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Best way to connect/transmit source of laptop music to speakers (Bedroom casual)


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Hi,

 

Ok so I am sitting in my bed, playing around on my laptop and sometimes listening to music via YouTube. The speakers on my laptop are not sufficient to my wants.

 

I would like to put some speakers in the room and transmit the YouTube to the speakers.

 

Laptop is Mac, it has a 3.5mm and a few usb C/lightning.

 

Not sure what the technology of bluetooth or wireless is capable of nowadays but it might be a valid choice?

 

Also can connect via the 3.5mm and the usb I guess.

 

Not sure what is the best solution for my needs and the bet quality option. Need some help with this.

 

 

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What you really need is a budget for more accurate advice. As it appears you may not be familiar with the terms, I'm providing the "for dummies" explanation below, so please don't be offended.

 

I run sound from my Macbook Pro via usb to an outboard digital to analogue converter (DAC). This then connects to my active (amp built in) speakers which sit on the desk. You can get great sound this way for under $1000

 

I'm sure you could also use bluetooth to enabled active speakers which would be wireless, but not sound significantly better than your laptop speakers, just louder.

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Probably the easiest way is to get a Bluetooth speaker. Here is one of the many lists available:

https://www.techradar.com/au/news/audio/portable-audio/10-best-portable-speakers-1069079

 

If your laptop lacks Bluetooth, get a USB stick.

 

As the others have asked, it depends on your budget and the sound quality you are after. Plenty of options available, both wireless and wired.

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Ok thanks guys. That answers my question. Usb into dac into amp+ speakers (or active speakers).

 

The bluetooth option will have worse quality and not much better than the speakers on the mac. I will look at spookys link though.

 

I forgot to mention i do have a tv in the room too. The tv has pretty good speakers itself to the point i dont think i need the home theatre stuff like sound bar etc ( never owned one either). I dont really care about movie audio and rumbles etc in general. The tv sounds twice as good as my laptop ( based on. Bob's tinny-ometer :) )

 

Though i do care about music sound.

 

One option i haven't delved into is connecting the laptop to my tv somehow ( bluetooth, screen mirroring, some apple tv dongle not sure)- and then seeing if that sound is likeable/ sufficient for music.

 

Or the other option is to get someting that caters for the tv and Laptop music too.... Not sure if soundbars etc will cut it for music. Can the tv and laptop connect to soundbars alternatively via BT?

 

The plot thickens, thanks guys for any suggestions.

Edited by odb123
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32 minutes ago, odb123 said:

Ok thanks guys. That answers my question. Usb into dac into amp+ speakers (or active speakers).

 

The bluetooth option will have worse quality and not much better than the speakers on the mac. I will look at spookys link though.

 

 

 

The plot thickens, thanks guys for any suggestions.

I think you might be surprised by bluetooth - the more obvious artifacts are gone in recent implementations and the convenience of not having four and a half km of cable hanging out the side of your laptop is a major plus.  There are quite a few small bluetooth capable class D amps on ebay that would handily drive a good quality pair of bookshelf speakers and murder the sound coming out of the mac.  edit: Having said that, I run a DAC out of my laptop to a classic hi-fi amp for most laptop listening, although that is on a desk where the cables don't matter so much.

 

Edited by Old Man Rubber
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Well   another option if your tv is a smart tv you will have youtube onthat to use

 

If not as  long as you have a hdmi input buy a  google tv chromecast    $99

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On 10/12/2020 at 6:40 PM, david j said:

Well   another option if your tv is a smart tv you will have youtube onthat to use

 

If not as  long as you have a hdmi input buy a  google tv chromecast    $99


Yup. Or Apple TV or Firestick or a smart DVD/bluray. You can listen to internet audio over wifi with no cables connected to your laptop, but you can still get a digital out from those devices (or your TV) to a dac > amp > speakers. 
 

BTW I’d suggest comparing the audio quality from YouTube to Spotify. 

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Ok did some testing. Decent sound quality from my tv in my room compared to speakers on laptop, 3x better. I was kinda surprised. Kicking myself for not doing it earlier. For the moment i wont go down the dac amp speaker route but might upgrade later.

 

How does one go about choosing between apple tv , chromecast ,firestick?

 

I think my favourite way to navigate youtube will be via the macbook or the android phone i have cos they both have adequate keyboards

 

I did a quick look on facebook marketplace and notice there are a heap of apple tv 2nd hand for sale

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18 hours ago, odb123 said:

 

 

How does one go about choosing between apple tv , chromecast ,firestick?

 

It depends a bit on which services you are looking to use.  If you already have an Apple subscription of some kind the Apple TV is what you want.  If you don't, the video capability of the devices does vary a bit (HDR, 4K etc) and the menu systems are different between the "not apple" devices so just pick the best value one (which I think is the Chromecast with Google TV, although I believe the Nvidia Shield is capable of higher quality video depending on what you are streaming).  For audio streaming of Spotify or Youtube Music there would be no difference between any of them.

 

If you have a lot of local storage on a NAS, pick one that can run your favourite client i.e. VLC or similar.  The Chromecast with Google TV can now do that - the older ones didn't.

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I have a google tv and also a firestick   I like these as they have there own little remote control and voice search   

 

 

 

I use  both  with the ethernet adapters for a more stable connection 

 

For me the firestick  is better imo   and the  power supply for the ethernet adapter can be replaced with a low noise ifi where as the google one cant 

 

 In my Garage  Im Using the digital outut from my tv to  dac/hifi   with great quality sound   have some great playlists on you tube 

 

There is a new firestick lite out for $49.00 in Australia   (no ethernet adapter thats extra)  may suit what your after for small money 

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