Airplay/Airport Express Whole House Audio

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by boice12, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. boice12 macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2015
    I am new to this website, so I may have missed this discussion somewhere else. I have a newly built home with several "zones" setup for future use. Right now, I just have in-ceiling speaker holes with covers and speaker wire ran from the hole to a central point.

    What is my quickest and most effective setup to use? Seems like, based on what I have read, for each "zone" I should do an airport express and then an amp.

    I was looking at this amp.....

    My question is regarding areas where I have more than two speakers in a zone. My living room has 5 ceiling speaker holes setup for probably surround sound. What amps can I use to utilize all of those speakers as one zone?

    Also, does anyone have any recommendations for 6" in ceiling speakers? My low voltage guy when we built the house recommended Speakercraft, but they seem kind of pricey.

    Also, from what I have read, it seems that it is better to hard wire the airport expresses into the Ethernet instead of running off of the wifi. Is that true?

    Any other insight that you can provide me on amps/speakers/airport express would be helpful.

    I have an iMac from 2007 that is still running old software, will I be able to work everything off of that or should I invest in a mac mini or something to run all of the media off of that?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I am just trying to find the most economical/best sound producing option available to me.

  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    the 5 holes, you could look at a 5.1 surround system with built in airplay. they will probably have what's called "multi channel surround" or similar, that would make 2 holes left, and 2 holes right, the center channel (probably right over the TV) would be unused for music that way.
    This would also be nice for when you add more AV devices like a cable box or blu-ray player to your home setup.

    for the mac, look at airfoil it will let you stream audio from any program, helpful if you don't want to use iTunes as a music source, but prefer RDIO, spotify or any number of other services. Although with Apple Music, it's less of a headache now.

    The old one iMac should be fine, i use a mini from around the same time for exactly this.
  3. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
  4. eduardrw macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2013
    I have 5 Airport express' via ethernet going into 5 amplifiers - works great.
    Used refurbished AE's for $65 each + $35 for the amplifier = ~ $100 per channel.

    These are amplifiers if you want to spend more.

    In small rooms I use just one speaker:

    Otherwise these are good:
  5. Ray2, Aug 18, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015

    Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2014

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