How to play music to your stereo wirelessly from your iPhone, iPad or iPod on a non airplay equipped stereo.

This little beauty is called an airport express. You can buy it from Apple for $99 (USA) or $119 (Australia).  It plugs into your home ethernet network (or straight into your ADSL modem) via that little Ethernet connection on the left  next to the power cord. Then it shares your internet connection with all your iOS devices via wi-fi. But it has a few tricks up it’s sleeve.

That little port on the bottom right… you can plug it into your home stereo and play music from any iOS device to your stereo wirelessly! The latest Stereo’s from Pioneer etc are coming with airplay built in (a bit like airprint) but the Apple Airport Express allows you to airplay to any stereo.

And that little USB port on the right – you can plug a printer into it and then print wirelessly from any device to your printer (even if your printer doesn’t have wifi built in!).

The airport express in our lounge room – giving wifi access and airplay to the stereo.


Here’s how to set up an Airport Express and airplay.

1. Plug the leftmost ethernet connector on  the Airport Express (the one with the little circular symbol) into your ADSL modem (or into an Ethernet hub).

2. Plug your home stereo into your airport express audio out jack. (The small 3.5mm  on the bottom right with the loudspeaker symbol above it.)

3. Plug in the power to the Airport Express.

4. Open ‘Airport Utility’ on your mac computer. (Airport Utility comes with every Macintosh Computer.) The first screen that appears asks for a name and password. Fill it in – this is a new password you make up, be sure to write it down.


Thats it!!!!!!!

Now if you go to your iPhone (or iPad) to ‘settings’, then to ‘ wifi’ your new network should appear like this:

A new Airport Express Network appears – here it’s called ‘Wayne and Jill’s…’


On your iPhone go into music and play a song. In the bottom right corner a little box with a triangle will appear. This is the airplay symbol. Click it.

The airplay symbol on the bottom right.

You can now select your Airport Express and the music from your iPhone will play out the airport Express! The volume slider on the iPhone now controls the music coming out the Airport Express.

You can choose whether to listen to a song via your iPhone, or via airplay on the airport express.





20 responses to “How to play music to your stereo wirelessly from your iPhone, iPad or iPod on a non airplay equipped stereo.”

  1. Harry

    Can this be done playing music from a MacBook Pro running mountain lion?

  2. Andy

    This works only if your computer, local wireless router box from internet provider and your home stereo systems are right next to each other. I doubt that most of us have this kind of set up at home.

    1. Chris

      Andy, do you live in a Faraday Cage? My MBP happily plays through the Airport Express from any room in the house.

      1. Mike

        Okay, so you still need the stereo and the Airport Express near each other unless you want to string cables all over the place.

        What you /want/ is a little dongle that plugs into the stereo that picks up the signal from the Airport, so it can be off by the phone jack and not physically connected to the stereo. I don’t understand why this isn’t seen as a problem.

        The best solution to this I can come up with is using a USB FM transmitter plugged into my laptop. Seems to work fine, except that it eats a USB port.

      2. The airport Express does not plug into anything except your stereo. So yes – the idea is you put it right next to your stereo. But you don’t need to connect it to anything except the power.

      3. How do I get my Macbook Pro to play via the Airport Express? I’m running Yosemite. I can’t figure out how to do this. Meanwhile, anything I watch on my iPhone or iPad comes correct through my stereo. Any help appreciated. thanks!

      4. Make iTunes player window wide. Then on the controls on the stop toolbar from left to right should be rewind, play,fast forward, volume, then the little logo to stream to your airport express.

      5. I have to clarify – I can play iTunes music from the MBP through AirPort Express, of course. I’m looking to play video sound via Airport Express. I don’t have a TV, nor Apple TV. thanks!

      6. System Preferences, Sound, Output, Select your AirPlay device.

      7. damien

        I think he does.

  3. Kenneth

    What if you already have internet, existing network and Just want to use it as an output device (ie, send audio signal from Ipad to stereo)?

    1. There’s a separate post on how to do this.

      1. Anne

        Where is the post you referenced? I cannot find it.

  4. Tania

    Ever since I updated my Iphone I can’t get my wifi music to work from my iphone to my stereo. I used to just wait for the box at the bottom RHS to appear and click. shown above. Now I have no idea. Can someone enlighten me how to get it working again. I’m working with iOS 7.0.3.
    Any help will be gratefully received.

    1. damien

      what OS are you running?

  5. Robin

    But …… no thanks to Apple; it is only mono and not stereo when you play from your iphone. So that one realy is not how music is played …

  6. David

    What I-phone and I-pad versions are compatible/ have airplay on them? I have an Iphone 6s and my wife has an Iphone 4, plus an I-pad about 3 years old that she plays music on all the time. I would buy this but I want to know my devices will work with it first. I don’t need another worthless trinket. Thanks in advance

    1. They will all work.

  7. Susan

    I have this airport express with the heqdphone jack. It has worked nice. But it is now outdated, it cannot route my 100 mbp wifi speed. Im looking for a new router because my ipad is becoming so slow. Spectrum was out today, and it is not my ipad, my speed through this airport is 55 mbp. He tested and got 110 mbp. They re headed towards 1000 mbp. My home stereo is fine and a huge investment years ago but now with no headphone jacks on the new routers, i have no way to get my music on ipad wirelessly into my stereo. VERY frustrating. No, i dont want apples speaker. I have high end audio equipment already that work fine.

    1. You could grab a new fast router to use for you super fast speeds that you need, but the airport express will slow it down. To solve that you can connect the airport to the router via Ethernet, that way it won’t slow down the wifi. Connect it as client mode.

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