Speakers can be a great companion, whether for your MacBook, iPhone, or iPad. And when it comes to buying, you’ll obviously prefer one that is compatible with most of your devices, if not all. Dedicated to every Apple ecosystem member, this handy list compiles the best AirPlay 2 speakers; so you can stream wireless music from any Apple device.
- Apple HomePod
- Sonos One (Gen 2) Voice Controlled Smart Speaker
- Bose Home Speaker 500
- Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge
- Sonos Beam Smart TV Sound Bar
- JBL Bar 5.1 Soundbar with Surround Speakers
- Libratone Zipp WiFi Smart Speaker
- KEF LSX Wireless Music System
- Naim Mu-so Qb Wireless Music System
- Yamaha MusicCast 20 Wireless Speaker
- Denon Home 250 Wireless Speaker
- Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i
- Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 4th Gen
1. Apple HomePod
The most apparent and worthy pick amongst the best-sounding wireless speakers of its size! HomePod employs both hardware and software skills to bring out high-definition and powerful sound.
A total of seven beam-forming tweeters are arranged in a circle, alongside an upward-firing 102mm long-throw mid/bass driver. Thanks to which, you get deep bass and incredible 360-degree surround sound.
Further, it uses spatial awareness, a six-microphone array, and an internal bass-EQ mic to sense the room and auto-tweak settings for optimum audio quality.
HomePod also supports Siri commands and Bluetooth 5.0. And if you are already knee-deep into Apple’s ecosystem, there is no better option.
- Super-rich sound quality
- Auto adjusts audio according to room
- Only works with Apple Music
- Limited functionality with Android Devices
2. Sonos One (Gen 2) Voice Controlled Smart Speaker
One of the first companies to adopt smart voice technology and multi-room speaker systems. While it started with Amazon’s Alexa, Sonos now offer support to Siri and Google Assitant. So you’ll have all leading assistants at your beck and call.
An easy-to-use Sonos app gives you the liberty to customize and manage the audio as per your preference. And not just that, it also enables seamless support to a range of music streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, etc.
What’s great is its compact, attractive, humidity-resistant design that goes well with everything, whether you place it on your desk or in your bathroom.
- Brilliant Sound output
- Wider device and service compatibility
- Compact design
- No Hi-Res Audio support
3. Bose Home Speaker 500
Bose is the ‘boss’ when it comes to dynamic, high-definition audio output. And this voice-controlled home speaker is no different. With Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility, stream whatever, whenever, wherever and however you want.
It sports eight custom-designed microphone array that offers superior voice pickup. Thanks to which, you can order it to do your bidding over loud music or even across the room.
There’s also a handy Bose Music App that brings all your music in one place. Seamlessly jump between stations, playlists, and services or set up six presets for a personalized experience.
- Voice, touch, and app control
- Superior voice pickup
- Bose’s signature sound
- The Initial set-up is a bit difficult
- The app is slightly glitchy
4. Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge
Bold looks and bolder sound, that’s how I will describe Bowers & Wilkins’ Formation Wedge. It certainly pushes boundaries in both the style and performance department.
The elliptical shape is not just for show; it houses a five-driver speaker array, two tweeters, two FST midrange drivers, and a central woofer. The audio is powerful, detailed, and carries some serious bass and great high-frequency clarity.
As for the vocals, they are textured and emotive. Overall, you will not be disappointed whether you are listening to death metal or country music.
- Luxurious Design
- High-resolution stereo sound
- Powerful bass depth
- The app is pretty basic
5. Sonos Beam Smart TV Sound Bar
Primarily designed to accompany TV, Beam is packed for performance. It sports five full-range drivers, three passive radiators, and a center-mounted tweeter.
At just 25.6 inches, it is compact enough to fit the entertainment area and powerful enough to fill the room. The speaker can be easily controlled via AirPlay, voice (Amazon Alexa), remote, and the Sonos app.
With handy features like speech enhancement & night mode, you can equally enjoy music, movies, podcasts, radio, audiobooks, or video games.
- Speech Enhancement
- HDMI ARC compatible
- Dolby Atmos support is missing
- No Bluetooth or 3.5mm connector
6. JBL Bar 5.1 Soundbar with Surround Speakers
If you are looking for a panoramic surround sound experience, that’s precisely what the JBL Bar 5.1 offers. The set includes a single bar, two detachable battery-powered speakers, and a 10-inch wireless subwoofer.
Join the magnetic speakers to make a single unit or detach and place them apart for a truly wireless 5.1 surround sound system. With a 510W of total system power, Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic II, and DTS support effectively amplify your movie, gaming, or music experience.
And though the sound palette isn’t as rich as some of its competitors, JBL’s transformability is quite remarkable and handy.
- Powerful bass depth and crisp, clear highs
- Detachable speakers
- Value for money
- Very few EQ controls or audio modes
- Mid-bass is quite dull
7. Libratone Zipp Wifi Bluetooth Smart Speaker
First and foremost, ‘Zipp’ in the name & design is not just a quirky element. You can unzip and replace the speaker cloth with a color of your choice. And don’t be fooled by its size; it boasts 100-watts of power, two 1″ tweeter, one 4″ subwoofer, two passive radiators, and a 360°cone.
So, you can expect a booming bass, accurate mid and clear high with zero distortion even at maximum volume. Further, Zipp incorporates a patented FullRoom technology that an turn your room into a full-on concert.
The long feature list also includes 10 hours of battery, broad compatibility, IFTTT support, and preset option to favorite up to 5 playlists or internet radio stations.
- Loud, clear, and balanced sound
- Fun, quirky, and portable design
- Compatible with Siri, Alexa, Spotify, etc.
- The smartphone app is buggy
- High-battery consumption during AirPlay
8. KEF LSX Wireless Music System
Loudspeaker specialist KEF managed to scale down their multi-award winning LS50 stereo system effectively. Sharing its sibling’s blueprint, each LSX speaker features KEF’s bespoke Uni-Q driver technology.
Wherein, the tweeter is placed at the center of the midrange and bass cone, radically improving the stereo imaging. So, you get astoundingly clear full-bodied sound, 200 watts of Class D power, and over 160 degrees of coverage.
And since the two speakers are not bound by cables or separate amps, you have the freedom to place them anywhere, anyhow you like. The all-in-one hi-fi system supports dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5 mm aux, RJ45 Ethernet.
- Bespoke Digital Signal Processing
- Punchy and refined output
- Available in five great finishes
- Set up is elaborate and difficult
- Slightly warm tuning
9. Naim Mu-so Qb Wireless Music System
A sassy-looking speaker cube that doesn’t occupy much space can still fill your room with boomy sound. The fabric grille on the side and the glass-like acrylic bottom makes it a great match with any interior setting.
Five-strong custom drivers are strategically placed at angles to widen the sound. The audio output is lively with excellent bass profile and soundstage separation. And despite the petite form factor, Qb manages to deliver a massive 300W of sound.
Further, not just an AirPlay speaker, this one also supports Bluetooth, USB direct playback, digital connector, and multi-room via Naim app.
- Full and vibrant sound
- Stylish looks
- Packed with features
- Needs more control in the midrange
- Too bassy at times
- Slightly expensive
10. Yamaha MusicCast 20 Wireless Speaker
Part of Yamaha’s MusicCast audio range, MusicCast 20, can be used as a standalone speaker or a more comprehensive setup. It houses a two-way active driver setup, a woofer, and tweeter on the front and large passive radiators on the sides.
The setup lends a surprisingly impressive bass to the cabinet volume. Though compact, it manages to pack quite a few controls on the top. There’s power, volume, playback controls, three buttons for favorite input, and even an alarm button.
It also incorporates a handy screw hole on the back for a wall mount. You can stream your favorite music through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, airplay, or Spotify connect.
- Friendly & smart control on the top plate
- Wall mountable
- No built-in voice assistant
- Vocals and mid-centric instruments are lacking
11. Denon Home 250 Wireless Speaker
Denon offers hi-res audio without the pre-requisite of a hi-fi system, thanks to the two dynamic 0.75″ tweeters, two 4″ bass drivers, a 5.25″ passive radiator & sound master tuning.
You get numerous options in playing audio, including Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 4.2, and Denon’s proprietary HEOS app. Moreover, it integrates with most music streaming services in the likes of Spotify, Amazon Music, Tidal, SoundCloud, etc
As for the music, it gives you impressive tonality, with clear highs & deep lows. The sound stage generated is reasonably spacious and well defined.
- Wide sound dispersal
- Lots of lifestyle features
- Good looks
- Slightly disjointed bass
12. Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i
The Pulse Flex 2i definitely punches way above its size in terms of the audio output. With a direct digital amplifier and custom-tuned drivers, anything you play accompanies deep, detailed bass and no distortion.
Though ultra-compact, this one deceptively weighty at around 1.23kg. So, it might not be as travel-friendly as you would hope. Further, the comprehensive dual-band Wi-Fi ensures a reliable connection and uninterrupted AirPlay.
What’s great is a simple and straight forwards setup. All you need is the BluOS app, and once the devices start communicating, you can begin playing.
- Detailed and rich tones
- Ultra-compact yet powerful output
- Alexa and Siri compatibility
- Dynamics could be better
- No Bluetooth aptX HD
13. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 4th Gen
It is pinchingly expensive, but look at it.. the Beoplay A9 is certainly the work of art your room deserves. But does it offer a sound that your ears deserve? Oh, yes! With seven effective drivers & 480 watts of power under its hood, it offers crisp, full-bodied, room-filling sound.
The speaker comes with a floor stand and wall mount option to perfectly tune into your interiors. It also sports a room adaptation technology to optimize the output perfectly.
And depending upon its placement, you can opt for modes, Free, Wall, or Corner. To stream music, you can either employ AirPlay 2, Chromecast, Bluetooth, or audio in.
- Great, sophisticated looks
- Excellent audio performance
- Room adaptation
- No Voice assist
There you go… the AirPlay 2 compatible speakers that we feel are the best of the lot. If you want to check out the whole list, check out Apples’ dedicated list. Do let us know if you have used any of these. And share your reviews and feedback in the comment section below.
We’ll see you next time with another great accessory list; meanwhile, here are some articles you might like to refer:
- Best Bluetooth Speakers for iPhone
- How to Use AirPlay on Apple Watch
- How to Stream Music to Multiple Speakers with AirPlay 2