Might be best to start with my current setup:
Virgin cable modem connected to a decent belkin wireless router
Marantz SR5007 with built in airplay connected to a powerline Ethernet plug
Music is streamed via airplay direct from iPhone or iPad
I'm currently moderately happy with the setup, streaming works perfectly most of the time but I do get the occasional drop out. I share wifi with 2 others but am soon hoping to buy a flat and will then have full control over the wifi. I'd like to add music to the bedroom, kitchen and maybe even bathroom via a ceiling speaker.
Having the same music in multiple zones at once is a nice feature but not 100% essential. What is essential is perfect reliability. I can achieve this via sonos I think but could need:
Play 3 or 5 for bedroom
Play 3 or 5 for kitchen
Connect for living room - to plug in to existing amp
Connect amp and ceiling speakers - for bathroom
This is all looking very expensive! Plus I don't personally think the play range is very stylish. I like b&w sound and styling so if I stick with airplay I'd only need:
A5 for bedroom
A5 for kitchen
Airport express and ceiling speakers for bathroom - surely there is some solution here as sound quality isn't amazingly important for bathroom
I also assume that airplay will support multiroom from an iPhone/iPad before too long. But can I achieve extremely good reliability from an airplay solution?
If I have some sort of fibre optic broadband to a modem...:
Which router is best to use for airpay reliability?
Am I best off using airplay from the amp or will Apple TV or an airport express be more reliable?
Is the b&w A5/A7 more or less reliable than competitors?
Any help or advice will be most appreciated!