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on 3 February 2018
Apple’s AirPort Express (AE) is a miracle of engineering that gives you access to a huge world of HiFi quality streamed audio. It links via a TOSLINK optical cable or 3.5mm jack plug to phono lead that plug into you stereo amplifier. That includes any amp you may have bought decades ago - as long as it has phono input or optical input you are good to go. The easiest setup for audio streaming is to link the AE to your existing WiFi - this is done using Apple’s AirPort Utility, set to join an existing home network, using a PC or handheld device. I used an iPad, just make sure the AE and your player device use the same WiFi frequency 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz - the later is the best option if you have a 5 GHz service. When you setup the AE there is an option to name it - I called mine HiFi - crazy name I know. The AE somehow accesses you network passwords and security mode e.g. WPA and logs itself in, without the need to key in a long string of cryptic letters and numbers, fantastic. The AE is then ready to rock using AirPlay - this step proved a puzzle as the setup booklet is a tad out of date depending on what iOS you are using - trial and frustration proved a winner - I eventually tapped the music icon on my iPad and lo and behold found my AE named HiFi (see photo). I tried various different audio streaming services and eventually chose a high bit rate service - the choice is yours. I now have wireless access to the AE via iPad, iPhone and PC. You can stream or play all your music files - on the PC this is done using iTunes or if you want to stream from your PC you may need an additional spot of software - I used a background app TuneBlade to connect to the AirPort Express.

If you have several stereo systems or active speakers dotted around your place more AE’s can be linked in - I believe there’s no upper limit - just go mad and play the same music to all of them or use separate mobiles to play different songs.

The same AE can also be used to plug in a printer to share over the network - print from any mobile device - yeah the AirPort Express is just fantastic (Mod. yes you’ve already said that).
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on 4 December 2016
Bought one of these to boost the wifi connection upstairs which is quite poor. Got an AirPort Extreme downstairs. Does it work? Errr yes I think so. It's not a massive performance increase but noticeable. And speediest software says there is a difference.
However what it does let me do which is great is stick a couple of Ethernet cables in the back and run the cables to other devices (in my case an ageing Apple Mac and a cctv camera).
Piece of cake to set up, and very small. Takes up no room at all.
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on 21 May 2016
I have a strange shaped house with many walls and had struggled to create a single wi-fi network that covered the whole of the building. I wanted a single network to share files between computers in different rooms, and also to play music throughout the house.
I looked at CAT5 network cabling but the price was prohibitive for what I wanted. I also looked at Sonos to provide house-wide music.
Finally I bought an Apple AirPort Express from an Apple Store to extend the network from my Apple Airport Extreme. This worked very well and I was very happy with w-fi extension into one part of the house. I subsequently bought a second Express from Apple and then a third from Amazon. The one from Amazon looks identical, but came with a much heavier UK Plug and very short power cable compared to the units from Apple. Also, the figure of eight connector was a very tight fit into the Express unit. In every other respect the Express from Amazon is identical to the two from Apple.
Setting-up Airport Express units to extend a wi-fi network is really simple using Apple Airport Utility. The most important factor is locating the remote Airport Express units where they receive a good signal from the Extreme. It is also important to avoid sources of wireless interference.
Thanks to the combination of Apple Airport Extreme and Express units I have obtained house-wide wi-fi network and music at a fraction of the cost of a wired network and/or Sonos system.
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on 18 January 2014
I have an AirPort Extreme in my home and I wanted to be able to join its network when I'm in the house next door. Unfortunately, the signal reaching my iMac next door never exceeded 20% strength (measured using the NetSpot utility) and was often a lot less, making it impossible to maintain a reliable connection to the network.

Placing an AirPort Express in the same room as my iMac has more than tripled the signal strength and effectively solved the problem. There are no cables involved, other than the power cable. The Express connects to the Extreme's wifi network and my iMac wirelessly connects to the Express.

Setup was easy. It's done using the AirPort Utility located in Applications/Utilities on your Mac. The AirPort Utility detected the new Express and asked how I wanted to use it. One of the options is to extend an existing Apple network, which the Express detects. Once the setup is complete, both bands of the Extreme's network (2.4GHz and 5Ghz) are boosted. From my iMac's point of view, the Express is virtually invisible. The iMac sees the Extreme's network that it was previously connecting to, but now at a much higher signal strength. There is also the option to set up a guest network that is independent of the main one.

One small drawback is that the Express, unlike the Extreme, does not support 802.11ac, so the extended network does not support that mode either. NetSpot is showing the extended 2.4GHz band as supporting 802.11b/g/n, and the 5GHz band as 802.11a/n. Some people are speculating that Apple may add 802.11ac to the Express in the next model revision, possibly this year. But who knows?

The AirPlay feature, which allows you to stream audio from OSX or an iOS device to speakers connected to the headphone port on the Express, is a great feature that is not available on the more expensive AirPort Extreme. If you have iOS7 on your iDevice, you can access this feature by swiping upwards from the bottom of the screen to reveal a control panel. Tap on the AirPlay symbol (a square with a triangle at the bottom) and select your AirPort Express from the list of options. The audio is then routed through the Express to your connected speakers.

There is a USB port on the back of the Express, but Apple say this should only be used for connecting a printer that you want to use across the network, not for hard drives. The USB port on the AirPort Extreme IS suitable for use with hard drives.
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on 24 April 2014
 I have an AirPort Express connected to a BT HomeHub 4 via Powerline adaptors which streams my iTunes either from my Windows 7 desktop or MacBook Air. Not surprisingly it seems to work better with the Air than Windows as I often have to restart it before it will connect to the Windows 7 computer. At the moment I'm not sure whether it's the AirPort, the Powerline connection, iTunes or the HomeHub causing the issue as it seems to time out and drop connection when not in use. Unless it becomes a major issue I'm not inclined to try and find out since restarting the Airport Express always sorts it out.

Setting up is easy, attach an Ethernet cable to the network port and in my case the Powerline adaptor, a stereo mini-jack to phono to your amplifier and switch on. I used an iPad app to set up the mode as it can extend your Apple network or act as a stand alone access point, I chose the latter. If you have a Mac that has the app already built in. Once it's up and running open your iTunes and you should see a little rectangle with a triangle pointing upwards next to the volume slider. This allows you to choose whether to use your computers speakers, the Airport Express or both. If it doesn't appear you need to restart the Airport Express. If it still doesn't appear then you need to check the network connection.
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on 6 August 2015
I bought this device as I wished to stream Apple Music through a high quality hifi system. I also bought the Chord Optichord cable in the hope that I could take the optical digital signal from the Airport Express and connect it into an independent dac, rather than the mini jack type connection into a pair of phono leads and into an amplifier from there. Having watched a couple of set up videos on YouTube I found it to be really easy to set up, and it actually sounds excellent using it as I've described. I would have no hesitation in recommending this Apple device to anyone who feels that they have a need to do as I have.
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on 23 June 2016
It simply works, no messing about with endless settings. If you're an Apple user swallow hard pay the Apple tax and get it.
I've tried various products prior to this and all where flakey at best especially the BT product which has a light telling if the signal is to weak or strong, no I don't understand how you can have too strong a signal either, but most of the time it simply slowed the network down.
I use this for expanding wireless range and for airport (apple speak for wireless) printing
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on 15 August 2013
I bought this purely to stream music from my iMac and MBP to my Sugden amp. It works flawlessly with no drop outs. Amazingly simple to set up, like everything Apple does - electronics talk to each other with no frustration - must have taken one minute to set it up and connect to my network. There may be other ways to do the same thing but to be honest Apple products have always worked well for me so I'm sticking with them.
For those experiencing problems make sure you have the latest update as mine wasn't supplied with the latest firmware.
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on 10 September 2017
Provides good wifi coverage, set up is really easy and the bluetooth connection to stream music is a good feature. Price is high as compared to other brands / similar products but the design is good and not obtrusive for a living room. 4 stars only due to the high price.
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on 2 May 2014
Only using it as an Airplay adapter for my hifi, which it does without any fuss. Easy set up from phone or iPad. I now only have a very small selection of favourite songs on my phone and ipad for when I am out, but now listen to nearly all my music via Airplay from my iMac, which I can control from anywhere in the house using the Remote App. Serious listening still done on CD.
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