I am a big fan of horror movies and I enjoy watching movies over NetFlix on my computer. Watching a Dario Argento movie late at night sitting in my bed is my idea of quality home entertainment. But when it is late night, and you don’t want to disturb other sleeping neighbors or family members, then you can listen the movie audio over wireless headphones. But if you do not want to invest in costly wireless headphones, then you can turn your Android smartphone into a wireless music receiver using the free SoundWire app.
SoundWire can transmit all the sounds being played on your PC (whether it is Windows or Linux) over your WiFi network. Then you can receive this sound on your Android device anywhere in your WiFi network range and listen to the music or movie audio completely wireless. Even more, you can receive the transmitted sound on one or more Android devices, so that many people can listen to the audio being played on your PC. You can use SoundWire as your local WiFi radio station or community radio too.
SoundWire needs to be installed in two steps – first you have to install a server on your PC and then you have to install the app on your Android device. The server application is available from the Georgie Labs website (http://georgielabs.net/) for Windows, Linux and also for the new Raspberry Pi. You can launch the server and it starts to listen to any incoming connections from Android devices.
On your Android device, you can search for SoundWire in the Play Store and install the free version from there. After the installation, all you have to do is touch the spiral wire graphic. The wire picture would turn red as if it is being heated – this will establish a connection between your Android device and the PC. Now whatever sound is played on your PC, can also be heard on your Android device.
While watching a movie (Tenebre) using this setup, I found out that there is an unusual lag in the sound being received on Android. You can change the Audio buffer size to a smaller size in the SoundWire settings to improve the latency. Also reducing the playback sound quality in Windows settings (if you are using Windows PC) can help reduce the latency. Other settings include changing the audio compression, auto-connecting at Android startup, auto-reconnect when server connection is lost and more.
Conclusion: SoundWire is a very useful application if you want to broadcast your own music, voice or any other sound from your PC over to the WiFi network. Any Android device in your WiFi network will be able to receive the broadcast in real time.
You can get the SoundWire app for Android from https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.georgie.SoundWireFree.