Airport Express Sound Quality

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by CarlsonCustoms, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2007
    Can anyone tell me the sound quality that the airport express has? Right now I'm using a old xp computer with external dac fed into my sound system, but I now want to just use my macbook with the iphone remote to stream music to the sound system. I just am worried that the sound quality wont be audiophile quality.

    Anyone have input?

  2. will63nMD macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    hey cc, the music stream through airtunes is full digital, you may lose a little through periodic bandwidth restriction when you use your network for other stuff but it's still pretty solid quality. It definitely beats windows media center streamed through an extender like the xbox 360 or another pc in both, stability and quality.

    Please keep in mind that audio streams are a joke compared to what airtunes is specified for: as an extender to apple tv and therewith hd video streaming.

    If you're into high end, maybe you should look into a good multi zone amp and wire your house in thick copper rather than a wireless stream - but then again, a digital, compressed audio file with 128 bit sampling rate already loses a lot compared to the analog original - so I don't think you lose any additional quality streaming through airtunes. If you have plenty hard drive real estate, I'd recommend sampling your audios in 192 bit and above, use airport express to set up a new network not shared for internet access (use it exclusively to stream music) - your sound should be amazing.
  3. CarlsonCustoms thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 5, 2007
    Thanks for the reply,

    Right now everything I have is in apple lossless so quality of the source is no problem.

    I do have a multizone amp but I dont want to wire my apartment up. I'm trying to save that hassle. I only have to have the wireless cover about 800 square feet and I'll be using a Dlink wrt54gl router and an express.. so i think the network quality should be good.

  4. Fulgham macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2008
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Lemme know how it works out... When I move out of here... my next place will be centered around my Apple TV and have expresses in every other room (that needs sound).
  5. will63nMD macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2008
    Hey zack - I was just curious last night and tried it - works like a charm:

    Hooked my express up to my Onkyo Amp in the family room (basement), ripped the Queen Platinum 24bit to apple lossless, downloaded the remote for the iphone, configured it all to play and blasted away - awesome!

    The audio stream from my macbook was without fault - even when I sourced it from my shared drive on the extreme - even though I used 192 bit files from there - top quality.

    Intersting is that the stream I tried form my vista64 pc - just because I wanted to take it to the edge - stuttered...while the vista32 laptop was all right again. However, a great party gag to use the iphone to shake the house, my neighbors will talk about that one for a while. :)

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