These days smart speakers are on the rise, but given that the tech is still somewhat new, your options are limited. In fact for some, such as audiophiles, this might present a problem because a lot of audiophile-grade speakers and audio equipment generally don’t focus too much on such technology.
This has left some users out of the loop, but not anymore thanks to the efforts of Bang & Olufsen who have teamed up with HiFiBerry to launch the Beocreate 4 Channel Amplifier. This is a combination board that when paired with passive loudspeakers, will give it certain smarts. Ultimately this will allow users to keep using their existing speakers but also enjoy some of the perks of having a smart speaker at the same time.
Sounds good, right? Unfortunately there is a catch, and that is you will need to have your own Raspberry Pi if you want to truly take advantage of what the board has to offer, such as Bluetooth and WiFi. This means that if you don’t, what you can expect out of the Beocreate 4 is on a surface-level and minimal, but if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty then it could be a project worth pursuing. If not then essentially what you’re getting is an amp for your speakers.
It might seem a little complicated to setup, especially for those without any experience with tinkering. However it should be noted that there are considerably less troublesome setups, such as the Chromecast Audio which lets users stream music wirelessly to existing speakers minus all the fuss.