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Apple AirPlay 2: everything you need to know about the multiroom standard

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If you have Apple devices in your home or have recently read about new developments in the field of streaming and multiroom, then the term AirPlay 2 has definitely caught your eye. This new standard from Apple has been available since the end of June and enables direct control of a multiroom setup for the first time, via an Apple device. In this article we explain everything you need to know about Apple AirPlay 2.

Of course we have known the first generation AirPlay

AirPlay for years. It is a standard that we find on Apple devices and also on various receivers and speakers. It was originally a standard with which you could stream audio, video and photos wirelessly to the Apple TV, but now AirPlay can be used with various audio products. Unlike bluetooth, AirPlay uses your WiFi home network to stream content from the source (an iPod, iPhone, iPad, etc.) to a speaker or other audio product with AirPlay support. In the beginning AirPlay was still difficult to use and it was not stable, but now it is a reliable way to stream audio within your network.

What does AirPlay 2 offer?

Recently you can get started with the next generation AirPlay, called AirPlay 2. The main advantage – and also the most important innovation – is the multiroom capabilities. The new standard makes it possible to stream audio to not one but multiple compatible audio products within your network. Although AirPlay 2 works perfectly to link two Apple HomePods together as a stereo pair, it is a standard that also works with products from other manufacturers. If the source and the receiver (s) support AirPlay 2 and are on the same network you can use it.

AirPlay 2 is integrated with the latest software for iOS and MacOS, and makes it possible to directly and easily connect from the operating system. To control AirPlay 2 devices. On an iPhone, for example, this is possible by bringing the menu with the Control Center to the front by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Click on the AirPlay icon next to the music buttons and you can select the desired speakers.

However, you can also create groups and rooms. So you can merge speakers into one room, for example the kitchen or the living room. For this you need the Apple Home app (Home app). Once created, the groups appear again in the AirPlay settings in the Control Center. Finally, thanks to Siri, you can control the connected speakers and rooms by voice. Siri is integrated in the Apple HomePod speaker, but if you do not have it you can control compatible speakers by talking to your iPhone, Mac or iPad. An important element of AirPlay 2 to remember is that the controls and the source must always come from an Apple product. So you can not use AirPlay 2 on an Android device or a Windows device.

Which products have AirPlay 2?

This is a question that is easy to answer because all Apple devices with iOS 11.4 or higher have support for AirPlay 2. This applies to the iPhone, the iPad and the iPod. The Apple TV 4K and the HomePod also come with the standard. You can also use AirPlay 2 for MacBooks and iMacs running on the latest version of MacOS High Sierra.

Which speakers and audio systems support AirPlay 2?

There is already a large list of manufacturers that support the new standard of Apple. More parties, including B & W, Polk and Bose have announced that they will support the new standard, but this has not yet been officially announced. The products below have or will definitely support AirPlay 2.

  • Apple HomePod
  • Beoplay A6
  • Beoplay A9 mk2
  • Beoplay M3
  • Beoplay M5
  • BeoSound 1
  • BeoSound 2
  • BeoSound 35
  • BeoSound Core
  • BeoSound Essence mk2
  • BeoVision Eclipse (audio only)
  • Denon AVR-X3500H
  • Denon AVR-X4500H
  • Denon AVR-X6500H
  • Denon CEOL N10 [19659013] Libratone Zipp
  • Libratone Zipp Mini
  • Marantz AV7705
  • Marantz NA6006
  • Marantz NR1509
  • Marantz NR1609
  • Marantz SR5013
  • Marantz SR6013
  • Marantz SR7013
  • Naim Mu -so
  • Naim Mu-so QB
  • Naim ND 555
  • Naim ND5 XS 2
  • Naim NDX 2
  • Naim Uniti Nova
  • Naim Uniti Atom
  • Naim Uniti Star
  • Sonos One
  • Sonos Play: 5
  • Sonos Playbase
  • Sonos Beam

Unfortunately it’s not that all speakers and audio systems that there the first version of AirPlay also automatically get an update to AirPlay 2. In most cases this only concerns recently launched products that are compatible with the standard in the field of software and in the field of hardware. If you want to know if support for AirPlay 2 has already been announced for your speaker or receiver, you can keep an eye on this page from Apple.

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