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Thread: Using apple and Airport Express's for home audio multiple room

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Nov 2010

    Default Using apple and Airport Express's for home audio multiple room

    So this is the set up that I was thinking about and wondered if anyone had any input, pointers or no-no's !
    (oh by the way this is to try to keep to a low budget - can't afford Sonos in each room)

    Situation is this:
    New build house, not even wired yet.*
    I want audio in 16 of the rooms (over 8 zones. I'm happy to have some of the rooms playing same audio)

    At this point I am getting each room installed with in ceiling speakers, prob just 40/50w ceiling speakers, left and right for each room.*

    Each room will also have ethernet (cat6).*

    The Audio Source (I want only 1 source) as an iMac.*

    I was thinking this set up:
    iMac in Family Room
    Cabled to the plant room from the digital audio out on the iMac
    The iMac is connected to the home wired network
    iMac and router connected to a 24port switch
    8 x airport express's connect to 2 x 4 zone amplifiers
    Each of the 16 rooms speakers are cabled back to type plant room
    Each corresponding speaker / room connected to the zones on the amp
    each AE will be on the wired network from the 24 port switch
    This way I was hoping i could control all 8 zones over AirPlay from iPhone iPad etc.....

    Do you think this will work?

    Some questions
    any speaker cable spec suggestions? AWG 18?
    Do I terminate each room speakers in each room or chase all *back to the plant room?

    Or is there a much simpler option for all this at I am missing!*


  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    North Lancashire


    for me, the answer to how best to do it hinges on the speaker-cables - because we've found we get better sound quality when we keep them as short as possible ...

    this includes guidelines for gauge vs length :

    and this explains some of the background :

    keeping speaker cables short, even going for active speakers (amplifier built-in) could be best, and the AE approach seems perfect to achieve just that - because the AE will look after signal distribution & can be sited close-by the amplifiers !


    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 27th April 2011 at 08:48 AM.

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