Wireless Airplay Speaker – The Sonos Move is the perfect AirPlay 2 speaker for the home, offering great sound within its minimalist design. Read the full review…
This Denon speaker is a good choice if you value having good input options and connectivity. HEOS speakers also help you create a multi-room entertainment system.
Wireless Airplay Speaker
For the price and size, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a good choice if you value sound quality. Read the full review…
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If you’ve already invested in Apple’s walled garden, and have an Apple Music subscription, you’ll get the most out of the company’s smart speakers. Read the full review…
If you’re willing to spend on a soundbar, the Sonos Beam is one of the best out there: with support for AirPlay 2, adjustable settings through Trueplay and integration of audio assistance.
If you want the best wireless audio streaming solution in your home, it is better to use a Wi-Fi speaker system. Unlike Bluetooth, streaming audio over a network enables higher data transfer rates. Apple AirPlay is one of the most reliable wireless streaming technologies, with support for it increasing over time. If you’re eager to join the movement toward network-based content streaming, check out our list of the best Apple AirPlay speakers available today.
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For our first five picks that we created a chart for, you can find the isolation and response rate chart at the end of each gallery. You can learn more about reading our charts here.
Editor’s note: This article was updated on August 10, 2022 to improve formatting and selected citations, and to address frequently asked questions.
Sonos is best known for creating high-end audio products that deliver great sound with a sleek design — if you’re willing to drop some serious cash. The Sonos movement is no exception.
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This is Sonos’ attempt at a portable speaker, which has a more compact design compared to other speakers from the company. It has an IP56 rating which means this speaker can go anywhere – from the comfort of your living room to the beach or hiking. While the Sonos Move is portable, its handle design and weight make it quite difficult to carry. This speaker is more suitable for use at home than on your next trip.
As a Wi-Fi speaker, the Sonos Move supports AirPlay 2, so you can stream high-quality audio directly from the Sonos Move. For other devices, such as Android smartphones, the Sonos Move also supports Bluetooth connectivity, although you’re limited to streaming audio using SBC or AAC codecs.
Apple Apple AirPlay is the company’s proprietary wireless content streaming protocol, compatible with select devices, including the iPad, iPhone and HomePod.
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Apple developed AirPlay as a wireless content streaming protocol that allows you to stream audio and video over a shared network. Given that this technology is proprietary, content can only be streamed from compatible devices: Windows devices streaming via Apple Music, Macs running macOS Catalina, and iOS devices running 11.4 or later. Receivers, such as speakers and TVs, must have the “Works with Apple AirPlay” label on the packaging to verify compatibility.
In short, yes. This is because AirPlay uses a Wi-Fi connection for a higher transfer rate through the Apple Lossless Audio Codec (ALAC), which supports eight audio channels of 16, 20, 24 and 32-bit with a maximum sampling rate of 384 kHz. Unfortunately, Bluetooth does not share the same streaming quality as Wi-Fi, with transfer rates ranging from 320 kbps (SBC) to 990 kbps (Sony LDAC).
Since AirPlay is a proprietary technology, there are not many compatible devices on the market today. AirPlay-compatible devices tend to cost more than traditional Bluetooth speakers, which may deter some budget-conscious consumers.
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Apple AirPlay 2 was announced in 2017 and supports multi-room and HomeKit. Multi-room audio lets you play music from a single speaker or to other devices throughout your home—all from one device. You can also choose different songs to play on each speaker in your home, although this requires an Apple Music subscription.
HomeKit support gives you the ability to automate your speakers by adding them to rooms or scenes. For example, when you get home from work, you can set up HomeKit to turn on your lights, adjust the temperature, and place a relaxing accessory on your AirPlay 2 speakers.
Other improvements that come with AirPlay 2 include seamless playback when answering calls, shared playlist compatibility for Apple Music subscribers, and multi-device streaming support.
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Note that multi-room connection only works with AirPlay 2 speakers. The feature will not work if you try to stream content to both AirPlay 1 and AirPlay 2 devices.
If you own HEOS (Home Entertainment Operating System) speakers from Denon or Marantz or want to start a multi-room setup, the Denon Home 150 Wireless may be a natural choice. The speaker has a dynamic tweeter and mid-bass drivers, designed to enhance high and low levels. In addition to AirPlay 2, you can stream music via Wi-Fi, HEOS or Bluetooth. Heck, you can even plug a USB device into the corresponding port on the back.
The HEOS app supports streaming services, including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music HD, Tidal and more. Once you’ve set them up, you can control them directly from the app. Do you still like listening to the radio? Use the HEOS app to link up to three internet radio stations with a quick dial button on top of the speaker.
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Marshall audio products are trademarked by inspired guitar cabinet designs. The Marshall Uxbridge Voice is a speaker that follows the company’s tradition of offering products that look and sound designed for audiophiles.
As the name suggests, one of the speaker’s main selling points is its audio integration. Whether you’re looking for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, the Marshall Uxbridge Voice is sure to be one of the best smart speakers you’ll ever use. With its dual remote microphones, the speaker will be able to register your commands, whether you’re across the room or trying to talk to your music.
The sound from the Marshall Uxbridge Voice provides real power, despite its small form factor. Bass tones are conveyed clearly but this can result in headphone masking which makes it difficult to recognize midrange and treble tones. Fortunately, the bass and treble can be adjusted using the controls located on the top of the unit.
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The Marshall Uxbridge Voice supports both AirPlay 2 and Bluetooth connectivity, although it lacks a wired input option. If you’re looking for a futuristic smart speaker that’s free of cords, except for the power cord, this speaker is definitely worth it.
You can’t expect to get through an article about AirPlay without mentioning the HomePod mini. If you’re heavily invested in Apple’s ecosystem, take it a step further with the company’s own smart speakers.
The $99 HomePod mini features 360° sound and supports multi-room playback when paired with other HomePod minis. The speaker also includes Apple’s S5 chip, which enables computer audio analysis and volume optimization and EQ for playback.
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To get the most out of HomePod, you need to use an iOS device. In fact, you can’t set up a speaker without one. On top of that, you need to subscribe to Apple Music to access features like hands-free control via Siri.
The Sonos Beam is one of the most popular soundbars on the market: it has a minimalist design that fits in with many home entertainment devices.
Despite its compact appearance, the Sonos Beam delivers powerful sound with accurate bass reproduction that does not obscure mids and highs. Once set up, you’re prompted to use Sonos’ Trueplay system, which uses your iPhone’s microphone to adjust the volume of your speakers based on your listening environment. Unfortunately, this feature is not supported on Android yet. But once you’re up and running, you’ll have an enjoyable listening experience – whether you’re watching a movie or jamming to your favorite playlist.
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The Sonos Beam is a Wi-Fi speaker, although it can connect to your home network via Ethernet. While AirPlay 2 is supported, there is no option to connect to speakers via Bluetooth. Voice assistant integration is also included in the Sonos Beam, with your choice of using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
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Despite similar names, Apple AirPlay and Sonos Trueplay are very different software. Apple AirPlay is software for sharing audio and video from one device to another. Sonos Trueplay is software
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