How to wirelessly stream music in your home

With the great technology built in to every smart device and the wide app selection, creating the ultimate wireless network in your home for streaming music could literally be in the palm of your hand. You can find a simple solution to stream music in your living room or build an advanced sound system to enjoy tunes in every room of your house, all controlled through your phone or tablet.

To wirelessly stream music, you basically need three things:

  • A device to play music
  • Digital music or a music streaming service
  • Wireless speaker system like Sonos, Bose, or something else.

What kind of device do I need to wirelessly play music?

Back in the olden days (ten years ago), people had dedicated music-playing devices like iPods and other MP3 players. They held dozens, sometimes hundreds, of your favourite songs and helped the time pass quicker when you were riding your dinosaur to visit other cavemen.

Today, most smart devices will store and play music right off the device's hard drive or expandable memory. You can also download apps to your device or computer to stream music from a variety of service providers.

This means that if you own a smartphone (iPhone, Android phone, Windows Mobile phone, etc.), a tablet (iPad, Android tablet, Microsoft Surface, etc.) have a computer (PC or Mac), or a video game console (XBOX One, Playstation 4, or Wii U) you can enjoy wireless music streaming in your home!

If you own a device with Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi, it's likely you'll be able to connect to a wireless speaker to build your home sound system. Music playback and streaming capabilities are available in most modern tech devices. And, through these devices, you can also connect with a variety of music playing services to expand your audio library!

Where can I find music to stream in my home?

You can wirelessly play music through your house from two sources: music you've downloaded and music streamed through supported services.

If you've downloaded music to your computer or device you can play it through your favourite music playing app and enjoy it on a connected speaker in your home. However, as music streaming services become more common, you can enjoy the full libraries of these services on your wireless speakers.

Many wireless streaming services come with their own app, which you can install on your device (Apple Music, Google Play Music, Sirius XM, etc.). You can also access music streaming services by logging into a service's website, if you don't want to download a specific app. Depending on the brand of speakers you're streaming to, you may be able to manage multiple music subscription services through one parent app (like the Sonos Controller).

Some music services are free, others require a paid subscription. You can also find a soundtrack or create a video playlist on Youtube and enjoy listening to the audio on any speakers connected to your device.

Once you have a device and your music lined up, the most important part of enjoying music wirelessly in your home is selecting the right speakers.

What kind of speaker do I need to stream music?

This is a big question! First, you need to decide how you want to listen to music in your house. Do you want one small speaker you can easily carry around room-to-room? Do you want a network of speakers connected throughout your house playing the same music? Do you want multiple speakers, playing different music, in different rooms, with multiple people in your home accessing the central system?

Knowing how you want music streaming to work in your house will determine how much money you need to spend and which speakers will work best for your needs.

If you only need music streaming in one main room of your home, then you can get by with a solo wireless speaker. The JBL Flip is a great, inexpensive Bluetooth speaker that's portable and a great value for the sound quality. It's very portable, so you can bring it back and forth between home and the office and easily move it from room to room.

If you want to start with a solo speaker, but plan on expanding your wireless music network throughout your house, room by room, start with an audio brand that makes it easy to connect to additional speakers as you grow your sound system.

Sonos has the Play:1 and the Play:3, which are compact speakers designed for wireless streaming and use the SonosNet– a dedicated wireless music streaming network– to play your audio.

The Bose SoundTouch lineup is a good option, which allow you to stream over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi between devices or to additional speakers.

Sound advice

Streaming music in your home can be done as basically or as elaborately as you want. You can take advantage of existing devices, to minimize the amount you have to spend to create your wireless music network. As long as you have a device to play music, access to digital music, and a decent wireless speaker, you can build your home music streaming system.

Drew Kozub

"Siri, write a really funny bio for me to use for Mobile Nations" "Okay, Drew, here's your really funny bio: How-to writer, fiddle player, retro gamer."