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Speakers compatible with Apple's AirPlay can transform a dull listening experience into an exciting one, no matter where you are in your home. Here are what we think are your best choices, all over your house.
AirPlay speakers come in many shapes and sizes, from Apple's diminutive HomePod mini to the extravagant Sonos line. But not all AirPlay speakers are made the same. You'll want to carefully consider each speaker's use case before committing to a particular model.
If you're in the market for a new AirPlay speaker, here are our top picks, broken down by category.
Best all-around speaker
Sonos helped pioneer the portable speaker world, and the second-generation Sonos One continues the company's stint at the top. The Sonos One comes with easy access to AirPlay features, as well as full support for Alexa voice controls. That means you can take advantage of all your smart home experiences, with just one device.
The design is simple, and the sound is sophisticated. The speaker is also small, allowing you to place it just about anywhere in your home or office. It also comes with full multi-room support, which means you can place multiple Sonos One devices throughout your house to make the most of your audio experience.
The Sonos One is an all-around great speaker, and its built-in AirPlay 2 support makes it a perfect companion to your Apple devices.
Best (and only!) AirPlay speaker from Apple
For anyone who typically purchases Mac-only products while remaining within the Apple ecosystem, the Apple HomePod mini is a fantastic choice for AirPlay 2. It's a sleek, spherical speaker that comes in two hues, with an elegant and simplistic design that fits in with most types of decor.
At 3.9 inches in width, the HomePod mini is perfectly portable, slimmed down considerably from the original HomePod's 6.8 inches. It's also a fraction of the original HomePod's weight. The slick screen that tops the HomePod allows for some basic controls, and is somewhat resistant to oils and fingerprints. You can tap to play, hold to activate Siri, and navigate songs here.
The HomePod mini does require a 20W power supply and has a lengthy power cord that needs to be plugged in wherever you decide to place it, but it offers booming bass and crisp treble that make it a fantastic option for casual or heavy listening. It's also quite affordable, clocking in under $100 for a small but solid speaker that looks great just about anywhere you put it, while easily hanging with the pricier AirPlay speakers with additional bells and whistles. Plus, its AirPlay 2 support makes it a no-brainer to add to your cart.
Read our full HomePod mini review.
Best AirPlay speaker for your TV
If you watch a lot of TV or movies, there's no reason not to fuse a great TV soundbar with a speaker capable of connecting to AirPlay. That's where the Sonos Arc comes into play. This sleek and stylish soundbar fits perfectly in your entertainment system.
On top of providing easy access to your television's sound system, though, the Sonos Arc also comes with built-in support for Apple AirPlay. That means you can easily connect your Apple iPhone, MacBook, or iPad to the device, and share any audio across it. And, because it is already in your living room, you can easily share your favorite sounds directly with your guests.
It's also extremely easy to set up the Sonos Arc. The Sonos Arc soundbar can be purchased at Sonos for $899, or you can pick it up from third-party resellers on Amazon as it occasionally comes in and out of stock at a lower price.
Read our Sonos Arc review.
Best pairable AirPlay speaker
Bose has been a top audio company for many years, and its various soundbars and speakers are no exception to the company's quality. But, if you're looking for a speaker that supports AirPlay and can also be paired up with other speakers easily, then the Bose 300 is a game-changer.
This wireless Bluetooth speaker is compatible with multiple types of listening technology, including Apple's AirPlay 2. It also has a built-in microphone, which lets you make use of Alexa or Google Assistant as needed. If you prefer using Apple's voice assistant, then you can always control it via Siri from your phone, too.
When it comes to pairing, putting two Bose 300 home speakers together is easy. All you'll need is the Bose Music App, and you can set up the speakers wherever you want in the room to make things sound great.
Best portable AirPlay speaker
Sonos finds itself on our list once again thanks to the portability of its Sonos Roam bluetooth speaker. The speaker is small, but stylish, and it's easy to carry around. That makes it one of the best AirPlay speakers you can use if you're on-the-go a lot.
Whether you're outside, or chilling inside with your family, having a portable speaker can be a great way to listen to music and other audio media. It can also easily connect to your Sonos multiroom setup, allowing you to seamlessly swap between this and other Sonos speakers situated throughout your home.
The best part of the Sonos Roam, though, is that this portable speaker can be purchased for less than $200. Combine that with the fact that it can easily transition to a multiroom setup, and you've got a clear winner on your hands.
Read our Sonos Roam review.
Best premium AirPlay speaker
If you're looking for something premium, and don't mind spending a pretty penny on it, the Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation is one of the most stylish and premium-designed AirPlay speakers out there.
The Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation comes with tons of streaming options, support for multi-room connections, and a delightfully impressive design. Of course, all of that comes at a hefty price tag, but considering the cost, there isn't much to dislike about this speaker. Timing, clarity, and range are all fantastic on the Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation, and it delivers excellent audio quality no matter the sound.
You can purchase the Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation for $1,199 on Amazon.
Read our Naim Mu-So 2 review.