Good Questions: How Do I Get My Digital Music to My Speakers?

Good Questions: How Do I Get My Digital Music to My Speakers?

Sonia Zjawinski
Sep 12, 2008

Cynthia in SF asked a great question in the comments for our post on streaming non-iTunes tunes.
OK, dumb question here - please don't be mean!!!

I have an iMac, Airport Express, and a wireless network, can I just hook up little speakers to the Airport Express and play music from my iTunes library that way? I used to have my stereo hooked up and do it that way. Since I moved, I have my Bose wave radio plugged directly into the iMac and I'm not using the stereo or Airport Express. I've never tried just speakers. Can I get rid of the stereo and just hook up speakers to the Airport Express? If so, any recommendations for a pair for $100?

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Not a dumb question at all. The first thing to know is that all speakers must either have a receiver to get their power or be self powered. The best way to know if your speakers fit the bill is if they have a cable running from them with a mini audio jack at the end (the kind that your headphones have). That's what you need to plug into the Airport Express.

You've got multiple options here.
If you have regular speakers, the ones with speaker wires coming out of them that split into a red wire and black wire you'll need a receiver. You can then plug the receiver into the Airport Express using a RCA to mini jack cable and configure via your Airport software to stream audio straight to your receiver.

If you want to have speakers near your computer when you work you can invest in computer speakers that plug into your computer via either a mini jack or USB. Here are a few we've covered in the past.
Lacie's USB powered speakers for $60

Genelec speaker and subwoofer for about $300
JVC's $79 set

top photo: danalipar

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