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Apple AirPlay 2: Everything you need to know



AirPlay is Apple's proprietary system that lets you stream audio or video from an Apple source – iOS, HomePod or Mac – to another device through a home network. Now, AirPlay 2 is expanding these opportunities in ways that the company has not done before. “/>

Apple revealed his AirPlay 2 update at the 2017 World Wide Developer Conference ( WWDC ) and appeared a year later with Apple's own HomePod . But now the TV is also on the table, how does AirPlay 2 differ from Apple's original wireless protocol, and what can you stream on? Let's break it down.

AirPlay 2 brings iTunes to TV, multiroom to speakers

  Sonos One

Sonos One is one of the first AirPlay 2 devices.


Sarah Tew / CNET

At CES 2019, Apple announced that it was partnered with television manufacturers to expand AirPlay 2 support in addition to just Apple TV. For Samsung, this also means that an iTunes app is added.

AirPlay 2 also adds the ability to stream music to multiple audio devices simultaneously. You can use it to dial a song on your iPhone and play it in multiple rooms around the house at the same time, or select and choose which AirPlay speaker to stream. Yes, AirPlay can finally party.

Previously, AirPlay was one to one protocol, from your phone to a compatible speaker, AV receiver or other tool. While this made it comparable to Bluetooth audio streaming, AirPlay generally sounded better, thanks to the wider bandwidth provided by Wi-Fi.

AirPlay 2 is backward compatible and works the same as the original. Touch the AirPlay icon to play the contents of available speakers or video devices. The main difference is that older AirPlay units will not be able to be part of multi-room groups.

Although AirPlay 2 was announced before Apple HomePod the two have become almost synonymous. AirPlay 2 unlocks several promised features of the speaker, including multiroom and stereo pairing (the ability to use separate HomePods as left and right speakers ). It also lets you ask Siri, Apple's voice assistant on the speaker and other devices to play music in a particular room or throughout the house.

WWDC 2017 Apple announced that AirPlay 2 would "be built throughout iOS" so that users can play music from the Apple Music app and third-party apps. Another promised feature allows you to create "split up" or multiple user lists in Apple Music.

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This is seen in Apple's iOS public beta, with AirPlay 2 you can pair two HomePods and group speakers.


Screenshots of Megan Wollerton / CNET

What Apple Device Do You Need?

The two most important parts of Apple hardware that are specifically AirPlay 2 compatible are Apple TV and Apple HomePod . But AirPlay 2 will also work with new iPhones, iPads and Macs.

iOS 12 is the latest version and includes both multiroom features and HomePod stereo pairing. Any device that can run Apple iOS 12 should be compatible with AirPlay 2. These include:

If you have an Apple TV (19459005) or Apple TV 4K [19659000] as running TVOS 11.4 or later, it can also act as an AirPlay 2 endpoint. In order to control multiple speakers / devices via your Mac or PC, you need iTunes 12.8 or later.

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Which third party devices support AirPlay 2?

Apple has listed which specific devices support AirPlay 2, both in terms of audio and video, announced at CES 2019. Here is a complete list of manufacturers and models.

Audio

  • Bangs and Olufsen (Beoplay A6, A9 mk2, M3, M5; BeoSound 1, 2, 35, Core etc.)
  • Bluesound (2i series)
  • Denon (AVR-XIV00H, AVR -4545H, AVR-X6500H, AVR-S740H) Devialet Phantom
  • KEF (LSX)
  • Libratone (Zipp Zipp Mini )
  • Marantz (AV7705, NA6006, NR1x09 series SRx013 series )
  • Naim (Mu-so ] Mu-so QB ] ND-serie, Uniti)
  • Sonos (Amp, One, ) Play: 5 (2015 ), Playbase Beam )
  • Teenage Engineering (OD-11)

In addition, these companies announced support at WWDC 2017 but have not yet announced specific models: Bose, Beats Beats ] Dynaudio, Bowers & Wilkins and McIntosh.

Meanwhile, Dannie Lau, said DTS Play-Fi chief CNET: "We add Airplay 2 support to the DTS Play-Fi platform. All manufacturers interested in licensing AirPlay 2 from Apple can activate this feature in their DTS Play-Fi product. "

Video

Several manufacturers have announced upcoming support for AirPlay 2, and Vizio will even add the feature to TV as old as 2016.

  • LG (2019 OLED, NanoCell SM9X Series, NanoCell SM8X Series, UHD UM7X Series)
  • Samsung (QLED Series – 2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung (4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, 8 Series – 2019 and 2018)
  • Sony (A9G Series, Z9G Series, X850G Series X950G Series)
  • Vizio D Series (2018), P Series (2018, 2017 and 2016), P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018), Quantum X (2019)
  • Vizio M-Series 2018, 2017 and 2016), M-Series Quantum (2019)
  • Vizio E-Series (2018, 2017 and 2016 UHD models), V Series (2019) [1 9659052] How will AirPlay 2 compete?

    There is no doubt that Apple is late for the wireless multiroom audio party, which has been part of the sound landscape for 15 years starting with Sonos, Squeezebox and Roku. Google's Chromecast and Amazon's Alexa system has had several room audio support since the summer of 2017.

    As a result, Apple is several years and several audio products behind the leaders. AirPlay 2 helps catch up, especially for HomePod's owners, but the company still has a lot to gain. However, the ability to use AirPlay on TV should be a blessing to people who do not have an Apple TV and yet have an extensive iTunes library.

    Update, March 9, 2019: This story was originally published May 23, 2018 and has since been updated to reflect changes, including the number of models supporting AirPlay 2


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