Can someone please explain airport express to me?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Flipside186, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Flipside186 macrumors member

    Jul 9, 2010
    Okay, so I am interested in the Airport express, but I am not exactly sure how it works. In theory, I would like the ability to use my airplay devices to stream music to the speakers around my apartment. I would just like to know what is necessary for this setup. How does a device connect to the Airport Express? Basic as much information about the setup as possible would be nice. I've looked online but I can only find basic setup information. Is a specific speaker required? Specific Receiver? Thanks for the help!
  2. bobr1952 macrumors 68020


    Jan 21, 2008
    Melbourne, FL
    It is a very easy device to use. Just plug it in and use your Mac to set it up. Mine is set up to connect to my Time Capsule (Airport Extreme). Once it is a part of your wireless network, you need a mini-plug to RCA cable cord. The mini-plug goes into the Express, the two RCA plugs go into an input on your receiver--any available input will do. Something like this will do the trick:

    Then you can send any music from your Mac--or from your iPhone via AirPlay to your Airport Express--and in turn your stereo. I love having this simply capability for my stereo in my living room.:)
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    In terms of audio, an Airport Express has a stereo mini jack at normal line level and a digital output, combined in the same jack. You can take that signal to a normal stereo amp or receiver... or powered speakers.

    For instance, I have one in my studio, plugged into the mains and audio lead to a Denon amp. Another is in the kitchen plugged into a mains socket on the wall an iPod Hifi... my MacBook Pro is some way away on my desk. iTunes lets you switch between setups or choose both.

    For an analogue audio lead to an amp or receiver, in most cases you'll need a stereo 3.5mm minijack splitting to two RCA connectors for left and right channels... usually into an aux, CD or tape input.
  4. Thrifty1 macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2009
    Here is how I use my Airport Express:

    Ethernet port connected to an old eMac that did not have wireless card. I now have wireless on the eMac via the Airport Express. I use this old eMac to run EvoCam video software along with a few wireless cameras for a home security video system.

    USB port connected to a printer and I can print to it wirelessly from any Mac in the house.

    Audio out port: I split the audio out and have one set of RCA cables running to my stereo system in basement (kids use this room). The other set runs to our family room sound system. Music is played via any Mac in the house and it will play in either (or both) of the rooms.

    Lastly, the Airport Express extends the wireless signal in my house so I have better wireless coverage.

    Overall, a very useful product for me and it costs < $100.

    I am using the prior version Airport Express and will be updating to the newer one so I have faster speeds via 802.11n (my older one only has a/b/g). Apple has refurbished ones for $69 -- I will save the $30 and pick up one of these as they still have a 1-year warranty.
  5. karsten macrumors 6502a


    Sep 3, 2010
    sorry to revive an old thread but it's the closest one I found to what i needed, what i'm wondering is can I connect the line-out of the airport express to an older stereo via it's line-in or do i need a newer airport-enabled receiver? if i could use the old receiver i just wouldnt have track names right? thanks
  6. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Any old receiver will work just fine with the Airport Express. It's a neat little device.
  7. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Jul 11, 2008
    Yup, the receiver will simply receive a line level audio stream, it isn't going to know anything about that stream, so you'll get audio fine, but no track info.

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