Apple’s AirPort Express is basically a wireless router with a USB port and audio jack. Hooking up a printer to the USB port allows any printer to be used wirelessly from any computer throughout a house. Plugging speakers into the audio jack (any computer speakers), though, is where the magic starts. You can then play your iTunes music on those speakers, regardless of where you’ve plugged them in.
Combine this with the Remote application for the iPhone (or iPod Touch) and now I’m able to lay in bed and control iTunes on my laptop, out in my office, on the speakers in my bedroom. This is audio bliss.
Also, the wife and I can print to our printer now from anywhere in our home.
Why do people spend beaucoup $$$$ on expensive systems from Sonos to do this? An iPod Touch costs $230 and each AirPort Express is $99. To have two rooms setup for music (maybe the bedroom and the back patio), it only would only cost $430. To do this with the cheapest Sonos set is $1,000! And really, if you already have an iPhone or iPod Touch you’re only talking about a $99 cost for each room you want music in (that your computer isn’t already in). That’s a bargain.
Being an Apple product, it’s very easy to setup. In fact it’s beyond ‘easy,’ as it’s the easiest networking-related product I have *ever* setup, and I used to be a part-time network administrator. I was using it in 5 minutes, for reals. There are a couple of extra steps if you’re not on a Mac but it’s still much less than any other Windows networking.