Will the MM-1 work with the USB on an airport express ? Is the DAC on a airport express as good as the MM-1 DAC ?

Bowers & Wilkins MM-1 Speakers

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  • Best Answer:

    The Airport Express USB port is only for USB printing. All audio data is either decoded by the Airport Express on-board Burr-Brown DAC or fed via digital optical mini-Toslink cable to another DAC-equiped device (i.e. audio/video receiver, Apple Hi-Fi). Therefore, you cannot connect the MM-1 to the Airport Express via USB.

    Since the MM-1 does not have an digital optical input, you would have to rely on the Airport Express Burr-Brown DAC to decode then pass the audio to the MM-1 via analog cable, which bypasses the MM-1's on-board DAC.

    The highest quality connection for these speakers is directly to computer via USB.

    I could not find what DAC chip the MM-1 (or Zeppelins) use, so I can't factually answer which device has the superior DAC. I do know that the Burr-Brown PCM2705 used in the Airport Express is NOT low quality. Measured tests have shown it to be a very capable DAC.

    Given my fondness for B&W speakers, I would expect that B&W also uses a good quality DAC chip.

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  • The DAC on an Airport express cannot compete with the DAC in the MM-1's, and the USB on an Airport express is only designed for connection to a printer.

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  • If you use the auxillary input you can use them with airport express. Hope this helps

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  • I could be wrong, but I think the USB port on the Airport Express will not handle audio out. I have a pair of HK SoundSticks, but the original versions which have a USB connection rather than a 3.5mm analogue. I know that those won't work with Airport Express, so I'd imagine it would be the same for the MM-1's. If you find out different, please let me know!

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  • I'm not sure about the technical part of the answer, but I use mine with my airport express connected with a USB cable, and it works just fine.

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