wireless macbook speakers?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FederalBmx, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    do they make wireless/bluetooth macbook speakers? im sitting here and i realize the macbook speakers suck. but i want something preferably wireless. is the macbook even capable of this? thanks for you help guys. macrumors always has been such a friendly place for me as a new mac owner to ask questions. i appreciate it!
  2. macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    The problem with bluetooth speakers has always been that Macs don't support A2DP which is the usual method for transmitting stereo via bluetooth. However, as far as I know this has been rectified in the latest software update (can anyone confirm this?).

    I was given a Gear4 Blackbox for Xmas and had loads of problems trying to get it to work - to cut a long story short - it didn't. I now hope to get it working - we'll see.

    The airport express is probably the best way to go - especially now it's been updated. Got this working after a bit of experimentation last weekend and it means I start up iTunes and the music comes out of the hi-fi.

    Great ! :D
  3. thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 26, 2008
    i know there was some way to get the itunes to stream but im mainly looking for replacement wireless speakers for louder sounds like in imovie, quicktime, ichat and stuff. anyone else have any input on this? thanks!
  4. macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I'm sitting here in my kitchen holding my ears with The Rasmus blasting out of the Gear4 BlackBox - all the other Mac sounds are also coming out of it as well - it's not streaming using AirTunes - it's streaming everything.

    I'm not holding my ears because it's so loud - I'm holding them because the sound quality is awful ! - Might be good as background music if we have barbecues in the garden but that's about it. You wouldn't listen to this for pleasure.

    Does anyone else have experience of streaming audio via bluetooth - I'm sure it can sound better than this!
  5. macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    Just switched it to AirTunes via the Airport Express and it's like comparing a squealing cat with a Stradivarius.

    AirTunes rocks - sounds great - once you figure out how to stop all the interference from microwaves etc...

    It sounds as good as the hi-fi you plug the express in to.
  6. macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2002
    Manchester, NH
    A2DP is not lossless, so that is why the sound quality is bad. There is a lossless codec for Bluetooth being developed (SOUNDabout Lossless) but it isn't out yet as far as I can tell.

    Your best bet is probably to get an Airport Express, buy the AirFoil software, and use that.
  7. macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2007
    Bluetooth Speaker Solution


    I have been using some speakers made by Parrot http://www.parrot.com/uk/products/wirelessspeakers/parrotboombox

    They have other products varying in price. I bought the boombox which is similar in size and sound quality to the apple HIFI. It has bluetooth capability providing you have A2DP which (though not advertised) is included with Leopard. Here's some pro's and cons

    Good all round sound quality
    Has a cable if you want to connect other non bluetooth enabled devices
    Looks good
    Quite easy to set up bluetooth - use the connection guide from the parrot.com website

    Sound can be crackly in places in bluetooth mode
    Sometimes in bluetooth mode the macbook crashes and I have to restart- this only happens when I have my macbook on my lap and the boombox is about 2m away. When I use it in my sitting room I have a 4-6m gap, the macbook sits on the table the other side of the room it works just fine, the sound is great no crackling and no macbook problems.
    Parrot don't yet fully support mac (no surprise there) so you can't yet use the set up tool that ships with the boombox, I think it allows you to adjust some of the features of the boombox, like the 'ramping' feature which still works without this tool.
    If you're watching movies there is a slight delay with the sound ( i think this can be adjusted with the set up tool that is yet to be released for the mac).

    Those points aside, I have to say I am very impressed with the boombox, for the price its a good wireless solution for the macbook. As for the crackling and the macbook crashing, these are software issues that hopefully can only get better with bug reporting and software updates.

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