Music in the kitchen? What setup?

laughablemomentsFebruary 28, 2013

Did you plan specifically for listening to music in your kitchen? What's your setup? Where is it located?

We currently have an old Sony undercabinet mount CD player. It's yellowed badly, but the sound is great on it. And it only cost $2 at a yard sale. : ) If you think it's unsightly, you should see the bubble gum pink Hello kitty portable unit it replaced, LOL.

I don't want to spend a lot, (thus Mr. Yellow and Miss Pink), but I'm wondering what to use in the reno'd space.

Thanks for any ideas you might share!

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beaglesdoitbetter1

In our FL kitchen, we use an iPod mounted in the wall. Gets Internet radio, is connected via the network to our music library so we can play all our Mp3s and the speakers are fine for in-kitchen music. We used an old iPod 1 that we got for $179 and then bought the iPort for $300 so it could be hard-wired/mounted. Little more costly than the Sony CD cabinet but it is versatile.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:17PM
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rhome410

I have been looking at the Sony under-cabinet unit and have it on my birthday wishlist. Not only do I yearn for music in the kitchen, but my new oven doesn't have a clock or timer that's visible from any more than a ft from the display, so I thought I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone. But I like the sound of the iPod idea, too. Seems sleeker and with more options.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 12:43PM
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ginny20

My GC said he'd run speakers into the ceiling from the stereo in the living room, but after the walls were open and he figured out where the stereo actually was, it was going to cost more than it was worth to me. Still, a nice idea if it can be done easily.

The first Christmas after the kitchen was finished, DH very thoughtfully surprised me with one of those little Bose Wave CD player/radios. It fits nicely in the corner of one counter. Had I known, I would have made arrangements for a receptacle under the counter that would have kept the cord hidden. So whatever you choose, make sure you allow for hiding the cord.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:01PM
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GWlolo

We did a single speaker (with stereo wires) that is connected to a sonos system. For me it was radio and spotify.. I love to listen while I am cooking.. Sunday morning bliss :)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:36PM
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a2gemini

There are new wireless speakers that you can purchase. Some are battery operated and others require power. My DH wants to put a small B&W wireless speaker in the kitchen - I just have to figure out where it should go and the power source...
Williams Sonoma also has an iPad speaker that you can just put your iPad into the stand - it is too tall for my use but another idea.
I forget which speaker system that I saw at Apple that did use a battery - which might work better for me.
I will be watching other suggestions.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Bellsmom

I really like my under-cabinet radio. It has good audio and a CD slot. I can listen to something different from what is on other radios/tvs in the house. I like to listen to PBS or our jazz station when I cook and clean (some programs get cranked up really loud!), and to our fine classical music station while we are eating.

DH does not care for PBS, so it works out pretty well.

I would miss a radio a lot.TV not so much.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:25PM
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robo (z6a)

I want a jawbone jambox bluetooth speaker that I can stream internet radio to and use as a speakerphone for my cell. They're pricey though! Maybe for my bday...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:33PM
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function_first

I love listening to music when I cook, we also like having stations on during dinner parties, etc. I've listened to Pandora a lot while in the car, it was great when I could also pipe it to the in-ceiling speakers (a built in feature in the iphone and ipad software now). I put a link below where DH wrote out exactly what we did to set this up. We asked our contractor if he'd mind if we ran the wires while the ceiling was open so no cost except parts which weren't much -- less than a Wave radio, I'm pretty sure.

Well worth doing -- use it all the time.

Here is a link that might be useful: In-ceiling speakers, airport, amps and ipad/iphone

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:42PM
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LauraNJ

We have a fullsize jukebox in the eating area along with additional external Bose speakers that are in the dining/living room. We have a stereo in the livingroom that takes, records, cds (various formats), radio, etc that has speakers in the kitchen, besides the livingroom ones.

So, in the kitchen I can have the jukebox on or the livingroom stereo and hear the sound in the kitchen. The majority of the time the jukebox is on. The kids love it, especially their friends who have never seen one in "real life" before. :)

I have the ability to turn off speaker sound to the kitchen or from the juke to the other speakers. Not sure how my husband did it but it works and I like it better than when we had a small unit in the kitchen that wasn't as good as the juke or stereo.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 4:58PM
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beekeeperswife

During construction when things are opened up you can have the speakers installed in the ceiling and run the wiring to a designated spot. You won't have to immediately decide on how to get the music (sonos, or the other systems like Beagles mentioned). We had all the speakers installed during construction (or at least had them wired with intent to add speakers later in various locations). After being in the house is when we decided what to do. We went with a Sonos amplifier. Can play iPod, or radio, Pandora, or lots of other stuff. It has been pretty great.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:39PM
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laura mcleod

We did Sonos too like GWlolo - can listen to Pandora, NPR, our own music from the computer and control it all from my phone. It is heaven - I almost backed out because of the hassle (it wasn't complicated but it was one more decision when I had total decision fatigue) and at least once a week I realize how glad I am that I didn't.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:40PM
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a2gemini

Bee- what a great idea - not sure we could have wired our kitchen anyway but still nifty. We have a standard ceiling and then a cathedral ceiling in the sunroom. No extra wall space in the kitchen area.
Jawbone is the wireless system that I saw at Apple - I am leaning towards JB unless DH decides to get the B&W system.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 5:43PM
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justmakeit

The kitchen just got dry wall this week -- if only I'd thought of this earlier! I guess it'll be me and the iPad on the counter for the next 15 years :-)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:40PM
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beaglesdoitbetter1

In our PA house, we did the speakers in the ceiling w/ a squeezebox for whole house audio. That solution was much more $ than the Ipad in the wall. Obviously, the sound is better w/ the in-ceiling speakers. But the iPad in the wall is fine for general listening and it offers every option that my squeezebox has (Pandora and Slacker are the things we listen to most, as well as our own streaming music. I have the Apple iCloud service which is $24.99/year and lets all my music be accessed from the iPhone, iPad, computers, etc.- I love that service too!)

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 6:48PM
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laughablemoments

Wow, so many great ideas everyone. Of course, I feel like I need a brush-up foreign language course to understand some of the jargon that I haven't kept up on (I must be getting older!) But that's what google is for. At least now I know what to look up. : )

Thank you all so much for responding. Maybe this will help others to plan their music into the kitchen, too.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:06PM
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ILoveRed

My house is wired with the ceiling speakers with in wall volume controls but I think it's kind of a pain.

I have this speaker that sits on my desk. I link my ipad or my iPod to it and can listen to my music or pandora. But my favorite is Spotify. My daughters turned me on to it :-)

Sound quality is amazingly good for such a small and inexpensive speaker.

The simplest solution of course is to listen to the xm stations on the kitchen TV. Sound...not so good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Speaker

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 11:14PM
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Mizinformation

After having lived for years with a radio in every room, and CDs/MP3s through computer speakers, we just took the Sonos plunge, too. Not cheap, but so great. Completely wireless. (We are actually a mostly wireless house now -- no land line phone, no TV cable, etc. Mostly internet-based entertainment.). Originally we thought we would run speaker wires as we remodeled each room, but then we experimented with wireless. The Sonos speakers work SO much better than the first generation wireless speakers. The Sonos base station plugs into our internet wireless router, so we can access all the music on my laptop, but the speakers themselves are on their own proprietary wireless network, so we don't get the "dropping out" or out-of sync speakers like with the first wireless ones we tried. Sonos speakers have rich sound, and it accesses all our music (CDs all transfered to computer), and a bazillion internet radio stations, Pandora, etc. Speakers can be grouped to play the same thing, or different things can be playing on different speakers (rockin' out upstairs, NPR downstairs is the general pattern right now). Plus, we can control the speakers and music from our phones (and so can any friends we give the password to--just download the free ap). We only have two of the speakers which do a great job of filling each floor with music, so we have to unplug and move them if we want direct sound in an out-of-the-way spot, but eventually we will have two grouped speakers in the media room for surround sound, one in the bedroom, and one a designated shelf in the finished kitchen. But again, NOT CHEAP. This was my big Christmas/birthday present from my partner.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 12:22AM
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GWlolo

With sonos, there is an option to either use in wall or in ceiling speaker with a separate sonos amp(which basically separates kitchen into it's own zone and you can select what to listen to via your iPhone or iPad etc.). There is also an option to get an all 1 unit that is a speaker and zone player combined. This is what we did for DD's room as it is portable and you can take it with ou if you are in the yard etc.

Do you have a best buy near you that has a Magnolia home theater center? Those guys really know their stuff and can help you a lot. In our kitchen, we have just a tiny bit of drywall and we were to find a single stereo speaker called Sonance that is connected to sonos.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:31AM
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lazy_gardens

We have a tiny wireless reciever that can connect to Pandora or several streaming radio stations on the Internet, or I can set a bunch of music files in a queue and broadcast them to the house.

It's connected to a set of small self-powered speakers meant for computers. and it's over on the bookcase across the family room from the kitchen.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:41AM
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ArchitectMamma

We went low tech with the bose radio / cd player/ ipod station. It is compact, fits on my window sill, and best of all, easy to use while sounding amazing.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:42AM
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youngdeb

We have a speaker system in the house (they're in the ceiling in the kitchen) that is hooked to our AV receiver, but that receiver is for the family room setup - if anyone plays video games or watches TV, that's what it plays. Not so delightful to listen to Spongebob while I'm cooking breakfast.

So I bought myself a gorgeous little Tivoli w/bluetooth. Not cheap, but it's beautiful to have out (unlike the bose), is small (unlike the bose), gives great sound (unlike the Sonos) and when it's hooked up to my phone, I can play anything from Spotify and Pandora to my normal music list. Also, my phone can be anywhere in the room, which is good because I often use it while I'm cooking to look stuff up.

This is our third Tivoli - we have one in the master bath and DH has one at his office. Love them!!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 8:57AM
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ILoveRed

Young deb--

Your setup sound like ours.our tuner has zones, but honestly it's just a pain.

Love your Tivoli. Could you provide a link to the one you have please? Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:01AM
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youngdeb

Red, here's the one we have on Amazon.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tivoli Model One

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 11:08AM
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jm_seattle

We built a little niche & shelf into the wall for the music player:

It's on the network and controlled either by remote or phone app, so we didn't need the controls to be handy (although you can still get to them if you need to). We just needed to do a little planning to get the outlet buried in the right place.

The idea was to marry a traditional look with a modern convenience. One downside is that if we ever switch music players, we'll have a few size constraints, but I think it's a pretty common form factor (the Tivoli would probably fit there, for example), and if it survives long enough for it to be our kids' problem, then at that point I consider it a success anyway :)

    Bookmark   March 3, 2013 at 10:31PM
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williamsem

Well, our first floor is small, so I stream my iPad to the Apple TV in the great room and just turn the volume up a little. We have a Bose speaker system in there so sound quality is not a problem.

If there is a TV in the kitchen, an Apple TV works very well. It can access a ton of Internet radio stations in its own, or with almost any Apple device/computer you can stream your music wirelessly and control it from the device. Super easy! You'd probably want to hook up external speakers to the TV, but you could use anything that plugs in vs some expensive system.

I also on occasion use a portable outdoor speaker/transmitter from Brookstone. The benefit there is you hook your device up to the transmitter and can move the speaker. So if you finish in the kitchen and want to go outside to garden, or head off to fold laundry, you can just bring the speaker along and not have to get things all set up in a different room.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 12:02AM
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oldbat2be

HUGE sigh of happiness.... I am enormously grateful for this post. The missing piece in our new kitchen was radio. We use the iPads for so much but I hate the tinny sound for radio and music. Due to the recommendations on this post, I ordered the Sonos Play 3, which we just received tonight. I am happily listening to NPR as I type this and it feels like our renovation is finally complete! Looking forward to the weekend already and cooking happily while listening to the news. Thanks GW!!!!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:32PM
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laughablemoments

Yay, Oldbat2be! That sounds wonderful. : ) Enjoy your new system.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:37PM
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threeapples

We wired our house for speakers during the early part of the construction phase. Our kitchen and family room have round, paintable speakers in the ceiling. I was told they'd be flush, but they protrude a little. I'm hoping they'll not bug me at some point, maybe when the lights are in and they're not the only thing on the ceiling. We did this in our dining room, but on the wall because I have an ornamental ceiling in there. I'm not sure of the name of the system as my husband chose it, but it will all be controlled in one area, or by an iPhone/ipad apparently. We love music and are hoping this will allow us to easily enjoy it.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:46PM
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GWlolo

That sounds wonderful! I can't wait to move in and enjoy my system. just a few more weeks now.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:47PM
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EATREALFOOD

Laughable--I am one small step above you decor wise..my beloved Grundig short wave radio(purchased years ago from RS) sits on the counter...can't live w/o a radio. I am currently searching for a small used transistor radio to carry with me on the bus/train.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 8:53PM
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texaspenny

I feel like I need to bump this thread because it was such a great help for us. We purchased a Sonos Play 3 and installed it hanging from the ceiling. We had the electrician add a plug to the ceiling (will probably also use it for Christmas lights or something). We often listen to music on it at night while we're fiddling on the internet. We can stream radio stations, local music from our computer, pandora, etc. It was a great addition to the kitchen and it's all because of this thread!

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:12AM
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fivefootzero

We have the Bose Wave wireless speaker. It's bluetooth so I can use it with my DROID and my kids and husband can use it with the iPod/iPad. It is portable, and only needs charging...doesn't have to be plugged in.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:01AM
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fivefootzero

We have the Bose Wave wireless speaker. It's bluetooth so I can use it with my DROID and my kids and husband can use it with the iPod/iPad. It is portable, and only needs charging...doesn't have to be plugged in.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:02AM
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dilly_ny

Great thread. Does anyone use apple AirPlay without Apple TV? I am trying to decide between AirPlay or Sonia for 3 or 4 rooms with ability
To play different music at same time in different rooms. Not sure what's best and cost effective. Too Kate for us to run speaker wires.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 9:58AM
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dilly_ny

Great thread. Does anyone use apple AirPlay without Apple TV? I am trying to decide between AirPlay or Sonos for 3 or 4 rooms with ability
To play different music at same time in different rooms. Not sure what's best and cost effective. Too late for us to run speaker wires.

This post was edited by dilly_ny on Wed, Sep 18, 13 at 17:32

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 10:01AM
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