Standalone System for Spotify Streaming

Hi Everyone

I'm just looking for ideas on a nice audio setup for streaming Spotify. My current setup is my TV with an Amazon FireTV stick hooked up to a Logitech Z-5500 speaker system running in stereo. The Amazon FireTV stick has the Spotify Smart Connect app on it and I stream through that. Works just fine, and sounds good enough.

However, I'm moving soon and will now have a 'family room' and a 'living room'. I plan to have my TV setup down stairs in the 'family room', and I'm looking for a speaker setup to use upstairs.

I like the idea of floor standing speakers and a receiver, but I feel like a receiver would be way overkill just for streaming Spotify. At the same time I don't think something like a Bose SoundLink wireless speaker would fit the bill. I want something that can handle bass when there's bass, and still sound nice and full when volume goes up.

Some of the receivers are super expensive, but if there's a more affordable receiver I'd still be OK going that route. I might get hipster enough to hook up a turntable. Not that i'm an aspiring audiophile. I just think it's cool and it brings back memories of weekends at my grandparents house when they'd have the record player going.

Recommendations? Gracias!

I used to have the same scenario where I wanted to listen to music with a nice setup in one room and then a half decent setup in another.

For the second music player I got a Raspberry Pi with a FiiO E10 and some M-Audio AV 40s. I was going to add a sub but I felt that would be overkill since it's a small room and the AV 40s sound really good!

If you don't want a Raspberry Pi have a look at some Android Mini PCs that are cheap on Amazon / eBay.

Do not use bose speakers the are very well know to not be able to go below 40Hz so there will be very weak base

If all you are using the system for is some light streaming a cheaper ($300) reciever. You can start with just bookshelf speakers and then work up to floor standing speaker.

What is your hard spending limit?

Yeah, a budget would be helpful. But, there are a number of inexpensive stereo receivers that would work well in a budget system if you want to go that route. Take a look here:

and here:

Add on some bookshelf speakers such as these:

And if you want some extra low end, toss in a subwoofer like this:

and you have a decent little budget system. For the source, you can run anything from a an old computer you have laying around to a Raspberry Pi. Spotify works on many operating systems and platforms and is very easy to run, so finding something strictly for the purpose of streaming music shouldn't be difficult.

If you want to make sure you get the best audio quality possible out of it, you could add in an external (usb) DAC. Something like the Schiit Modi 2 would be a good choice:

Now, granted the audio quality will still be impacted by the quality of the DAC in the receiver, but you'll be bypassing the usually subpar (and often noisy) internal DAC that comes with most computers/devices. So you SHOULD get cleaner sound. If you want to add a dedicated headphone amp as well, the Schiit Magni 2 Uber would be the natural choice. Both because it's pairs with the Modi, and because it has pre-amp RCA outs that can feed to your receiver (and will also cut the sound going to the receiver when you plug in your headphones):

Of course, all this is dependent on your budget and your taste in sound. Audio is very subjective, so what sounds good to me may not sound good to you. Because of this, you should always test out products whenever possible to make sure they sound good to YOU.

Thanks for the suggestion. I do have an unused Raspberry Pi 2 already on hand, but I'm not sure it's what I'm looking for. Ultimately I'm sure I could make into something to fit what I want, but not sure I want to put in the effort with the Raspberry Pi. I'm looking for something that doesn't need use of a monitor, and can be controlled with buttons on the unit itself and/or remote control. I don't plan on having a TV in this room otherwise a mini PC might not be a bad idea.

Ah, yeah, I'm not sure I'd ever buy Bose. I was just using it as an example of the portable Bluetooth speaker systems that aren't what I'm after.I did find some receivers in the ~$250 range that looked like they would work for what I'm wanting. I think bookshelf speakers might actually be a good route to take. If I could find a pair with decent enough bass response so I could not worry about needing a sub (at least at first) that would also be nice.

I guess I don't really have a hard budget... $500 for a pair of speakers and receiver would be ideal. Wouldn't want to go over 750$ to be honest. I don't expect the best with my budget... I realize I could spend my entire budget just on 2 bookshelf speakers alone.

Thanks for the links. Yeah, I realize that is one of the problems asking for audio related suggestions. Super subjective! It's also somewhat of a bummer for online shoppers like me... sometimes just rolling the dice based on reviews.


When I first started this I was leaning towards floor standing speakers. However, now I'm thinking bookshelf speakers might be the way to go. Just buy a sofa/console table to put everything on and not worry about taking up a ton of room. I've even found a few 'mini' hifi systems that look like they'd be a good choice if they handle volume OK, and aren't anemic in the bass.

Also thought I had one from Denon, but I don't see it in my tabs now.

Ultimately I think piecing it out is going to be the way to go.

Side note.. I tried to edit my original post (as I just edited this one to fix a typo), but it seems that button is missing on my original post.

There are plenty of ways to use a remote with a Pi, such as this:

All you'd really need to do is set it up to load spotify on boot, and then map spotify hotkey controls to the remote buttons. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work. Of course, it will take a bit of effort to get set up.

It's usually a good choice. That way you leave yourself open for expanding it in the future, and you can get exactly what you want rather than settling for whatever comes in the package. You can also likely build something of higher quality for a lower price than one of those mini systems/all in ones. For example, everything I posted above (including the Amp/DAC stack) would be cheaper than the Onkyo mini system. Of course, an all in one can be really convenient.

Yeah, there seems to be a 2 day limit on editing posts for normal users. I just found this out the other day myself when I was trying to update my Tek Fantasy Football topic.

Well - none of this ever came to fruition! Ended up buying other house stuff and didn't buy any speakers or anything. So, I've just been using my Logitech Z-5500's in stereo with just two of the speakers connected and hooking my laptop or phone into them.

However, I'm in the process of getting a headless Spotify client running on a Raspberry Pi2 that a friend gave me a while back. I didn't have any luck finding just a standalone headless Spotify client, but it seems like Pi MusicBox will do what I want. I've got Arch running on it now, SSH'ing into it. That's about as far as I've made it so far... need to get Pi Music Box configured properly... did something wrong with it at this point. Also not sure if I'm going to use the headphone out of the Pi or buy a USB option for better audio.

Will update this thread again when I eventually get it all said and done! I shouldn't have been so quick to pass on the Raspberry Pi recommendation - just at the time I wasn't thinking about being able to control it with my phone or main PC when connected to the same network.


Nearly a month later... I can't remember if I was unsuccessfully trying to get spotifyD running on the pi2 Arch install at the point of discovering PiMusicBox, or if I was trying to install PiMusicBox on the Arch install. PiMusicBox being is own "OS" meant no need for Arch.

Either way, I just downloaded PiMusicBox on my laptop and DD'd it onto the microSD card and fired the pi2 back up. After giving it a minute or so I was able to navigate to the IP of the pi2 in my browser and search for songs on Spotify and play them through the pi2.

SUCCESS! Almost...

It turns out PiMusicBox wasn't what I thought. I was hoping that once the Pi2 was fired up Spotify would be running on it, and since that Pi2 is on my network I could then control it via the Spotify apps on my desktop or cell phone via 'Spotify Connect'. Not the case at all. So that's a let down.

In a perfect world I could just install Arch on the Pi2, configure the network, install alsa for the audio, install a Spotify client and (guessing) through the joys of systemd have it launch Spotify at startup. However, it seems there's no Spotify client for ARM version of Linux. Also there's the fact I'm very much a noob with Arch.

I'm think I'm going to have to admit defeat w/ the Pi2 + Arch + Spotify combo. My best bet might be Raspbian with the "ExaGear" desktop that allows you to run x86 apps on ARM platform. THEN figure out how to have all that run at startup, as this will be a headless client.

-edit- Apparently ExaGear isn't free. Not a deal breaker, but a bummer no less.

-edit #2- Might just find a new project for the Pi2 and just spend $50 on a Gramofon which is a small wifi audio thing that supports Spotify Connect. Tis on Amazon. Even though the Pi2 was free for me, this would have been roughly the same price in the long run after buying a microSD card, case, power supply, heatsinks for shits & giggles, and usb wifi for the Pi2.

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I'm actually using the chromecast audio just for spotify. You can remote control it from any mobile spotify app and it will play forever if you want it to. Sounds pretty good too.

Nice - I will check that out. It's cheaper too!

Best Buy trip