Airport Express AirPlay issues, AC idea


macrumors member
Original poster
May 17, 2010
I currently get music drops in AirPlay, which I blame on slightly weird architecture and a million wifi networks all on the same channel (I've tried changing channels, but in London that's kinda a fools errand).

My current setup is a crappy router with a new time capsule connecting to that and setting up a second network, with an airport express joining that network.

I'm thinking of upgrading to a new Mac mini (I realise they're not great, but I'm moving from a 2007 iMac, so it will be a big difference!), which has ac wireless. Would it therefore be a better idea to connect the airport express to the time capsule by wifi and turn off any wireless stuff on the express? Because then it's a clean ac network with no n components screwing things up.

Or will that make no difference at all? Sorry if this is a bit rambly, I'm probably not expressing myself very well.

edit: I should probably make clear that I know n devices attached to an ac network don't slow anything down, it's just that keeping the AirPlay on a strictly ac band would remove interference due to stronger radios.
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macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
Elkton, Maryland
I see two things here. Having the Express set to join the network will not let it output wireless signal. It is just a regular client. Therefore you should be fine. The music dropping may be resolved by downgrading the firmware of the Express to 7.6.1.


macrumors 6502
May 20, 2013
If you are using your "crappy router" with the TC to create a second Network they might interfere with each other (WIFI) if they are close enough.

Use a program like WIFI scanner to see what's on your WIFI bands.

My preference is usually:
Best - connect via ethernet cable (search for flat ethernet cable)

OK - AEX connected via WIFI ->
If signal strength allows for it, connect to the 5GHz band, it has typically the least interferences (also the least range). Or:
Use WIFI scanner to determine the least polluted 2.4GHz channel (there are really only 3 channels you should use: 1,6,11)
where your AEX for Airplay is positioned.

Maybe you are better off, using the TC as your primary router and leave the "crappy one" out of the equation.
There is always a possibility that it interferes with airplay.


macrumors regular
May 2, 2013
Id definitely try to get your computer and your apple tv connected to the router via ethernet for the best experience

Question, why so many routers in your setup? I hear an express, a time capsule and a crappy router?