Thursday, January 19, 2017

Easy and Expensive versus Cheap and Complicated

Every since we moved into our house, I've wanted to figure out a way to get music to play throughout the house.  The previous owner did run some speaker wire from the basement to the first floor and he also installed speakers in the kitchen that connect to an old school receiver which is located in a cabinet above the fridge.   [Note: the asshole actually left us a broken CD player but my buddy gave me his old school receiver.]

I can play celestial radio through it, but I'd like to be able to connect other speakers to this system and stream it throughout the house (well most likely just the living room, basement and perhaps back deck and maybe even the garage).  I hoped I would be able to buy some sound bars for the respective TVs and use those as wireless speakers when not watching television.

I'd also like to be able to stream Spotify as well as the music on my PC and even the CDs we still own.  Lastly, I want to do this as inexpensively as possible and don't want to fish wires to connect speakers back to the main receiver. 

So far my limited research (a trip to Best Buy and reading through the audio Forum at Tom's Hardware) indicates there are a couple of ways to do it, with the trade-off being between getting everything I want and the setup costs.

Upgrade the Receiver:  I could get a more modern receiver with Bluetooth and/or WiFi which would allow me to stream content over the kitchen speakers.  The drawback is that unless I buy the speakers that go with that brand of receiver, there is no guarantee they will all play nicely with one another.  And I would not be able to take advantage of the most of the receiver's output jacks because it has to be located in the kitchen cabinet and there is no practical way to connect any peripherals to it.

Connect an Audio Adapter: there are various adapters that connect to your old school receiver which just bring the WiFi piece.  I haven't found one that also includes bluetooth so you are limited in wireless speakers and sound bars.

It seems SONOS is the Platinum Standard out there, though there are cheaper solutions out there.

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