Building a Spotify speaker using a Raspberry Pi

Now that South Africans have access to Spotify’s music streaming platform, and its latest features, we can make use of its integrated connectivity options.

Certain of these features require supported hardware, however, such as smart speaker systems, or are only compatible with newer speakers.

If you have a Spotify Premium subscription and would like to stream music directly to your speaker over your home Wi-Fi network, though, you can use a Raspberry Pi to turn an old speaker into a Spotify-connected sound system.

This is a relatively simple process and uses Spotify Connect to easily integrate into your home network.

Spotify Connect

Spotify Connect allows users to play their music through compatible speakers on the same Wi-Fi network as their smartphone.

Using the Spotify app as a remote, users can control playlists, volume, and more directly from their smartphone.

This feature is only available to Spotify Premium subscribers – the R59.99-per-month package.

Spotify Premium also allows unlimited listening with no adverts, offline listening, unlimited track skips, shuffle play, and higher-quality audio.

Once active, compatible speakers are listed in an “available devices” menu in the Spotify app – allowing users to switch playback from their device to a Wi-Fi-connected speaker.

To set up your own Spotify-compatible speaker, you will need an existing sound system and a Raspberry Pi.

Any Raspberry Pi model should work, although you will need to have Wi-Fi connectivity using either a Wi-Fi dongle or the built-in Wi-Fi adapter on certain Pi models.

You will also need an SD card with a minimum size of 8GB for the Raspbian operating system.

Spotify Connect interface.
Spotify Connect interface.


Before getting Spotify Connect to work on your Raspberry Pi, you will need to set up your Pi’s operating system.

Download the latest version of NOOBS from the official Raspberry Pi website and install it onto your SD card.

Insert the SD card into your Pi and connect the board’s power supply to boot it up. Connect a keyboard and mouse, too, for the setup of your smart speaker.

You must then connect your Pi to your home Wi-Fi network, and the Internet, and install the latest Raspbian operating system available on the NOOBS image.

The next step is to download and install Raspotify, dtcooper’s Spotify Connect client for the Raspberry Pi.

This client is built on the open-source librespot library, which implements Spotify Connect compatibility across numerous devices.

To install the client, start up the Pi terminal (Raspbian’s command line interface) and type in the following:

curl -sL | sh

Press Enter and wait for the installation to complete. Once it is finished, you are ready to connect your speaker.

Simply plug the audio jack of your speaker system into the audio port on your Raspberry Pi, and then disconnect all peripherals.

If the Raspberry Pi is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your smartphone, you should be able to see the speaker under your “available devices” menu in the mobile app – allowing you to stream audio through your new Spotify-connected speaker.

This installation does not require any login from the Raspberry Pi interface, meaning others with Spotify accounts will also be able to stream music through your speaker – as long as they are connected to the same network.

Users looking to implement a similar solution for multiple music streaming platforms can reference the Pi MusicBox project, which includes support for Podcasts, Google Play Music, and SoundCloud.

Now read: How to turn a Raspberry Pi into a crypto wallet

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Building a Spotify speaker using a Raspberry Pi