The 8 Best AirPlay Speakers for Seamless Streaming

Photo: NAIM Mu-So 2nd Generation Speaker

While we may appreciate the pastime of collecting physical media, that’s all it is, a pastime. As listeners have evolved from the gramophone to the smartphone, the way music has been enjoyed has shifted through the centuries. Moreover, the streaming age’s prominence is determined by more than the artists who’ve made their names throughout it, as you have the opportunity to revisit songs from centuries ago thanks to most services’ expansive libraries. Having said all that, we narrowed down the eight best AirPlay-compatible speakers to provide you with the most seamless listening experience possible.

Make Music Easy

An Apple a Day

In 2010, Apple unveiled a surfeit of mainstays, and while the game-changing iPad was the biggest of them all, it’s hard to overlook the innovative new technology that was AirPlay. Years have passed, and it has remained one of the most convenient features offered by the Cupertino manufacturer. However, one caveat was that you were only allowed to stream from one Apple device to another, like an iPhone to an Apple TV.

But, seeing as Apple has an update for everything, AirPlay 2 was first implemented into devices with the initial HomePod, which hit shelves in 2018 before being discontinued in early 2021. The most notable difference between them is the latest iteration’s seamless backward compatibility. Moreover, the original version of AirPlay allows you to stream music or videos from one Apple device to a larger screen connected to the same Wi-Fi network, whether it’s an AirPlay 2-enabled Smart TV or Roku device.

While you can utilize both versions of AirPlay to expand your viewing experience, our specifically-selected variety of compatible speakers will liven your home with your favorite songs, podcasts, and more, all at the push of a button.

The best airplay speakers of 2022

Apple homepod mini

Seeing as this AirPlay is Apple’s technology, it would be a disservice not to include an option from the revered gadgeteer. Measuring a mere 3.3” high and 3.9” wide, the lightweight speaker is well-equipped with a full-range driver and dual passive radiators, paving the way for thumping bass and pristine highs.

Design-wise, it’s finished with acoustically transparent fabric that absorbs the sound by letting it pass through, practically operating as a sonic sponge. Lastly, considering it’s an Apple product, it boasts a four-mic array to keep Siri within reach no matter how far it is.

Recap

Apple HomePod Mini

By Apple, for Apple.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Practically made for AirPlay
Cons
  • Sound isn’t great, but you get what you pay for

Bose home Speaker 500

Bose’s Home Speaker 500 is a step up from the HomePod Mini but remains surprisingly affordable — plus, its touchscreen interface is too convenient to ignore. It offers everything you look for in a modern speaker, like wall-to-wall stereo sound, a surfeit of built-in voice assistants, and seamless AirPlay compatibility.

In addition to offering Alexa and Google Assistant, the speaker also features six preset buttons to make it as user-friendly as possible. Compositionally, the anodized aluminum gadget stands 8” high, over 6.5” wide, and under 4.5” deep, allowing it to fit in your living space with ease.

Recap

Bose Home Speaker 500

Acheive stereo sound with this sturdy speaker.

Pros
  • Touchscreen interface
  • Sturdy composition
Cons
  • Bose’s accompanying app isn’t the greatest

Sonos Five

If you’re eyeing a hi-fi option that won’t cause too big of a dent, the Sonos Five is a reasonably priced speaker that offers an acoustically balanced sound that is easy to access via AirPlay. Moreover, the brand’s Trueplay tuning tech automatically adapts playback results based on the room’s acoustics, assuring your music (or whatever you’re listening to) sounds as intended. 

The humidity-resistant option boasts a trio of high-excursion woofers and a pair of angled side tweeters that provide deep, wide-ranging lows with diminished reverb and echo. While its AirPlay compatibility is the main takeaway, turntable owners can utilize its 3.5mm input for optimized listening across the board.

Recap

Sonos Five

A fine addition to your Sonos collection.

Pros
  • Hi-fi at a low price
  • Trueplay tuning tech
Cons
  • No Bluetooth connectivity

Bowers and Wilkins zeppelin

Bowers and Wilkins’ Zeppelin takes after its namesake, as its obtuse shape steals the show before you even turn it on and connect. Moreover, the award-winning speaker’s striking design encases a variety of premium components, including a pair of 1″ double dome tweeters, two 3.5″ FST midrange drivers, and a 6″ subwoofer. 

Connectivity-wise, it is compatible with AirPlay 2, allowing you to stream your favorite tracks at a 24-bit clip (with compatible services like Tidal) thanks to digital signal processing and dynamic EQ, making the speaker an ideal purchase for audiophiles.

Recap

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin

Stream Zeppelin using this blimp-shaped speaker.

Pros
  • 24-bit streaming
  • Objectively unique design
Cons
  • Not for stereo enthusiasts

Sonos ARC

Dolby Atmos is all the rage lately, and a speaker that can bring that multi-dimensional soundscape to your home isn’t easy to find, leaving us to scour the soundbar market. As one of the home theater space’s most beloved options, the Sonos Arc is luckily never hard to find, and user-friendly AirPlay 2 connectivity will let Apple Music subscribers stream the service’s expanding library of Atoms-tailored tracks.

Realistically, the most convenient aspect of this option is that it’s intended for any source of entertainment. Whether you’re watching a movie, catching up on shows, or taking in the big game, there is no shortage of what the Arc is capable of, which gave us no choice but to disregard its shape and include it here.

Recap

Sonos Arc

Sound that sets the bar.

Pros
  • Ready for any form of entertainment
  • Dolby Atmos-compatible
Cons
  • Pricey

Devialet phantom ii 98db

From a design standpoint, Devialet is arguably this guide’s most notable manufacturer, and you can take a single glance at its Phantom II speaker to make it clear. While the speaker is not compatible with AirPlay 2-compatible option boasts a max sound level of 98db and total amp power of 400 watts, providing an immersive, enveloping soundstage to liken your favorite tracks to a live show.

Its frequency response range of 18Hz to 21kHz is remarkable and paves the way for low distortion and balanced sound through and through. Lastly, it’s worth noting that you can pair two of them together, but it’s loud enough to bode well on its own.

Recap

Devialet Phantom II 98db

French design meets world-renowned sound.

Pros
  • Remarkably balanced sound
  • Sleek design
Cons
  • Pricey
  • You’re going to want the Tree stand — it’s $400.

Naim Audio MU-SO 2ND GENERATION

The booming drivers on Naim’s Mu-so speaker are courtesy of its work with Focal, who has set the benchmark for acoustic equipment dating back to the late ’70s. These are encased in premium aluminum boasting a sleek cabinet design that allows over 10% more internal volume and bolstered bass. Moreover, this bracing suppresses vibration and unwanted distortion.

This vintage-styled speaker is AirPlay 2 ready and cooperates with other Naim products, including the first-gen Mu-so. Luckily, it also pairs with other AirPlay-compatible speakers using the Apple Home app. The final result is a wide soundscape that fills your living space with music.

Recap

Naim Audio MU-SO 2nd Generation

Sleek and sound.

Pros
  • Vintange-inspired, streamlined look
  • Can pair with any AirPlay speaker
  • Focal and Naim is a match made in heaven
Cons
  • Pricey

bang & Olufsen beoplay a9

The only issue with the BeoPlay A9 is that it delivers such a booming soundscape that you won’t be able to hear others comment on how cool it looks — well, that and it’s priced remarkably high. But if you’re familiar with Bang & Olufsen, that shouldn’t come as a surprise. The iconic standing speaker’s unrivaled design speaks for itself, which is why we’re here to break down how its sound comes to life.

This gargantuan gadget is packed with dual quarter-inch tweeters, a pair of 3” midrange drivers, two 1.5” full drivers, a single 8’ woofer, and a total of seven class D amplifiers, and its user-friendly AirPlay 2 compatibility makes it all the better.

Recap

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9

A speaker that looks as great as it sounds.

Pros
  • A conversation starter
  • A massive internal woofer
Cons
  • Pricey

The Best Multi-Room Wireless Speakers for Any Budget

Photo: Bang & Olufsen Three Room Bundle

Achieve sound throughout your whole house with our guide to the best multi-room wireless speakers.