Skip Navigation

What works with Airplay 2?

How to enjoy Apple's long-awaited multi-room audio update

The iOS 11.4 update includes Airplay 2. Now you can push music from your iPhone or other compatible device to multiple Airplay 2 speakers or receivers. Or you can play different music to different devices. And you can use Siri to control it all with your voice.

Airplay 2 app and Apple HomePod

The iOS update adds a lot of value to the Apple HomePod, of course. And a lot of non-Apple products support Airplay 2 or will do so in the near future.

Apple’s list of compatible devices includes the popular Sonos One, Play:5, Beam and Playbase.

The list also includes select receivers from Denon and Marantz.

The latest multi-room audio products from Bluesound have Airplay 2. You'll also find Bose sound bars with Airplay 2, as well as products from Bang & Olufsen and Naim.

Apple has also indicated that the list will grow to include products from Bowers & Wilkins, Definitive Technology, Dynaudio, Polk Audio, and McIntosh.

Some companies will be automatically pushing the AirPlay 2 update to their devices, while others will require you to manually update them.

What do I need for Airplay 2?

Your iPhone or iPad must have iOS 11.4 or later. And you'll need speakers and receivers that support AirPlay 2.

What's the difference between AirPlay and AirPlay 2?

With the original AirPlay, you could only stream to a single compatible speaker with your device. And incoming calls would interrupt the music streaming from your iPhone. AirPlay 2 lets you stream to multiple compatible devices, and allows your music (or video, if you’re streaming via Apple TV) to continue if you get a call.

You can stream from an AirPlay 2 device to a single AirPlay speaker. But you can't stream to any AirPlay 2-compatible speakers when you do (and vice versa ).

What's the difference between AirPlay 2 and other multi-room audio systems?

In most multi-room audio systems, music is streamed from a wireless speaker or a compatible receiver to other devices throughout the home. With AirPlay 2, the music is streamed from your iPhone or iPad. So if your iOS device leaves your home network, the music stops on all your AirPlay 2 devices.

Can I play different songs in different rooms with AirPlay 2?

You can, but only if you subscribe to Apple Music. That service allows multiple simultaneous streams. You are limited to titles available through Apple music.

For all other streaming services, you can only play one song at a time – through as many or as few AirPlay 2-compatible speakers as you want.

Learn how to use Airplay 2 on Apple's support site.

Does AirPlay 2 work with TVs?

You have a number of options for using AirPlay 2 to get better sound with your TV. With AirPlay 2 you can stream audio from your TV to compatible Airplay 2 speakers. So, for example, you can listen to a sports play-by-play as you move through your home.

The Apple TV 4K gives you on-screen access to a number of popular streaming services, including iTunes. It also lets you navigate and make selections with Siri voice commands.

Select 2019 TVs from Sony, Samsung, and LG will have Apple AirPlay 2 built-in. With these TVs, you can stream audio without any other AirPlay 2-enabled devices or components.

Any other advantages to AirPlay 2?

All wireless multi-room audio systems are compatible with the major streaming services — Spotify®, Deezer, Pandora, and more. AirPlay 2 also lets you stream audio from Netflix and YouTube, so you can watch a movie on your iPad and enjoy great sound from your room's AirPlay 2-compatible speakers.

More questions?

Our expert Advisors can help. Call or chat with us today. Free lifetime tech support is included with every Crutchfield purchase.

Stay tuned for further details and developments.

  • Colin from San Bruno

    Posted on 10/26/2018

    Yep, I'm looking for the same thing. A basic airplay 2 enabled amp

  • Matthew from Newport Beach

    Posted on 9/7/2018

    Hi Bill. Thanks for your great post. I am hoping to find a small airplay 2 enabled amplifyer to connect to outside speakers which are wired into my house near the main TV. Is anyone making an airplay 2 enabled amp?

Ask an expert advisor

No pressure, no commission — just lots of good advice from our highly trained staff.

Featured Products