There are two primary types of wireless speaker technology that are widely used today. The first is Bluetooth and the second is AirPlay. Though both get your tunes from your computer or smartphone to your speaker, they do so in vastly different ways. These differences also allow for each having various benefits over the other.
Apple’s AirPlay works a little differently than Bluetooth. First, it is only supported on Apple devices (Macs, Apple TV, iPhones, and iPads) and in speakers that license the technology. Second, you can’t create individual peer-to-peer networks using AirPlay. That’s because AirPlay requires an existing wireless network (like the one in your home or office) to piggyback on. No matter how close two AirPlay devices are, if they are not on the same wireless network, they will not be able to talk to each other. Third, unlike Bluetooth, AirPlay can be used to stream both music and video from one device to another. However, AirPlay cannot be used to send other kinds of data or connect accessories (like mice and headphones) to computers or smartphones.
Needless to say, there are vastly more Bluetooth speakers out there than AirPlay ones. However, as time goes on more and more AirPlay speakers are coming to market. Here are some of our favorites.
The cheapest item on this list the August WS300 is an excellent AirPlay speaker for those that want to get their hands on the tech at a low cost. The 25.6 x 8.0 x 103.5 cm speaker has a 14 hour battery life so you can take it with you on the go. Besides supporting AirPlay it also supports streaming from Tidal, Spotify, Tunein and iHeartRadio directly through WiFi.
You can grab the August WS300 on Amazon for £89.95.
AZATOM Stealth-Air 2B Speaker
Moving on up in the range of price is the AZATOM Stealth-Air 2B Speaker. This baby features 80 Watts RMS and peak 120Watts from its two anodized tweeters. It’s also Spotify connect compatible and also supports Bluetooth tech, so it’ll be compatible with almost any device you own. As for size, it measures 130mm x 176mm x 316mm.
Pick up the AZATOM Stealth-Air on Amazon for £105.95 today.
GGMM M4 Wireless Speaker
The GGMM M4 speaker has a killer old school leather design with a detachable leather strap if you want to port it around. Measuring 35 x 11 x 15.3 cm, the GGMM M4 provided up to 10 hours of continuous use on its battery power and connects to your devices via Bluetooth, direct Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi router, or AUX, in addition to AirPlay.
Get the GGMM M4 Wireless Speaker on Amazon for £129.98.
Now you’re getting into the range of the mid-level AirPlay speakers. The Aether Cone is one of the more expensive on this list, but we love its design. As you might guess from the “cone” in its name, the Aether Cone looks something like a pinecone or the cone of an old gramophone. The Aether Cone is compatible with Bluetooth, Airplay, Allcast Spotify Connect and offers 8 hours of battery life.
The Aether Cone is available on Amazon from £249.00.
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker
By far the most expensive item on our list is the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker. But for that price you get incredible sound quality and impeccable design. Measuring 18 x 66 x 19 cm, the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker features aptX technology so your music sounds the way it was originally intended to be heard. Available in black or white.
Pick up the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker on Amazon for £499.99.
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