Bang & Olufsen Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Additional BeoPlay and BeoSound Speakers

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 6, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bang & Olufsen over the past week has added AirPlay 2 support to more of its speakers, including the BeoPlay A9 and BeoPlay M5.

    BeoPlay M5 speaker in AirPlay Picker via Brad Thomas

    This follows the addition of AirPlay 2 to the BeoPlay M3, BeoSound 1 and 2, BeoSound Core, and BeoSound Shape earlier in November, to be followed by the BeoPlay A6, BeoSound Essence, and BeoSound 35 by the end of December.

    AirPlay 2 should be enabled as part of an automatic software update for each speaker, but the software version can be checked and updated manually via the Bang & Olufsen app for iPhone and iPad if necessary.

    With the AirPlay 2 update, these Bang & Olufsen speakers now support multi-room audio when paired with other AirPlay 2 devices, such as the HomePod, Apple TV, Sonos speakers including the One, Beam, Playbase, and second-generation Play:5, and select Denon and Marantz audio receivers.

    AirPlay also allows for Siri control of Apple Music or Podcasts playback on supported speakers via iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, HomePod, and Apple TV.

    Bang & Olufsen speakers will appear in the AirPlay device picker within most apps and in Control Center on devices running iOS 11.4 or later.

    AirPlay is Apple's wireless streaming protocol that enables users to easily stream audio from iTunes on a Mac to supported speakers, as well as from iPhone apps like Apple Music, YouTube, Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix, to AirPlay-enabled speakers, now including these BeoPlay and BeoSound options.

    Article Link: Bang & Olufsen Adds AirPlay 2 Support to Additional BeoPlay and BeoSound Speakers
  2. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    Great news because anything B&O has will sound much better than anything Apple. Sonos is decent but the small B&O speakers are fantastic
  3. CyberVisitor macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2017
    As I wrote in another post here a few days ago this is not a solid firmware release for the BeoPlay A9... I’ve tried it for a few days now and the firmware is very unstable in its current revision. Music drops. Volume ”get stuck” and won’t change.

    My opinion is that the new firmware revision is worse now when using iTunes on Mac. Mac didn’t need AirPlay 2 to work with more than one speaker (only iOS needs that) and the BeoPlay A9 has problems connecting to AirPlay 2 using iTunes on Mac. This revision feels like a step backwards for Mac users until a more stable version is released.

    However, it seems to work fairly well with iOS.

    Let’s hope for a more stable version real soon.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I can't speak for A9, but I have M5, rather had. M5 is a great looking speaker with big bass, but that's pretty much the only good things I can say.

    M5 is strictly mono. Unlike HomePod, you cannot buy two and get stereo sound. And while the bass is impressive, it's very unnatural. It has a bunch of settings to improve things a bit, but you need to use crummy app. Even then, I really didn't find it to be "sound better than anything Apple."

    I sold M5 shortly after getting HomePod. Now rocking two in awesome stereo sound.
  5. Lucky736 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 18, 2004
    I've long suspected Airplay 2 was just a software shakedown of my pocketbook and not any sort of change in hardware spec. Shameful of the other MFR's and Apple.
  6. PlutoPrime macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2009
    I own both the A9 and A6. Both devices sound ridiculously better than a single HomePod. And they should. The A6 alone costs 3x as much.

    With this update, B&O has earned my respect. I was looking to slowly replace their hardware with homepods, but now, they play well with other apple devices and bring the superior sound to the ecosystem.

    Seriously, I can’t think of any other manufacturer other than Tesla, that breathes new life in old hardware with software updates. (Not counting cellphones, since they’re effectively computers and updates are to be expected)
  7. blackcrayon macrumors 68000

    Mar 10, 2003
    I don't think that because a couple of devices can be upgraded, it means ANY firmware upgradable device can. CPU/RAM/firmware storage size on the device, etc.

    A few weeks ago I picked up a used Sonos One for the same reason, for about $150. Wanted Airplay 2 for the kitchen and they had released a software update recently to add it. Kept me from buying another Homepod for a room where it wouldn't be used nearly as much but is nice to have.
  8. ignatius345, Dec 6, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018

    ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Needing a basic and unobtrusive mono AirPlay speaker for my kitchen -- and not caring at all about Alexa or Siri -- I stumbled across this great little Yamaha and can heartily recommend it:

    It's currently well under $100 and sounds quite decent. It will apparently pair up for stereo sound if you buy two of them. By all accounts the HomePod sounds amazing, but not enough to warrant the price tag, for my usage situation. (Also, I have great bookshelf speakers in another room for when I want to prioritize music quality.)
    --- Post Merged, Dec 6, 2018 ---
    I think AirPlay 2 is a mixed bag. I was pretty psyched when the AirPort Express got updated to AirPlay 2 but immediately after updating my firmware I saw a huge loss in responsiveness. Lost connections, difficulty connecting... for the first time I found myself having to reboot the AirPort Express to get it back on the network. It was a drag.

    And the only real benefit (multi-room audio) is, as you point out, something iTunes has been able to do for years now with AirPlay 1. Streaming to multiple rooms from an iOS device is an edge case at best for me, and not nearly worth all the flakiness of AirPlay 2 -- at least on that device.
  9. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    Didn’t know AirPlay 2 is so bad. Too bad. Guess it can join HomeKit in the row of great Apple ideas that are poorly executed.

    Guess Apple needs to be more careful. Its own closed ecosystem is good but if doesn’t work on interoperability, it will eventually be surpassed by Google and Amazon.
  10. PlutoPrime macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2009
    It works great with iOS devices and home pods. Who says it's bad?
  11. hagar macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    The posters above me
  12. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Yeah, I can only say it was for me a bad retrofit onto my AirPort Express.

    I can't speak to devices designed with AP2 in mind. It might be just pushing the limits of devices not designed for it. Someone more knowledable about the tech would have to weigh in on that, though.
  13. coolfactor macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2002
    Vancouver, BC CANADA
    Strange. I've got an AirPort Express upgraded to the latest firmware with AirPlay 2 support. No more dropped connections. It just works perfectly now. And it's being sent audio from an older iTunes running on a 2007 Mac mini (11 years old!). This setup is likely still using AirPlay 1 from iTunes-to-AirPort Express, though, instead of AirPlay 2. Not sure if those protocols co-exist, or if AirPlay 2 just downgrades to version-1 compatibility when it needs to.

    Just because you're having problems doesn't necessarily indicate a problem with AirPlay 2, per se. It could be something in your overall setup or environment that's causing the grief. How much troubleshooting have you done to isolate the cause?
  14. SeattleMoose macrumors 68000

    Jul 17, 2009
    Der Wald
    B&O was selling "elite" systems back in the 70's. I am surprised they are still around as the people who created their flagship products are all dead or retired. Same thing happened to MayTag. GREAT brand back in the day but today it is just another empty brand-name.
  15. ignatius345, Dec 9, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018

    ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Yeah man, I was just reporting my own experience. How much troubleshooting have I done? What troubleshooting steps are even available, besides rebooting devices and making sure iOS and Mac software is up to date? The AEBS worked great one day, I updated the firmware, and it became slow to connect to and would become disconnected very easily.

    As for my "environment" the only change was updating that AEBS. The AirPlay 1 speaker I bought is rock solid, and AirPlay to my Apple TV is still solid as well.
  16. Waterndirt macrumors member


    Dec 17, 2014
    I have two AE running on my network and I don't experience any issues. Having them running wired ethernet is the only way to go, at least for me. I turn off the network on them, their sole purpose is to relay Airplay.

    I've found ever since Airplay 2 was released that the interface of speaker selection in iTunes has been buggy, the way it reorganizes / alphabetizes each speaker if its selected is a real drag. Selecting one speaker turns off all the rest or the audio will just fall off.

    Like you said, controlling from iOS is a mess. Its been iTunes for me since day one. So much easier.
  17. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Aug 20, 2015
    Yep, and controlling via iOS is my main usage scenario -- either streaming straight from an app like Spotify or Podcasts, or sometimes using the Remote app as a way to control iTunes on my Mac in the other room. As soon as I updated to Airplay 2, selecting sources got real flaky and weird.

    I'm also unsure why my Apple TV appears twice: once like any other speaker, and then again below in its own separate weird little box. The interface doesn't seem to provide much guidance on the matter, and it's unclear how (if at all) it's functionally different to choose one over the other.

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