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What's the easiest way to stream audio from my laptop to a receiver? Ask the Editors

Ask the Editors: Today we answer a question about streaming.

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
2 min read


I've read your reviews of headphones that use a USB dongle to stream any and all audio to it wirelessly. Do you know an affordable (less than $60) way to do this and send audio to a receiver? I have a line in port that I'd love to connect to some sort of device that could receive an audio stream from my laptop.

--Russell, New Jersey

Hey Russell,

I've actually been on the hunt for a cheap way to do the same exact thing in my apartment. Unfortunately, there's probably nothing that can do it for under $60. Back at my parent's house, I set them up with an Apple Airport Express (around $100) that allows you to wirelessly stream music from any network-connected computer running iTunes via the Airport's line-out jack.

If that's not something you'd be into, you may want to look at something like the Creative Labs Xmod Wireless Music System (which goes for around $100). It's not as easy as a USB dongle, but it should stream any and all sound coming from your computer.

Our editors really liked the Logitech Wireless Music System for PC but it looks like that device isn't manufactured anymore. However, I'm sure you can still find it on Amazon or eBay.

We also came across an Onkyo solution that looks like it'll do what you want, but it retails for $150.

Lastly, we don't usually point our readers into these murky waters, but we stumbled across a very suspect product that somehow completely satisfies every requirement you stipulated, including the price. If all else fails and you simply cannot spend the extra cash on what we recommend, head over to a1components.com. They've got a no-name USB transmitter/receiver that says it'll do exactly what you want. But please keep in mind, we've never tested it, we're not sure it works, and judging by the photo, they might just be sending you all the components in a plastic bag. If I haven't been clear, this is a total "try this at your own risk" lecture.

Good luck Russell!


Anyone have any additional advice for our friend from Jersey?