Before you consider packing up your older audio equipment in favor of one of the new wireless stereo systems check out these three products that let you stream your favorite music streaming services as well as your music collection to your wired stereo receiver or home theater set up. Now you can create a wireless music system on your existing equipment with a WIFI connection and some new hardware.
Who needs these?
Anyone who wants to be able to add their favorite music streaming services like Pandora and Spotify to a wired stereo set-up. Or, say you have in-wall speakers installed prior to the advent of wireless multiroom audio systems like Sonos and you want to be able to play your iTunes collection from your phone or tablet throughout the speakers in your house. By adding one of these wireless receiver components to your older receiver, you are easily able to control output wirelessly.
How do they work?
These devices take advantage of your WIFI connection to stream internet music services, internet radio, and your music collection. After connecting the wireless receiver to your WIFI and sending the signal to your stereo receiver via RCA or digital optical or 3.5 headphone cables (depending on the device) and you are able to unleash your music with lossless quality to your old stereo.
The least expensive streaming receiver priced at $179 on Amazon comes from relative newcomer Phorus. Its clear audio and a sleek design complement your existing equipment.
The command center for the PR5 is its compatible Play-Fi App which enables the set-up process and enables lossless playback of your locally stored music. The App is also integrated with Spotify, Pandora, SiriusXM, and Songza so you can access your streaming accounts and send music to your stereo.
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A few features unique to the PR5 is that it is Bluetooth compatible and compatible with Apple AirPlay Streams and Kindle Fire.
While this article is focused on creating a wireless system for your older stereo keep in mind all of these receivers can also be paired with their wireless speaker counterparts creating multiroom audio systems. The nice thing about the Play-Fi solution is that it isn’t limited to Phorus products. For instance, you could be streaming Pandora to the Phorus PR5 on your living room stereo and your iTunes music to a Play-Fi enabled Polk wireless speaker in your bedroom.
HEOS Link by Denon
Priced at $349 on Amazon the HEOS Link allows you to turn any stereo system into a wireless player. While priced higher than the Phorus offering the Heos App and controller offers more streaming music services including Pandora, Spotify, I Heart Radio, SiriusXM, Tunein, Rhapsody, and Tidal. Also play any music stored on your phone or tablet.
Another nice feature that sets HEOS apart is that there is a USB port letting you connect a USB drive full of music and charge your devices. It also has optical digital and analog inputs AND a subwoofer pre-out which neither Phorus or Sonos offer. These are nice features if your home theater audio is going to run through the receiver.
The HEOS link is compatible with Denon’s multiroom wireless audio solution which offers three wireless speakers of allowing you to stream any song to any room with a speaker or link.
Priced at $349 on Amazon http://amzn.to/1J2YZKYthe Sonos Connect is the granddaddy of streaming receivers and hasn’t really changed at all in the last few years. Of course, the Sonos Controller app has been updated and is far and away the leader in the sheer number of streaming services off
ered. At last check, there were 40+ services offered.
Sonos set-up has also been improved making it easy to connect to your wired stereo in minutes. There are four different wireless speaker models to add to if you want to create a multiroom wireless system that includes your wired stereo.
Unlike the HEOS by Denon, there is no optical input, only analog. There are analog, optical and coaxial digital audio outputs to connect to the existing receiver.
So if you are looking to turn your stereo or home theater set-up into a wireless system these three devices will fit the bill. Sonos offers the most music streaming services and their wireless speakers are very good quality if you end up adding on. Denon’s HEOS gives you the most flexibility in terms of inputs and outputs while Phorus is well priced and its Play-Fi technology lets you add speakers from many different manufacturers.