Bluetooth receiver for home Hi-Fi?
October 24, 2009 12:50 PM   Subscribe

How do I stream music from an iPod Touch to a conventional Hi-Fi wirelessly? Bluetooth A2DP would seem to be perfect - but I need a gadget wired in to the hi-fi that will receive the signal and play it. What gadget (from the UK)?

The objective is to sit in an armchair, call up some music (using Spotify) on the iPod Touch, press 'play' and hear it in exquisite quality on the sitting room Hi-Fi. All of this without wires. Bliss.

What I need (I think) is an A2DP receiver with a couple of RCA outputs that would plug into the Hi Fi. Quality matters and such a device is hard to find. It's tempting to buy a BlueTooth Tube. like this and pull it apart to find somewhere to run some wires to the HiFi input. An FM transmitter is an option but clumsy and low quality - strictly a last resort. There must be a better way. Ideas?
posted by grahamwell to Technology (11 answers total)
Best answer: I'm pretty sure the iPod touch only supports the SBC codec over A2DP, so you're losing a lot of sound quality.

More info on A2DP in the iPhone/iTouch 3.0 OS.
posted by wongcorgi at 1:13 PM on October 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for that - depressing news. Sounds like Bluetooth is not an option. Is there an alternative using WiFi? There's a wireless network throughout the house and a reasonably up-to-date iMac in another room.
posted by grahamwell at 1:28 PM on October 24, 2009

Two solutions, both involving running Spotify on your iMac:

Run Spotify on your iMac and connect its outputs to the stereo system. Install Snatch on your iMac and Touch and download the Spotify Remote so that you can control your iMac's Spotify from your Touch.

Or if running the wires from the iMac to the stereo is the issue: Get Airfoil for the iMac and download Airfoil Speakers to the Touch. Using Airfoil, stream Spotify's music from the iMac to the Touch, and connect the Touch directly to the stereo. Download Spotify Mac Remote and use the little white remote to control Spotify (albeit with only play/pause/forwards/backwards options).
posted by suedehead at 1:56 PM on October 24, 2009

I should point out that in the first solution you could just use an Airport Express to stream from the iMac to the stereo system, which sounds like the best solution overall.
posted by suedehead at 1:57 PM on October 24, 2009

Apple sells Airport Express ( )

I've never used it before but it looks like what you need to send over music from the iMac to your stereo .

Now... to get music from your iPod Touch to the Airport Express and then to the stereo you're probably going to want an extra piece of software. This might be helpful:

I would do some research if you go for this solution since I don't have any first-hand experience with this. I just know these sites from memory.

Good luck!
posted by wolfr at 2:01 PM on October 24, 2009

Yeah, the "simplest" option will be adding an Airport Express, hooking it up to the hi-fi, sending audio from the iMac and using the iPod touch as the remote control. I'm pretty sure that there's no way to send audio to the ApEx from an iPhone/iPod touch -- right now it only works in reverse.
posted by holgate at 2:05 PM on October 24, 2009

This is an AD2P receiver that will work (ignoring the quality issues described above). I have one in my car that I use with an iPhone 3gs.
posted by null terminated at 2:07 PM on October 24, 2009

Response by poster: What is the quality like? Can you give me a general idea? How would it compare to an FM transmitter?
posted by grahamwell at 2:23 PM on October 24, 2009

Airport Express is super easy to use. I have had 3 wired up and they are drop dead simple.

Music is sent over the connection digitally, so there is no drop-out/fade issue nor signal strength issue.

I have had two different computers connecting to two different stereos at the same time. You can also stream tunes to two different Airport Express' at the same time.

Last... an app is available for the iPod touch that lets you, if you wish, control iTunes from anywhere you are in your house, subject to the normal distance limitations, etc.

Cheapest and IMO best alternative.
posted by FauxScot at 3:26 PM on October 24, 2009

Best answer: grahamwell: I can't tell a difference between the Blackberry Music Gateway and a 3.5mm connection, but my car stereo isn't fantastic. It sounds significantly better than an FM transmitter. I haven't hooked it up to my stereo so I don't know what the differences are there.

I also recently bought an Airport Express and experienced dropouts every minute or so which made the device nearly unusable. Google "airport express dropouts" to see what I mean.
posted by null terminated at 4:47 PM on October 24, 2009

Another vote for Airport Express and Apple's "Remote" application for the iPod Touch. That application is really nice.
posted by galaksit at 5:53 AM on October 25, 2009

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