So your phone is holding your music collection and access to your online radio stations. And you have boom boxes, speakers and old amplifiers sitting around… depreciating. How do you connect them via Bluetooth or Wifi so you can stream your music in full sound?
If you’re an audiophile with excess cash, the Sonos Play 1 is a $199 Wifi amplified speaker that is easy to use, sounds great, and fairly portable. I have one of them and the $299 Sonos Play 2 , and they come with an iPhone/Android app that allows me to stream Pandora or my saved music from my phone or laptop. SONOS does have a way you can connect to your existing speaker/amp, but it’s even more expensive than the one with the speaker (it’c called a SONOS connect). Note that you need one $44 SONOS bridge for to get started, and that Bose is also catching up with the Soundtouch.
So what if you don’t want to spring for a new amplified speaker? What if all you want is the ability to connect your phone to your existing stereo system? Here are four less expensive options.
- The real poor-man’s solution is my do-it-yourself speaker kit. But you’ll have to live with the frustrating range limits of Bluetooth. And some of the Wifi options are not that much more expensive.
- Alternatively, you can wait for a Beep , which is a retro-looking metallic device that will connect your existing speakers to your digital music. Beep, created by some Google alumni, says it makes all your speakers wireless, but it doesn’t have an amplifier. But if you have good speakers without an amp, here’s an $18 amp that sounds like it should cost $100. Beep is not available yet, but the pre-orders are $99. No shipping date announced on site (at least that I could find). Here’s a Cnet review.
- The Rocki is very similar to the Beep, but also not yet available. Personally I like the Beep’s look better. To me the Rocki looks a bit cheap, although one critic says the Beep looks like an aluminum ashtray from bowling alleys, turned upside down. Touche.
- And here’s a clever Wifi audio hack. Buy a crappy tablet (like this iView Cyberpad at NewEgg) and connect it to your existing stereo system via its headphone jack. This would also work if you have an old iPhone. But I don’t believe you can control it via your existing phone.
Here’s an article that also shows you how to stream tunes via an AppleTV or Miracast if you’re an Android user.