How to stream music around your home



Stream your favourite tunes all over the house through wireless speakers, using your phone or tablet. Here’s how…

You’re planning a Christmas party and want to make the music as stress-free as possible while still sounding good.

You can play music straight from a streaming service and control it from your phone or tablet with wireless speakers. But which type of speakers are right for you? Read our guide…

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What is wireless streaming?

Simply, it’s playing music from your phone, tablet or computer through a set of wireless speakers over your home Wi-Fi or via Bluetooth.

You can play music saved on your device – your iTunes for example - or sign up to a streaming service and play music direct from the web via a streaming service.

These services have boomed in popularity. The number of people paying to subscribe to them rose from 8 million in 2010 to 41 million in 2014, according to industry body IFPI

With a streaming service you:

  • can access loads and loads of music – the big services each offer around 30 million songs
  • easily skip from one genre to the next – from really popular things like rock to more niche styles such as bluegrass and electronica
  • control what you’re listening to from your phone, tablet or computer
  • can find ready-made playlists to suit every party and morning after
  • can check out recommendations based on your taste

What do you need for wireless streaming?

To stream your music, you will need:

  • A Wi-Fi connection, or Bluetooth-enabled devices
  • Wireless speakers, or a streaming gadget like Chromecast Audio
  • Smartphone, tablet or computer
  • An account with a streaming service if you want to stream from the web

Different types of wireless streaming

Multi-room streaming – perfect for a party

If you want to stream different music in different rooms – so mum can listen to Michael Bublé in the bedroom while dad rocks out to the Stones in the kitchen – multi-room is the right option.  

This will mean creating a linked network of speakers around your home, controlled by smartphone or tablet appand connected over your home Wi-Fi.

Multi-room we love – Sonos

Sonos is the original multi-room set up. Its speakers are designed to suit different rooms, and its interface easy to set up and use.

Sonos 2

The smaller Play: 1 speaker  is perfect for starting your network and makes a great addition to a kitchen or a bedroom.

When it comes to providing a soundtrack to a party, the larger Play: 5 is perfect. This bigger and altogether beefier speaker can take centre stage in your living room ready to throw out some serious beats. You can control the sound in each room using the simple Sonos app. How do wireless speakers work?

Portable streaming – good for one-room gatherings  

These portable wireless speakers connect to your phone over Bluetooth to stream from services like Spotify.

Lightweight and small, they’re designed to be taken out and about in your bag – or to be carried from room to room at home. But if you’re just partying in 1 room, they can soundtrack your shindig.

The Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker II is a great option. It gives you the audio kudos of Bose in a pint-sized package. With 10 hours’ battery life, you can take it to a party and dance all night. And it should be able to withstand the odd knock in your bag with its aluminium case.

Another great portable speaker, the JBL Charge 2+ has a cool party feature.  Different people can connect their phones to the speaker to queue up their Spotify playlists. Let everyone be the DJ. Take the party into the garden – it’s got a water-resistant casing, so it doesn’t matter if it rains.

Streaming on your existing speakers

Chrome _Cast _Audio _Low

 

You don’t have to buy new speakers to stream. You can give your existing speakers a makeover with Google’s Chromecast Audio.

This nifty device plugs into your existing speakers and connects to your home Wi-Fi to deliver the tunes.

Control what you’re listening to from your phone or tablet. Just hit the ‘Cast’ button in apps like Spotify and Google Play Music.

An introduction to streaming services

  1. Spotify

Spotify

This is the big player, with over 20 million paying subscribers and 30 million songs to pick from. There’s a massive archive of Spotify-curated playlists, and a weekly playlist of songs recommended just for you.

  • How much does it cost? Spotify Premium is £9.99 per month
  • Can you get your music offline? Yes
  • Can I store my own music? Yes.

Find out more about Spotfiy

  1. Apple Music

Apple Music

Apple Music lets you stream the whole of the Apple Music library – with 30 million songs to peruse. It also suggests new music to you as it learns what you like, with suggestions coming from real-life music experts.

  • How much does it cost? £9.99 per month. There are family plans too
  • Can you get your music offline? Yes
  • Can I store my own music? Yes. You can sync your iTunes library with Apple Music

Find out more about Apple Music

  1. Google Play Music

Googleplay

You can stream 30 million songs from Google’s library.

And you can listen to YouTube without ads, even when you’re offline. Got iTunes? You can also upload that into Google Play Music.

  • How much does it cost? £9.99 per month  
  • Can you get your music offline? Yes
  • Can I store my own music? Yes.

Find out more about Google Play Music

Find your perfect set up for wireless streaming