How Can I Add Streaming to My Old HK Receiver?

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Q I have an old Harman Kardon receiver that has served me well for several years and would like to continue using it. Do you have any suggestions for a way I could stream audio from my computer (primarily from iTunes and Spotify) to my receiver over Wi-Fi? —Doug Burton / via e-mail

A The easiest way to upgrade your old Harman Kardon for music streaming via Wi-Fi would be to add a media receiver to the system. There are plenty of options out there, but since your music player of choice is iTunes, I’d recommend using an Apple Airport Express ($99). The Airport Express has an optical digital audio output to connect to your receiver, and once you link it up with your Wi-Fi network, you can easily stream audio to it from within iTunes using AirPlay—if your computer is a recent-model (post-2011) Mac, that is.

If you’re using an older Mac or a PC, you’ll have to first download additional software to route sound from iTunes or Spotify over your network. I’ve tested out Porthole (Mac only) and Airfoil (PC/Mac), and both apps work fine with Airport Express.

aidoroboo's picture

Why do you need a post-2011 Mac exactly? I have a 2007 MacBook Pro and have been using AirPlay (formerly AirTunes) since 2008 with my Airport Express. I also have an AppleTV which works fine too with AirPlay.

Which brings me to my next point, if you have an existing WiFi network (who doesn't?) you can just buy an AppleTV and connect that via optical to your receiver. The Airport Express may actually make your WiFi network better though.

Final thing: if you have an iOS device you can push music from that or download the Remote app from the App Store. The Remote app lets you control your computer's iTunes library from your phone.

mikem's picture

I have an old imac 17 that I primarily use as a music server. I also have a win 8.1 pc and the easiest way to do this for me is to enable windows media streaming options and allow it to have access to my home network. For example right now I'm listening to itunes on my pc and if I go to the other end of the house where my HT is set up and turn on my receiver I'll go back to itunes and in the lower right itunes taskbar there is now a little blue icon that allows me the option of hearing music on my pc, or my Pioneer VSX52 receiver, or both. I use powerline adapters for my network via an ASUS RT-N66R router (best router I've ever had BTW). I do have wireless capability but also like the idea of a wired network. Also, if i ever want to hear music from my old imac I just enable home sharing on both computers and then go through my pc, only because the imac is so slow now. Hope this helps.

Spike16's picture

Now that they've been bought-out/killed. I use it to stream to my home intercom's audio inputs. And also to a dedicated amp for my outdoor speakers.

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