packages are quite complex and not easy to install and configure for many users. Luckily, there are guides and scripts already available. The initial guide I was looking at is this one on Instructables. Unfortunately it was written for an older version of Raspbian and won’t work out-of-the-box. Other users already worked on this and the base for my project was the fork from BAReinhard.

This makes the installation really simple. Just run the following commands

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y git
git clone https://github.com/BaReinhard/Super-Simple-Raspberry-Pi-Audio-Receiver-Install
cd Super-Simple-Raspberry-Pi-Audio-Receiver-Install
sudo ./install.sh

Now follow the instructions and install the parts you need.

Last updated: October 4, 2019