Wireless audio question/challenge

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
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England, UK
Hi all,

I've just moved home and am having some issues setting up my audio environment. I've drawn a diagram to better explain the setup and the challenge I'm facing.

I need a wireless 'dongle', for lack of a better word, that will allow me to send audio to it and it to simply pass on that audio down a USB cable. It needs to be compatible with Apple products, and nothing else. Does such a device exist?

See diagram (click for full-size):



I was rather hoping to use an AirPort Express, but found out the USB output does not support audio.

Thanks for any tips/advice.

Cheers.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
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England, UK
I guess you could call it an amp. It's the volume control for the speakers. It allows USB or 3.5mm inputs too, to play through the speakers.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
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England, UK
Sure. Problem is, I want to play TV through the 3.5mm too. So I need two 3.5mm inputs, but have one.

I think I need a 3.5mm switch, and a Airport Express/Apple TV. Shame they don't allow audio output via USB.
 

MacInTO

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
1,149
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Canada, eh!
Sure. Problem is, I want to play TV through the 3.5mm too. So I need two 3.5mm inputs, but have one.

I think I need a 3.5mm switch, and a Airport Express/Apple TV. Shame they don't allow audio output via USB.
A splitter cable is the cheapest and easiest way.

You could also use Airplay speakers. Most of them can take input via Airplay and a 3.5mm plug and you wouldn't need the Airport or ATV.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
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England, UK
Is a splitter safe for merging inputs? I have one ready to use, but thought merging two inputs to one could damage my amp, or the other devices connected?

I think I'll just grab an Apple TV and see what happens. Always got 14 day returns.
 

MacInTO

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
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Canada, eh!
It didn't sound very serious as you called it 'sound control'.

Two unamplified signals shouldn't have any issues going into one source.

You could always get a manual switch box.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
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England, UK
Sorry, I'm massively out of touch with audio. I've attached a photo of the thing I've called the 'Controller'. It handles volume of the speakers, provides inputs and is the on/off switch too.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1434878687.589260.jpg
 

MacInTO

macrumors 65816
Apr 25, 2005
1,149
180
Canada, eh!
Is a splitter safe for merging inputs? I have one ready to use, but thought merging two inputs to one could damage my amp, or the other devices connected?

I think I'll just grab an Apple TV and see what happens. Always got 14 day returns.
Actaully, your only option is the Airport Express because it has a 3.5mm analog audio output jack.

Apple TV will not work for you because it has an HDMI and optical output only. There is a micro USB, but it is reserved for service and diagnostics. You could add a digital converter to the USB, but that would add more complexity and expense.


Another option, for not much more than the Apple Airport Express is an Airplay speaker. The act as the Airplay 'receiver' like the Airport and they usually have an audio input jack or even a dock for an iPhone etc. Many of them likely have better sound quality that what you have now.

I have the Z2 from Bowers and Wilkens - I like the sound it produces. I also tried the Pioneer A1 - it was feature rich, but I didn't like the sound.
 

andy9l

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 31, 2009
1,698
362
England, UK
Actaully, your only option is the Airport Express because it has a 3.5mm analog audio output jack.

Apple TV will not work for you because it has an HDMI and optical output only. There is a micro USB, but it is reserved for service and diagnostics. You could add a digital converter to the USB, but that would add more complexity and expense.


Another option, for not much more than the Apple Airport Express is an Airplay speaker. The act as the Airplay 'receiver' like the Airport and they usually have an audio input jack or even a dock for an iPhone etc. Many of them likely have better sound quality that what you have now.

I have the Z2 from Bowers and Wilkens - I like the sound it produces. I also tried the Pioneer A1 - it was feature rich, but I didn't like the sound.
Thanks for the reply. I hadn't looked at the Apple TV recently - forgot it didn't have 3.5mm out. The Apple TV would still work though as it would route audio through my TV, which is connected to my speakers. Long-winded!

I could of course buy AirPlay speakers, but the Cambridge Audios I have now I really like - visually and audio quality. Plus, the idea was to have one set of speakers for multiple devices due to the layout/setup of the room.

My other option is to pick up a Bluetooth Audio receiver like the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00IJYG4FY/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_SXQHvb0Q2E5RG.

Lower quality than AirPort Express, but more reliable and fewer stutters. But then again, we would probably get better compatibility from the AE with all the Apple products lying around the house...