When I first designed and had my gaming table built in 2016/2017, there were very few examples that were available anywhere.  There was a single high-end vendor, which has since gone under, but little else besides a few DYI projects.  I do not know if it was some grand gestalt consciousness that struck everyone, but now there are hundreds of examples, and dozens of vendors selling custom gaming tables.

There are things I would have done differently, and some of which I have already itemized out in previous posts.  But one of the main ones that I did not properly consider was sound.  Some sort of built-in speaker and sub-woofer system that I could thump the table with emotionally manipulative sounds and shake the souls of my players…. Yes, I mean, provide a more wonderful experience by adding in appropriate sound for the situation.  Much like movies or shows in general use different music to help influence the feeling of a scene, there is no reason I could not do the same thing.

How?  My table was built.  I had already filled almost every available space possible with what I thought was important before.  Where would such a sound system go?  Well, I went with what I had, which was surface mounting at this time, until I think of something better.  I’ll admit I am somewhat jealous of those that considered this much before I did, but at least I am not left behind too much.

We have been using music in my and other campaigns for a long time now, but it was always with some sort of Bluetooth speaker on the side somewhere, it was not very immersive, nor was the sound very good.  Admittedly, anything I installed would not be the best surround sound, but I could improve on what we had.  What I had was a set of HomePod Mini’s.  Four to be exact.  I also had one of the first generation HomePods.

Using Airfoil to connect the DM Apple Mac Mini (2018 version) to the speakers via AirPlay would allow the system to send the music to multiple speakers at once.  One of the issues with AirPlay/AirPlay2 from a system and not a mobile device was that it cannot send to multiple speakers at once natively.  Well, Apple Music can, but nothing else on the system is allowed to use that sub-system, hence the use of a 3rd party software package.

I did a lot of tests to make sure the sound would be delivered as I thought it would, which led to a few changes.  Such as creating stereo pairs out of the left and right sides of the speaker layouts.

Next issue was how to attach the speakers.  Esty to the rescue and some HomePod Mini printed mounts showed up.

Purchasing a USB-C hub to power the speakers, some judicial hole cutting so that all the cables would be hidden within the table, and BAM.  The installation was complete.

So how did it all sound?

Hmm, a little tinny sounding.  If I add in the corner full sized HomePod, what does that do?

Wow, that made a huge difference to the sound.  It is acting like a sub-woofer to the rest and does not overwhelm them.  That is only because I can adjust the sound level of each speaker individually.  And yes, it is a little subdued compared to what it sounds like under the table:

Maybe I can just get all the players to sit on the floor?