airplay home system

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by rtztgue, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. rtztgue macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2008
    My understanding of airplay is limited, but I think it goes like this.

    airplay audio system plays audio from your computer itunes, ipad or iphone through the wifi to an audio system.

    What I am wondering, if this is the case, does anyone have a decent home audio system that works with this setup? I would like to install in-the-wall speakers with a head-end somewhere, so that I can be on my ipad or iphone and play music throughout my home. It would be nice to also have zone control so I could play music to just the den, or office, etc while the other speakers in the house are off.
  2. thedon1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010
    I have a sort of cinema room with an AV receiver and surround system. I have a lot of components hooked up but had no real way for people in my house to listen to music. Getting an Apple tv looked like the best option as it was easy to use and control.

    The sound quality is really good, even at high volume, the apple tv box is very low power and can be set to shut it self off. It also works fine with my harmony remote (including turning on and off).

    I'm pretty sure when you press the airplay button on an iphone or in itunes it lets you select what device to send the signal too but i have not actually tried it with multiple apple TV's so i'm not 100% sure.
  3. gregfcarlson macrumors newbie

    Aug 12, 2010
    You can select the destination for the audio output in the iPod, YouTube, or other app. You can also rename each ATV so you can tell which is which. The sound is quite good although when the wireless network is very busy there are small glitches in the playback every once in a while. I've been very happy with it.
  4. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I haven't had that issue and I'm on a crappy 2Wire "g" router.

    Also of note, I don't think you can send audio to more than one source at a time from an iDevice. iTunes can send in sync audio to multiple AirPlay devices though.
  5. EvilC5 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 22, 2010
    Hanover MD
    I have in my living room an atv2 optically to my Sony es receiver playing to my Martin Logan accent I's, an airport express plugged into my zone 3 which plays my 3 pairs of outdoor speakers. In my bedroom, I have another atv2 connected to a pair of Sony powered speakers. In the basement, another atv2 to my onkyo receiver running 2 pair of klipsch. Then last is an atv1 in my garage connected to a small bookshelf stereo.

    I can send the same audio from my mini to my whole house and control the volume of each area with my iDevice. Or I can use the atv2 to browse my library and play different things in different rooms. It's a pretty slick setup and everyone is blown away by it.

    I want to put some speakers in my bathroom so I can listen to music while I get ready.
  6. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    That's a good point. I forgot about using a Mac and the Remote app to control it. Definitely a very good alternative if you want multizone audio controlled from an iDevice.

    So do I. Although right now I just drag the right speaker of my Tivoli radio into the shower room (it's separate from the sink/powder room). Ideally I'd like to get either some powered ceiling speakers or a small amp and some ceiling speakers and put an airport express in the attic. I would just have to wire an outlet up there.
  7. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    i have an old 1st gen iphone, with the top half of the touch screen dead, sitting in an old set of powered ipod speakers (won't work with my new stuff since they use the firewire pins for power) on top of the medicine chest.
    send audio to that all the time.
    and the speakers are battery powered, so i have some time of completely wireless sound.

    also look into airfoil.

    lets you send audio from any program on OS X or Windows (pick a single program, or whole system output), not just iTunes, it's great for pandora.
    and send it to..
    windows, OS X, Linux, iOS (using a free app on all)
    airport express, or :apple:TV (1 or 2)
    should also work with the new airplay speakers coming out.

    once the airplay speakers and stereos start rolling out in the next few months your options will be greatly increased.
    currently, it's pretty much an airport express or :apple:TV hooked to some sort of amplifier or powered speakers.

    there are some battery powered speakers coming out that look nice, but haven't heard much on pricing.

    the Pioneer VSX-1021-K will have airplay built in to a 7.1 receiver for $550

    one other thing to note.
    from iOS you can only send to one location at a time.
    from itunes (and airfoil) you can send to multiple locations in sync with each other.
  8. rtztgue thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2008
    Seems like it needs to be put together in separate modules. I was hoping for one receiver with airplay tech. Then I could hard wire several speakers throughout the house. I have heard that some home entertainment companies are making AirPlay compatible devices. Hopefully they will make a full unit. My dream is to have the main unit in the wall with a control panel with USB, maybe cd, LAN, maybe wan, but then the AirPlay as well. That way I could control from the master unit or use my iPad or computer as well for control and streaming. I know some units currently have LAN and are updating for AirPlay with software updates soon.... Hmm. Looks like I gotta go back to skool and learn all this stuff
  9. eTip, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

    eTip macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    I have a similar setup in my bathroom - old iPhone sitting in an old iHome - but I also have an Airport Express & use iTunes & the Remote app when I want the same music playing in my bathroom.

    Are you saying you are sending music TO that iPhone? If so, how?

    My setup is as follows:

    MacMini in living room hooked up to TV & stereo. AppleTV2 (jailbroken) also in living room hooked up to TV & Stereo. I usually use the Mini & iTunes for music playback - I use Remote Buddy & a Logitech remote to control it. The ATV is primarily used for movies (XBMC) and AirPlay.

    In the bedroom, I have a ATV1 hooked up to the TV & some small speakers. it's hacked & running XBMC. I have Remote HD installed on both ATV's - which lets me use Airplay on the ATV1 and acesss both throughout the IOS app.

    I just ordered a 2nd ATV1 off eBay (~$50) for my office/spare room I currently use an old RCA Lyra Wireless transmitter/receiver system to stream music in there from iTunes to an old Sony amp. It has served me well over the years and was my original solution for streaming music throughout the house. But now that a used ATV1 can be had for less than an Airport Express, you can't beat it. I had originally thought about buying one with graphics issues since I would primarily be using it for audio but they were only going for about $10 less on eBay. Now I will hookup the ATV to an old LCD in my office so I can see album art ....and of course stream movies in there as well.

    If you knew how small my place was, you would laugh at all the trouble I have gone to.
  10. Uofmtiger, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

    Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I have a Denon 4311ci that has AirPlay built in and will work in three zones. I have amps or receivers in every room, so I just use airport express units or AppleTVs for streaming to different areas.

    Airfoil, Plex, orb, etc.. can send audio to an iOS device.
  11. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008


    if your iOS device supports it, it will background while you're transmitting to it, but once the connection is closed, the program closes.

    the new version 4 has some control of iTunes from the receiver app, i'm still on 3 so not sure what all it can do.

    there is a free demo that will transmit for a few minutes.
  12. eTip macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    Ahh, forgot that it did that. You need the "Speakers" app installed and open on the iPhone then, correct?
    And you have to use Airfoil not iTunes (or Remote) to select the iPhone as an output device?

    I was just curious about your setup. Think I will stay with what I have since I like being able to control everything (including selecting speakers) from Remote / iTunes.
  13. rtztgue thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2008
    I stopped by the apple store today to get the run down, but they do not have much of a solution. So I stopped by Best Buy... luckily this best buy had the high end magnolia department for home automation ( i guess not all stores have it) anyway, they have a system called Control4 that integrates into your home audio or video system allowing everything I want. (so far anyway) The control 4 takes the audio inputs and separates out to zones, has a NICE lcd touch screen for the wall. about 2/3 the size of the ipad, and a new ipad app in itunes. there is also an iphone app. I downloaded the 4.0 compatible ipad app and it looks just like the lcd display for the unit.

    I guess the general idea is that you install a pioneer or denon system and this separates out the audio to give multiple zones, or home theatre, lighting, heating etc. it has bluetooth control etc.... would be nice to chat with someone that already has it
  14. Azzin macrumors 601


    Jun 23, 2010
    London, England.
    I have all our music in iTunes ripped in 320Kbps and I play it in our living room via an Airport Express that's hooked up to an Onkyo 606 A/V receiver.

    The quality is superb IMO (although in honesty I'm not an audiophile) and SWMBO loves that she can play anything from our library, in the living room, just by using The Remote app on her 3GS! :D
  15. Cartaphilus macrumors 6502a

    Dec 24, 2007
    I use a system that antedates Airplay by several years, and I've been very happy with it, although I understand the OP prefers a single receiver/amplifier. We have seven Airport Expresses each connected to a sound system in a different room. When we remodeled the kitchen I installed a pair of round Boston Acoustic ceiling speakers driven by a Parasound Zamp amplifier that detects the presence of an input signal to automatically turn itself on. The amp is in a cabinet in the adjacent laundry room, along with the Airport Express. The other rooms and the backyard each have a receiver/speakers/Airport combination (a Bose Wave and an Apple Hi-Fi in two locations). Our laptops and the iMac have Airfoil installed, and our iPhones and iPad have the Remote App.

    With this system (and Home Sharing) we can play anything on any computer or iOS device through any combination of sound systems in the house or in the backyard, and independently control the volume from each pair of speakers. (By the way, you can also plug in headphones to any Airport Express directly.) I can't claim to be any kind of sophisticated audiophile, but I think the quality of the sound is great. It's easy to control the system with the iPhone or iPad, and where necessary, the remote control for the receiver.

    Personally, I prefer this system to a single receiver, especially one that can't be controlled remotely.

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