How to get iTunes music in second room?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MacInTO, Jun 2, 2015.

  1. MacInTO macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #1
    I have a Macbook in the living room with my music collection in iTunes that is connected via the audio jack to my home theatre receiver with an optical cable. This works great for my music in my living room. However, now I'd like to add some speakers (airplay or bluetooth?) to my home office in another room in the house. The room is only about 20 feet away so no big distances or thick walls.

    What is the easiest/cheapest way to do this?

    How would you do this?
     
  2. urbanracer34 macrumors member

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    #2
    I would suggest an apple tv, as it is cheaper than an airport express, but I would wait till WWDC to see what comes up. There might be a refresh coming up for one or both.
     
  3. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

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    #3
    You have several options.

    1. AppleTV (refurb/new $80-$100). Provides good access to the library, but you will want a display for it. You can plug it into a monitor if you have one in your office. You can also use the "Remote" app from Apple and control it with any iOS device. I do this when I do not want to turn on the TV just to start a playlist.

    2. You can buy a new/used iPhone or Touch (used $50-200) and plug it into some powered speakers. Use the Music app and go to your shared library. This will give you the same access as an AppleTV, but the display is built-in.

    3. Use an Airport Express (refurb/new $90-$100). Will mirror any Mac or iOS device that supports Airplay. But you need access to whatever device is streaming to the Airport. So if your MacBook was streaming to it, you would have to get access to the MacBook somehow (VNC, Remote Desktop, etc). Use your iOS device to connect to your library and then Airplay to this device.

    4. A home theater receiver (used on ebay $100+) that supports Airplay. This will have the amplifier part built-in, so you just need some speakers. But again you need something to actually stream to it. But and Mac or iOS device will work. Use your iOS device to connect to your library and then Airplay to this device.
     
  4. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #4
    Cheapest may be to leverage the receiver you already have. Does it have a "zone 2" option? If so, drill a small hole through the wall into the next room (< 20 feet away), push some speaker cable through there and hook up some speakers. Use the zone 2 function to pump music to those speakers. Cost: short run of speaker cable and maybe some terminators (and maybe a little putty to patch the hole you drill). This will also deliver the bonus of any other music sources you can play on that receiver also being playable on those new speakers.
     
  5. jdag macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    You didn't define "cheapest" and provide a budget. All of the posts above are definitely options, ranging from a low of a few bucks (running speaker wire) to $70-$100 (AppleTV, Airport Express) to possibly more (additional receiver).

    A few other options:

    1) Sonos speaker(s) - $200 for a single Play:1 speaker, $350 for a pair. You can also buy other models such as Play:3, Play:5, Playbar, and even a Subwoofer. So $200+, and the software will leverage your iTunes library.

    2) Older Airport Express - $30ish used on eBay.

    3) Passive speakers + a "T Amp" + Airport Express - could be as little as about $60.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #6
    Thanks for the replies!

    I think Apple TV or an Airport Express is probably the way to go. I've never tried it or Apple TV before. I'll wait until WWDC to see if there is a new version before doing anything.

    I'm not sure why I would need an iPhone or Touch to make it happen though. I have a remote control app on my tablet. I'm also thinking about an Airplay speaker, like this one, http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/Home/Music+Systems/A1+XW-SMA1-K

    I don't want or need a new home theatre receiver. I have a 15 year old Sony ES receiver that will likely last another 20 years.
     
  7. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #7
    This is the way I'd like to do it! I did this in the place I used to live it, it was great because it was a steel and concrete building. I'm my unit there was a bulkhead that I ran a ton of wires in the bulkhead for the home theatre! However, I live in a wood-frame condo that i'm not sure about what's inside the walls and I don't really feel like finding out for something that is probably easier with existing technology.
     
  8. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #8
    Do I still need Apple TV or an Airport Express with Sonos?
     
  9. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

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    #9
    Nope. It connects through your wireless network. There is a Sonos app for your pad/phone to control playback. The host computer will need to remain on with iTunes open, however.
     
  10. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #10
    Hmm, this could work! Thanks!

    I have a dedicated Mac that is always playing music through iTunes when I am awake!
     
  11. Godzirra macrumors 6502

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    #11
    I've got a simple setup but similar to what it sounds like you want to do. iMac with all the music on it in my living room, an airport express connected to a set of powered speakers in the kitchen, connected to the wifi, and when playing music via the iMac, i can select the airport express on its own for just the kitchen, or set the iMac to multiple and it'll play out of the iMac and the express. Speakers were about £50 and the same with the express, and that was a few years ago. Simple, no holes drilled, or extra wires all over the place, and it just works.
     
  12. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #12
    For only music in another room, you certainly don't need Sonos. The cheaper, and more effective option, should be either Airport Express or Apple TV like many had suggested. If you already have a tablet (iPad) you can use that to control the music. Just set your Mac to wake on network.
     
  13. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #13
    Wood frame condo probably means hollow walls (making this easy and cheap). A stud finder can give you a sense of where the (probably) wood studs are in your walls (and some will sense electricity too) so that you can pick a drill hole that should get the wire right through. If the "<20ft" means that you have just a single wall to go through, a long drill bit should be able to go right through (both sets of drywall). Then a modified coat hanger or similar could be used for pulling the speaker wire through with minimal impact on both walls.

    If you have access to an attic or basement above or below the rooms, you can probably run your speaker wire through such spaces. I've done that very thing before in a condo and it was not a problem. That made wires disappear while letting me route audio to another room much greater than 20 ft away from the source.

    Using an :apple:TV is a good option too but it will beg for a TV which may or may not be desirable in that next room. Sonos is an elegant, simple solution though I wouldn't easily fit it into my definition of "cheapest." But if you dropped "cheapest" as a requirement, that would be an excellent way to do what you want. Someone earlier had suggested a used iPod since it would have it's own screen. If you might already have one, that seems like a cheap & easy way to go too.
     
  14. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #14
    I just drilled some holes, ran wires around the edges of the rooms and connected my receiver to some old speakers I already had. I got a cheap speaker selector box that lets me turn them on/off in two additional rooms as well as the front porch. Since I already had the speakers and tools, the cost was around $40 for the selector box and wire. :)

    I also have two appleTVs, but mostly use them for watching video. FWIW, the prices posted earlier by @westrock2000 are not current for the US. A new Apple TV is $69 now and refurb is $59. There is also an article that just appeared on the MacRumors front page predicting that the new AppleTV will not be announced at WWDC after all.
     
  15. jdag macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Please don't just dismiss Sonos as more costly and less effective. It may actually less costly and more effective! Especially depending on the speaker(s) the OP wishes to purchase. Add in the Airport Express or AppleTV on top of speakers and it could be more costly than a Sonos setup. Admittedly, Sonos can get very costly, but can also be as little as $200 for a single speaker or $350 for a pair.

    Also, "For only music in another room" is exactly what Sonos is absolutely brilliant at offering. In fact, playing selections throughout a home, either the same selection to a single or multiple zones, or different selections to a single or multiple zones, is part of its attraction.

    While you could use Sonos to play from a running Mac with iTunes, you can also play from many many other sources, including from your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, etc.

    I am not pushing Sonos. Airplay likely would work perfectly well for the OP. But Sonos is something to consider.

    PS - I use both Sonos and Airplay for different purposes. Sonos to a couple of rooms inside, and Airplay to my outside speakers.
     
  16. MacInTO, Jun 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015

    MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #16
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm not drilling holes because it is more complicated than just through one wall. It's down the hall also. I'd have to run it in the ceiling and then along a wall and then down. I'd like to do this, but I am likely to hit some studs for sure.

    I've just ordered this item from Best Buy for about $100,

    http://www.pioneerelectronics.ca/POCEN/Home/Music+Systems/A1+XW-SMA1-K

    I think this will work fine. I'd much rather have better speakers, but for the price, this will do for now unless I can find a better solution.

    [Edit] I think it will work with only the Pioneer speaker I just purchased. It's Airplay ready, an Airplay receiver according to the wiki page,

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AirPlay

    And according to a support page I found, once I connect the speaker, the Airplay icon will appear in iTunes.

    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT202809

    I'm looking forward to seeing this in action! :D
     
  17. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #18
    That was easy! I love shopping online and two-day delivery! :D

    The speaker was easy to set up and works pretty well! It took less than 10 minutes to setup. Much like setting up a wireless router. Once it was connected to my wifi network, the icon showed up on iTunes and it was ready to go. I especially like that I can output to two different sources at the same time. I've never used Airplay before, and I think it's pretty cool!

    [​IMG]

    The sound from the unit is better than I expected. It's not bad for $100. I'll use it for a for a bit before I decide if I want something better in terms of sound.

    The speaker is ugly, imho. It's black shiny plastic and a black metal grille on the front. It looks a bit like Darth Vader's helmet. Although, that might be attractive to some! :eek:

    [​IMG]
     
  18. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #19

    Is this speaker always on?
     
  19. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #20
    No. It comes with a remote that controls the power, as well as the volume and input source. There is also a play/pause and forward/back buttons, but I'm not sure what they control because I didn't read the manual. ;)
     
  20. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #21
    Oh.. thank you. My Altec Lansing is always on. It sleep when not in use and wake up when AirPlayed to. So I'm kinda spoiled about not having to power it on or off.
     
  21. MacInTO thread starter macrumors 65816

    MacInTO

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    #22
    I'm sure it does the same thing, but I'm not going to find out because I'm going to return it. I got the Bowers and Wilkens Z2 in place of it. I like the sound from this one much better - and it's more attractive too! :)

    [​IMG]
     
  22. matrix07 macrumors 68040

    matrix07

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    #23
    Nice! That's the one I'm also interested in. Good choice.
     
  23. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #24
    Beat me to, but it seems the OP found a solution that works for him/her!

    I absolutely love my Sonos setup. Wish they would do an outdoor speaker and I would be one happy camper!

    Yes the price can be considered steep, but man it is has been rock solid and the sound is excellent. I have five speakers throughout the house and can control them from anyone of my devices including the host PC (if I remote in and use the Sonos application).

    If you don't mind me asking, what speakers are you using for the outside?
     
  24. jdag macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2012
    #25
    Yeah, a Sonos outdoor speaker would sell very well. Surprised they've not done one yet.

    As for my outdoor speakers, I have a pair of Dayton Audio speakers that I purchased from Parts Express for ~$80. They really fit the bill nicely.
     

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