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Looking for a Wireless Home Stereo Solution


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SB3 is now the classic SB2 is an older model, probably discontinued (though it would still work fine)

Squeezebox can do as many streams as your computer can handle. On an older server or the vortex box this means 4 streams (different tunes playing simultaneously in different rooms).

You could run it all from your computer, but the more convenient way would be to get one controller and 3 receivers. The receivers each have a different name and you can select and control the different zones all from one remote.

I've had no issues with dropouts or network traffic associated with the squeezebox.

The vortex box has several advantages:

quiet & low power (25w)

4 onboad audio outputs

preconfigured to rip your disks (insert disk, rips to flac and mp3, gets tag info, download cover art from net, all hands free).

If you are computer savy, cou can D/L the vortex box OS for free (its open source) and put it on an existing machine. For me it's the low power element that sells the vortex box. My server right now has a 200w power supply, so the vortex will cut my musical carbon footprint by 8 times. Also the auto rip is cool, as I've strugled with getting a similar setup to work on my own server.

Hope this helps.

(If you get confused just listen to the music play)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The VortexBox Appliance is small very low power (about 24 watts full on) and has a 1TB drive. This way any computer or device in your house has access to all your music at all times.

VortexBox Streams to iTunes, SqueezeBox , and several other by default. Also VortexBox auto rips any CDs put into it's drive. So it saves a lot of time ripping your CD collection.

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I finally went with the Sonos. Although it's a pricier solution than Squeezebox I went with it for two key reasons:

1. It allows me to plug an analog device (CD player, record player, tape deck) into any one of the wireless receivers and stream it to all the other receivers in the house.

2. The networking is much more efficient on the Sonos, with just one receiver piggybacking on your WiFi network, whereas with Squeezebox each receiver is pulling from your WiFi, in turn taking up more of your bandwidth.

Squeezebox still seems like an excellent system and I really like the open software concept for its operating system. It really is hard to justify the price difference if the above two points aren't important to you.

I was also able to find a local dealer who had better prices than those on the Sonos site, and I only had to pay GST, so that helped the decision as well.

I love Sonos! I've been listening to it as much as I can since I hooked it up. The built-in internet radio aggregator is incredible.

Thanks for all the advice, especially canadianphan for taking the time to answer my Squeezebox questions.

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For my home music solution I have something called a Hi-fast, which is a high powered FM transmitter. So I have a computer playing music all day, sending the audio source to the hi-fast which streams to an FM signal of your choosing. Now you can tune in your personal station from any radio in the house, garage, backyard, neighbors etc... I've been using hi-fasts for years and they are awesome!


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I can't wait to check out your sonos system. I thought it was amazing when I read articles in the past but I knew nobody that has that shit. Now I do. I think that is killer technology that should be available in every home system. Why can't MY receiver connect to my iTunes library or my rss subscriptions?

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so the sonos has it's own private wifi network, or does it use a bandwidth like 5.8 GHz similar to cordless phone systems?

One of the wireless receivers (a zone) uses part of your bandwidth to get the WiFi signal but then distributes it to the rest of the zones via its own network. Each zone can then act as a booster to extend the signal past your routers usual range.

And my bad, here's the Dead station:


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I use Airport Express units and a little program called Airfoil from Rogue Amoeba. As mentioned previously the Airport Extremes can be set up as Wireless Speaker points. Plug it in connect it to your network and plug some speakers into it, or plug your amp etc etc. Natively iTunes can stream to these units. You can do one or more, none or all.

Airfoil lets you stream Non iTunes content. Essentially and sound source from your computer. There is a Windows Client version as well. I picked up my Airport Extremes a couple years ago from the Apples refurb site for $90 each. The beauty is they can also double as Repeaters for existing WiFi Network ensuring ou have coverage all through your house.

Edited by Guest
effed up the first time
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I have a USB "sound card" which is an FM transmitter (it overpowers even a real local station so the FCC legality is probably iffy).

at some point you have to question exactly what fidelity you need in your remote rooms. Any room that you actually sit quietly specifically to listen to tunes should get a true system. For having music running all over the house while you walk around doing things, or have people over, the fm transmitter can't be beat. You can add a room to the system for the cost of a ghetto blaster at value village.

We have some small vintage radios in the kitchen and out back - the main room has real speakers for real listening. it's perfect for parties - background music.

costs <$50 and so simple... it plugs in and is recognized without drivers on win mac or linux (shows up as usb audio). There is another version that has a line in so you can run any source into it too.

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