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Build a Bluetooth audio streamer for any audio device using a Raspberry Pi
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Bluetooth audio streaming for any audio device

Starter project enabling you to add bluetooth audio streaming to any old speakers or Hi-Fi using just a Raspberry Pi.

This project has been tested on Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+ and Raspberry Pi Zero W. If you're using a Raspberry Pi 3 or above you don't need any additional hardware but if you'd like to use a Pi Zero W this will require an additional HAT as this model has no audio output.

Hardware required

  • Raspberry Pi 3A+/3B/3B+/Zero W
  • SD Card (we recommend 8GB Sandisk Extreme Pro)
  • Power supply
  • 3.5mm audio cable to the input on your speakers/Hi-Fi (usually 3.5mm or RCA)

Note: the Raspberry Pi Zero cannot be used on it's own as it has no audio output. To use the Pi Zero you'll need to add something like the Pimoroni pHAT DAC to go with it.

Software required

Setup and use

To run this project is as simple as deploying it to a balenaCloud application; no additional configuration is required (unless you're using a DAC HAT).

Setup the Raspberry Pi

  • Sign up for or login to the balenaCloud dashboard
  • Create an application, selecting the correct device type for your Raspberry Pi
  • Add a device to the application, enabling you to download the OS
  • Flash the downloaded OS to your SD card with balenaEtcher
  • Power up the Pi and check it's online in the dashboard

Customize device name

By default, your device will be displayed as balenaSound xxxx when you search for Bluetooth devices. You can change this using BLUETOOTH_DEVICE_NAME environment variable that can be set in balena dashboard (navigate to dashboard -> app -> device -> device variables).

Setting the device name

Deploy this application

  • Install the balena CLI tools
  • Login with balena login
  • Download this project and from the project directory run balena push <appName> where <appName> is the name you gave your balenaCloud application in the first step.


  • After the application has pushed and the device has downloaded the latest changes you're ready to go!
  • Connect the audio output of your Pi to the AUX input on your Hi-Fi or speakers
  • Search for your device (balenaSound xxxx name is used by default) on your phone or laptop and pair. xxxx will be the first 4 characters of the device ID in the balenaCloud dashboard.
  • Let the music play!

This project is in active development so if you have any feature requests or issues please submit them here on GitHub. PRs are welcome, too.

Multiple container use

If you plan to use Balena Sound as part of a multiple container app (for example, having an app with PiHole & Balena sound), don't forget to add the following label to your docker-compose.yml file. (source:


  build: ./bluetooth-audio
  privileged: true
  network_mode: host
    io.balena.features.dbus: '1'
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