What do you consider the best Airplay-enabled A/V receiver under $2,000? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-05-2013, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

I live in a world of iTunes, Pandora, and TV, listed in order of importance. I've been researching A/V receivers that have Airplay because I'm totally in the bag for iTunes and Apple hardware. I've been trying to find the "best" receiver (with Airplay) that lists for up to $2,000. I thought it might be the Marantz SR7007 but I read that the Denon AVR-3313CI is basically the same receiver at a reduced price, so that knocked me back a bit. To be honest, it doesn't help that I don't know much about AV equipment and am going up the learning curve. As you define it, what would your ideal Airplay receiver be in a price range that extends to $2,000?

Thanks,
BCB
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-05-2013, 05:13 PM
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Why don't u just buy an appletv and be done with it. It is only $100 and apple keeps up with software updates for it.
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post #3 of 20 Old 03-05-2013, 06:31 PM
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Add to that, AirPlay in receivers is audio only. Apple has yet to license out the video part of its AirPlay as far as I know. I have an AirPlay capable receiver, the Pioneer Sc- 1227k, (1222 in US) and while it's slick that it can play music from your iPhone, iPad, or iTunes on the pc, it would have been even slicker to have the video capabilities too. I did as the above poster stated, and bought Apple tv. Bit of overlap in features but for $100, worth it for me.

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post #4 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 06:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there any loss (or gain) in audio quality using Apple TV vs. Airplay? And any concerns about the future of Apple TV, which Apple has described as a "hobby"? I was hoping to get a nice A/V solution that would have a long shelf life.

Thanks.
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post #5 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 06:50 AM
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I can't hear any noticeable sound difference, the sound is coming thru the Pioneer either way and more likely depends on the recording quality of the source music. The Apple Tv interface is definitely nicer than the Pioneer for album art and the Internet radio too. For me no concerns with Apple, streaming tv and audio has and is changing the way people play media. In other words, replacing cable and/or satellite. As for an A/V solution that has a long shelf life.... what fun is that? smile.gif

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post #6 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 07:21 AM
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Anthem MRX300 + AppleTV will get you about $900 under budget and sound better (due to the superior room correction software; the hardware is generic Chinese commodity parts like all AVRs) than any option I know of near the price.

Sonically, there will be no difference between ATV and built-in Airplay, unless the AVR maker screwed up. I would trust Apple to have better wifi hardware in their dedicated box than an AVR does maker in their Swiss Army knife.

As for future-proofing, in terms of core functionality I would expect the ATV to last longer than an AVR, simply because its circuits are subjected to less heat. Amps and HDMI switching generates a lot of heat.

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post #7 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 07:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MojoHand View Post

Is there any loss (or gain) in audio quality using Apple TV vs. Airplay? And any concerns about the future of Apple TV, which Apple has described as a "hobby"? I was hoping to get a nice A/V solution that would have a long shelf life.

Thanks.

You're going about this all wrong, if those are your concerns.

You'll have a longer "shelf life" of your expen$ive receiver if you simply add on a $99 AppleTV. Any built-in Airplay is limited, slower, and has no video capability. Using a current or future AppleTV, you'll be guaranteed the most stable and up-to-date Apple sharing experience.
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post #8 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 07:35 AM
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+1 on apple tv picke one up 3 months ago and its nice
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 07:36 AM
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What speakers will you be connecting to this receiver? I agree with the other guys that if your main concern is iTunes and Pandora you don't need to spend $2,000 on a receiver. Get an Apple TV, a midrange HDMI receiver and spend the rest on speakers and subwoofer if you haven't purchased yet.

Receivers aren't future proof as features are added with each new model.

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post #10 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 07:56 AM
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I don't understand why some of you can just get a sound card hook it from that to your reciever or just run audio cables from your pc to your receiver. If its in the next room or not it doesn't matter. Audio cables are so cheap. Why spend so much so your receiver has wireless? lol
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post #11 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 08:01 AM
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Technology for the long haul when purchasing specifically for an Apple Airplay? That doesn't make much sense. As if Apple is hot now, it may not be in 5 years or more. I would also like to say that Apple TV if you already have a receiver was a good choice. Airplay is a one to one connection, and I would tell you that Sonos Connect would be a better solution for a person thinking "ahead" Sonos is completely compatible with 3 popular platforms, and does everything you mentioned. However, rather than just playing your Apple music collection where the receiver is you can play it anywhere in the location if you choose to add on.

Marantz is not the "same" as a 3313, they definitely sound different for one. They do share a good bit of tech for sure, and it seems to be the common consensus to be crazy for Audyssey. I don't think any of the popular brand receivers sound bad, but I can certainly say developing a taste after owning X brand is reasonable. I'm not trying to be controversial I just do not find that to be true.

edit: As far as sound quality issues with airplay vs apple TV. If you purchased it off itunes it was already down-sampled to 320 anyway.
FLAC and such are can actually be played on Sonos.

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post #12 of 20 Old 03-06-2013, 08:47 AM
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Denon 4311. I have a Denon A100 basically the same as the 4311. You could find them at under 2K right now easily. 9.2 Audyssey MultEQ-XT 32 Room EQ with Auto setup. It can do 11.2 with a separate Amp. Internet Wi-Fi updates. I use Airplay everyday. Also has Denon Radio and Pandora

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post #13 of 20 Old 05-09-2013, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bommai View Post

Why don't u just buy an appletv and be done with it. It is only $100 and apple keeps up with software updates for it.

Since we cant Airplay a video signal directly to A/V Reciever- will Airplay video stream from ATV3 to A/V Receiver?
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post #14 of 20 Old 05-09-2013, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by red fuji View Post

Since we cant Airplay a video signal directly to A/V Reciever- will Airplay video stream from ATV3 to A/V Receiver?

Yes. You're airplaying to the apple tv at this point which is sent via hdmi to receiver. I use it all the time.
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post #15 of 20 Old 05-09-2013, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuzyAudio View Post

I don't understand why some of you can just get a sound card hook it from that to your reciever or just run audio cables from your pc to your receiver. If its in the next room or not it doesn't matter. Audio cables are so cheap. Why spend so much so your receiver has wireless? lol

You are assuming people have a place similar to you own. I think there are plenty of people here with multi-room houses / setups / theaters. Yours sounds like a good solution for a dorm room or small apartment. Also, usually with significant others you can't have cables out strung through several rooms, like you describe. That's the real lol. $99 is so much? How much do you think 300 feet of audio cable will cost? People are more likely to have a network in place in their home than long runs of audio cables.

This has nothing to do with wireless. It will be able to stream video / audio. There is also the Apple remote aspect to the setup. This is not as easily configured with other media servers as it is with iTunes.
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post #16 of 20 Old 05-17-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidawgz View Post

Airplay is a one to one connection, and I would tell you that Sonos Connect would be a better solution for a person thinking "ahead" Sonos is completely compatible with 3 popular platforms, and does everything you mentioned. However, rather than just playing your Apple music collection where the receiver is you can play it anywhere in the location if you choose to add on.

Marantz is not the "same" as a 3313, they definitely sound different for one. They do share a good bit of tech for sure, and it seems to be the common consensus to be crazy for Audyssey. I don't think any of the popular brand receivers sound bad, but I can certainly say developing a taste after owning X brand is reasonable. I'm not trying to be controversial I just do not find that to be true.

edit: As far as sound quality issues with airplay vs apple TV. If you purchased it off itunes it was already down-sampled to 320 anyway.
FLAC and such are can actually be played on Sonos.

Actually I have a very similar setup.... Denon 3311, sonos connect on it and an appletv. And quite frankly I never use the apple... Unless for Netflix. All music is done through the sonos, with a combo of rdio, slacker, and also the local music. I can't stand the way that apple forces you to use their formats. I'd rather choose my own, and go with the sonos access. Added bonus is the multi room... Listening to the same content in the living room, kitchen and outside as we speak.

Actually the latest gen sonos app will allow you to access your music from local content on any iOS device too.

Get a good receiver and accessorize properly... Will help with the future proofing, since you can always swap components out easier....
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post #17 of 20 Old 05-31-2013, 05:04 PM
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There is one major benefit of getting an AirPlay-integrated receiver. The Remote app can control the volume.

I bought the first Pioneer receiver with AirPlay support. Not a great receiver but I can turn on Zone 2 for the back yard pool and control everything (volume too) from any iDevice.

Planning phase for dedicated basement HT room...
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post #18 of 20 Old 06-04-2013, 01:42 PM
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When you use Apple TV using digital ins and outs there is no quality loss. Here is why:
If you are within digital domain, there is no such thing as audio quality as all is done with bits and bytes. Sound quality comes to play when the A/D and D/A converters come to play, like when audio is converted by your receiver to analog to be played by your speakers (D/A). As long as you are in digital, there is absolutely no sound quality loss simply because it is not the audio that is being transferred back and forth but it's digital data ABOUT the audio that is then later interpreted by your final D/A converter. You loose quality when the audio is converted to a different lossy format, like MP3 for example that actually discards certain data about the audio information, or when you are using analog ins/outs because this is when A/D and D/A are converting things to analog and back to digital. Since you are not converting anything here but simply passing it through from one device to another as-is through their digital connections, no data is being discarded, and therefore no data loss is there that would cause to distort the audio bits in any way. So using Apple TV for feeding the digital data to the receiver is the way to go.

Now, the real question is if AirPlay converts your sound data to a compressed lossy format in order to make it smaller to pass it from your source to Apple TV receiver. This is where you could loose data if any lossy (as opposed to lossless) conversion is performed. I have a feeling it is a lossless compression so no quality is sacrificed. Hopefully there are some gurus here who know more on the subject.
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post #19 of 20 Old 06-04-2013, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterdowg View Post

When you use Apple TV using digital ins and outs there is no quality loss. Here is why:
If you are within digital domain, there is no such thing as audio quality as all is done with bits and bytes. Sound quality comes to play when the A/D and D/A converters come to play, like when audio is converted by your receiver to analog to be played by your speakers (D/A). As long as you are in digital, there is absolutely no sound quality loss simply because it is not the audio that is being transferred back and forth but it's digital data ABOUT the audio that is then later interpreted by your final D/A converter. You loose quality when the audio is converted to a different lossy format, like MP3 for example that actually discards certain data about the audio information, or when you are using analog ins/outs because this is when A/D and D/A are converting things to analog and back to digital. Since you are not converting anything here but simply passing it through from one device to another as-is through their digital connections, no data is being discarded, and therefore no data loss is there that would cause to distort the audio bits in any way. So using Apple TV for feeding the digital data to the receiver is the way to go.

Now, the real question is if AirPlay converts your sound data to a compressed lossy format in order to make it smaller to pass it from your source to Apple TV receiver. This is where you could loose data if any lossy (as opposed to lossless) conversion is performed. I have a feeling it is a lossless compression so no quality is sacrificed. Hopefully there are some gurus here who know more on the subject.

Yes it is lossless compression (Apple Lossless).
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-23-2014, 09:01 AM
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Try AirServer.com

For those wanting a sw airplay receiver you may want to try airserver.com . works well plus you can put in on mac and pc.
S.
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