What is the most user friendly audio receiver?

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by georgeroper, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. georgeroper

    georgeroper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Greetings,
    I have an analogue NAD amp and a smallish pair of Mission speakers. I would like to stream wireless audio to the amp with the use of a graphic, and user friendly, controlling device. I would prefer this device to be a laptop but I'm not sure if this is possible? I live in a 3 storey Victorian townhouse and I have a BT Homehub on the middle floor with Netgear extenders on the top and ground floors, which do a great job, so wireless access is not a problem, particularly on the ground floor where I want to listen to the audio.

    I have been to see the good people at richersounds and they demo'd a Cambridge Audio receiver which had a LED display on its frontage and seemed a tad pricey for what you get considering it is £400. They also showed me the combination of a Sonos bridging device (BR100UK1) and a Sonos Zone Player (ZP90UK) which could be controlled by an app on my android phone or my by son's ipod touch, so this seems quite a good option, and the Sonos combo is about £100 cheaper than the Cambridge Audio option.

    Still my preference is a wireless device to which I can stream audio stored on my laptop's hard drive, and control the device from the laptop itself, if such a set-up is possible?

    I'm not a fan of ipod docking stations. I don't own an ipod and don't like the interface. I do have a Creative ZEN player but I'm not keen on bringing this into the equation.

    So my preferred option is the the aforementioned laptop one, and second is the Sonos combo.

    Can anyone confirm if the laptop option is possible, and what pieces of kit are required?

    Also can anyone describe any options which I haven't yet touched upon?

    I'm sorry if my post displays some naivety but it is some time since I have researched and purchased any worthwhile audio equipment. I have been out of the loop and technology has moved on!

    Thank you in advance and happy new year!
     
  2. davepuma

    davepuma
    Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Messages:
    17,520
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    166
    Ratings:
    +3,505
    Sorry but I'm confused. The Sonos equipment will still require amplification and speakers. Are you planning on hooking up the Sonos player to your exisiting stereo amp? Do you plan on getting surround sound and 5.1 speakers? If all you want is music streaming, then forget an AV Receiver and go for a wireless music streaming setup such as the Sonos or consider the cheaper Squeezebox. I have used Squeezebox for years and it is brilliant. I have one player hooked up to my main 5.1 AV kit and another that is connected to a stereo amp that feeds two rooms with music. What Cambridge Audio equipment did you demo? Perhaps, I've got this wrong but have you posted in the correct forum?

    Most network enabled AV Receivers and streaming solutions can be controlled by phones, ipod touches, tablets etc. as long as everything is on a wireless network.

    For any streaming solution, the music has to be stored somewhere. This could be a NAS device or PC/Mac acting as a server. You will run server software that will stream to the device or AV receiver. Regardless of whether you use a streaming device such as Sonos or a network enabled AV Receiver, your laptop will have to be on if that is where your music is housed.

    Streamers & Network Music Players | AVForums.com - UK Online
     
  3. amcluesent

    amcluesent
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    5,240
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +1,167
    Sonos units can be controlled by the Desktop Controller application which is on the CD provided with the ZP90. This would run on your laptop, so you'd have that, the Android mobi and iPod Touch as controllers.

    I'd suggest at some point moving your music library off the laptop and onto a small NAS for use by the Sonos. This is both a backup and means you don't need the laptop on all the time.

    Sonos run their own forums with guides etc - http://forums.sonos.com/forumdisplay.php?f=14

    One last point, do you actually need a music streamer? Can you just hook-up the laptop to you amp, via a USB DAC if they are all together in one room?
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  4. larkone

    larkone
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,889
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    North Essex
    Ratings:
    +875
    A simple option is an Apple Airport express - can receive music from itunes wirelessly and output either analogue or SPDIF over optical.

    Or as Davepuma suggests a logitech device that does the same as the AE - put squeezeserver on your laptop and control it from either android or i-thing using one of the squeezecontrol apps. You can also get iPeng for your sons i-thing and stream to that as a player as well. He can also use iPeng as a control for streaming from the laptop (squeezeserver) to amp. There are also software based squeeze players so that you can use laptops or PCs as streaming devices.
     
  5. georgeroper

    georgeroper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Guys

    Thank you for your invaluable feedback.

    davepuma my plan is to plug a wireless audio receiver into the phono plug sockets of my NAD amp. I wasn't aware of the Squeezebox so thanks for that. It looks pretty slick and works wirelessly straight from the box without any dongles etc, and I notice that PC World sell it for £200. And it has a user friendly interface, pretty sure the wife will like it!

    amcluesent it's good to lnow that the ZP90 comes with an application to control it from your laptop or desktop. Like you suggest, can you recommend a USB DAC that will connect my laptop to the amp wirelessly and give that element of control?
     
  6. amcluesent

    amcluesent
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Messages:
    5,240
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Glasgow
    Ratings:
    +1,167
    Nope, USB DACS are all wired. If it must be wireless, you need a streamer like SOnos or Squeezebox. NB if the little lady is a user, I'd go for Sonos. Just read the posts on the forum where the wifes can't cope with Squeezebox! No-one knows why...
     
  7. larkone

    larkone
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,889
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    North Essex
    Ratings:
    +875
  8. georgeroper

    georgeroper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    yes the combination of the rDAC and the rWAVE dongle does seem to stream music directly from whatever is playing on Windows Media Player on a laptop connected to the rDAC wirelessly. Nice one. Thanks.
     
  9. georgeroper

    georgeroper
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    4
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Is the ARCAM rDAC 802.11n compliant? The ARCAM website doesn't seem to confirm either way.
     
  10. larkone

    larkone
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,889
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    North Essex
    Ratings:
    +875
    No, it uses Kleer technology for its wireless transmission which is a different protocol. More info here if you are interested

    Arcam Blog - KLEER
     

Share This Page

Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice