Airport Express and Outdoor Speakers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jmor, May 13, 2011.

  1. jmor macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #1
    Okay so I have a question as we're re-doing our outdoor deck area and pool, and I want ideas of how it's best to add speakers out there. We currently don't have any speakers in the house except for surround sound hooked up to the tv and video games in the basement (you can also turn on the radio or plug in an ipod but we don't use it often) and an ihome. What we would ideally like to do is have two-four speakers that would be attached somewhere by/on the deck or the side of the house that could be played wirelessly from an iphone or ipod touch in the house. I think an airport express would allow me to do this, but I'm not sure how we would plug in the speakers to the express which I would assume would be inside the house? We have an airport extreme and good wireless signal and I think we can boost the signal with a express if I'm not mistaken. So the question is what speakers can be used outside (and I guess stay outside if they were to be nailed in) and how would it be best to get it connected? Thanks
     
  2. Scuby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    Location:
    Fareham, UK
    #2
    You can either use the Airport Express as a simple wireless speaker interface by setting it up on the same network as your main wireless, or you can run a network cable from your router to your Express and use the Express as both a speaker interface and to extend the coverage of your wireless network. I don't *believe* it can do both at the same time...

    Connection of speakers to the Express is a simple headphone-style cable - or you can use digital speakers too. No idea on what speakers to use outdoors though I'm afraid.

    David
     
  3. jmor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #3
    Thanks, I hope it's as simple as it sounds. Anyone have good speaker options or anything to add that could be helpful, if you've done your own outdoor area?
     
  4. jmor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #5
    Thanks, I'll have to look into those as some of those responses are pretty overwhelming. Which suggestion did you go with or are planning to go with? What exactly is a t-amp, is it a brand, do you have a link?
     
  5. viggin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #6
    The old 802.11b Airport Express could not (And amazingly, I still have one of those kicking around that has never fried itself out) but the current-gen 802.11n Airport Express *CAN* -- meaning, say you decided to get an amp with Pandora built in (And I know there are some home theatre receivers that can do Pandora, but that's probably not your first choice for this application), you could stick the Airport Express wherever and have it simultaneously:


    1 - Link up to your current WiFi network in WDS mode to extend the range of your WiFi
    2 - Run an ethernet cable from the bottom of the AirPort Express into the mythical stereo receiver with Pandora support
    3 - Have it work for Airtunes.

    It should also be noted that if you found some kind of water-proof speaker that took optical-in (Again...I don't actually know of one, apartment-dwellers don't usually shop for this kind of thing), the AirPort express has a combination analog/optical out jack. Optical cabling is inherently waterproof since no electricity runs through it, and you can get optical cabling pretty cheap on Monoprice.com. My point being that this would be a dead simple way to help keep the APExpress safe and dry. Of course, the missing link is outdoor speakers that take an optical in. I might be dreaming on that point.
     
  6. jmor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #7
    Speaker Options

    Okay so I found some speakers that I like the are within my price range, they are the Polk Atrium Speakers, I'm not sure whether to get the 45, 50, or 55 and is there a difference between the new line the 4, 5, and 6? But either way I will get one of those sets for the deck area. I plan on mounting them on the side of the house above the deck area and then running a wire into the kitchen to the airport express. My question is does this speaker need an amp and if so can someone provide a (amazon) link to a cheap one that would work well?

    Next step is that now I've seen the Polk Audio Outdoor products I've become interested in Atrium Sat 30 and the Sub 10 for down by the pool area. Would these be able to also be hooked up to an airport and would I need to different airports to play these off of?

    Anyway for those interested I thought these were good speakers but I'm not sure about the amp and what not but if anyone has any suggestions on how to do this best let me know, thanks!

    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/atrium/index.php
    http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/atrium/index-outdoor.php
     
  7. jmor thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2009
    Location:
    NJ, USA
    #8
    Can anyone explain in a dumbed down way what kind of amp I would need to set up these speakers to the airport express I want something cheap I can use and possibly add to later if I'm adding more outdoor speakers?
     
  8. bbapps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #9
    I know this thread is a-bit old, but looking at doing the same thing, hoping to get some input. Was thinking about an airplay speaker that I could move in/out, but those just aren't being released fast enough (e.g. getting an itchy trigger finger). The following is what I'm heading towards, any thoughts?

     
  9. bbapps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #10
  10. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #11
    I ended up using the following:

    Airport Express (wireless mode).
    Microlab 6" powered 2-way speakers.
    Wall mount speaker stands.

    Strangely enough the speaker mounts cost more than the powered speakers :)

    While the microlab speakers aren't the best quality in the world they work well and it is great to have music out the back when entertaining or working in the yard.
     
  11. bbapps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #12
    Nice find, thanks for posting that. Did you buy the Microlab's direct from the Microlab site? Couldn't find them on Amazon; but seems like a reasonable price direct from Microlab.

    I assume you take these in/outside as needed. Until your post, I was heading towards the Audioengine 5 as an in/out solution OR the Polks Atruim (5 or 65SDI) for a weather-proof solution.
     
  12. bwhinnen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    Location:
    San Diego
    #13
    I purchased them from a dealer in Australia I think they were about $140 AU delivered, which is about the average price I was looking at for speakers in this size here in Aust (some higher some lower).

    I have the permanently mounted outside, they are under cover and if the rain and wind gets that bad that they get wet then more than just the speakers are ruined :)
     
  13. viggin macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    #14
    Problem Solved

    http://www.theverge.com/2011/11/10/2552529/airgo-outdoor-speaker-does-airplay-the-hard-way

     
  14. bbapps macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    Decided to sacrafice the outdoor requirement. I went ahead and bought the AudioEngine 5+ and a refurbished Airport Express. Listen to them mostly in the bedroom sitting area and loving it!!!

    Planning on coming up with some type of carrying case where the speakers/power-strip/airport-express can be stored and used to transport the setup. When outside, just pull the speakers out, set on top of the case, and feed power into the case where the power strip and airport express will remain. Kind of best of both worlds, nice high quality listening for indoor use that can be easily transported outside (e.g. just can't leave them out in elements).
     

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