Wireless Speakers - Fail Whale?

I've failed miserably in my quest to find an affordable way to put wireless music throughout my house this summer. Or maybe it's a success in that I've learned the best way to make it happen: Sonos. Before I tell you more about my failures, let me describe my vision, or more accurately, my sound dreams: Effortless, invisible music unobtrusively & effortlessly filling my house.

Most modern houses come with some terrific speaker options invisibly installed in ceilings and walls which let a homeowner stream music all over the house but there's a catch: it's remarkably expensive. Glancing at a price list, it's $500 per room to just install the wires, before you buy speakers or, you know, whatever plays the music.

Notching down a bit on the 'total expense' page you can find Sonos, a family of wireless speakers which use mesh wi-fi to stream music from one of your devices. It's terrific in that you can have different music in different rooms or the same music in several rooms. Sounds great, right? I would put music in my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, family room, den, the back porch... Except that it's still expensive: Probably $300-$600 per room plus a little extra to incorporate your home theater. This is way less than the built-in speakers from above but still a large investment for most people.

So you can imagine my excitement when I learned of Google's Chromecast Audio, a $30 device which uses wi-fi to stream music to an existing speaker. I've got three old, unused speakers around the house so I bought three of these Chromecast Audio dongles to try it out. Each works great on its own but not in unison as advertised.

I'll give the setup one more attempt this week: music in the kitchen, dining room and living room. Cross your fingers for me, and post some comments so I can see what's working for you at home.

Matthew TansComment