Best way to wirelessly connect my macbook air to an external speaker

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by iNeedToDoHw, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. iNeedToDoHw macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    I'm trying to keep my room simple and tidy and so I don't want any cables. Is there a way to play music on my macbook on an external speaker wirelessly?
  2. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
    If your speaker is bluetooth or AirTunes compatible, then yes.
  3. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    An Airport Express is a great way to play your music (iTunes) or other audio (Airfoil) wirelessly.
  4. glen e macrumors 68030

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ft Lauderdale
    The Logitech Z515 at Best Buy:
    Bluetooth or USB

  5. iNeedToDoHw thread starter macrumors regular

    May 23, 2011
    Are these only itunes compatitible? Can I use youtube videos for it as well?
  6. appleguy123 macrumors 604


    Apr 1, 2009
    15 minutes in the future
  7. Queen6 macrumors 604


    Dec 11, 2008
    Land of the Unexpected
    JamBox by JawBone bluetooth speaker
    works great with iPad & The Air
  8. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2008

    My setup: a pair of AudioEngine self powered A2 speakers attached to an Apple Airport Express. Total cost $300. These speakers sounds great and get great reviews. But you can be the judge as they AudioEngine has a 100% money back warranty so you can take them for a test drive.

    The great thing about this set up is that the speakers have two set of inputs so you can hook them up to two sources, like your desktop or TV, and use the second source for your Airport Express for Airplay. The speakers will go into idle mode and draw very little power when no signal is detected.

    For my MBA, this is a great setup: I get great sound from speakers with excellent stereo separation which I cannot achieve with most portable speakers. The A2 will fill a large room easily. And with Airplay, this setup is accesible to any recent Apple devices: iPad, iPhone, etc.

    If you already have a pair of speakers with power, you can get by by spending $100 for an Airport Express. For me, I just wanted a simple and good setup that I can turn and leave on without feeling bad about power consumption. The Audio Engine A2's fit the bill.
  9. mrdm macrumors regular

    Jul 21, 2010

    I have this exact setup and agree it is fantastic. The audio quality from the A2s is very surprising given the size of the speakers. Great clarity, warm tones and great range. You will hear every nuance of your favorite songs. The airport express is also a great match and makes it easy to listen to music without having to deal with rusty old wires ;-).
  10. dpgfunk macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2011
  11. icanboogie macrumors regular


    Nov 12, 2008
    with "Airfoil" yes. But you will notice quite a lag between sound and picture, so it's only useful for audio playing.

    I don't like bluetooth for audio transmission, but Airport Express or AppleTV (if your speakers or Audiosystem has digital line in) both work great as wireless transmitters for any audio from your MBA or iPad etc.

    The mentioned setup with the A2 sounds good, especially the two-line-in thing seems a very good idea.
  12. optionx12 macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2011
    I use this logitech bluetooth adapter. It's really simple. just plug in your speakers into the logitech adapter (I use the old logitech z-2300 2.1 speakers). Connect to the adapter from your macbook air, and play.

    I find this set up nicer because I can still be connected to my original wireless router and not an Airport Express. This way I can still access my NAS, and don't have to be on a specific network to connect to the speakers.

    I do have an AE and it's certainly nice to use, but I found that I can only use the speakers with iTunes (I think...). I can play movies and everything from my Logitech adapter, though Skype had some issues that I have been too lazy to troubleshoot.

    The only downside to the Logitech Bluetooth Adapter is that you have to manually reconnect via the Macbook Air bluetooth icon. It doesn't auto connect like it would with the Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard. Though I don't find this to be a huge hassle as its still one less cord for me to connect to my MBA. (I already have cords into the MiniDP and USB for the monitor, and the power cord for clamshell mode).

    Overall, I recommend the Bluetooth adapter, especially if you can get it discounted. I had a 50% off logitech coupon so it was only $20 which made it a fun toy. Anyways, sorry to ramble on! Hope this was helpful!:D
  13. dmbarrineau macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    from scratch

    I recently bought my husband a MacBook Air. What items would I need buy if starting from scratch? speakers of course...but what other items....transmitter maybe? or are there speakers on the market that will connect wirelessly without any additional hardware?

  14. LaWally, Apr 25, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2012

    LaWally macrumors 6502a

    Feb 24, 2012
    Not exactly sure what starting from scratch means. Seems to me that if you could afford to buy your husband an MBA, you should have already bought him a wireless router w/ Internet access and home theater system. If not those would be the next things to buy him. LOL.

    If you have a router and HTS (or after you've bought them) one thing to consider is an Apple TV. With Apple TV, you can play all iTunes content from the MBA through your home theater system wirelessly. It's only $99.

    If you don't have a router and HTS, a set of computer speakers would allow your husband to play music while working on his MBA. These can be USB attached or wireless. These can vary in price quite dramatically, from $99 to $500 or more.

    If you could share more of what you have or are looking for that would be helpful. For example, do you have or need printing or scanning capability?
  15. vicliner macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2010
    I agree these sound great, IMHO. Nice and bassy without the need for a SW.

    That being said, I have your exact same set up. For some reason my Macbook Air I7 loses connection quite often, even when set next to the express. My phone could be 2 rooms away and never lose the connection. Have you done anything out of the ordinary to get it working?
  16. Jonesy135 macrumors member


    Jun 3, 2012
    Bedfordshire, UK

    I know this thread is a few months old so sorry to drag this up again

    but i have a couple questions

    as i think this sounds like a good solution for me as im a student and ill have a MBA as my main machine, which ill be taking to Uni so having to plug in half a dozen cables every time im at my desk would be a pain

    if i had this set up (A2's and airport express) connected to a (not yet purchased) MBA

    would i only be able to play audio from itunes.... ie not from games, youtube or safari etc through the express

    also would the express have to act as my wifi router??
    i live with my parent so have no control over our router and stuff (we have BT home hub3)
    i get the impression (see quote below) that i wouldnt beable to connect to the homehub for the internet and play music through the express at the same time

    and last thing (i promise) would the express result in delays in audio ie if im watching a video of people speaking will the audio be out of whack with the visual

    also the A2's and express would basically max out my budget so i'd be hard pushed to spend more unless the results would be much much better!

    Any help/advice/suggestions would be crackin!! :D

  17. OCICILIONI macrumors member

    Dec 25, 2011
    Orlando, FL
  18. hempcamp macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2007
    Yet another vote for the AudioEngine 2. I used to spend thousands on receivers and amps and preamps and DACs and passive bookshelf speakers, until I found these provide about 95% of the performance at about 1% of the cost.

    For nearly 3 years I've even been contemplating the larger AudioEngine 5, but just haven't felt the need. These tiny speakers fill my rather large living area with beautiful sound, with ease (gain at only about 60%).

    I have the AudioEngine 2 connected to both my Apple TV (for AirPlay from my MacBook Air, iPad or iPhone) and my Roku (for Hulu+ and Amazon Streaming). I've also used them with the Airport Express in the pre-Apple TV days.
  19. mattopotamus macrumors G5


    Jun 12, 2012
    sorta on topic, but can you stream pandora or other music apps using airport express?
  20. hempcamp macrumors member

    Dec 22, 2007

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