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Smartphones offer a really great way of streaming and storing your music collection, but that doesn’t mean that your home stereo system can’t still be useful. You don’t have to put up with inferior quality sounds; a few simple steps will allow you to play music through your stereo and make use of the equipment you have invested in. You may not be using your stereo to play as many CDs these days, but that doesn't mean it can't be of daily use.
In simple terms, streaming from a phone to a home stereo system will involve buying a few extra parts, making some wireless or hardwired connections and configuring your devices. Your first choice will be determining what method you will use to connect your phone to your home stereo system.
Using a Bluetooth adapter is one of the easiest ways to pair your smartphone with your home stereo system. It is rare to find a smartphone without Bluetooth connectivity these days and, as a result, Bluetooth adapters or receivers are more accessible and affordable than ever before.
Most of these adapters will connect to your receiver, amplifier or stereo system using a 3.5cm digital optical or RCA cable. You should check if you need to buy this separately when you choose your Bluetooth adapter. You will also need a power source for your adapter. This could be a wall plug or a USB cable. Some may also use battery power. Once powered up, you simply need to pair the adapter with your smartphone and you will quite literally have audio control in the palm of your hand.
Just remember that standard Bluetooth wireless will have a top range of ten meters or 33 feet. This can also be reduced by line of sight, objects, and walls. Some adapters do offer extended reach, however, so this is something to look at if distance is likely to be an issue. Some adapters can extend the reach of your Bluetooth wireless to as much as double the usual distance.
It is also worth noting that you may want to ensure that you use an aptX-compatible product if you want to do all you can to make sure you don’t lose any sound quality. This can result from the data compression involved with Bluetooth, although the effects will depend on your audio source.
There are Bluetooth adapters out there that offer all sorts of different features and come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. That is why it is a good idea to shop around and find the adapter that best meets your individual needs.
There are some excellent digital stream players out there that will connect your smartphone to your home stereo system. These include the Blue Sound Node2i Digital Stream Player and the Sonos Port Music Streamer. These digital streamers boast a variety of features and can allow you to stream your digital collection and access cloud music services and internet radio stations. Many offer wireless, intuitive control apps and allow you to sync music using a variety of players around your home.
If audio quality is of primary importance, you may want to consider a wireless adapter that can offer a longer range without compression. You must, however, make sure that you get a product that is compatible with your smartphone. AirPlay, for example, will only work with Apple products. There are adapters that feature support for different set-ups, however, including Play-Fi, DLNA, and general Wi-Fi connectivity.
One of the most basic ways to connect your smartphone to your home stereo system is using a 3.5 mm to RCA stereo audio cable. One end plugs into your smartphone's headphone jack, and the RCA connections connect the stereo amplifier, receiver, or speaker. This will offer good sound quality with no worries about wireless interference, compression, or compatibility. The cable length will limit the range, however.
These are less popular than they once were, but there are still universal docks available that can connect to your audio system while also being able to charge your phone. You may decide on a dock that is specific to your mobile device, but there are also universal docks available that can be used with a wide range of different smartphones. These can offer a convenient and practical way of linking your phone and home stereo system.
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