Extending stereo with streaming capabilities - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 05:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Extending stereo with streaming capabilities

Hello everyone,
this is my first post, this discussion board is a little confusing so forgive me if I'm posting in the wrong section.

I know very little about audio setup and have been googling for a few hours to find a good answer but have found very mixed results, thus I decided to seek help from people who know their stuff.

I use RCD-M41 amplifier with standard SC-M41 speakers. As you know, this amplifier is equipped with bluetooth and this is what I've been using for streaming music, namely I connected my iPhone and stream music to the amplifier with Spotify. However, this has become an annoyance since it drains the battery and whenever I do something on the phone, like watching a video etc. it interrupts the streaming. So I've started looking for alternatives and to be honest I haven't been very happy with bluetooth sound quality, playing a CD sounds way better but then I don't have that many CDs...

First I looked at Echo Input, very cheap but discovered that it comes only with 3.5 mm input and bluetooth. I hooked up the device via the 3.5 mm input and it sounds very quiet and quality is even worse? Pairing via bluetooth solves my iPhone battery drain problem but doesn't improve sound quality... I read that Chromecast Audio connects via digitial cable to the amplifier so the quality should be better but then it's been discontinued.

So I started looking for other streaming devices with WiFi - so the device connects to the internet and via the digital cable streams the music into my amplifier (which is the best solution, isn't it?). However, the prices of these devices blow me away. I found yamaha musicast wxad-10 which is affordable but it doesn't come with a digital output either from what I read so it seems it's pointless or am I wrong here? Raumfeld Connector is affordable too, however, the reviews of audio quality are mixed..

What do you think about this? Maybe I'm thinking wrong because my stereo isn't powerful enough to produce clearer sound than that of Bluetooth, I don't know.. Is there any specific device you could recommend?
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 05:31 AM
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You mentioned you have an iPhone. Take a look at getting an Apple Airport Express - 2nd Gen. They are no longer sold by Apple but you can get one on ebay. You can use the Airport Express to stream music to your receiver via AirPlay 2. The Airport Express has an audio out port that is both analog and optical. So you can connect to your receiver using either analog or mini toslink. Use a mini toslink cable or just buy a mini toslink cable adapter from Amazon.

Another pricier option is the Sonos Port. You can use it with the Sonos app on your iPhone. The Sonos Port also has AirPlay 2 so you don't need to use the Sonos App if you don't want to. Connect to your setup using either analog or digital.

I previously used an Airport Express with my integrated amp and now use the Sonos Port. Both worked great for my needs. Good Luck

Last edited by jagob; 01-12-2020 at 05:37 AM.
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 05:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jagob View Post
You mentioned you have an iPhone. Take a look at getting an Apple Airport Express. They are no longer sold by Apple but you can get one on ebay. You can use the Airport Express to stream music to your receiver via AirPlay 2. The Airport Express has a "Headphone Out" that is both analog and optical. So you can connect to your receiver using either analog or mini toslink. Use a mini toslink cable or just buy a mini toslink cable adapter from Amazon.

Another pricier option is the Sonos Port. You can use it with the Sonos app on your iPhone. The Sonos Port also has AirPlay 2 so you don't need to use the Sonos App if you don't want to. Connect to your setup using either analog or digital.

I previously used an Airport Express with my integrated amp and now use the Sonos Port. Both worked great for my needs. Good Luck
Thanks for your reply. I'm afraid Airport Express doesn't solve my issue because I'm looking to not use my phone anymore because it drains the battery. However, is the audio quality better from your experience if compared to Bluetooth? Do you have any comparison to Google Chromecast?

I'm afraid Sonos Port is worth more than my audio setup..
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 05:54 AM
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You don't have to use your iPhone with the Airport Express. If you use a mac or have iTunes installed on a PC, you can stream to the Airport Express.

Streaming is via Wi-Fi so will be superior to bluetooth.

Also look up Acemax M5 or Walmeck M5 on Amazon. Might work for you.
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 06:13 AM
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It's too late now I guess, but other than not having a CD player built-in this set would have given you direct streaming via wireless or Ethernet with a smooth-running app interface, included a small sub and a pair of decent speakers in one package price.

https://www.bluesound.com/products/p...uo-2-1-system/

You can solve your problem with a Google Chromecast Audio if you can find one, or that Yamaha WXD10 is probably as good as you'll get under $160.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, R50, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758v3 AVR, LG UP875 4K BlueRay, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer. Office: NAD M10, KEF LS50, KEF Kube 10b, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red. Guest room: Hafler 300 L-R, KEF Reference Model 100 center, KEF iQ10 surrounds, modded M&K V-90 sub, Bluesound Vault 2.
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your replies. I managed to order Chromecast Audio on an auction site in my country, the shops are out of stock! It seems to be definitely the cheapest option. I'll be connecting it to my amplifier via Toslink mini cable. I'll let you all know soon if sound quality is better!
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 06:32 AM
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I have no need for a device such as you are looking for, since my receiver has built in wi-fi, but I thought I'd do some looking around for you. This looks like it might be ideal for your situation

:https://www.amazon.com/KEiiD-Bluetoo...M59WCK7FSK1KZ7

Good luck in your search!

PS: I'm surprised this Denon unit you have, which is not inexpensive, would not have wi-fi...oh well...
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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I honestly thought I'd get away without WiFi thanks to Bluetooth.. I didn't realize bluetooth sounded so crap! If I knew, I'd get a more expensive setup.. at least now I'm wiser!
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-12-2020, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grubsztyl View Post
I honestly thought I'd get away without WiFi thanks to Bluetooth.. I didn't realize bluetooth sounded so crap! If I knew, I'd get a more expensive setup.. at least now I'm wiser!
The only Bluetooth connection of any audio quality, IMO, is the aptX HD and even that is debatable.

The Chromecast Audio is a good solution...for you and many others. It wouldn't work for me because I'm concerned about my privacy to some degree. My phone has all the location stuff turned off (yes I know they can still triangulate on the cell signal) and there's no smart speakers, doorbells, thermostats, appliances or other devices here to send my info to Amazon, Google, or Apple. Yeah, I know I'm kidding myself but feel better by minimizing the possible outlets.
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