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Best way to wirelessly transmit music from pc to stereo?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Am about to buy a small soundsytem for my apartment and dont really want to use CD's anymore.
Two questions:

1)Whats the best device on the market (considering im broke) to get the music from my PC to my stereo? (have looked into the Linksys Musicbridge, but apparently a pain in the **** when you want to switch back to computer's speakers?)

2)Will I lose alot of sound quality by transmitting wirelessly?

Sorry, actually one more question...if I had to, I could just run a wire around the apartment. Do they make them 50 ft long?

THANX!
post #2 of 17
One option for you:

AirPort Express. I looooooooooooove mine.

Multi-use:

1) Creates wireless network for all your computers (if you have more than 1)
2) Allows all computers access to wireless broadband internet access.
3) Combined DAC and Optical output in one 1/8 mini plug. Use a metal 1/8 plug and it's DAC can feed into an amp or use 1/8 to RCA plugs into amp (the DAC does not sound great however). Use a 1/8 optical plug and it becomes an optical output to go into a better quality DAC.
4) Used with Itunes, it outputs wireless bit-perfect inof to the DAC (see #3).

It's a great source if matched with a proper DAC and amp.

May not fit your needs though, just an option. Many head-fiers on computer as source forum use it for their headphone rig because it's awesome and cheap, about $130.

If computer as source is your motivation, you need to look into all aspects of it: file type/compression, music software (Foobar/Itunes), bit-perfect output (Itunes on OSX, for XP: airport Express+iTunes, or Foobar+ASIO), DAC, and amp.

That should get you started. Wireless or a big long wire: that's just one part of using your computer as source.

Once you use computer as source, it's really nice.
In my rig the laptop and the airport express is the front end, and my Micro DAC and Xin amp is the back end. It's all transportable, and all runs on DC.

Have fun.
post #3 of 17
Most of your answers are all here on this great computer as source as forum:

For instance:
http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=188974

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockinOut
Most of your answers are all here on this great computer as source as forum:

For instance:
http://www4.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=188974

thnx!
post #5 of 17
I agree with Rockin' Out. Pretty satisfied with Airtunes.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RockinOut
One option for you:

AirPort Express. I looooooooooooove mine.

Multi-use:

1) Creates wireless network for all your computers (if you have more than 1)
2) Allows all computers access to wireless broadband internet access.
3) Combined DAC and Optical output in one 1/8 mini plug. Use a metal 1/8 plug and it's DAC can feed into an amp or use 1/8 to RCA plugs into amp (the DAC does not sound great however). Use a 1/8 optical plug and it becomes an optical output to go into a better quality DAC.
4) Used with Itunes, it outputs wireless bit-perfect inof to the DAC (see #3).

It's a great source if matched with a proper DAC and amp.

May not fit your needs though, just an option. Many head-fiers on computer as source forum use it for their headphone rig because it's awesome and cheap, about $130.

If computer as source is your motivation, you need to look into all aspects of it: file type/compression, music software (Foobar/Itunes), bit-perfect output (Itunes on OSX, for XP: airport Express+iTunes, or Foobar+ASIO), DAC, and amp.

That should get you started. Wireless or a big long wire: that's just one part of using your computer as source.

Once you use computer as source, it's really nice.
In my rig the laptop and the airport express is the front end, and my Micro DAC and Xin amp is the back end. It's all transportable, and all runs on DC.

Have fun.
What exactly is a DAC?

I know what its stands for; i guess the conversion back to analog is an improvement in sound?
Forgive the ignorance...
The DAC would be connected directly to the Airport or to the amp on my stereo?
Lastly, is this the same type of DAC that can be used with an Ipod and Headphone Amp?

Thanx again.
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel
What exactly is a DAC?

I know what its stands for; i guess the conversion back to analog is an improvement in sound?
Digtal-to-analog-converter. You need to convert those 1's and 0's to analog in order to play the music. When you are using the Airport Express, you are sending the audio from the 'puter to the AE digitally. If you are just plugging into the AE using a regular 3.5mm metal interconnect, then you will be relying on the AE's internal DAC to convert the signal from digital to analog. The internal AE DAC isn't great. However, if instead of the regular 3.5mm IC, you plug in an optical cable to the same jack on the AE, then you can plug the other end of the cable into a standalone DAC, thereby bypassing the AE DAC. A good standalone DAC will do a far superior job with the conversion, less jitter, etc. Sorry if some of my details are vague, or wrong. I'll let the more knowledgable plug the gaps left by my ignorance.

Quote:
The DAC would be connected directly to the Airport or to the amp on my stereo?
'Puter--wireless-->Airport Express--->DAC--->Amp

Quote:
Lastly, is this the same type of DAC that can be used with an Ipod and Headphone Amp?
An external DAC cannot be used with an iPod because the iPod does not have a digital line out. The D-A conversion is done internally. The only portable DAP with a digital line out that comes to mind is the H120/H140.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey
Digtal-to-analog-converter. You need to convert those 1's and 0's to analog in order to play the music. When you are using the Airport Express, you are sending the audio from the 'puter to the AE digitally. If you are just plugging into the AE using a regular 3.5mm metal interconnect, then you will be relying on the AE's internal DAC to convert the signal from digital to analog. The internal AE DAC isn't great. However, if instead of the regular 3.5mm IC, you plug in an optical cable to the same jack on the AE, then you can plug the other end of the cable into a standalone DAC, thereby bypassing the AE DAC. A good standalone DAC will do a far superior job with the conversion, less jitter, etc. Sorry if some of my details are vague, or wrong. I'll let the more knowledgable plug the gaps left by my ignorance.



'Puter--wireless-->Airport Express--->DAC--->Amp



An external DAC cannot be used with an iPod because the iPod does not have a digital line out. The D-A conversion is done internally. The only portable DAP with a digital line out that comes to mind is the H120/H140.
this seems like it might start to get a little costly.
I guess I could just get the AE and pick up a DAC later?
what about a wire directly from my computer to my stereo?
WHere could I find one that would be about 50 feet long?

I know-alot of questions, thanx again.
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel
this seems like it might start to get a little costly.
I guess I could just get the AE and pick up a DAC later?
what about a wire directly from my computer to my stereo?
WHere could I find one that would be about 50 feet long?

I know-alot of questions, thanx again.
Sure, you could hold off on the DAC. The AE does just fine without one. I would not recommend running a 50ft. cable, but the cable boad may have some advice for you on that topic.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey
Sure, you could hold off on the DAC. The AE does just fine without one. I would not recommend running a 50ft. cable, but the cable boad may have some advice for you on that topic.
Monkey-one last question: (actually two...)

1) Do I need to use one of those "Plug-In" PMC-slot cards to transmit, or does my compuetr just plug right into the AE via a cable?

2) How does the stereo pick up the music? Doesnt something have to plug into the back of the stereo?

Again, please forgive the ignorance...
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwitel
Monkey-one last question: (actually two...)

1) Do I need to use one of those "Plug-In" PMC-slot cards to transmit, or does my compuetr just plug right into the AE via a cable?
You have 2 options for connecting to the AE: 1) wirelessly using your PCs wireless network card (if it has one) to the AE's antenna; or 2) hardwired via an ethernet cable from your PC's network card to the network jack.

Quote:
2) How does the stereo pick up the music? Doesnt something have to plug into the back of the stereo?
Yes. To get the tunes to your amp/stereo, you plug the mini end of a mini-to-rca connector to the 3.5mm jack on the AE, and plug in the RCA ends to the input jacks on your stereo/amp. Alternatively, as we discussed above you would plug in an optical cable into the same 3.5mm jack on the AE and run it to a DAC.

Quote:

Again, please forgive the ignorance...
No problem at all. It's much easier to show it than to explain it, but perhaps if I break down my own setup it will help.

I have my iMac in one corner of my living room. It has a wireless network card. Across the room, I have the AE plugged into the wall (it needs power). It is about 2 feet from my stereo setup. So my iMac connects to the AE wirelessly. Plugged into the AE is the mini end of a mini-to-rca cable, which is then connected to input jacks on my stereo. So:

iMac (using wireless card)--wirelessly across room-->AE--hardwired with mini-to-rca-->stereo.

I hope this makes sense. No problem if you have more questions.

Edit: Apple's little guide may be helpful, too: http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/airtunes.html
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Monkey
Sure, you could hold off on the DAC. The AE does just fine without one. I would not recommend running a 50ft. cable, but the cable boad may have some advice for you on that topic.
Does the AE force you to use its internal DAC? If you wanna use your own, how could you do so while still getting a wireless connection?
post #13 of 17

Slimdevices Squeezebox

You may want to consider getting the squeezebox from slimdevices.com
post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by russdog
Does the AE force you to use its internal DAC? If you wanna use your own, how could you do so while still getting a wireless connection?

I think I pretty thoroughly explained this above. To bypass the AE's internal DAC, you would just plug in an optical cable to the AE's 3.5mm jack (which accepts both analog and digital 3.5mm cables).
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDQ
You may want to consider getting the squeezebox from slimdevices.com
Also a good suggestion. I have heard very good things about the squeezebox, including some good reviews of the internal DAC on at least one of the models. Other than that, I know nothing about how it works. Not too difficult to use I would imagine, though.
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