Welcome to Shairwaves for Mac

Hardware-free 7.1-channel network audio you have right now
Play to any computer audio device on your wireless network,
from any audio app, with just your Mac and Linux computers,
with full synchronised multiroom support

The only multi-channel Hi-res Network Audio Streaming app for the Apple Mac,

get Shairwaves and get
all your audio devices on all your Macs with no need for extra hardware,
starting from $5

Why Shairwaves? - Unique Benefits

Up to 8-channel high-resolution audio all over your house using just your Macs, Raspberry Pi and PCs
Shared audio devices represented in full on other Macs - all sample rates and other format options
Play with ultra-low latency to any audio device on your network, from any audio application, from any Mac
Upgrade your home theatre amp to provide 8-channel 24-bit wireless audio with sample rates up to 192kHz
Watch an iTunes movie or DVD on your Mac and have the 5.1 surround audio all around you with no wires
Great for gaming with support for true end-to-end 7.1 surround sound and very low latency
Perfect for multichannel music remixes and re-releases
Watch web browser videos with perfect audio sync
Personalised device configuration for each user
None of these capabilities is available with standard AirPlay audio devices
and... you get as many network audio devices as you like for less than just one Apple TV or Airport Express

Try before you buy: download Shairwaves now and try it out for free

Technical overview
Share your Mac's audio devices onto your network, like any other shared network service
Full representation of network audio devices on other Macs, use in the same way as local devices
Play to devices shared by other Macs in true bit-perfect multi-channel HD audio (192kHz/32bit/8ch)
Mac OS 10.5 through OS 10.11 supported including PowerPC Macs
No specific minimum hardware requirements
Linux audio devices supported including Raspberry Pi

Check out the screenshots and features to see how Shairwaves is a new and integrated approach to network audio

In detail...

Shairwaves is shareware audio software for the Apple Mac and Linux. It brings a new approach to network audio by allowing your Mac and Linux audio output devices to be shared onto your network, like a network drive or a printer, and then played to from other Macs just like any other audio device. This provides total flexibility and control - if your Mac has more than one device, any or all of them can be shared just as with other devices.

Shairwaves extends AirPlay's network audio capability using a bespoke virtual audio device driver which allows any audio device to be represented on other computers, complete with all its features and facilities
, a first for Macs. Sample rates up to an HD audiophile 192kHz, sample sizes up to 32 bits, up to 8 output channels (7.1 ch), and 5.1 encoded audio formats are all supported, providing HD multi-channel network audio for the first time on your Mac. Very low network latency settings provide much faster response to clicking through tracks than is available with AirPlay devices, as well as providing accurate video synchronisation. A remote control facility lets you control the playback computer from any of the computers outputting the audio - there may be several if using a multi-output device.

Installing Shairwaves on your Mac allows you to both share your computer's devices with others, and to play to devices shared by other computers running Shairwaves on your network. You can keep adding devices as you want them, they can all be shared. Derived versions of Shairwaves are available for users with fewer computers and output requirements.

You can even play to devices shared by Linux computers running Shairwaves,
including Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 computers. Their devices appear on your Mac in the same way as those shared by other Macs.

The best network audio solution for your Mac, one Shairwaves license purchase gets you all this, in bit-perfect High Definition, with no need to buy any dedicated network audio hardware and with none of the familiar network audio constraints.
Install it today and use the try-before-you-buy facility to see what Shairwaves can do for you.

With Shairwaves you get:
  • Sharing any built-in or physically-connected audio output device, under administrator control
  • Two sharing modes - all formats (exclusive use for a computer while playing) or single format (available for all anytime)
  • Sample rates up to 192kHz
  • Sample sizes up to 32 bits (integer and floating point)
  • Up to 8 channels (7.1 surround)
  • 5.1 encoded audio passthrough
  • Add 5.1 encoded audio support to digital devices which don't provide it natively
  • Very low minimum latency of 50ms (1/20th second) provides movie lipsync and fast response for clicking through tracks
  • Adjustable latency up to 4 seconds for resilience in difficult network environments, user-changeable at any time
  • Lossless audio transmission, bit perfect
  • Multiple devices can be shared from each computer
  • Remote control of volume/mute and iTunes playback from computers being played to, with current track information
  • Real-time updating of network device listings when devices are connected/disconnected etc.
  • Auto-configuration: computers running Shairwaves automatically find each other on the network using Bonjour
  • Volume and mute changes take effect immediately regardless of the latency setting
  • Change device names to reflect location/function
  • Each user has their own personalised network device configuration
  • Headphone priority - automatically cut the remote speakers when connecting headphones to your Mac
  • Low system resource usage
  • "Headless" operation possible for computers with no screen and keyboard
  • Playback to Linux computers, including easy plug-and-play memory card/stick loader for directly-bootable installation on Raspberry Pi and x86 PCs

Preference Pane Screenshots

The Shairwaves preference pane Share local devices tab provides control over which local devices to share with other computers.

The Choose network devices tab allows you to choose which devices shared by other computers are to be available for use on this computer for the current user. Devices being played to by this computer are shown in green, devices in use by other computers are shown in red and struck through. Devices can be renamed to reflect function or location.

Shairwaves network devices appear in the System Preferences Sound pane and Mac audio applications such as Audio MIDI Setup (above) just like any other device, using the default name showing the device name and location, or the name you have chosen to give it. Icons show which are Shairwaves devices along with the type of computer sharing the device.

The Shairwaves remote control lets you control audio output on a shared device without having to go back to the playback computer.

Shairwaves on Linux

Shairwaves Linux software provides sharing facilities so that Linux ALSA audio devices appear on Macs as if connected to the Mac directly. Many PCs have on-board HD audio supporting 8-channel output at sample rates of up to 192kHz with sample widths of up to 32 bits, and Shairwaves replicates all of these over the network onto your Macs along with encoded 5.1 audio, if available, for digital interfaces. USB audio devices are also shared over the network.

Intel architectures are supported, as well as Raspberry Pi. A bootable Shairwaves installation can be downloaded onto a memory card or stick with the computer booting from it to provide full Linux Shairwaves features, with no need to have any knowledge of Linux: plug-and-play, switch on and the devices are there on your Macs.

Configuration is by a command-line utility, accessed either by logging in via the computer's screen and keyboard, or from Terminal.app on a Mac using ssh.

Linux drivers for specific devices are sometimes provided by third parties and may be in a state of ongoing development. Please use the try-before-you-buy facility to ensure devices work as wanted prior to purchase.

Please note that the Linux operating system included in the plug-and-play downloads is provided on an "as is" basis, no guarantee can be provided for its correct operation on a specific computer or with a specific device.

Shairwaves on Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 & 3

The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost credit card-sized USB-powered bare bones computer which can run Linux, booting from an SD card. It has a 3.5mm analogue stereo audio output jack and an HDMI interface which can connect to HDMI audio hardware, both of which are supported by Shairwaves. With its HDMI interface connected to the appropriate audio hardware Shairwaves can output up to 8 channels and sample rates of up to 192kHz with sample sizes of up to 24 bits (8-channel output has a maximum rate of 48kHz, 96kHz on the Raspberry Pi 3, due to hardware limitations), all with lossless HD audio transmission. 5.1 encoded audio output is also available if supported by the connected HDMI audio hardware.

The Raspberry Pi Shairwaves software can be installed along with a provided pre-packaged compact bootable image, downloaded from this website. This can be installed on the Raspberry Pi's SD card using your Mac - a dedicated downloader is included and provides a complete installation of Linux, including the Shairwaves software, giving full shared access to its audio facilities in less than 30 seconds of the Raspberry Pi being powered on. All you have to do is use the downloader to install the image and software onto the card, connect to your network and switch on. In use, there is no need to shut it down before powering off. This is the easiest way to get Shairwaves running on the Raspberry Pi, and a great way to get a dedicated Shairwaves audio server running on your network with no knowledge of how to install and configure Linux.

It is also possible to add a LEDs-and-buttons daughter board to provide remote control facilities and a peak level meter, existing products may require self-assembly of electronic components. These products are not for sale by Coolatoola.com and no specific product is endorsed.

Shairwaves on Raspberry Pi Zero

Shairwaves runs with the same level of functionality on the remarkable $5 Raspberry Pi Zero computer. Only HDMI output is supported unless an external audio device is connected, as no 3.5mm analogue output is included. It is also necessary to add an external network adaptor, but for this exceptionally low outlay and low power usage, and being less than half the size of a credit card, you can have the same great network audio as with any other computer running Shairwaves, transforming your home theatre amplifier into a 7.1-channel high resolution network audio monster! Stick one on the back of your HDMI TV and have perfect network audio through it direct from your Mac, powered right from the TV's USB port.

What Shairwaves isn't... or doesn't...
  • Shairwaves does not interfere with existing AirPlay devices, so if you have AirPlay products already you can continue to use them as before.
  • Shairwaves does not share audio input devices.
  • Shairwaves does not share devices which are not physically connected, so Bluetooth, AirPlay, Aggregate and Multi-output devices cannot be shared.
  • Shairwaves does not add to device capabilities, it can only reflect existing capabilities onto other computers up to the device's or the software's limits. However it is able to add 5.1 surround encoded audio support to digital output devices which don't normally support it (please read the associated warnings carefully).
  • Shairwaves only shares devices to computers on the same LAN. It does not play to computers only accessible across a router.
  • The Linux Shairwaves software does not allow playback from Linux audio software to Shairwaves devices, it is a server which shares Linux audio devices for Macs to play to.
  • Shairwaves on the Raspberry Pi restricts HDMI 8-channel output to a sample rate of 48kHz (96kHz for the Raspberry Pi 3) due to hardware limitations. Stereo output is not limited and can play at 192kHz if the HDMI equipment supports this. Other devices are not affected.

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AirPlay, Apple TV, Airport Express, iTunes, Mac and the Mac logo are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries
Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds
Raspberry Pi is a trademark of the Raspberry Pi Foundation