The 6 Best Airplay Speakers of 2019

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Sonos One

Sonos One

Courtesy of Amazon.com

If you’re looking for an AirPlay speaker and simply want the best you can find, then the Sonos One is probably the way to go. Sonos has built a reputation for having some of the smartest multi-room speakers around, and for good reason. The Sonos One, for example, is not only compatible with AirPlay 2, but it also supports Amazon Alexa and will soon support Google Assistant — meaning no matter which home ecosystem you use, it should offer something for you. Alternatively, you could use the speaker with Sonos’ own app, which connects to a range of music streaming services, including Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora, and allows you to set up your audio system as a whole.

Of course, the speaker isn’t just smart — it also sounds pretty great. There’s nice, pronounced low-end with a well-tuned midrange and plenty of clarity in the highs. Additionally, the speaker is well designed, featuring a basic black or white look that should fit in any modern-looking home. In other words, the Sonos One is the complete package.

Best Budget: Yamaha MusicCast WX-010

Not everyone has a ton of cash to spend on a speaker, but thankfully those on a budget don’t have to settle for low-quality products. If you’re looking for an affordable option, then we recommend the Yamaha MusicCast WX-010, which is generally well-designed and pretty accessible — plus, it sounds great.

The Yamaha MusicCast is actually a very smart speaker. Apart from supporting AirPlay, it also works with Alexa and can be integrated into Yamaha’s MusicCast system, so you can get it to work with other Yamaha MusicCast speakers, too. It can also connect through Bluetooth and Spotify Connect. On top of that, the speaker is easy to use. You can use it straight through the Yamaha MusicCast app, which is available for both Android and iOS, and once the speaker is set up, you’ll be able to use it on many iPhone and Mac apps. The speaker also looks good — it comes in a rectangular shape, is available in either black or white colors, and has its controls on the top where they’re nice and easy to access.

Check out our guide to the best Yamaha speakers you can buy today. 

Best Soundbar: Sonos Beam

Perhaps you’re more in the market for a soundbar and want it to work via AirPlay. If that’s the case, then there are some good options for you — including the Sonos Beam. There are a number of reasons why the Sonos Beam is such a great device. For starters, it boasts a relatively nice design. It’s got big, rounded corners with an all-black or all-white look and simple controls on the top. The speaker is pretty smart, too. It offers Amazon Alexa, plus it’ll soon be supporting Google Assistant. It also supports Bluetooth and AirPlay 2, so you can stream music from a large number of listening devices, and it has an HDMI port to connect to your TV.

When it comes to sound, the speaker is similar in frequency response to the Sonos One. There’s a fairly hefty bass boost, but the midrange is very well tuned and the high-end offers a ton of detail. All in all, if you like the idea of a soundbar that’s also a smart speaker, then the Sonos Beam is an excellent choice.

Want to take a look at some other options? See our guide to the best soundbars.

Best for iPhone: Bose Home Speaker 500

You deserve to treat yourself, and the Best Home Speaker 500 offers top-of-the-line performance and is small enough to squeeze inside even the tightest crawlspace. With AirPlay 2 functionality, the speaker can stream music, podcasts, and audio from your Apple products at the tap of an icon. They also feature built-in Google Assistant and Alexa for skipping tracks, switching playlists, and adjusting the volume, all with nothing more than a voice command. Six buttons on the top of the speakers expand control further. Connecting to the Bose Music app lets you configure presets to personalize your settings and content. 

Two custom drivers, facing different directions, are situated within the speakers to create an immersive audio experience. Along with playing, the speakers excel at listening as well, thanks to a custom-designed eight-microphone array. In other words, they can hear your commands regardless of background noise. 

Runner-Up, Best for iPhone: Apple HomePod

Apple HomePod

Courtesy of B&H Photo

If you want a speaker with AirPlay, you probably want it because it works well with your other Apple products. Well, there’s no speaker that works with Apple products quite as nicely as the Apple HomePod — so if you want Siri, AirPlay, and Apple Music support, it’s the speaker to go for.

The HomePod has a lot going for it. First and foremost, it’s a really nice-looking speaker. It comes in a sleek space gray or white finish, depending on the color you want, and a Siri logo on the top whenever Siri is active. The speaker is around 6.8 inches tall and 5.6 inches wide, which might be considered a bit large. The speaker also sounds excellent — it offers plenty of bass response and a ton of clarity in the high end to help ensure that those details are easily heard. As you would expect, the speaker is pretty smart — while Siri gets some flack for not being as smart as Alexa or Google Assistant, those who use it regularly will find all the features they’re used to. 

Best Design: B&O Beoplay M5

While the B&O Beoplay M5 is a little pricier than some of the other options, it looks super stylish, is easy to use, and sounds phenomenal. First, the design: The speaker has a beautiful fabric exterior with an overall very minimalistic look, which is great news for those who want something a bit more modern.

More important than that is sound, and B&O is known for building products with great audio quality. If you’re into bass, this might be the ideal speaker — it boasts a nice boosted bass response that bass-heads will love. That’s not to say other frequency ranges don’t sound good though: The midrange is well-tuned and defined, while there’s plenty of high end to go around, too. The speaker works well with AirPlay but supports a ton of other wireless standards. It’s also got Chromecast, Spotify Connect, and Bluetooth, meaning you should be able to connect the speaker with any number of devices.