Need simple 2-source selection to one set of speakers


Novice Member
Hi All- Thanks in advance for your help. I'm trying to do something easy, I think, but I'm clearly missing something. It's basically trying to connect two sources to a single pair of speakers.

Here's the aim:
1. Bedroom set-up: Airport Express (Airplay2) AND DirecTV-connected Smart TV (Netflix) connected to a single in-ceiling speaker pair.
2. I'd like to be able to stream to the AE, but have the TV 'override' that option when it's turned on (and switch back to AE when off so it's always available)
3. Needs to be aesthetic and dead easy (keep wife happy).
4. Not decided how to power them yet.
5. There is no cabinetry (or table top) anywhere near this, DTV box and whatever amp I end up with need to be in a different room (RF or iPhone controlled) or tucked behind the wall-mounted TV. Walls are currently open (renovation in progress).

Optical, RCA Analog...I am open to either with converters (TV only has Optical or HDMI out, while AE (I think) can be connected with Optical or Analog (Y-cable)).

Ideas I've considered:
1. Buy a speaker selector (toggles from A to B, but not both) and 'customize' RCA cable ends to use it pre-amp instead of between the Amp and the speakers. Pro is that it would be very simple (push button when you want to watch TV), but I don't know if you can run line cabling through these switches. Also, that confines me to analog (which is, again, okay, but I'll need to convert the TV signal from digital).
2. Ditch AE and buy something like this: Lithe Audio WiFi All-in-one IP44 Multi-room Bathroom Ceiling Speaker (SINGLE - Master) - Lithe Audio LTD Seems REALLY expensive, but it would do what I want, I think (once I digital-to-analog convert TV signal). I was hoping to hard-wire the AE box, and I don't think these take ethernet cables, but I think it could work.
3. Hide a small RCA switch box behind the TV. Not as elegant, but maybe that would work.
4. Buy an amp that allows for iPhone control (a step up in complexity from an operation standpoint and a lot of cable running to go from the source to amp to the speakers. I was also thinking of a smaller, cheaper, less-featured amp (Class D) for this, so it would change my plans and get me closer to the Lithe Audio price-point (though with more flexibility down the road).

Anything else possible here? I have an attic above the space (not temperature controlled), so, while that could cut down on the cabling issues, I can't put sensitive electronics up there...I'm even nervous about the Lithe Audio speakers as it gets VERY hot in the summer.


Active Member
You seem to have your mind already set on ceiling speakers.
If I may ask, what makes you think that ceiling speakers will have a better sound performance than the TV itself? Without a sub, ceiling speakers may deliver poorer low frequency than the TV, and probably worse stereo image.
For streaming music, a phone connected to a single good quality bluetooth speaker may also be able to beat ceiling speakers, while being cheaper, simpler and less intrusive.


Novice Member
Aesthetics. That's really what it comes down to. That, and that the TV isn't going to be huge in the space, and we want to be able to hear the dialog across the room. We're not going for audiophile-level quality here. Just volume to carry our whole-house audio into the second floor of our house. I don't think my wife will be pleased spending this kind of money on the reno and then having a table-top or floor speaker sitting around in the new space.

I very much welcome the outside-the-box thinking. If I was still a bachelor, I probably wouldn't bother with this. If I don't bother with it, I'll possibly be a bachelor again! :)

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