10 Best AirPlay Speakers 2017

Anybody who enjoys entertaining knows how important it is to have a good speaker to play music. Whether you need soft but rich music as the background to a dinner party or loud dancing music to help you host the annual 4th of July party, the success of your event depends in part on how well your speaker can do its job. If you’re looking for a convenient, portable, and reliable way to play music in your home, you should consider checking out the best AirPlay Speakers available today.

Best AirPlay Speakers: What is AirPlay?

AirPlay is the proprietary Apple technology that allows music and video to be streamed from an iPad, iPhone or AirPlay-enabled computer to another Apple device such as an AirPlay speaker or Apple TV. The AirPlay technology works over Wi-Fi to transmit the sound or audio. This means it will work anywhere a wireless network connection is available.

Best AirPlay Speakers vs.  Best Bluetooth Speakers

AirPlay and Bluetooth are both methods of transmitting sound from one device to another. As described above, AirPlay uses a wireless Internet connection to transfer sound while Bluetooth connects the two devices together using radio waves. In order for Bluetooth connections to work, both devices must be in range of each other. The distance from which the signal will work varies between devices and design of your house. AirPlay is Apple technology and only works on Apple products.

Bluetooth was originally developed by Ericsson. Now, however, it is available in a wide variety of devices, including Apple and Android phones. The best AirPlay speakers tend to have better sound quality since none of the data is lost over the wireless signal. Also, the AirPlay technology allows users to connect multiple speakers to one device; Bluetooth only allows direct one-to-one pairing.

Top 10 Best AirPlay Speakers Comparison Guide

PictureNameColor Options?PriceRating (1-5)
PictureNameColor Options?PriceRating (1-5)
1. Archt Audio One Wireless Audio SystemNo$$$4.9
2. Libratone ZIPP WiFi + Bluetooth Multi-Room Wireless SpeakerYes$$4.8
3. MartinLogan Crescendo Wireless Speaker SystemYes$$$$4.6
4. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin WirelessNo$$$4.3
5. Logitech UE Air Speaker for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch and iTunesNo$$4.0
6. SONOS PLAY:1 Compact Airplay Smart SpeakerYes$$3.7
7. Klipsch G-17 Air Wireless Sound SystemNo$$3.5
8. Philips AD7000W/37 Fidelio SoundAvia Wireless Speaker with AirPlayNo$3.2
9. iHome iW3 AirPlay Rechargeable Wireless Audio SystemYes$3.2
10. Harman Kardon Aura Wireless Stereo Speaker SystemYes$$3.1

Top 3 Best AirPlay Speakers Reviews

1. Archt Audio One

The Archt One by Archt Audio is a product that started as a Kickstarter campaign and has transformed into one of the best AirPlay speakers on the market. The Archt One earns this top spot because of its patented Sound Array technology. These best AirPlay speakers are designed with a built in subwoofer to produce deep bass, and the physical design of the speakers allow sound to be transmitted in 360º. In other words, this speaker functions more like a stereo system than a single speaker.

For an even better sound experience, the Archt One can automatically adjust to provide the best sound for the room it is in, taking into account space and size. The speaker is most effective as an AirPlay speaker as you can connect directly over WiFi and link up to 6 speakers, but it also has connectivity through Bluetooth and USB. The biggest drawback to this speaker is that it does not have a built in battery but must be connected via the AC adapter. But, as long as you keep this speaker within cord distance to an outlet, you are in for some solid sound.

2. Libratone ZIPP

The Libratone Zipp is comparable to the Archt One. It also has great sound quality that boasts solid bass and treble for the size of the speaker. The speaker sound can be calibrated through the app by choosing options such as “floor” or “table” to best suit your environment. The design of this speaker is great for the listener who wants a stylish device that can be moved throughout the house. The Libratone Zipp is designed with removable speaker jackets that come in a variety of colors, and each speaker is equipped with a handle that can be used to transport or even hang the speaker.

The biggest draw back to the Libratone Zipp is that this speaker uses a “PlayDirect AirPlay” connection where the speaker essentially creates its own Wi-Fi network to play your audio. This means that the speaker can only play audio stored on your phone, tablet, or computer and cannot stream via your home network Wi-Fi while connected through AirPlay. You can use a smartphone or tablet through your data plan to stream content, but the lack of versatility may be a deal breaker for some consumers.

3. MartinLogan Crescendo

The MartinLogan Crescendo wireless speaker system is a high quality, luxury speaker that will blend easily into your home décor. These best AirPlay speakers are clearly designed to be more attractive than your typical speaker. It has a dense cabinet enclosure that floats atop a sturdy aluminum stand. Not only do these best AirPlay speakers look nice, but they deliver in sound quality as well. The sound is crisp and clear and has strong bass, especially when placed a bit away from walls.

The only potential issue you will run into with this speaker is with wireless connectivity. If you place your speaker and wireless router on separate sides of the house, the speaker may struggle to maintain its connection.

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