Can Grandstream paging speakers be used for music? The short answer is yes they can.
Grandstream’s range of GSC paging speakers are proving to be very popular. The range features: built-in acoustic echo chamber for loud and clear sound, Wi-Fi for easy deployment and Bluetooth for easy pairing with a smartphone.
Besides their use for paging, the GSC range is a great solution for playing background music. There are a couple of ways that this can be achieved. Before starting with the configuration it is strongly recommended that the GSC device has been updated to the latest firmware at http://www.grandstream.com/support/firmware/ before beginning.
Music via Bluetooth
The GSC range can be used as a Bluetooth speaker from any other Bluetooth enabled device. By default, the Bluetooth setting on the GSC3510 and GSC3505 is turned off for security purposes. Each device that will use Bluetooth audio, will first need to be paired via a simple process.
- Go to GSC3510/GSC3505 Web GUI > Network Settings > Bluetooth Settings.
- Enable “Bluetooth Settings” and enable the option “Visible to Nearby Bluetooth Device” in order to make the GSC3510/GSC3505 visible to other devices for 2 minutes (when the 2 minutes are up you will need to re-enable it to make the speaker visible again).
- Go to your device’s Bluetooth settings to search for visible devices. The GSC3510/GSC3505 is going to be listed within the visible devices, with the “Device Name” configured on the Web GUI.
- Click on the GSC3510/GSC3505 device’s name in order to pair.
- Once successfully paired, you can play audio on the paired device and it will play on the GSC speaker.
Bluetooth is an excellent way to play audio between devices, on a device to device basis.
Music via streaming media
The GSC range supports listening via Multicast. This can be used to send a RTP music stream from a streaming app, that can be received by the speakers. There are a couple of ways to achieve this depending on whether you are re-broadcasting an existing internet radio station, or are playing an audio file that is local to the server. Through trial and error FFMPEG is the most effective way to achieve this. FFMPEG is a free solution that can be used to record, convert and stream audio and video.
FFMPEG will require a dedicated machine (whether that is a server or desktop that is always on) and knowledge of scheduling tasks within Windows to trigger it to run each day for the operating hours of the business. We won’t be covering setting scheduled tasks in this article as most system administrators will know how to facilitate this.
FFMPEG is command line application that needs to be called with specific switches to get the audio into the required format and it can be a bit fiddly to set up.
The Internet radio station broadcast is slightly simpler, as the station will typically always be online and we don’t have a local MP3 file to loop.
After setting up FFMPEG we need to add incoming calls from the phone system to the whitelist because when the speaker is playing music it is technically “off hook”
Playing music on additional speakers is as easy as repeating these steps.