Multiroom Bluetooth receiver

  • 23 February 2017
  • 5 replies
  • 480 views

Userlevel 5
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So, my plans are coming to fruition and I'm closing on a house next week. It's likely to be the site of many get together so plus my own relaxation times, so I want maximum flexibility on sources. I will have Sonos in every room and the pool area, so I want people who visit or come to parties to be able to connect their own devices, without downloading the sonos app. I know of and own a few Bluetooth receivers that will output via analog to an input on my receiver or on one of my Sonos Connects (I'll have three.). But, if someone connects to a Bluetooth receiver in the living room, and walks to the patio or another room, they will exceed the distance, music will break up, the champagne will stop flowing and the magic ends, etc, etc.

Is there a multiroom or multiple antenna Bluetooth solution, where one receiver has a much wider range, or multiple receivers are ganged together to one output stage, similar to multiple wifi access points in an enterprise solution? Ideally, I can give my guests one Bluetooth device name to pair with, and no matter where they are in the house, there is a device with the same Bluetooth MAC address and name, an antenna leading back to a central device.

Please do not say "just have the download the Sonos app, everything's available there" because 1) that's not accurate, and 2) I want them to do it the way they're already comfortable. They're guests, I'm the host, it's my job to cater to them not the reverse.

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5 replies

You're asking Bluetooth to do something it's not designed for. It's a short range wire replacement technology.
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I might challenge one aspect of your statement. But first, good for you for trying to be a good host. very cool.
So i would challenge your resistance to downloading the app as it might very well be the "way they're already comfortable". Some people stream content via BT. Yep, true story. Also others have sonos at home and are very comfortable with it. In the last 2 weeks i have been to 2 relatives and at least 3 friends, all who have sonos and all where my sonos app just worked. Given the sonos app path is integrated by default to your system, you might give it a try with your friends (no cost) to see how many already have sonos. Just a thought. Good luck...
As other have said, Bluetooth isn't built for this.

One of the challenges of streaming technology is maintaining a good connection: if the connection is degraded you can get drop outs or the music just stopping completely. It's really hard to do this reliably from a single mobile device moving around using something like wifi and apps with large buffers to deal with occasional outages.

You stand no chance with Bluetooth. Not only is the functionality not there, but even if it was the coverage and bandwidth are not. And whilst it's useful for in-car or personal headphone use, bluetooth isn't even that good as a wire replacement technology for home use.

The best chance you would have IMO would be to get a Chromecast audio and connect it to a line in. This will at least solve some of the things which make bluetooth suck: the bandwidth and practical distance limitations.

They will still, however, need to download the Google Home app and pair it, and the music they want to play needs to be compatible with Chromecast.

It starts to get to the point where they may as well just download the Sonos app, or maybe you get a couple of cheap Android tablets and leave them around for people to use.

Cheers,

Keith

They're guests, I'm the host, it's my job to cater to them not the reverse.

Perhaps in this instance being a host means downloading the app for them on their devices and spending the couple of minutes with them which is what it takes to help them get how it works?
Userlevel 4
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....or maybe you get a couple of cheap Android tablets and leave them around for people to use.

Cheers,

Keith


I'd agree with that. If they have music on their phone that they would like to play then I would ask them to download the app. We get our household tablets out and let guests play through that, or give them our wifi password and access through their phones.
Bear in mind that if someone is playing through their phone using any of the above methods and they leave the party/run out of battery, then the music stops. And the champagne, and the magic etc....