Apple TV + an amplifier or get airplay amp?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by icecoldart, Nov 6, 2014.

  1. icecoldart, Nov 6, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2014

    icecoldart macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2012
    Hello good folks of macrumors.

    I've got a Klipsch G-17 airplay speaker for over a year now and it's great, love the wireless functionality.
    I've a quite old yamaha avr 465 amplifier which has no wi fi nor airplay built in, now what I'd like to know is... Can Apple TV act as an airplay music reciever while hooked up to an amp? I mean I would like to know if I can simply bypass the tv and stream music from my macbook iphone or ipad to apple tv and listen on my speakers hooked to home theatre system? Since apple tv is cheap and that is possible it would be cool.

    The other option is to buy an airplay wi fi player like the Denon dnp-720AE
    Or an entirely new av amp which has all those functions like Denon X1100W

    The other major thing is the sound quality, the denon,marantz or other brand solutions will obviously provide an overall better sounding experience but if apple tv does an ok job then it should be enough for now, I'm going to buy a better amp in the future anyway but life is life and I have other placec to sink my money in heh.

    Ant reolies are apreciated, cheers!
  2. DrTwoFish macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    I'd recommend an Airport Express - should do exactly what you want to do by outputting an audio signal directly to your receiver. If you don't have a tv hooked up, I'm afraid the AppleTV would be mighty difficult to use simply for audio streaming.

    FWIW I have two Denon AirPlay receivers and an AP Express hooked to an old Sony receiver, and all work great.
  3. icecoldart thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2012
    An airport express you say, i never even considered one, i thoght it's just a fancy apple router.

    Ok so if I'd buy ine it would have to sit next to my yamaha amp hooked via an mini jack to rca cable, that I'm currently using for a physical connection od my iDecices to the amp?

    The only downside is that my power rig pc that I'm using for heavy duty tasks is locaten in a different room with my current internet modem and router. So there would be some rearranging and cable managment involved (again #) plus I would have to buy a wifi adapter for that pc since it' hooked with an ethernet cable and wi fi's for the macbook and idecices as for now.
    Anyhoot, of the two do you preffer the sound thru the airportezpress or your airplay denons?
  4. lo100469 macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2013
    I'm not sure i understand your wifi setting....

    I have an airport express for that purpose (on a Rotel old amplifier). Just ask the express to join the wifi network when you set it up, connect it to the RCA of the amplifier using the cable you have ant that is it...
    If you do not have wifi in that room you can also use an ethernet cable to link your express to the network.


  5. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    I have an Altec Lansing Airplay speaker which has good sound--and works well--most of the time. But it does lose connectivity quite frequently--often for no reason. Not really sure if the main problem is with the Airplay speaker or some other component, or a combination of things. Regardless, I decided to try another approach and am now also using a spare Onkyo receiver connected via digital optical cable to a spare Apple TV. Wi-fi connectivity to the Apple TV (or Airport Express) always seems more reliable and seldom drops the connection. Works especially well streaming Spotify from my MacBook Pro (I use Airfoil to route the signal).

    So to answer your question--yes--you can use Apple TV and a receiver to stream music. If your receiver does not have a digital audio input, you can purchase (from Amazon) a digital-anolog converter pretty cheaply--and then run an RCA cable to your receiver from the converter. I think the sound is a bit better than Airplay.
  6. icecoldart thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 30, 2012
    Thank you for the reply guys, It's clear to me, now that you've explained how this works. I'd like to use this method to simply stream high quality audio either from spotify or my music collection.

    But after putting more thought into it I think that the way to go is to buy a new reciever, the Yamaha rx-v577 is fairly cheap, has built in wi-fi, airplay, and all that fancy tech. I'll get the HDMI 2.0 with 4k support aswell.
    If my brother decides to visit me ( he's a pc user ) he'll be able to stream the music from his dell laptop aswell, besides we do have 2 android deviced in the house too. Samsung Galaxy SIV and an older sony android phone. If I'd go the apple way they would not be able to use the system.

    Thanks again for your input, now i feel educated! Cheers! :)
  7. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    The quality of audio from an AppleTV or Airport Express all depends on the equipment you connect it to. They're not going to be inherently worse than a receiver with Airplay built-in.

    I use my ATV for Airplay audio and it isn't connected to a TV. I've never had problems with it.
  8. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Just to be clear. The AppleTV puts out a 48khz signal. For most music, it has to convert the stream from 44.1 to 48khz. The Airport Express automatically sends everything out at 44.1khz, so it is "bit perfect" with Redbook CDs.

    The main difference between Airplay in a receiver and Airplay in an Airport Express is that the Express can also be used to extend a wifi signal, which may come in handy if you have any issues getting a solid wifi stream to an area of your home.

    While the AppleTV isn't bit perfect, you get the added benefits of Airplaying photos, video, and mirroring. You can't expand your network with it.

    The upside to receivers with Airplay is that sending a Airplay signal to the receiver will, at least in my case, automatically turn the receiver on, put it on the correct input, and allow you to control the receivers volume in the app.
  9. spatlese44 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2007
    I'm a big fan of the Airport Express as you can get them used for about $40 these days ($35 sometimes). Not only cheaper, but they do both digital and analog output.

    I've got all three solutions for different location receiver / airport / AppleTV. Generally I like the Airport solution for it's simplicity. The receiver switching on when selected is a nice feature, but I generally leave it on anyway. Why can't Apple make amplifiers? The user interface and setup for these things suck IMO.
  10. DrTwoFish macrumors member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Sorry for the slow reply - it looks like the other folks got you covered. It's not really fair for me to compare the sound coming out of my Denon amps with my old Sony that I'm using as a kitchen receivers, so I can't really answer your sound quality question. I believe some folks prefer to run an optical digital cable from the AE to the receiver (my Sony doesn't have that option), which bypasses the AE's DAC and should provide a bit-for-bit signal to the receiver's decoder.

    The only real advantages to the built-in AirPlay are that your phone/computer can wake up the receiver with it, and the song info is displayed on screen. Actually, those are pretty good benefits :)

    Good luck!

  11. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Yep, I've picked up old Airport Expresses off ebay for as low as $30. I love how the old model plugs directly into the wall, too.
  12. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I use by Apple TV to stream audio to my receiver as well as video to my TV and it works flawlessly. No need to add another device if one can do the job.

    EDIT: I use a digital cable to connect to the receiver and HDMI to the TV.
  13. orestes1984, Nov 11, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2014

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    The good thing about the Apple TV when it comes to this is that you can integrate your existing remote so as the Apple TV basically becomes a part of the amplifier unit providing you have HDMI or S/PIDIF.

    You hook the Apple TV up to either the optical input or the HDMI input and it works pretty much out of the box as an Airplay streaming device. Either option of HDMI or S/PDIF is good so long as your receiver can output 5.1.

    The Apple TV3 will be oblivious to anything other than stereo or 5.1 so its perfect for old receivers you can pick up for under $150 which have ridiculous RMS outputs and its a great starting point to build an awesome Hifi unit on the cheap. Good second hand speakers can be bought on eBay for next to nothing also if you know where to look. You can maybe even get most of this stuff for free with people upgrading to 8.1 if you look really hard.

    Hook it up to a good set of brand name 5.1 satelites or a couple of high quality bookends and you will have much better sound then your Klipstch speakers can provide simply on the weight of numbers, I guarantee that.

    The hardest part is reprogramming your remote really once its all together for that all in one experience. Once its all set up it should automate the process as soon as a signal is sent to it and automatically play whatever you send to it.
  14. steve-p macrumors 68000


    Oct 14, 2008
    Newbury, UK
    I have both a Denon Airplay-capable AVR and ATV, and if I'm listening to music, I always just use the Denon amp directly. If I only ever wanted to stream music, I wouldn't bother with ATV at all, but of course I use it for video, Netflix and movie rentals as well.
  15. MendotaMike macrumors member

    Aug 1, 2011
    Twin Cities, MN
    Some receivers have a slight lag...

    I have AirPlay music streaming all over my house via 2 Apple TVs, 2 current model Airport Express routers, and 1 old Airport Express. I also have 3 Pioneer receivers with AirPlay capabilities built in, but I don't use their AirPlay capabilities because they are all slightly out of sync with the sound from the Apple products. While the Apple products are all 100% in sync, the Pioneer receivers are a beat or two behind, which makes whole-house audio impossible.

    Stick with Apple devices for the streaming part of things if you want your music to be in sync in different parts of the house. If your receiver is network ready, you can still use the mfr's app to turn it on/off, control volume, etc.
  16. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    This sounds like a Pioneer issue. I have a Denon Receiver, Phillips AirPlay speaker, Appletvs and Airport Express and they all play perfectly in sync.

    My preference for music only is the Denon Receiver. I like being able to push one button, have my receiver turn on, put it on the correct input, and control volume via the control center (which can be done in the lock screen or with the iOS volume buttons) rather than the Denon's app when streaming from apps like Rdio.

    This isn't to say I don't like my other AirPlay devices. The Airport Express units are small and cheap, so I have them all over the house. The Appletv has video AirPlay that I use quite a bit. They all have their purposes. It just depends on your needs.

    Edit: I wanted to mention that a computer with Airfoil and an iOS device with Airmusic installed can also work as AirPlay receivers.

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