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Existing Hi-Fi, AirPlay and Wireless Speaker Questions


Standard Member
So for the past few days i've been all over the internet trying to find answers to my questions and i've gotten slightly confused. So i'm going to just put my thoughts down and ask some questions which hopefully you can help me with.

The situation is this; we are having a work done to our house and because of this my Dad wants to evolve his Hi-Fi. He has some high-end B&W speakers with Amps and tuners which are around 7 years old. It's great for playing CD's and we bought a iPod adapter a few years ago but now we want to go wireless.

What we want to know is whether it's possible to make this old HiFi system capable of being controlled wirelessly and using my Dad's iTunes music library as well as internet radio from his PC and maybe iPad. I've seen AirPlay pop up a few times on my search but don't know if this is the solution or if thats more for newer speakers.

Also if we have some Sonos speakers in other rooms is that compatible with the solution to the previous problem and whether Sonos is the best option or if other devices are better.

I'm sorry is this makes very little sense as it's really hard to describe when i don't know what i'm talking about :S


Established Member
SONOS works very well for multiroom audio, it costs a few quid but imho well worth it. The iPad app is superb. Subscribe to Spotify, it works really well with SONOS. It will work with the iTunes library and has Internet Radio. One caveat it does not play high resolution files, it does play FLAC & ALAC which are the same quality as CD plus it plays the usul lower quality MP3 & AAC formats, depends how your Dad has ripped or obtained his iTunes music. You can play the same music in all rooms or different music in each, very flexible, have a look on the SONOS website.

There are cheaper options, Squeezebox is one but it is now discontinued so hard to find units at decent prices.

I have SONOS and Squeezebox products, I like both, I'd say SONOS is easier to setup, Logitech especially if you tweak it is more flexible.



Standard Member
If you'd like to try the Airplay route, you'd need an Airport Express (£80). This connects to your network - either WiFi or wired - and plugs into the back of your amp. Next time you fire-up iTunes you'll see there is a new Airplay button which will let you send any music or radio stations in iTunes straight to your hi-fi.

If you have an iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch there are a couple of other things you can do:
  1. You'll be able to send the sound from most apps (e.g. BBC iPlayer, Spotify) running on your iPad/iPhone/iPod straight to the stereo, iTunes not required.
  2. You can download the Apple Remote app from the App Store which lets you remotely control what's playing on iTunes. You don't need an Airport to use this - you should be able to try it right now.
There are lots of other options if you want to add more synchronised zones (Airplay speakers) or improve the sound quality (DACs), but there are some limitations too - e.g. if you want to play multiple sources of music in multiple zones, Sonos definitely has more flexibility.


Established Member
OP, as it sounds like your living room system is pretty decent you might want to look into the following. If your Dad has a decent CD player with a digital input, try connecting the Sonos Connect via the cd player using either a coax or optical cable. You'll will get sound quality results around the same as he's used to with spinning cds. The Dac inside the Sonos is ok but if your system (cd, amp & speakers) is of the £1000 plus mark, it will most likely be the weakest link in the chain when using its analogue out. Easily cured by using a better dac though. If the Cd player doesn't have a digital in, you could look into a separate dac. There are hundreds on the market now. It has boomed since streaming has grown in popularity.

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