Nexus Q as USB DAC & AMP

I managed to get my Nexus Q hooked up to my new set of Bowers & Wilkins bookshelf speakers (driving them from its built-in AMP). Then I got the Nexus Q running a modified CM11 hooked up to my Linux desktop over USB acting as a Audio gadget so it behaves as a DAC + AMP.

To take this further I then created a media loopback on Linux to feed incoming A2DP bluetooth audio streams, 3.5mm analogue line-in and incoming optical Toslink audio all to the USB audio output. The I connected a Chromecast Audio to the desktop's optical Toslink port.

The result? Now I can play music from any device over WiFi, 3.5mm aux or Bluetooth to my PC and it plays out of the speakers connected to the Nexus Q's AMP! Success!

I might try and replicate this setup with a Raspberry Pi Zero in place of my desktop PC for an always-on solution at some point. Then again, if I am going to purchase extra hardware I should probably just purchase a small desktop D-class amplifier with multiple inputs. But hey, recycling tech is fun!

Bonus: I connected a wireless mains plug switch to the power of the Q so that I can remotely switch it on and off with a remote and without removing the power cable out of the back.

Credit to XDA developer "deeper-blue" for making the ROM which made this setup possible. You can find it here.


Tagged: Nexus, Android, audio, speakers

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