Following my earlier post, where I realised the topic title should have been different ... So, I'm looking for sub 100$ speakers for the kitchen, to be linked to an airport express, preferably through toslink, (but the minijack is fine too as there seem to be no toslink speakers that don't require a separate amplifier).
...Did you check Amazon for user reviews? Their 'most useful negative review' can be very helpful.
shouldn't have done that ... am all confused now. many negative reactions on AV40 pooping down after a while and am worried about the audioengine not having an on/off switch as well as a fragile power connector (it is a buzzing kitchen ...)
all confused now! any workarounds for the audioengines?
I read the most useful 3-star, and then several 1-star reviews. Does not look good.
Some wrote that the old AE using b/g router worked as expected but the new "n" router-based AE were problematic. I would back up and punt at this point.
So what are you trying to do?
Is this a commercial kitchen?
Can you connect using balanced XLR cables (which can be about ANY length you need).
What are your sources?
If you need wireless have you checked other N-router systems?
All our music and movies on a networked drive, and itunes driving it. For living room sound we have an apple tv, cambridge audio dac, sony amplifier, 2.0 bookshelf speaker set. For the kitchen, we wanted to have an AE and a pair of speakers. We do not have the possibility to use wires (rented apartment), so can only use wifi to access our music (and playlists) in itunes. That's where the AE comes in handy as we couldn't find anything else allowing for music to come wirelessly from itunes.
You can mount wires without damaging the walls, etc.
You may have to spackle & repaint a bit after you remove those wires, but any renter should master the spackle & repaint drill to protect their deposit. These skills are also useful for homeowners.
You could also burn your playlists to CD's or DVD's. Burning as BluRay requires a BluRay burner in your computer. Then use a CD/DVD player plus speakers in your kitchen. I do not know the audio quality of itunes.
Otherwise it seems you are tethered to using Apple equipment, and perhaps they should have used some finned AL for cooling the internals in the sealed case rather than using all plastic. Maybe you should figure on replacing your AE every 13 months as a cost of convenience.... or figure out how to operate your AE inside your kitchen fridge or inside a minifridge.
I do not use itunes, smartphones, online banking, etc. Most of the associated equipment is made in China and production security is "limited at best" meaning your privacy is often easily compromised. I prefer full control.
I'm finding this thread very confusing. You're basically looking for either self-powered speakers or a small and inexpensive amplifier to drive inexpensive speakers. Correctly me if I'm wrong--the AE isn't really capable of driving speakers by itself. As you noted, it has a typical analog stereo minijack with an option to use the mini-optical built in. But, the analog probably has less 'power' to drive speakers than an iPod or other mp3 player, since the AE is intended to be hooked up to an amplifier.
So, given the $100 price constraint, you're basically looking for computer speakers. Right? i.e. things that plug into a stereo minijack and are self powered. I really really doubt that you can find a DAC/AMP/speaker combo package for sub $100.