HELP me find true Airplay speakers/sound system!

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
2,961
407
I've been searching all day. Bought a Sonos system and will return it in 2 hours lol

Bose seems like it is true Airplay with their newer SoundTouch systems.

Anything else?
 

Donoban

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2013
1,059
340
Thank you :eek: But I am looking for an Apple native Airplay system. It's either Airplay or nothing for me. Not because I'm stuck with iTunes Radio but I want to stream any and all audio sources to an Airplay sound system such as iPad music and Apple TV audio.
I take your point. But you can stream iTunes radio, music, etc via Bluetooth.

Granted the range and quality might be slightly less compared to a native AirPlay setup, but it would be marginal for most people.

I found many of the AirPlay devices looked ugly and way over priced for what they were.

Speaking of Apple TV, you will most likely run in lag if you are trying to sync video / streamed audio. i.e., the video and audio will be out of sync. I imagine this would also be true with airPlay.
 

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
2,961
407
I take your point. But you can stream iTunes radio, music, etc via Bluetooth.

Granted the range and quality might be slightly less compared to a native AirPlay setup, but it would be marginal for most people.

I found many of the AirPlay devices looked ugly and way over priced for what they were.

Speaking of Apple TV, you will most likely run in lag if you are trying to sync video / streamed audio. i.e., the video and audio will be out of sync. I imagine this would also be true with airPlay.
True but yeah the range freaks me out. I did hear that about ATV. 2014 and there isn't a nice easy solution. Sucks
 

Donoban

macrumors 65816
Sep 7, 2013
1,059
340
True but yeah the range freaks me out. I did hear that about ATV. 2014 and there isn't a nice easy solution. Sucks
I would go with Bose. I agree with many of the online reviews that they seem to be a bit heavy with the bass but it's not over done.

I think you'll be happy with the quality but be prepared to fork out some $$$.

However, I still repeat my original suggestion. Maybe your perceptions of bluetooth are based on early versions of speakers you heard. I remember my mate demoing an early bluetooth system in a music shop and it sounded crap! Anyway, good luck with the speaker shopping.
 

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
2,961
407
I would go with Bose. I agree with many of the online reviews that they seem to be a bit heavy with the bass but it's not over done.

I think you'll be happy with the quality but be prepared to fork out some $$$.

However, I still repeat my original suggestion. Maybe your perceptions of bluetooth are based on early versions of speakers you heard. I remember my mate demoing an early bluetooth system in a music shop and it sounded crap! Anyway, good luck with the speaker shopping.
lol thanks ill try them out since I'm there anyway
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,106
444
Elkton, Maryland
I've been searching all day. Bought a Sonos system and will return it in 2 hours lol

Bose seems like it is true Airplay with their newer SoundTouch systems.

Anything else?
Why not buy whatever sound system you want and an AirPort Express and simply connect the two over a standard 3.5 mm speaker cable?
 

Brian33

macrumors 6502a
Apr 30, 2008
760
43
USA (Virginia)
Why not buy whatever sound system you want and an AirPort Express and simply connect the two over a standard 3.5 mm speaker cable?
This is (mainly) the route I took, and it's great! You can get a current-gen refurbished (like-new) Airport Express from the Apple online store for $75. Then pick an amp or mini-amp and speakers as per your budget.

refurbished Airport Express

----------

I also have this Boston Acoustics Airplay speaker. It's quite good, though not as good as my Airport Express/mini-amp setups. I use it in the kitchen.

One nice thing about the BA Airplay speaker is that in addition to WiFi connectivity, it also has an Ethernet port, which seems tobe rare in Airplay speaker systems. Good connectivity is important to prevent music "drop-outs."
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,106
444
Elkton, Maryland
This is (mainly) the route I took, and it's great! You can get a current-gen refurbished (like-new) Airport Express from the Apple online store for $75. Then pick an amp or mini-amp and speakers as per your budget.

refurbished Airport Express

----------

I also have this Boston Acoustics Airplay speaker. It's quite good, though not as good as my Airport Express/mini-amp setups. I use it in the kitchen.

One nice thing about the BA Airplay speaker is that in addition to WiFi connectivity, it also has an Ethernet port, which seems tobe rare in Airplay speaker systems. Good connectivity is important to prevent music "drop-outs."
Very critical that you have a solid connection to the network either wired or wireless during AirPlay sessions.
 

Tymmz

macrumors 65816
Jan 6, 2005
1,433
157
I had a chance to listen to the Audio Pro Allroom Air One.

What a fantastic speaker!
 

octothorpe8

macrumors 6502
Feb 27, 2014
436
0
If you're willing to drop a few bucks on an Airport Express, you can just hook that up to whatever pair of powered speakers you want to buy.

You could grab the Wirecutter's has a new pick (M-Audio) for just over $100 and then add a refurb'ed Airport Express from Apple's site.

I did this and I love it —*using some Audyssey Media speakers that have an optical input, but which aren't unfortunately being made anymore. I have the flexibility to switch out the speakers later if I want.
 

spatlese44

macrumors 6502
Dec 13, 2007
367
27
Milwaukee
I like the 2.1 Klipsch computer speakers. Personally I think they give more bang for your buck than what Bose was offering when I bought them. Couple that with an Airport Express and you've got a nice setup. I have two of these actually, as well as a Yamaha receiver with Airplay and a Mac Mini connected directly to another receiver. You can get a used Airport Express for about $40 on craigslist. Considering you may only want it as an Airplay device, getting the most recent version wouldn't be important to you.

OK, lets assume you want less bulk/wires. Klipsch also has a portable KMC-3 which is suppose to have amazing sound from an all-in-one portable. Yes, you would still need an Airport to get Airplay. Oddly, they use to have an Airplay version, but they discontinued it. I will probably be buying one of these soon, though I'm watching for an update as this looks to be a high growth market.
 

patent10021

macrumors 68030
Original poster
Apr 23, 2004
2,961
407
UPDATE: So we ended up selling our pair of 90s 'high-end' Klipsch book shelf speakers and Mission speakers quickly without having a chance to test the new Bose SoundTouch systems because a buyer was eager to get them.

We took the plunge and sold them and figured the Bose would suffice for our iTunes Radio and Airplay needs. Proved to be a great decision. The Bose SoundTouch 20 was perfect for us since our apt isn't so large. Provides better sound than the speakers we had plus we can place it anywhere. We found a sweet-spot for it and will just keep it there. Plus no wires! Eliminated about 8 different wires and cables! It took about 5 minutes to setup via USB and we now stream all our favourite iTunes Radio stations & ALAC music via Airplay. You can buy numerous units and they all sync together. iOS apps available too.

I recommend getting one and trying it out for yourself. You do have to find a sweet-spot in your room though because it can make the difference between sounding average and sounding very nice. Don't forget the iTunes EQ as well.

With all the hardware and cables etc it was easy for me to give up any thought of a "Hi-Fi" system. Just not worth it in my opinion.

Advice. Put the Bose close to your Airport when setting it up. For some reason it needs to be super close. But once it's set up it works great anywhere in the house.
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
106
Sounds like patent10021 is happy with their choice – good result.

If anyone else is in a similar position (and still looking) then along with Bose it would be well worth investigating the new Sony SRS X series.

The X7 and X9 both support AirPlay, DNLA, WiFi streaming, Bluetooth and NFC pairing as well as old fashioned USB, ethernet port and 3.5 mm audio in.

They also support the full alphabet of file formats, including AAC, MP3, FLAC, WAV etc.

The X7 can be battery powered, the X9 is not portable, but has 7 speakers (2 magnetic fluid), 8 amplifiers and supports high resolution audio sources.

The designs are quite understated and minimal, so they should fit into most settings and the touch controls fade in and out as needed. Definitely worth a look.

 

Marty62

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2010
394
0
Berlin formerly London
I was visiting friends the other day and they had a Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth system.

I could not believe how great it sounded and it's SO small.

Go anywhere with it, no wires, 7 hrs playback and can be used while sitting in
it's little charger dock.

M.
 

rluvbeach

macrumors member
Mar 25, 2014
73
35
Boynton Beach, FL
I have a lot of older bose stuff in the house so i went the airport express route and love how it sounds.

I got used ones on ebay for about $50 and the setup was painless.

I also got an app called Whaale that allows you to stream to multiple speakers simultaneously from ios. Currently it works with itunes and internet radio stations that they've added to the app (and you can send links to your favorites for them to add. I requested radio margaritaville and it was added in a couple days). The app setup is freakin' easy and the speakers sync up perfectly when playing.

this setup was a very low cost alternative to sonos with minimal consternation involved in the setup.

Buy the way I was at the bose outlet store last weekend and they had all their airplay speakers on sale, i saw one that was originally priced at $350 on sale for $199.

the guy there said they are discontinuing their airplay line of speakers and going with a proprietary wifi system.
 

LV426

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2013
880
283
I believe you need to use their app and their players capabilities, you cannot just simply airplay anything to them.
Yuk, that's not nice if that's the case.

A bit like some printer manufacturers that require you to install their App in order to do printing.

Native Airplay / Airprint support is soooo much more convenient.