Audio options without Airport Express?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Cogset, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Cogset macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2016
    So I have used airport express boxes around the house to allow me to plug in iTunes airplay music directly into a device (usually a small stereo amp, or in once case an old tube pre-amp). Works great, I can fire up a playlist on my Mac and hear it all over the house.

    To do this I make use of the audio-out port on the Airport Express (and I believe only the express has it?). So in a world without airport express boxes, do I have any alternative? I actually don't need the WAP part of it, but I do need something which will receive an airplay stream from iTunes and output an analog stereo signal.

    Any options out there?

    (Yes, I know I can keep using my Airport Expresses for the time being, but I was thinking of upgrading my in-home wireless before this announcement and thought the next version of the Apple stuff would be the ticket, now that's not an option).
  2. Populism macrumors regular


    Jun 11, 2014
    Glad to find your thread, although I unfortunately don't have a solution either.

    I currently use four different AE's around the house with various stereo gear. That, along with Apple Music/iTunes Match, has me pretty deep into the Apple audio ecosystem.

    But I'm increasingly wary of the future of iTunes Match and Apple Music. Suddenly, you can't rate songs through the iOS music player. Albums disappear and reappear in the Apple Music library. And so on.

    Now Apple drops Airport Expresses entirely, which tells me the clock is already ticking as to when iOS drops Airport support entirely. (Yes, I know you can sling it to Apple TV, but I won't be hooking up an Apple TV to my late 70s Kenwood receiver.)

    Anyway, I'm good about complaining about this and not coming up with an alternate solution.
  3. Cogset thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2016
    Sounds like my situation. I'm currently "feeding" three Airport expresses (hooked up to some old receivers and one '60s tube-amp setup in the basement) plus two apple TVs. The few times we've had parties with music playing people always ask how I get the music all over the house. There's an opportunity for someone, maybe the AirFoil guys or Sonos or ???
    --- Post Merged, Nov 22, 2016 ---
    More info. I got a response in another forum with some options

    I think the way to go is as follows:

    1) get Airfoil for Mac, this lets you broadcast iTunes to Airplay, Cast (Chrome) and Bluetooth devices

    2) get some Chromecast Audio devices for each stereo that needs to be connected to @ $35 each.

    Other options that may or may not play nice
    Bose SoundLink/SoundTouch and SoundTouch Wireless Link Adapter

    Sonos Connect

    Amazon Echo Dot has an aux output to connect to a stereo or other speakers, not sure if Airfoil can transmit to it though.

    Use a Bluetooth receiver connected to stereo aux inputs, for example Aukey Bluetooth receiver:
  4. Cogset thread starter macrumors newbie


    Nov 22, 2016
    One last thing about Airfoil
    From Airfoil:

    If you have an Apple TV attached to your television in the living room, a Chromecast Audio attached to your stereo in the bedroom, and a Bluetooth speaker in the office, Airfoil will send audio from your Mac to all of these devices. Airfoil now supports sending audio via AirPlay, Bluetooth, and Cast, or any combination of the three. Whatever supported devicesyou have, Airfoil will send to any and all of them, with audio played in perfect sync. (
  5. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    The problem with Casting is that it is limited on iOS when compared to Airplay. If you always use a computer, you should be set with Airfoil, but outside that, I prefer Airplay.

    There are numerous third party devices that work with Airplay, so you don't need an Airport Express to use Airplay. Below is an example of what I am referring to:

    I do wonder if Apple is going to keep Airplay built into the iOS menu, but until that gets removed, I am sticking with this solution. I do have a Chromecast Audio device, but I almost never use it. I like Apple Music and Overcast app and it isn't compatible with either (outside of using a computer in the process).

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