Home stereo question
November 25, 2017 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Our place has two (wired) in-wall speakers. We need to get a receiver/amp to use these, but would also like to be able to add bluetooth speakers in the future. We would mostly listen to music/the radio, and don't really care about surround sound or other higher end capabilities. Is there a decent, cheap receiver that would let us use the current speakers and add bluetooth speakers later?
posted by molla to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm unclear what role you want the Bluetooth speakers to play in this setup. Typically you'd connect to them from your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and play directly to them, so there would be no need for a receiver involved. Are you looking to have the receiver connect to them via Bluetooth and play its sources, or something else? Is the idea to simultaneously play the same thing on BT and the built-in speakers? If so, I think that may be tricky to keep in sync. That's one of the things that makes Sonos special — they have really figured out how to seamlessly sync music in multiple zones, which is not trivial.

Setting aside the Bluetooth part, if I were looking for a receiver to drive two channels without any other fancy stuff, I'd look on Craigslist and/or your favorite similar site. It's often possible to get old receivers (which tended to be better-built than the current ones) very cheaply in my experience. Brand new receivers are mostly going to be distinguished by features you don't care about. You could also go on eBay, but they're really heavy, so shipping can be ridiculously expensive. Local pickup is better if you can do it.
posted by primethyme at 8:51 AM on November 25, 2017

Specifically, I think you want a Sonos Connect to incorporate wired speakers into a Sonos network.
posted by misterbrandt at 9:30 AM on November 25, 2017

Most receivers that I'm familiar with don't use Bluetooth to send the audio but something proprietary such that the speakers have to match the receiver. And usually they come bundled together.

I'd suggest either going to a thrift store and finding an acceptable receiver (I've gotten some decent ones for $5) or looking at previous asks looking for cheap new ones and cross the wireless bridge when you're ready to do so. The gizmos used for it are changing rapidly enough that a good answer today not not be the right one a year from now.
posted by Candleman at 9:33 AM on November 25, 2017

I found a small amp on amazon, a PYLE 40w x 2,
posted by patnok at 10:31 AM on November 25, 2017

If you just want to be able to send to these speakers using Bluetooth, you can get a regular receiver/amplifier with Bluetooth (e.g.) to hook up to your wall speakers. Alternatively, if you already have a receiver or want to get something without Bluetooth first, you can add a Bluetooth input to it later. No extra speakers required!
posted by rhizome at 10:32 AM on November 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Bluetooth speakers will have to be charged. In a house, wired speakers strike me as preferable. I'm sure you can fnd a device to mount your phone/ cd player to play on these speakers.
posted by theora55 at 11:26 AM on November 25, 2017

Can you clarify what you mean by "add bluetooth speakers in the future"?

Do you want to add a Bluetooth receiver to this setup, so that you can play audio from your phone/tablet to these existing in-wall speakers via Bluetooth? If so, that should be very easy – just buy a Bluetooth receiver dongle, and plug it into the Auxiliary input in any receiver/amp you decide on.

Or, do you want to add an additional pair of wireless speakers, and have audio play through your in-wall wired speakers, and these new wireless speakers, simultaneously?
posted by reeddavid at 1:14 PM on November 25, 2017

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