Having the best AirPlay speakers is a convenient, portable, and reliable way to play your audio. There are a lot of AirPlay speakers on the market today. And, finding the best ones for your needs can get confusing. This is why we are helping you with our new guide of the best AirPlay speakers of 2017.
We compared the most important features and considerations and then narrowed our research to find the 10 Best AirPlay Speakers to make your decision easy.
Top 10 Best AirPlay Speakers Comparison Guide
What is AirPlay?
AirPlay is the proprietary Apple technology that allows music and video to be streamed from an iPad, iPhone or AirPlay enabled device to another Apple device such as AirPlay speakers or an Apple TV keyboard. 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.
AirPlay Speakers vs. Bluetooth Speakers
AirPlay and Bluetooth are both methods of transmitting sound from one device to another. As described above, AirPlay speakers use 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, AirPlay technology allows users to connect multiple speakers to one device. Bluetooth only allows direct one to one pairing.
Reviews of the Top 3 Best AirPlay Speakers
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 AirPlay 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 AirPlay speaker is that it does not have a built in battery and 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.
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. These best AirPlay speakers have sound that can be calibrated through the app by choosing options such as “floor” or “table” to best suit your environment. The design of this AirPlay 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 AirPlay 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 laptop 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.
The MartinLogan Crescendo wireless speaker system is a high quality, luxury AirPlay speaker that will blend easily into your home speaker 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 AirPlay 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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