Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone) - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 07:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone)

Hi All

When I listen to google play music or youtube videos, I would like the music to play over the external speaker and not laptop or phone speakers. I recently purchased (and now returning) Denon Heos 5 - I got the non-bluetooth version and I also just learn that Denon Heos does not stream Google Play Music.

I would like to stream music from my PC first, then tablet, then phone - again - my major sources for music is Google Play Music and you tube...

I do not pay for music subscription - commercials do not brother me
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 07:44 AM
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You can get an inexpensive AVR from A4L with bluetooth capabilities or small amp with bluetooth adapter. You could get a very nice pair of bookshelf speakers and small sub to provide the low end.
We need to know your budget before recommendations can be made.

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post #3 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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<$350

my use will be - I or my wife is making dinner and we want background music

playing boardgames and we want background music...
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 07:55 AM
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Can't you just get a bluetooth adapter?
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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dont think they make a bluetooth adaptor for the heos 5. The new HEOS 5 comes with the bluetooth integrated - but that retails for C$549+tax (old one, which i found out afterwords that it doesnt have bluetooth was C$299+tax)

i think i can do better at that price point
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post #6 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 08:20 AM
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Amp $68
https://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TD...mplifier&psc=1
Philharmonic AA speakers $210/pair
http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html
Bluetooth adapter $22
https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Wire...etooth+adapter
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post #7 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
dont think they make a bluetooth adaptor for the heos 5. The new HEOS 5 comes with the bluetooth integrated - but that retails for C$549+tax (old one, which i found out afterwords that it doesnt have bluetooth was C$299+tax)

i think i can do better at that price point
Something like this?
https://www.amazon.com/Bluetooth-Ada...+adapter+audio
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post #8 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 09:29 AM
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If you're wanting a good portable Bluetooth speaker, I would recommend one of the Marshall units, a Stanmore or Kilburn. They will fill up a room with background or party level volume. The Kilburn has a rechargeable built in battery making it even more portable.

I have the Stanmore and we use it outside. I think Best Buy is running a sale on them now. They're inside your budget.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpa...=960&keys=keys

If you go the Bluetooth adapter route, make sure you get one that has aptX capability. Some of the earlier Bluetooth versions/adapters can sound really bad.
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post #9 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 10:04 AM - Thread Starter
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what about a bluetooth sound bar?
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post #10 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b curry View Post
If you're wanting a good portable Bluetooth speaker, I would recommend one of the Marshall units, a Stanmore or Kilburn. They will fill up a room with background or party level volume. The Kilburn has a rechargeable built in battery making it even more portable.

I have the Stanmore and we use it outside. I think Best Buy is running a sale on them now. They're inside your budget.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/searchpa...=960&keys=keys

If you go the Bluetooth adapter route, make sure you get one that has aptX capability. Some of the earlier Bluetooth versions/adapters can sound really bad.
they dont sell that brand in Canada
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post #11 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 11:48 AM
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Vifa Helsinki.
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post #12 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
what about a bluetooth sound bar?
I've had one of these for about a month now- https://www.amazon.com/Klipsch-The-O...lipsch+the+one

Quite impressed with it. I use it mainly when I exercise, but keep it in the kitchen for exactly what you want it for. I like that it has a battery so I take out in the garage, deck and while working in the yard.

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post #13 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by sbklip View Post
Vifa Helsinki.
I would second that. The Helsinki sound good but not much on looks for me.
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post #14 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 06:02 PM
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Emotiva Airmotiv 3b. Emotiva no longer makes them, but these are perfect for a small setup fed by a phone or tablet. Check eBay.

http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Em...-Speaker.shtml

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post #15 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 10:22 PM
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Consumer Reports love Sonos BT speakers consistently. I have a Jawbone Jambox Mini, it works great.

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post #16 of 28 Old 04-20-2017, 11:29 PM
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As some others have stated, just buy a $20 bluetooth adapter + any cheap receiver (or receiver w/ BT already) + any regular speakers you want. It'll sound better than portable BT speakers or soundbars.

If you don't want to bother with amps/receivers, I guess an alternative is simply powered speakers + BT adapter. Something like a pair of JBL 305s (about $280).
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post #17 of 28 Old Yesterday, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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hey all

thanx for keeping the suggestions going... i am trying to understand this, so bear with me - it is sad to say, but i think i am not keeping up with tech vs. my age

wifi speakers (like Sonos, Denon Heos (ex. bluetooth)) connect to a wifi network and play from your phone/tablet, using a subscription service like Spotify, or tunein, or soundcloud... they plug into a regular wall outlet. AMP and speaker are together in 1 package
-not portable
-louder
-cleaner sound
-small footprint

bluetooth speakers (many different brands) - are device that connect to other bluetooth enabled devices and are generally portable... BUT with bluetooth, proximity is an issue and are rechargeable devies
-portable
-smaller speakers
-smaller footprint
-not as loud
-can connect to my PC - so i can manage my listen via my laptop

if this is correct, then for my purposes if a wifi speaker had bluetooth - it would give me the best of both worlds? (i do not care for portable) - or i get the AV (+BT) and speakers - but i have space issues... dont have room for everything
- if i had this - i could even swap b/n using BT (for my laptop), or have wifi take over and use my phone....

what about this? i have not heard it

https://www.vizio.com/en-ca/smartcas...aker-crave-pro


I went to best buy and listened to Sonos, Denon and Bose speakers - i like the Denon the best (but no BT and no google play), then Sonos (but no BT), Bose (both wifi and BT)- my least favourite (you can hear the difference, denon and sonos are by far better)

I think at the end of this rambling, i am leaning towards an all-in-one solution
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post #18 of 28 Old Yesterday, 10:06 AM
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There's the B&W Zeppelin. It's a little more than you budget maybe but it sounds really good and does both wifi and bluetooth.

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Wirele...t-details.html
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post #19 of 28 Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
hey all

thanx for keeping the suggestions going... i am trying to understand this, so bear with me - it is sad to say, but i think i am not keeping up with tech vs. my age

wifi speakers (like Sonos, Denon Heos (ex. bluetooth)) connect to a wifi network and play from your phone/tablet, using a subscription service like Spotify, or tunein, or soundcloud... they plug into a regular wall outlet. AMP and speaker are together in 1 package
-not portable
-louder
-cleaner sound
-small footprint

bluetooth speakers (many different brands) - are device that connect to other bluetooth enabled devices and are generally portable... BUT with bluetooth, proximity is an issue and are rechargeable devies
-portable
-smaller speakers
-smaller footprint
-not as loud
-can connect to my PC - so i can manage my listen via my laptop

if this is correct, then for my purposes if a wifi speaker had bluetooth - it would give me the best of both worlds? (i do not care for portable) - or i get the AV (+BT) and speakers - but i have space issues... dont have room for everything
- if i had this - i could even swap b/n using BT (for my laptop), or have wifi take over and use my phone....

what about this? i have not heard it

https://www.vizio.com/en-ca/smartcas...aker-crave-pro


I went to best buy and listened to Sonos, Denon and Bose speakers - i like the Denon the best (but no BT and no google play), then Sonos (but no BT), Bose (both wifi and BT)- my least favourite (you can hear the difference, denon and sonos are by far better)

I think at the end of this rambling, i am leaning towards an all-in-one solution
I'll just repeat my recommendation for the Klipsch speaker I previously mentioned or the larger Klipsch "The Three".

As for loud, my "One" gets louder than I need even on battery power.

Advantages of a speaker that has wifi and BT is that if you are using it on wifi you don't have to have the source within that 30' or so distance.

Of course most BT speakers have an aux in that you could hook up a chromecast to and have wifi through that.

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post #20 of 28 Old Yesterday, 10:55 AM
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Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone)

I've lost track of what you want, so I went back to post #1.

If portability is NOT a factor, and you use Google Play Music[1], possibly your easiest solution would be a Chromecast Audio plugged into a little Dayton Audio amplifier from Parts Express (or a low cost stereo amplifier; A4L has a Yamaha refurb for $100) and a couple of small bookshelf speakers or an active sub with speakers daisy chained form it. Very economical, potentially awesome sound (e.g. Dayton Audio amp, HSU HB-1 speakers with a HSU VTF-1 sub.

Or a Chromecast regular plugged into a slimline amp with HDMI in. Might be overkill.

I'm not sure how to get regular "pc audio" off your laptop to the speakers, unless everything you want to hear is in the Chrome browser. I haven't used a Chrome browser with the Chromecast audio, though I have a friend's that I tested for him. Guess I could try that with my Chromebook.... :}

[1] Do you have the all access subscription like I do? Doesn't it rock?

Could you clarify with a bulleted list of the audio you want to go into the speakers? e.g.
o Google Play music player on Chrome browser
o Google Play Music on my phone
o Youtube audio from Chrome Browser, phone

?
Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
what about a bluetooth sound bar?
Most of the soundbars I test out at Costco offer Bluetooth, some offer more wireless connectivity. Of course, you have the rigidity of a fixed position soundbar. Compact, yes; but you can't widen the sound stage.

Addendum: BTW, I heard last year there are some soundbars and other speakers that had Chromecast Audio built-in, for streaming from devices. Presume at the very least that this includes Google Play Music.

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post #21 of 28 Old Yesterday, 11:16 AM
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A little confused as to exactly what you want too. How much space do you have for speakers (and/or amp/receiver)? If you don't care about portability, I'd think a small amp/receiver + speakers should fit okay.

Chromecast audio seems like it'd do what you'd want, that is a good suggestion above.

And just so you know, a good pair of regular speakers will be much better than portable BT speakers or soundbars. A pair of philharmonics at $220ish or so + amp/receiver + chromecast would seemingly be a decent option, and they get low enough for music that a lack of a sub may not matter much.

Or again, just get a pair of powered speakers + chromecast. And when I say powered, I don't mean Bose sorts of setups.
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Few truly portable speakers will fill anything bigger than a small room with quality sound, so you need to decide what matters to you.

If you don't need move-ability (all in one box) or portability (battery power) - that is, if it's OK to have something you plug in and you don't move it very often - you can get much better audio quality with powered speakers, for three reasons:
(1) bigger speakers mean much better sound,
(2) stereo separation, and
(3) much more sound output, that is, many more watts of amplification.

So something like this is the closest, but there are many similar alternatives.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post
Emotiva Airmotiv 3b. Emotiva no longer makes them, but these are perfect for a small setup fed by a phone or tablet. Check eBay.

http://www.bigpicturebigsound.com/Em...-Speaker.shtml
For example:
https://www.amazon.com/Edifier-S1000...dp/B01CDIS6M0/
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CDU3IAI/
https://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-P.../dp/B01MFD7N5T

If you think what you want is a good-sounding bluetooth speaker, there are better places to get advice on that than this forum.

But - standard bluetooth has noticeably poor audio quality. It's an ancient, limited standard. So consider getting something that supports AptX or Airplay, or set up Chromecast. (You need it on both ends, on the transmitting device and the speakers.)

Or, get something with a bluetooth connection for flexibility and convenience, but try to use a wired connection when you want quality audio.
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Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone)

I forget/neglected to point out that Google Play Music lets you upload 50,000 (yep, fifty thousand) of your own music tracks for free to play from the cloud. They match what they've got with what you've got, and I believe they drop what you uploaded and just grant access to their copy. (I've suddenly had access to new remastered versions of my old original CD rips this way.) It took about three days for me to do an initial upload of my 9000ish songs to them, and now it's an integral part of my ripping new music. Instead of syncing to a device to take along in the car, I sync/download/cache from Google Play Music to take along. Talk about easy…. >

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Quote:
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I forget/neglected to point out that Google Play Music lets you upload 50,000 (yep, fifty thousand) of your own music tracks for free to play from the cloud.
Interesting! Does Google PM care about DRM? A friend of mine was asking about exactly this type of option, but his music is mostly torrented so he was very, very cautious about putting it in the cloud.

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post #25 of 28 Old Yesterday, 02:51 PM - Thread Starter
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sorry for any confusion - i really am learning here. for some reason, it was easier for me for my home theater and tv speakers set up.... avr and speakers!!! plug the hdmi into the receiver and voila...

my dad has some def tech pro cinema 600 satelites laying around, he said i could take them - free speakers... yeah!!!!

let me look at some of the smaller amps (dayton was mentioned)

in terms of where the source of music is coming from

Google play - laptop - through a chrome browser
google play - mobile - through app

just installed soundcloud and spotify and giving those a try (both laptop and mobile)

whats A4L?

and thanx for all the help - its nice to have conversation about this stuff...
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post #27 of 28 Old Yesterday, 10:23 PM
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Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
Interesting! Does Google PM care about DRM? A friend of mine was asking about exactly this type of option, but his music is mostly torrented so he was very, very cautious about putting it in the cloud.
I don't work there, so I couldn't tell you. Also, I don't have any pirated music, so I don't know what they do when you upload it. My music is 99.8% ripped from cds I have, another 1.5% is from legit downloads.

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post #28 of 28 Old Yesterday, 10:26 PM
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Looking for a speaker (for PC/tablet/phone)

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
whats A4L?



and thanx for all the help - its nice to have conversation about this stuff...
Accessories4less.com.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PTMD View Post
I would think so.

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