Home music - PC to sound system solution

rogueblade

Standard Member
Hi Guys,

I'm looking to get a sound system for my flat (apartment). I currently have an Asus Xonar DX 7.1 sound card and a pair of HD555's; great for sitting here at my rig and listening to sweet tunes. But I want a sound system in my living room (PC is in my bedroom) which can play the music I have stored on my PC. This would be nice for when I have people around or just want to chill in the living room.

Apart from what sort of sound system I should get, I'm more interested in what sort of setup is required to get the music on my PC to play on a sound system in a separate room. I have an xbox360 I don't use much which can do the Windows Media centre streaming but am unsure if that's a viable solution among those who are into this stuff and how that would even connect to a sound system.

My friend also showed me this http://www.sonos.com as soon as I told him the above info; Sonos looks pretty cool, but is definitely around my maximum budget and I'm unsure about the quality out of those 'all-in-one speakers', or maybe I just need the connect controller.
 

theNEOone

Standard Member
I just posted this in another thread:

Do you have an Xbox 360? I used it to stream my iTunes library to my speaker system before I moved. Just install Connect360 or Rivet on your Mac and presto. (Obviously make sure the Xbox and computer are on the same network.) It even updates play counts, ratings, etc. etc. I'm assuming something similar exists on the PS3 and Wii, in case you have either of those two systems.

I'm assuming you don't have a Mac, which will likely make streaming even easier (you don't need to install either of the above two apps). Also, your Xbox 360 will obviously need to be connected to your amp/HT, otherwise you'll just be hearing the music through your TV's speakers (which may or may not be satisfactory for your needs).


=|
 

fidgety

Active Member
So your pc in a different room will be your source. My suggested approach is this:
1. You'll have to decide if your streaming will be done wired (needs a cable from the pc, through your router, into the living room then onto the "new system") or if it will be wireless.
2. Once that's decided and assuming you have no music-playing system in your living room, you should look at what budget you will have for that, considering what you'll use to "plug" your music stream into it. You could think of a stereo music only system, or an AV receiver that you might want to also use for home cinema.
3. Decide on the streaming client. You could use something like a squeezebox duet. Some AV receivers, like the latest Denons have airplay if that's your sort of thing.
 

rogueblade

Standard Member
Thanks for the feedback guys.

Here's what I've gathered and plan so far from another board.
(I'm still learning how this sh*t actually works: audio noob)

- I want either the Sonos ZP120, ZP90 or Squeezebox Touch.
- I want to stream from my PC to one of the devices above (connected wirelessly to my router?)
- I want to buy a pair of nice speakers that are probably 2.1 so I can have a subwoofer as well.

What I've gathered is:
The ZP120 connects directly to your speakers, not an amp.
The ZP120 has a subwoofer input, while the ZP90 and SboxTouch do not.
The ZP90 and Squeezebox Touch connect to speakers or an amp.

What I want to know now is:
- If I got the ZP90 or Squeezebox Touch, how would I connect a subwoofer to them if they have no subwoofer line in?
- Does the Squeezebox Touch have a build in amp like the ZP120?
- What on earth are those massive speaker inputs on the back of the ZP120 with a red and black input for both left and right speaker?
 
Last edited:

fidgety

Active Member
I use squeezeboxes so can only comment on them:
What I want to know now is:
- If I got the ZP90 or Squeezebox Touch, how would I connect a subwoofer to them if they have no subwoofer line in?
There's only optical out and RCA on the touch, no sub out, but you have to send the sound into an amp/reciver or dac+amp/receiver, so you should be able to get sub out from them.
- Does the Squeezebox Touch have a build in amp like the ZP120?
It doesn't, no.

 

rogueblade

Standard Member
I use squeezeboxes so can only comment on them:

Ok thanks, and is that what you do? You have an amp connected to the Squeezebox and then speakers and a sub connected to the amp?

This doesn't mean you can't use a pair of speakers directly with the Squeezebox and skip the amp right?
 

fidgety

Active Member
I have a squeezebox duet in the lounge, connects to an av amp via digital. The av amp (denon 2311) then drives the speakers & sub in a 5.1 setup. The duet connects wirelessly to the server. Of course when I listen to music, I disengage 5.1 and use stereo or stereo+sub sometimes on the denon.
I also have a squeezebox touch for my proper music listening in a different room. The touch connects through cat5 cable to the server, via a router of course. The touch sends the music signal via digital into a dac, which then connects to the pre-amp, to the power amp then onto the speakers. No sub here (I know this might cause a deluge of comments, but personally, I wouldn't use a sub for serious 2 channel in my setup)
No you need an amp, the squeezeboxes are stream clients only -albeit the touch has its own light server but that's something else-. Essentially, all outputs from the squeezeboxes need amplification before the speakers.
 

formbypc

Novice Member
Ok thanks, and is that what you do? You have an amp connected to the Squeezebox and then speakers and a sub connected to the amp?

This doesn't mean you can't use a pair of speakers directly with the Squeezebox and skip the amp right?

No, the SB is a SOURCE component, similar to a CD player, cassette deck or tuner. You need to amplify it before the sound gets to the speakers.

What budget do you have reserved for this?
 

rogueblade

Standard Member
No, the SB is a SOURCE component, similar to a CD player, cassette deck or tuner. You need to amplify it before the sound gets to the speakers.

What budget do you have reserved for this?

Ok I see.
My budget is probably within a hundred pounds of £500 (I expect I will recieve the Squeezebox Touch as a gift so will have £500ish for speakers & amp).

It looks like I need the Squeebox Touch + an amp + speakers.
I didn't realize the amp was such a necessary component. People have suggested 'active speakers' which I don't know how they differ from normal speakers but I guess the amp is required either way.

When I google around for 'amps' I realize they vary in so many types and all sorts I wouldn't even know where to start.

I think I finally get what the Squeezebox does and how it works.
I understand speakers, researching those is not difficult.
But I am severly lost on the AMP part. I don't have any existing home cinema system.
Would you care to give me guidance on amps?
 

fidgety

Active Member
I think I finally get what the Squeezebox does and how it works.
I understand speakers, researching those is not difficult.
But I am severly lost on the AMP part. I don't have any existing home cinema system.
Would you care to give me guidance on amps?
You should decide if you'll go for home cinema amp/receiver or stereo amp.
Home cinema will allow you to grow into a multispeaker system like 5.1 (i.e. surround sound) 5.1 means 2 front speakers, 1 centre speaker, 2 surround back speakers, and the .1 is for the subwoofer. It will have a setting you can configure for music whereby it'll only use the 2 fronts, or those + the sub i.e. 2.1 setup. The caveat is that it won't perform as well for music as a pure stereo amp. For examples amp to look at, have a look at richer sounds range of av receivers AV Receivers | Home Cinema Separates | Richer Sounds

If you go for the stereo amp, you will be using only two speakers (ok you can add a sub with the use of a special cable). No surround sound but better for music. Again, same suplier as example Amplifiers | Receivers | Hifi Separates | Richer Sounds . Remember when comparing, that you're looking for a "stereo amplifier".

On any choice of amp, stereo or home-cinema, your choice is as wide as your budget and personal preference. You can go from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousands, and more. Same for the speakers.

I would suggest for stereo, have a listen to the marantz range. The new series is the PM6004, but the outgoing PM6003 is fantastic and can be had for less money, around the £200 mark. I had it and loved it.
Should leave you enough for a pair of speakers in your budget. You need to budget for a pair of speaker stands and cables. I think with some clever shopping around you can get amp, speakers, stands and cables for around the £500 in your budget.
 

rogueblade

Standard Member

fidgety

Active Member
Hi. Yes, any of those would do rogueblade. For all these things, the best advice is to audition them first, one of the drawbacks of internet shopping sometimes. Do you have a richer sounds nearby, where you can pop in and have a listen?

Speakers and amps don't ordinarily come with cables, but often the dealers offer a discount when buying multiple items. The reason is that the options are many, and people that make this a hobbie tend to use their preferred brands, etc.

Cable for connecting squeezebox to amp: The squeezebox has two types of digital connection, as well as stereo RCA, so three options. You need to use the RCA for a stereo amp. The squeexebox comes with a pair of those, but they're very cheap and basic. You might want to buy your own later on.
Do have a look in this site's classified section, you might find something that takes your fancy.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Samsung TV Launch & QN95A Neo QLED Review, plus Film & TV news & Reviews
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom