Connect Mac Mini via network to Beolab 28s

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  • #1661
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    Hi All

    I am considering buying a new pair of Beolab 28s in a few weeks. It has been quite a long story about how I reached this decision and there are still a few more steps, but if all goes as I hope financially then I will be able to buy these.

    At present I have six Apple HomePods (the big ones) around my house and I absolutely love them. I have a stereo pair in my 18 sq metre living room which are on dedicated stands, so they look like contemporary Hi Fi speakers and they work great there. Those are going to be replaced with the Beolab 28s and then those two HomePods will go into another room which is to be my home theatre. Eventually that room will be B & O as well, but I am starting with the living room.

    Okay, at present I play music on my HomePods using Apple Music. Really simple! In my study I have my Mac Mini (2019) and my headphone collection which includes some very high quality headphones driven by a Meridian headphone amplifier. On the Mac Mini are a lot of audio files, mostly ripped from my CD collection and I want to be able to play those audio files with the Beolab 28s in my living room.

    There are Cat 6A network cables from my study to my living room, and the other rooms in the house. Years ago I was planning a Meridian setup but I’ve now switched to B & O mainly because the Beolab 28s are just so good to listen to as well as to have in the living room. So the network cables are in place although there still needs to be some work on that physical network.

    So, my question is, how do I connect the Mac Mini into the B & O system? What do I need to get in addition and how does it work?

    I’m pretty good with computers and suchlike but I have a very poor understanding of how household networks actually work.

    Thank you for any assistance you can give.

    #1683
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    Hi Thought Police.

    There would be multiple ways to do this.

    However, the easiest way would be to do just as you – as I assume – do now with your Homepods…….use Airplay.

    Properly setup and configured you will be able to reach the 28’s directly from the Airplay menu of the Mac.

    P.S.

    May I ask, if you have concidered to have the 28’s in the ‘home theatre’ instead of the Homepod combo….assuming that those would be used for your tv?

    They indeed would be great for movies etc.

    MM

    #1685
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    Hi MM

    Thank you for your reply.

    Since I put my post up I realised there is a forum for using Macs with B & O. However my post is here now.

    I understand that I can reach the 28’s from Airplay on the Mac, but when I am in my living room how would I sort through the files on my Mac and select one to play? Can that be set up with the B & O app?

    Also does Airplay work through a wired network? I have some high resolution files on the Mac which I’d like to be able to play. I think Airplay 2 has a limitation on what it can send through the air, I wonder if it can send high resolution through the wired network?

    It is a good suggestion to use the 28s for my home theatre however that is in my second bedroom in my house and it is a small room, 10 sq metres, it will be a home theatre for two. I don’t have any TV in my living room and that is how I like it. What I would love now is to have very high quality music in my living room, that is the thing I feel a great desire to have.

    So, the home theatre is a secondary thing for me and when that gets set up it will do fine with an Apple TV and the HomePods I think. However in the longer term that room might well become B & O equipped.

    As an aside after I get the 28s the next thing I’d get is the BeoPlay A9 for my main bedroom, because I just love that design and it would be perfect in my bedroom. However first to get the 28s!

    #1686
    trackbeo
    Beoworld Member
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    To sort through the files on your Mac and select one to play, the all-Apple old-school AirPlay streaming method is to run iTunes (older Mac) or Music.app (newer MacOS), and run Apple’s “Remote” iOS app on an iPad or iPhone to view the library and control the Mac from your armchair.  Or run Apple Music on the iOS device itself if you don’t have a personal library.  A typical hi-res alternative is to buy a Roon subscription and run the controller on your Mac, both to serve up your own hi-res files or to shoot out Tidal HiFi.  You can get the trial version of Roon just to look at its very nice diagnostic display of the bitrates it’s using in your setup!

    Yes, AirPlay2 works through a wired network.  Yes, AirPlay2 has a limitation on high-res: 48K/24-bit seems to be what is generally quoted, although in theory it should support 192K/24-bit.  Apple is intentionally vague on what bitrate gets negotiated when you send a hi-res stream to the HomePod, but it appears that *everything* is resampled into AAC 256K.  You won’t be able to tell the difference with that speaker anyway.  See here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252848734 and here, for the fog: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/does-airplay-2-support-high-resolution-audio.4629/ .  Fog dispelling attempt here: https://techobsessed.net/2021/06/apple-music-lossless-and-airplay-dont-work-like-you-think-they-should/

    No, going wired versus wireless doesn’t increase the bit rates that are negotiated inside the AirPlay protocols.  What it does do is overcome the inherent failings of multi-room AirPlay, where all the speakers are checked for lag time and given timing instructions along with the data.  For me, in a residence where more than 4 rooms have speakers, and a moderately out-of-date Wi-Fi access point (Apple AirPort Extreme 5 gen) the bandwidth required and the inevitable dropouts from wireless hits in a crowded environment make multi-room playback unusable.  Turning the volume dial on the top of a BeoSound 1 while playing to (e.g.) 2 BS1s and 2 HomePods is super slow to get back to the Mac.  Two rooms, works perfect; three rooms, usually OK; four rooms periodic “traveling room” shifting dropouts and lags; 5 rooms forget it.  But YMMV.

    #1689
    geoffmartin
    GOLD Member
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    If you plan on playing two-channel audio only, and only through the 28s when you’re listening to them (in other words, the other loudspeakers in the house aren’t singing along), then one option is to get a reasonably-priced USB sound card with an optical digital output and connect that to the 28s. (This will require daisy-chaining the 28s with a second optical connection.)

    You’ll need to be a little careful about how you’re managing the  volume control – but this is not a big issue.

    Of course, I’m ignoring the “network” part of your question – but if you wish to go that route, then an answer has already been provided.

    #1703
    Millemissen
    BRONZE Member
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    Hi Thought Police

    It is nice to know more about your setup, your wishes and habits in using the system.

    In addition to what Geoff wrote…….the solution that trackbeo mentions in his post would be one other possible solutions.

    However this would require some additional hard (and soft) ware.

    Roon is quite advanced – you will need to run a (Roon) server somewhere in your network (could be on the Mac).

    Roon can play via Airplay, but that won’t bring you further.

    If you want to play the files as they are, you will need an endpoint to connect to the 28’s and the network in that room. There are a lot of solutions for this out there – starting from a DIY Raspberry solution to totally overpriced.

    And you will need the Roon app on a mobile device for controlling.

    Yet another solution would be to have a DLNA server running on the Mac and point that to the music files on the Mac.

    The Bang & Olufsen app has a section for playback of DLNA based music.

    All in all you will have to deal with additional hardware and to learn how to cope with the stuff.
    The great question however, is…..how much would you benefit?

    Some people will say that it is worth it – other will be more hesitant.

    My advice would be to start out with simply using Airplay to the 28’s from an iPhone/iPad that has access to your local music on your Mac.

    Thereafter you can start to do some experiments (if you are not satisfied).

    It will take some time to find ‘the right solution’……..and after all listening to the music must have priority over gear, that might bring a bit of extra to the listening experience.

    Once you have the A9 it can be adressed likewise. IMO it wise have a unified, convenient way of playing back your music.

    Note! When using Airplay your wireless network should be up to date and well working. You could use the wired network connection in your rooms for additional access points, if needed.

     

    Looking forward to read about how you get along – the 28’s are an excellent choice for speakers.

     

    MM

     

    #1709
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    Thank you MM, trackbeo and Geoff for your excellent considered responses.

    I have read them carefully.

    I’m agreeing with MM that actually it is probably best that I start with the simplest route and possibly explore more complicated options if I feel the urge.

    So, the simplest route is to use AirPlay 2 to send from my iPhone or iPad wirelessly. I don’t have to use Apple Music alone for that of course, I actually keep some files on my iPhone in Vox player. That’s the free version of Vox player, but if I upgrade to being a paid user of Vox then I have very handy online space to keep my files and so it would work seamlessly with Vox player on my Mac. That would be much simpler than building a network with Roon.

    As an aside I know that some people keep files in Apple Music and share across devices that way but I don’t like the way Apple Music deals with that. There are so many stories about the files being overwritten and then it is actually difficult to know with Apple Music if you are playing your own file or an online version.

    Judging by the figures given by Trackbeo I think I’ll be totally fine with AirPlay 2. In my initial posting I wrote about Hi Res files, but actually, I’m not that into Hi Res, the main reason I want to be able to play my files is that they are just different versions from those offered up on the streaming services. 95% of my files are ripped from my CDs and of course they are 16bit 44.1khz. I have to say I find that “redbook” CD level to be totally fine. In my study I play those files on my Mac using Audirvana and I listen to them with my Meridian headphone amp and Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones and they sound absolutely superb! So, I don’t think I need a higher resolution capability than that really.

    I do think that I will improve the quality of Wi Fi in my house. That is easy for me to do and it is an issue at present. I have the eero system however there is one unit connected to the my modem (virgin router in modem mode) and there are two other units in the house deployed wirelessly. If I finish the Cat 6A networking then I can connect those other eero units to that and I think that will improve Wi Fi reliability throughout the house. I think I shall get on with that and then have good Wi Fi in place and just try using the B & O 28s with AirPlay 2 from my iPad.

    I like this as well because part of the plan is to keep as little tech stuff as possible in my living room. I really like the relaxed non-tech feel the room has. The B & O 28s will go very nicely in that room and not disturb its feel, but adding extra stuff, like an endpoint maybe with an LED screen or something will increase further the amount of tech. Okay, I know it could be hidden probably, but simpler maybe just to stick with AirPlay 2.

    #1717
    Carolpa
    BRONZE Member
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    Note: you can stream from Audirvana to your Beolab 28 directly also.

    Just set the BL28 as output.

    #1734
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    That is interesting Carolpa. I’ve been looking through Audirvana Prefs and I see that I can change the output there. However the options are for the connected items, my Meridian Prime Headphone amp, my external headphones output and the Mac Mini speakers. Those are all physically connected. It is also possible to change this using the Audirvana remote app on my iPhone and iPad.

    Your suggestion has prompted me to do a little bit of reading at the Audirvana community forum and I think if I select a HomePod with the Mac settings then that option becomes available with Audirvana. So, I guess that would also be true with the 28s.

    However I’m thinking that I would need to make that setting change on my Mac then go to my living room to play the music and that would be hassle.

    I’m checking out Vox Player now actually and I rather like the way that works, I’ve got some files on their cloud storage. I’m going to be doing testing with my HomePods to see if I like the functionality.

    I totally love Audirvana on my Mac actually. I think it is the best sounding audio player for the Mac. I use it with the Meridian headphone amp and my Sennheiser HD 800 S headphones or my Beyerdynamic T1s and the quality is just fabulous.

    #1747
    Carolpa
    BRONZE Member
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    Do you use Audirvana Studio or Audirvana 3.5?

    note: both can stream directly to the BL28.

    And you can change the stream-to-device in the Audirvana remote app also. So you do not have to change the setting in your Mac every time.

    Schermafbeelding 2022-03-26 om 06.15.12

    Schermafbeelding 2022-03-26 om 06.15.51

    • This reply was modified 3 months ago by Carolpa.
    #3621
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    Thank you for your response Carolpa.

    I have Audirvana Studio.

    As I understand it for Audirvana Studio to “see” the Airplay 2 device that device has to be selected as the output for the Mac OS. I can change the settings in Audirvana Studio using the Audirvana remote iOS app, but I can’t change the settings in the Mac OS using the Audirvana remote iOS app.

    #3954
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    I’m replying now to my own earlier comment because as an update I’m going to be buying myself a new MacBook Pro very soon, probably this week actually.

    Anyway an advantage with having a MacBook Pro as well as my Mac Mini is that the laptop can be in my living room and so I can control Audirvana there, where the Beolab 28s would be situated.

    So, I can then use Audirvana as the source for the music.

    I am planning on using AirPlay 2, however I’m also interested to know about connecting to the Beolab 28s directly with my MacBook Pro, this would be digitally of course. I see they have an optical input, could that be connected directly to the Mac? There are two USB ports but in the manual I’m looking at those are identified as being “for service”.

    So, does anyone have any suggestions for connecting the Mac directly? Thank you!

    #3957
    Carolpa
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    So, I can then use Audirvana as the source for the music.

    Did you ever try using the Audirvana remote app to control your collection and/or Qobuz/Tidal music? You should try.

    If the BL28 and your Mac mini or Laptop are on the same network, you are able to stream directly to the BL28 (just a case of right the settings, maybe some trail and error, but the BL28 must be set as output)

    #3958
    Thought Police
    Beoworld Member
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    Hi Carolpa

    Thank you for your response. I have looked into this as I described earlier in this thread.

    As I understand it yes you can send to AirPlay 2 devices from Audirvana, however to do that you have to select those devices as the output on that Mac.

    So, if the Mac is in another room you have to go to that other room, select the devices, then you will be able use Audirvana.

    If the devices are not selected on the Mac then Audirvana cannot “see” them. So although, yes, you can use the remote app for Audirvana on a mobile phone to select the output, that is only the case if the outputs are available to Audirvana on the Mac and for the Airplay 2 device to be available it has to be selected as the output on the Mac.

    I’ve described this three times now in this thread. If I have misunderstood this then I would love to be corrected as it would be great if this worked otherwise.

    #3971
    BeoFrederic
    BRONZE Member
    • SF Bay Area
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    if the Mac is in another room you have to go to that other room, select the devices, then you will be able use Audirvana. If the devices are not selected on the Mac then Audirvana cannot “see” them. So although, yes, you can use the remote app for Audirvana on a mobile phone to select the output, that is only the case if the outputs are available to Audirvana on the Mac and for the Airplay 2 device to be available it has to be selected as the output on the Mac.

    Would you like to remotely control your Mac from your mobile device (assuming it’s an iPhone or iPad)?  If yes, go to the iOS App Store and type “VNC”. They come in all shapes and colors 🙂 .  The iOS app named “Screens” v.4 from Edovia has been well-reviewed in the Mac press, though I don’t own it myself, and have no affiliation with any vendor.

    #3983
    trackbeo
    Beoworld Member
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    [Pardon me for interjecting, kindly ignore if I got this wrong…] Your suggestion is helpful @BeoFrederic, but… ¡¡¡Noooo!!!  (Please, please no.;-)  The very idea of switching over to a VNC app in order to choose an item out of a list in the Mac UI, then switch back to the Audirvana app (Audirvana Remote?), is completely off-putting — and iTunes (now Music.app) doesn’t need it.  If it were needed, that pretty much disqualifies Audirvana for casual multi-room use.  At that point one might as well stay in the VNC app and just drive the Mac Audirvana directly.  (Spoken as someone who has done just that with Windows iTunes and Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection.  Too 20th-century, to my eternal shame and horror but it was so cool in the day, viz🙂IMG_0041

    IMG_0042

     

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by trackbeo. Reason: pix or it didn't happen
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Keith Saunders.
    #3986
    Jraeven
    BRONZE Member
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    Hello perhaps I do not understand your “problem” but I think it is really easy. I assume your recorded CD’s are in your iTunes account. In this case you can just connect your iTunes account with the B&O app. In case you have the CD’s not in your iTunes account, just install a DLNA server (like plex). Now you can add this DLNA server in your B&O app. Both solutions work like a charm on by Beosound 28 (an other B&O sound systems)

     

    #3995
    Carolpa
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    Hello perhaps I do not understand your “problem” but I think it is really easy. I assume your recorded CD’s are in your iTunes account. In this case you can just connect your iTunes account with the B&O app. In case you have the CD’s not in your iTunes account, just install a DLNA server (like plex). Now you can add this DLNA server in your B&O app. Both solutions work like a charm on by Beosound 28 (an other B&O sound systems)

    Thought Police is using Audirvana.
    Audirvana is in itself a Music server already.
    But despite my calls to try to use Audirvana as a DLNA streamer and the Audirvana app as DLNA controller, he seams to get stuck in his own thoughts that he must Airplay to the BL28.

    note: my reply to his post from April 5, 2022 at 8:39 pm has never appeared on the forum (to his excuse)

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Carolpa.
    #3976
    Carolpa
    BRONZE Member
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    As I understand it yes you can send to AirPlay 2 devices from Audirvana, however to do that you have to select those devices as the output on that Mac.

    that may be correct, but try send the stream directly to the BL28 by setting so.

    audirvana

    so change the output (blue in the picture) to BL28.

    And try the Audirvana remote, see
    audirvana2

    #3985
    Jraeven
    BRONZE Member
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    Hello perhaps I do not understand your “problem” but I think it is really easy. I assume your recorded CD’s are in your iTunes account. In this case you can just connect your iTunes account with the B&O app. See enclosed screen shots. In case you have the CD’s not in your iTunes account, just install a DLNA server (like plex). Now you can add this DLNA server in your B&O app. Both solutions work like a charm on by Beosound 28 (an other B&O sound systems)

    0F930794-0438-44F9-9EB0-266D91AAE8E1DB188C59-6587-4A59-B0F4-8FCF6CD80BDA3A2D6945-47D9-4D4A-A541-107C35AAC7A4

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