Home Theater setup question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by WRXHokie, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. WRXHokie macrumors regular

    WRXHokie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    Hi MacRumors citizens! I recently bought a new house which came pre-wired with speakers in just about every room of the house, outside, and was wired for 5.1 in the living room. I'm not much of a home theater expert, so I really didn't know what to do with all that, but found that my best bet was to buy a multizone receiver for the family room which would drive the 5.1 sound in living room and also allow a second input to drive the rest of the house.

    These receivers are really expensive, and so its going to have to wait. With the holidays coming up i'd still like to have something to drive the speakers in the rest of the house but without a complicated setup. What i'd really like to do is dock my iPhone or iPod and play music from it. But without a complicated expensive AV receiver setup, how do I do that? I've got speaker wire that i'd like to somehow hook up to my iPhone, but not sure what hardware I need to do it.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #2
    The proper hardware is called a A/V receiver. Ironic huh? A phone or a tablet isn't going to have the power to push all those speakers. You'll do damage to the phone if you try. Your least expensive option (with quality sound output) would be to buy a Sonos speaker. They have built in amps. You can also look into buying a pair of computer speakers, which will cost less, but won't sound as good. There is no free lunch here. You might find a dock with built in speakers on sale this xmas season, but of course it won't sound anywhere near as good as your built in speakers would with the proper amp.
     
  3. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #3
    Does all the speaker wires from different rooms all terminate at the same point, e.g. in your living room or a basement utility room?

    I don't know how many speakers we're exactly talking about (might be helpful if you shared that), but there's really no getting around needing either individual (and potentially smaller) amps for each speaker set, or a larger receiver (amp) to drive multiple speakers. As previous poster alluded to, you can not drive the speakers directly from a phone/tablet/computer.

    It doesn't have to be multi-zone receiver, you could get just a "normal" high-powered amp and have a "speaker distribution box" that will allow you to send a single output single to multiple sets of speakers.

    Alternatively, you could get small Airplay receiver/amp units for each set of speakers and use Airplay for multi-zone audio.

    These days, I'm not so sure I'd recommend even bothering with a traditional "multi-zone receiver" - I'd suggest going straight to something like Sonos.

    You're of course welcome to ask your questions here, but I would suggest also checking out a forum like AVS that is much more geared towards these kind of questions.
     
  4. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    #4

    There is a new device called Hi-Fly from Dayton Audio which does the same thing as Sonos. You add it to your own speakers and it cost much less than Sonos. The only bad part about it is that it doesn't have Toslink.

    http://www.daytonaudio.com/index.php/hi-fly-multi-room
     
  5. ixxx69 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2009
    Location:
    United States
    #5
    That looks pretty cool! I'll need to see some thorough reviews first - I've seen a million of these type of devices turn out not to work as advertised.

    Just to clarify for the OP, this "hi-fly" unit is not an "amp", it's just a device to hook up to an amp to stream music... the OP still needs an amp + speaker distributor, or multiple amps.

    The difference between this and Sonos (aside from Sonos being an extremely well established system that's been around for many years and is known to "just work") is that Sonos offers an amp that could actually power the speakers and provide the whole-house audio. It's a more expensive system, and it has its own drawbacks.
     
  6. jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #6
    What is your budget? How simple/user friendly does it need to be? There are "cheap" workarounds and expensive systems that are simple to operate.
     
  7. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #7
    I went with Sonos and quite happy with it.
     
  8. WRXHokie thread starter macrumors regular

    WRXHokie

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #8

    Yes, essentially all that speaker wire terminates (separately) in one spot in the house. Which is why I was going to buy a AV receiver, but the cheapest I could find that would work the way I wanted was $399. I was hoping there was something I could buy that would drive just a couple sets of speakers, but it doesn't sound like thats the case.
     
  9. jdag, Nov 22, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2015

    jdag macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2012
    #9
    Check out Accessories4Less...they have tremendous service, pricing, and selection. You can get a nice refurbished AV or Stereo receiver for well less than $400.

    PS - I love my Sonos setup.
     

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