How To: Cost Effective Solution To Sonos (Stream Music) Under $600 or less

Have you ever heard of Sonos? If not, Sonos is a company that enables you to stream music throughout your house from: iTunes, Internet Radio (I.E. Pandora), and other music services. Though I would like to own a Sonos System of my own, the difference between using Apple AirPort Expresses are on complete different sides of the spectrum. For three Sonos Zone Players, Zone Bridge, and a controller can quickly add up to over $2,000. That does not even include speakers – WOW! Being a frugal Mac aficionado, I asked myself, is there an inexpensive solution that can still get the job done and let me keep more money? Granted, my solution may be ideal for an audiophile, but perfect for anyone looking to blast music around the house. So, you are probably wondering what is my solution. It’s simple. Three AirPort Expresses ($99.00*), two pair of JBL Creature III Speakers ($99.95*), one RCA Stereo Cable ($9.99*), Remote App from App Store (FREE!), AirFoil ($25.00) – if you desire to stream from Internet Radio Stations, and some time to configure the system. Note that you can use higher quality speakers, but I choose the JBL Creature III because they get the job down, and fairly inexpensive. You are also able to attach your AirPort Express to your Stereo that may have better quality speakers, so you need at least one RCA Stereo Cable.

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So, once you have the necessary items, open one AirPort Express Box and Self Powered Speakers. I am assuming that you are using a Mac, since this is a Mac blog so here are the instructions:

1 – Plug in the AirPort Express to power, launch the AirPort Utility (Applications>Utilizes>AirPort Utility)

2 – Go through setup and configure to your following needs

3 – Attach your self-powered speakers or Stereo RCA Cable to the back of your stereo, then connect the RCA Cable to your AirPort Express)

4 – Launch iTunes and you will see next to “Burn Disk” a drop down menu that currently reads Computer. It means the output for the music is through to your Computer. Change the output source to your AirPort Express (I.E. Kitchen AirPort Express)

5 – Play a song and see if you can hear it. If you can congratulations, if not try and try again.


  • Use a router that has 802.11N capabilities, it will allow streaming to move better especially if you have multiple AirPorts.
  • Buy a refurbished AirPort Express, can save you $20 per Express
  • AirFoil allows you to take music from a source (I.E. Safari), so if you are on Pandora, you are able to stream Pandora Music
  • Have fun, experiment and let us know how it goes

So as you can see, Sonos is a great solution if you are looking to stream music around the house if your an extreme audiophile. But, for the average Mac user this will work perfectly and by far less expensive. The AirPort Express solution is great because it can basically do everything Sonos can, but for a cheaper price. Note that Sonos is a little more better quality and more well know for streaming music, but if your looking for a solution that won’t break the bank, AirPort Expresses are the way to go!


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