In my home theater right now I have my amp, DAC, and headphones behind the couch. I'd like to be able to wirelessly send the audio output from my HTPC to my amp (or uDAC, if possible). What is a good solution for this? Will any wireless audio transmitter work?
Wireless audio from PC to amp?
- 314 Posts. Joined 1/2013
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I mentioned my experience with Airport Express on several other threads, but once again, the sound quality is the best I've experienced. I don't really know why; and, I was not expecting such amazing SQ but I have never heard my music with so much detail.
I've been looking into this as well. Good topic.....
I don't think regular wireless does it quite yet but Bluetooth is now pretty much standard wireless with a easier to negociate front end.
Best I have found so far is a combination of these two.
The Belkin receiver is particularly cool. Android phones only have to tap it twice to connect. It has optical and co-ax S/PDIF outs as well. Grabs everything and wont let go. The USB stick from Sennheiser proved to have the best range and connection 'stickability' of all those I looked at and dead easy to use. Total less than $100 if you shop around.
I don't think quality is quite up to CD yet but it's surprisingly close and doesn't detract from the fun and convienience.
Flipping through your digital collection record collection and controlling the stereo from the couch is neat. Having your mates come round and be able to instantly connect their phones to the big system is well entertaining.
If that sounds too steep consider those generic bluetooth transmitters and receivers with A2DP you find on ebay and the like. I got a pair like this.
Those were the ones I got but there seems to be a new model around now even cheaper and looks better. I was amazed how good they are for ~$30 the pair you cannot go wrong. Currently being used to convert a pair of headphones to wireless and to broadcast via a pair of spare outs. Also converts something like a sansa clip or ipod to wireless. They are all generic, made in the same factory and simply stencilled by the seller. Quality not quite as good as the branded products. Sound is still decent but they are more fiddly to connect and reconnect and lose signal easier. better than the built in Bluetooth on my ASUS Vivibook amd Antec SP1 bluetooth speakers though. And did I mention inexpensive?
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rocki - doesn't work in my situation, that's a media streamer, but I'd rather something that just took the audio-out signal from my computer (so I could do it with games or movies as well) and manage my music on my computer's display, not stream it to/from my phone.
belkin/sennheiser bluetooth combo - this is phone streaming, right?
airport express - is this a router?
The D2 looks to be the best option but way out of my price range just to save me 15 feet of cable, I think the W3 might work though...but there has to be a cheaper brand out there
None of the devices I mention in post #7 require either Apple or Android. Nor do they require a PC or anything else to set up or use (except the USB stick of course).
They are all totally independent. Both the transmitters and receivers. In fact you can even use the cheap as chips generic units with Airplay as they both use the A2DP standard.
So for $30 you could convert an old iPod to wireless operation via your best system or headphones.
No. It is a receiver for any transmitter you pair it with. It could be BT transmitter in a phone, laptop or media player. Or it could be a stand alone unit you can connect to anything with either a line level or USB audio out.
So in your situation you would plug the Belkin into an input on your main amp. Via either RCA Phono or optical/co-ax S/PDIF. Then slip the USB stick into HTPC. It connects to the Belkin automatically and takes over as your default audio device. Viola instant loud music from your HTPC (or laptop or phone or media player....anything that plays audio really) via the main system.
p.s. I just checked out the W3. It's similar to the Belkin/Sennheiser combo. Without the S/PDIF option or the apt-X quality and almost twice the asking price. In fact the set looks similar to the the generic Chinese ebay only units I mentioned. Which, did I already mention, cost only $30 the pair?
Edited by RonaldDumsfeld - 1/14/14 at 9:38am
That Belkin actually looks to be a nice, simple way to get the job done. Thanks for the link!
Also, you state the audio quality isn't quite CD quality. Is that from using the analog outputs on the Belkin unit, or is that the quality when hooked to an external DAC?
Your opinion would be greatly appreciated.
Using the analogue outputs. I haven't tried the S/PDIF connections yet. Perhaps I ought to write up a complete review when I've finished testing all this stuff.
I say 'isn't quite up to CD quality' because I don't want to get into a row.
In fact with the best current generation of BT transmitters and receivers it's quite hard to tell the difference. The previous generation of BT devices never got much better than 128/192 kbps MP3 to my ears (they have their own compression algorithm and MP3 sounded better than lossless because of the data rate). The new generation ones are better than that. So it starts to get difficult. I don't want to start one of those controversies.
So if you are the type of guy who hears a 'night and day' difference between mp3 and lossless or different brands of cable you might be faintly disappointed but if, like me, you cannot be arsed to spend all afternoon arsing about with the foobar ABX component desperately trying to find some insignificant variation then it's easily good enough to go. Certainly better than your speakers or headphones in terms of absolute fidelity.