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REXAMUS 12-27-2011 06:22 AM

Audio help
 
Not sure if this is the correct place to post this or not. I am remodeling my master bath and I want to have it setup where music can be played through a ceiling speaker.

Needs:
1) Ipod docking capabilities
2) Streaming from my HTPC or other computers over our network
3) AM/FM
4) Some type of controls that can be mounted on the wall and easily used by the wife.

I did a lot of googling but was unable to really find anything. Anyone have any suggestions? I don't need anything fancy and I'm not an audiophile. I just wanted a simple control panel that could be mounted on the wall in the bathroom and would be able to withstand a moist environment.

Jay 78 12-27-2011 07:00 AM

Maybe someone will have a solution, but I don't know of any single device that would fit the bill. There are plenty of receivers that can do what you want, but they're obviously not water resistant/proof. There are plenty of shower radios, none of which (that I've ever seen) that can stream audio from a network.

You say you "don't need anything fancy", but based on your requirements, it seems like that's exactly what you'd need.

I'm sure you have considered an AM/FM shower radio with an iPod dock. Why is that out of the question? Network streaming seems like overkill for a bathroom, especially when an iPod can be loaded up with whatever you want.

I must say, if you can pull this off, it will be sweet.

REXAMUS 12-27-2011 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay 78 (Post 804215)
Maybe someone will have a solution, but I don't know of any single device that would fit the bill. There are plenty of receivers that can do what you want, but they're obviously not water resistant/proof. There are plenty of shower radios, none of which (that I've ever seen) that can stream audio from a network.

You say you "don't need anything fancy", but based on your requirements, it seems like that's exactly what you'd need.

I'm sure you have considered an AM/FM shower radio with an iPod dock. Why is that out of the question? Network streaming seems like overkill for a bathroom, especially when an iPod can be loaded up with whatever you want.

I must say, if you can pull this off, it will be sweet.

Fancy as in a touch screen mounted on the wall or something...trying to avoid something that expensive if possible. I guess I could settle for some type of shower radio but I would prefer something that is more integrated. I have searched high and low and haven't been able to find anything made specifically for that purpose. I was also thinking about the future when I might also have a speaker in the bedroom and other bathroom.

oberkc 12-28-2011 07:04 AM

Much, I suspect, will depend on the level of control you expect from the bathroom. Volume only? Switching sources? Control of playlists?

A basic stereo reciever with iPod dock may be all you need. Locate it near your computer, sending a feed from the computer to your amp. Add speaker cable run (in-wall rated) from your amp to your bathroom speakers. Run cable through basic volume control, available at your favorite home improvement store.

More control may require something fancier, such as a whole-house audio system. Check out system brands such as Nuvo, Russound, HTD, Sonos.

Again, I suspect the solution will be dictated by the level of control you expect.

REXAMUS 12-28-2011 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oberkc (Post 805267)
Much, I suspect, will depend on the level of control you expect from the bathroom. Volume only? Switching sources? Control of playlists?

A basic stereo reciever with iPod dock may be all you need. Locate it near your computer, sending a feed from the computer to your amp. Add speaker cable run (in-wall rated) from your amp to your bathroom speakers. Run cable through basic volume control, available at your favorite home improvement store.

More control may require something fancier, such as a whole-house audio system. Check out system brands such as Nuvo, Russound, HTD, Sonos.

Again, I suspect the solution will be dictated by the level of control you expect.

Some type of control panel that can be mounted in the bathroom and switch between iPod, radio and network. Of course it would also need to control the volume in the bathroom as well.

Jay 78 12-28-2011 07:35 PM

I think a system like Sonos is going to be as close as you can get. Other than that, maybe try to find out what the rich and famous do for bathroom entertainment.

EDIT: Check out the controller in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&h...&v=aqHdxVK9cvI

REXAMUS 12-28-2011 07:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay 78 (Post 805970)
I think a system like Sonos is going to be as close as you can get. Other than that, maybe try to find out what the rich and famous do for bathroom entertainment.

Might shoot over to avsforums and see what they can come up with. I had the idea of possibly mounting a tablet on the wall and using it to control everything.

REXAMUS 12-28-2011 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jay 78 (Post 805970)
I think a system like Sonos is going to be as close as you can get. Other than that, maybe try to find out what the rich and famous do for bathroom entertainment.

EDIT: Check out the controller in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=GB&h...&v=aqHdxVK9cvI


Wow, that's pretty interesting and would definitely withstand being in the bathroom! Thanks for the video!

Ironlight 12-29-2011 12:23 PM

I have several SONOS units in my house and it is indeed an amazing system. It can access music libraries and playlists off any computer on the network in the house as well as the network hard drive that also stores all my movies. It plays Pandora, Sirius/XM, any internet radio station. And there are iPhone and Android apps that allow smartphones to act as controllers; we don't have a SONOS controller, we just use our phones. With a few swipes on the app I can select music source and music, set zones for what music plays in what parts of the house, link zones together so they play the same thing, change volume/bass/treble etc.

All that said, it's not exactly what you are looking for, and it is on the expensive side for a single room installation. Other than a simple volume controller, you're not going to find a wall-mount interface for a built in speaker system that is not designed, and priced, for a whole house networked system.

Probably the closest thing to what you are looking for is Logitech's Squeezebox. It's similar but not quite as flexible and high powered as SONOS, and it is proportionally cheaper. One of the units might hook into exernal speakers. Or you could probably just mount one of the bigger units right in the wall and forgo the ceiling speakers.

oberkc 12-29-2011 12:44 PM

Quote:

Some type of control panel that can be mounted in the bathroom and switch between iPod, radio and network. Of course it would also need to control the volume in the bathroom as well.
I agree with most of the responses here. Once you introduce this level of control, you are pointing towards a whole-house system, such as sonos.

Perhaps, however, there is emerging devices that may be put together to solve this problem. If you have wifi in your house, I think it likely that you could dedicate an android tablet to your bathroom, purchase a remote control such as the logitech link to control your AV gear remotely, based on IR emitters from the link to your individual audio components. The android (or iPad or iPod) would act as the control interface to the logitech link, to adjust volume, select sources, choose playlists, change radio channels, etc... I have no idea as to the total cost compared to the sonos or equivalent.

This is all theoretical to me, since I have not tried this myself. I can tell you, however, that the logitech revue has similar capability built-in and it works GREAT, within the substantial limits of the revue.

REXAMUS 12-30-2011 10:23 PM

Okay, I found the Squeezebox Touch and it would most likely do the job correctly. http://www.logitech.com/en-us/speake...s/devices/5745

I think in order for it to work I would have to connect it to an amp and then into the ceiling speaker? I would also have to devise a way to mount it on the wall since I couldn't find a mount provided by the company or any third parties.

Ironlight 01-01-2012 04:04 PM

Oddly enough, I think the speaker in your ceiling is what is limiting your options.

The Squeezebox appears to have a line out but no external speaker terminals. So you need to run the line out to an amp or to powered speakers (speakers with their own internal amplifier). The latter is clearly preferable unless you want to be switching the amp on and off every time you want to listen to the the unit. There are amps that are auto-on when the detect a signal, but they are designed for whole house systems and would be overkill for this application. But if you put a powered speaker in the wall, you're going to need to run electric to it and also the line in from the Squeezebox, which is not speake rwire.

Any reason you can't just put one of the Squeezebox units, with it's own speaker, in an alcove that you make in the wall? That would be the simplest solution.

A little more elegant, and expensive, but with endless expansion possibilities is a SONOS base unit set up where your router is and then one of their powered speakers like the Play:3 in the bathroom. That combination would set you back $350. If you have smartphones you could use that as your controller, or an tablet or any computer on the network can run the SONOS software.

Upside is that you have the bridge and you can then add more units throughout the house over time.

REXAMUS 01-01-2012 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ironlight (Post 809336)
Oddly enough, I think the speaker in your ceiling is what is limiting your options.

The Squeezebox appears to have a line out but no external speaker terminals. So you need to run the line out to an amp or to powered speakers (speakers with their own internal amplifier). The latter is clearly preferable unless you want to be switching the amp on and off every time you want to listen to the the unit. There are amps that are auto-on when the detect a signal, but they are designed for whole house systems and would be overkill for this application. But if you put a powered speaker in the wall, you're going to need to run electric to it and also the line in from the Squeezebox, which is not speake rwire.

Any reason you can't just put one of the Squeezebox units, with it's own speaker, in an alcove that you make in the wall? That would be the simplest solution.

A little more elegant, and expensive, but with endless expansion possibilities is a SONOS base unit set up where your router is and then one of their powered speakers like the Play:3 in the bathroom. That combination would set you back $350. If you have smartphones you could use that as your controller, or an tablet or any computer on the network can run the SONOS software.

Upside is that you have the bridge and you can then add more units throughout the house over time.

Yea, the Squeezebox with speaker is starting to look pretty good now especially since it's only $170.


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