Best AirPlay speakers to buy
Best Airplay and Bluetooth wireless speakers to buy. It's time to bring cable-free sound to the iPhone 5 and 6, iPod Touch and the Apple iPad
With arrival of the iPhone 5 came the announcement that instantly made many an iPod/iPhone dock redundant as the Cupertino company decided to introduce a new slimmer Lightning connector for its latest smartphone and PMP range.
While we don't expect to see industrial sized bins filled to the brim with unwanted docks, the future for Apple lovers it seems is streaming, and whether it's Apple's own AirPlay technology or Bluetooth we've picked five iPhone 5-friendly systems to consider investing in.
Not AirPlay compatible? Check out our best Bluetooth speakers round-up
Harman Kardon Aura
Worthy of its futuristic moniker, Spaced360 accompanies you for hours of immersive music thanks to its eight-hour battery life. Designed to connect to any device through apt-X Bluetooth, it also weights just over 1KG, making it ideal for outdoor listening.
£199 | Space Audio |
Audio Pro Allroom Air One
Designed with heaps of Scandinavian style, this blocky speaker delivers deep bass, thanks to four individual drivers and dedicated amps. Audio is room filling; crisp and really detailed, just like the stitched leather casing. AirPlay support means you'll be chilling out to some Röyksopp in no time.
Bang and Olufsen Beo Play A9
Looking more like a satellite than an AirPlay speaker, the Play A9 ditches portability for a true statement in style – complete with wooden legs. Audio clarity is delivered by a pair of 0.75-inch tweeters and 3-inch midrange units. An 8-inch bass unit powered by a 160W amplifier brings the booming sound and balance bass response – all together a pretty impressive prospect. Gestures are supported as well – simply swipe your hand across to lower or increase the volume.
Bowers & Wilkins Z2
Swooping curves aplenty, the Z2 not only packs AirPlay tech, but also a Lightning port to keep your iPhone 5 fully juiced up while you're jamming out. Audio quality is detailed, thanks to the Custom drivers constructed from stiff, light glass fibre cones and it can easily fill a whole room in sound. Set-up is simple, the design is flawless and the Flowport gives deep, rich bass.
Cambridge Audio Minx Air 200
While it won't set the design world alight, this simple looking speaker packs a serious punch in the audio department, thanks to a subwoofer for extended bass and a 200w amp. Inbuilt support for apt-X ensures your digital music collection streamed with as much detail as possible. It's small and portable too, measuring just 45cm in width.
JBL SoundFly Air
The SoundFly Air reminds us of Apple's Airport Express, as it sits in a power socket, rather than on a table. Simply connect the device to your Wi-Fi network and music can easily be played through the 20w speakers thanks to AirPlay. It's a unique design approach, and one that works great if you want to keep the system out of the way, plus you can join four together for truly home filling sound. Big price fall, too.
Bang and Olufsen BeoLit 12
The unique Beolit 12 with its Italian leather strap and black or silver finish is truly a 2.1 stereo system powerhouse. A whopping 120W digital Class D power amplifier drives two 2-inch tweeters and a 4-inch woofer to pack an awesome punch for a handbag-sized speaker. It's also the most reasonably-priced offering from a company that's long focused on squeezing the wallets of the most proud audiophiles.
Bowers and Wilkins A7
Following in the similarly luxurious design footsteps as the Zeppelin Air, the A7 leaves out the dock and control panel entirely for a truly minimalist look. Packing four stereo drivers and a 6-inch subwoofer to deliver the bass, the AirPlay powered is controlled from the B&W mobile app and can be hooked up to more than one A7 speaker for a Sonos-style multiroom experience.