How to get sound from mac to stereo receiver?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by rpg51, Oct 28, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #1
    I have a stereo receiver - fairly old but good. I have a computer and as time marches on I tend to listen to out put (Rhapsody, Streaming Radio, iTunes et.) most of the time and I have been using a cable from the headphone jack on the computer to the receiver - but I would like to do a better job, maybe wireless?

    What are the options here? Without spending a fortune.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #2
    Get an Apple TV for 99 bucks. Stream iTunes to it.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #3
    Does apple tv have a wireless receiver of some kind that attaches to the stereo receiver? And does it stream anything playing on my mac - or just itunes?
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #4
    It is a wireless receiver and has an HDMI output. If your Mac is Airplay capable you can mirror your Mac screen,otherwise it will just play your iTunes library. It also has a lot of other capabilities like Netflix.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #5
    Pardon me for being so behind the times here - but how do I get this signal into my stereo receiver? The only input available on the receiver is phono jacks.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #6
    Someone else might have some other suggestions but the only one that I can think of now is if your TV has an HDMI input you could run the AppleTv to your TV then output your audio from your TV to your receiver.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #7
    Thanks for the suggestions - but

    I don't even own or watch TV. I'm focused on getting music from my computer audio output to my stereo receiver. Seems like there must be a way to do it- wireless would be great.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #8
    There are several other options. I haven't tried to do that for a while but a few years back I was trying to do that and I got a setup from Radio Shack that would do it. Didn't work all that great but they probably have improved them by now.
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    brentmore

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #9

    Streaming to the ATV is an option, but I think it'll be far easier to just get an Airport Express and plug it in near the receiver if you're only concerned about audio. Just connect the audio cable from the APX to your receiver and use any audio input. That's how I do it in my garage.

    If you're in the market for another receiver, there are several Airplay compatible options:

    http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/AV-Receivers/Airplay

    http://usa.denon.com/us/Airplayus/index.html

    http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/rx-v573_black_u/
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #10
    Dumb question - what is ATV? And APX?

    So with a capable receiver do I understand Airplay would allow me to play not just my itunes library, but also any other audio I can play on my computer? Such as streaming public radio using a browser?
     
  11. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
    #11
    ATV= AppleTV and APX= Airport Express.

    I think Airplay is strictly for iTunes.
     
  12. ffohwx, Oct 28, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #12
    ATV = Apple TV
    APX = Airport Express

    If you have Mountain Lion, you can stream any audio to something that supports AirPlay, like the above 2 devices, or a receiver with AirPlay built in. Prior to Mountain Lion, AFAIK, you could only stream iTunes.

    Since you don't have a TV to mess with HDMI, I would go with the Airport Express. It has a 1/8" headphone output that you can connect to your receiver very easily with something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Hosa-Cable-CM...F8&qid=1351453219&sr=8-1&keywords=1/8"+to+rca

    Also if you don't go wireless, then that cable is all you need, just perhaps longer.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #13
    That sounds like it will do it for me. So I am clear - since I am running Mountain Lion if I have an airplay express set next to my receiver I can just use the mini plug to phono plug cable from the airplay express to my stereo receiver and be good to go?

    I also saw this - but sounds like the airplay might be the better approach.

    http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Audioengine-W3#.UI2KEIUeVUQ
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #14

    Or maybe not. I just checked on my MacBook Pro and it is only showing the AppleTV as a possible output for all sound and not the Airport Express. I guess the Airport express does only do iTunes.

    Unless I'm missing something in my system, I guess that AudioEngine thing is looking pretty good here.

    ----------

    Aha! Figured out what I was missing in my setup. I knew I had done this at some point. Airfoil allows you to stream all audio over AirPlay to anything that supports it. It's $25. http://rogueamoeba.com/ I just tested it and it works through my AirPort Express...although the audio slightly lags when watching a video from YouTube.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    brentmore

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #15
  16. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #16
    Ok. So how does the interface all work out? If I am sitting on the couch with my MBA running mountain lion and I have this software installed and an Airplay base station sitting next to my receiver and wired with the mini to phono patch cord can I simply open a browser and stream music and that's it? Any clunky software issues to get it streaming to the airplay express/receiver?
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #17

    Nope...not clunky really at all. Run the app, choose the audio source (you can stream audio from a specific app, or system audio which is everything) from the dropdown list, then choose where you want it to go. I have 3 different possible receivers for it. You can actually use them all if you want which could be handy for a party or something and you had an outdoor system as well.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #18
    This is "sounding" (no pun intended) pretty sweet. Thanks for the info.

    Which of the airport express models should i get?

    Is it doable from an iphone?
     
  19. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #19
    Thanks for asking that question. I knew some recent update enabled system-wide audio out over AirPlay. Apparently it was iOS 6, as I do indeed see my AirPort express as an option for audio out (without any extra software/apps). When you are on the same network as an AirPlay receiver, if you double-tap the home button, and swipe right once to see the media controls, you'll see the Airplay option there as well and you can select it as an output.

    I have this AirPort Express http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC414LL/A/airport-express-base-station

    It's the newest. I actually got it for it's support for dual-band 802.11n WiFi. If you don't have a use for it, then the older model will also do the trick. That one is $69 I believe.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #20
    Thanks.

    I am running a Time Capsule for wireless throughout the house. Am I going to have to make sure I am on the right wireless network? I have three going in the house already - two direct off the Capsule and one access point down in the basement. Or does it "just work" like most apple stuff.
     
  21. macrumors member

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    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #21
    If you hardwire it into an existing network, or use it in Bridge mode (connecting it to another router wirelessly) to extend an existing network, then it shouldn't matter. I have my express broadcasting a 2nd wireless network, but it is actually wired with Ethernet to my "main" router, so I can hit off of either wireless network and it'll work.

    If you set it up as a standalone unit, not connected in any way to an existing network, then you would have to make sure you are connecting to it instead of another network.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #22
    Got it. Thank you soooo much. This is going to make a big difference in our home entertainment systems. I'll probably run it in bridge mode.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    Destroysall

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    United States
    #23
    So you want to run from the computer into an old stereo receiver. I'm assuming this receiver has to have RCA inputs. If so, a simple solution is a USB Digital-to-Analogue. It's cheap, hassle free and you don't need to mess with much.

    I recommend the HRT Music Streamer II. It's only $149 from Amazon and it will do exactly what you want to do.

    Hope that helps,
    ~Destroysall.
     
  24. macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 7, 2010
    Location:
    Fairfield, Ohio
    #24
    You're welcome, and enjoy!
     
  25. thread starter macrumors 6502

    rpg51

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2012
    #25
    The DAC doesn't provide the wireless functionality which is very convenient for me in my particular situation.

    That does raise a question though - I currently use a Audio Engine DAC in my basement office and it does improve the general quality of the sound in that environment - I am running into powered studio monitors on my desk down there. But - would a DAC make much of a difference in the quality in this application where I am running into a decent stereo receiver anyway??
     

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