Media streamer with integrated amp and speakers

hertizel

Standard Member
Hello there.

Here's my current system:

- Living room
Onkyo TX-SR508 + Infinity Beta HCS
Sony PS3
Samsung Whatever 32''
Asus O!Play

- Bedroom
Teac Whatever all-in-one Amp/Radio/CD Player + Wharfedale Diamond 8.1

- Other
Wireless Router
macmini
some old windows notebook
Samsung MonitorTV 23''

And what i want to do is this: Listen to my music (mp3) in the kitchen and bathroom; listen to my music (mp3) and my videos (divx and similar) in the bedroom and living room.

For that, i'll purchase a Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 2TB NAS Cloud edition (Upnp and itunes server), so i don't have to turn on the computer all the time. Next, i'll buy some display for the macmini and use the existing samsung monitortv for the bedroom. Also, the Asus O!Play will go to the bedroom (PS3 will serve as media center in the living room, will have to check if it will read all formats, but as an alternative, i could just buy another Asus O!play, no problem).

So what i really need advice for is the kitchen and bathroom. I was thinking some kind of compact media streamer with integrated amp and speakers, like squeezebox radio (x2), but not sure about sound quality (and compatibility - will it read my files directly from iomega NAS or will it need some software instaled in the macmini?). For the bathroom maybe it will do (small one), but for the kitchen I'm not so sure. Any alternatives? Any comments about the whole setup?

Thank you very much. First time poster, but longtime reader here :D
 
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therixonator

Novice Member
Another option is get a couple of Sonos Play3s or 5s and a bridge. Plug the bridge into ur router and it will set up its own very reliable wireless network which the other units will talk to and pick up ur tracks from the Nas. It'll also play digital radio and you can set alarms to make them go on or off at different times for different days of the week. And for a monthly subscription, you can access massive libraries from napster and spotify etc. And you control it all using either ur pc, mac, iPhone, iPad, ipod touch or Android device, or u can buy a dedicated controller. All the units have hard buttons for mute and volume. That would cost between 450 and 700 for a pair depending which size u pick.

It can also be expanded to other rooms, you can buy units that plug into your amp/avr but they don't stream video.

Do u have a power socket in ur bathroom?
 

hertizel

Standard Member
Thank you for the reply. I don't have a power socket in the bathroom, but i will take care of it, no problem.

The thing about the sonos is that I find it a bit too expensive for what it does. Plus, even if my tech side does apreciate controling the whole thing with my android, i would much rather have the convenience of dedicated controls and display in the unit, much like the squeezebox radio. What i don't like about the squeezebox is the fact that it's mono (sonos also, for that mather).

I guess what I'm really looking for is some kind of micro system with streaming capabilities. I don't care for internet radio or subscription services, my own library will do (recently I ripped all my CD collection). Maybe somewhere along the lines of the Pioneer X-SMC3/5 (without the whole "lifestyle" crap...). Are there any other alternatives along these lines?
 
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amcluesent

Well-known Member
The Iomega StorCenter ix2-200 is pretty much locked down, so it's not friendly to additional installs like Squeezebox Server. ReadyNAS, Synology, QNAP, Vortexbox etc. have much better support in the community.

Note that the Squeezebox Radio (and the Boom) can be configured as a synchronised pair to handle L/R stereo. You can do the same with Sonos Play:3 and Play:5.

I have a Radio (with battery) for the bathroom and a Boom in the kitchen. I've not felt either is lacking.

As a test, I used my two Booms as a L/R pair and they'd see off any mini-system as each one used all speakers for the channel, so can really rock :D
 
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hertizel

Standard Member
Great info about the iomega, and the need to install dedicated software for the squeezebox in the NAS, i'll look into those other alternatives, thank you. I only mentioned that because I've had many iomegas external HDD with zero problems (unlike lacies, for instance).

Also, good to know that you can sincronize units for stereo. Problem is, twice the price... Don't know why logitech stoped selling the boom, anyway, it would definitely be a strong choice for me. Plus, it would be kind of weird to have two SB radio side by side, just for stereo.

Pioneer looks like the way to go, at this moment. No frills out of the box solution (or so it seems). For sound quality, I have my main Onkyo system (and the Teac), I just need something simple: small, stereo, one unit, streaming. Why dont big consumer electronic companies like Sony, Samsung or whatever come up with something like that? I see a big market for this, everyone has a computer with lots of digital music and a wireless router, these days...
 

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