4 Ways to Add AirPlay to Any Speaker

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When you request a wireless speaker that's reliable, easy to use, and precocious quality, Apple AirPlay is your champion option. But you don't request to bargain an costly AirPlay speaker aliases HomePod. You tin adhd AirPlay to immoderate aged speakers pinch an adapter, a compatible audio receiver, aliases a streaming instrumentality pinch AirPlay functionality.

An AirPlay Adapter Is Probably All You Need

Eve Play AirPlay 2 receiver astatine IFA 2023.Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Adding AirPlay to your speakers is simply a elemental matter—just bargain an AirPlay adapter! Products for illustration nan Belkin SoundForm, WiiM Pro aliases WiiM Mini, and Eve Play link to immoderate audio amplifier, receiver, aliases progressive "powered" speakers to present AirPlay 2 functionality.

These adapters are easy to group up and will instantly look successful nan AirPlay database connected your iPhone, iPad, Mac, aliases Apple Watch. They tin besides beryllium triggered done Siri sound commands aliases smart location automation (you mightiness create an automation that plays your favourite playlist each evening, for example). And if you ain aggregate AirPlay devices, you tin sync them pinch your AirPlay adapter for wireless whole-home audio.

AirPlay adapters are compatible pinch nan pursuing devices:

  • Stereo amplifiers, stereo receivers, and AVRs
  • Active "powered" speakers
  • Soundbars aliases radios pinch an optical, RCA, coaxial, aliases AUX input
  • Bluetooth speakers pinch an AUX input
  • DVD aliases Blu-ray.

Most AirPlay adapters person RCA, coaxial, and optical audio outputs, truthful an RCA to 1/4" aliases RCA to AUX cablegram whitethorn beryllium required if you're connecting nan adapter to a soundbar, a Bluetooth speaker, aliases a brace of powered speakers. (That said, nan Belkin SoundForm has a 1/4" TRS stereo jack, and nan WiiM Mini has a 3.5mm AUX output.)

If you're trying to adhd AirPlay to a group of passive speakers (which do not person powerfulness from a wall outlet), you'll request a stereo amplifier aliases receiver to brace pinch nan AirPlay adapter. The cheapest stereo amplifiers costs astir $25 (like nan Kinter MA170+) and are, successful my experience, perfectly acceptable. But a bully amplifier pinch aggregate audio inputs, USB playback, AM and FM radio, and different features (like those from Pyle) will costs $100 aliases more. You tin besides find awesome bargains connected amplifiers astatine thrift stores and flea markets. That said, if you're consenting to walk immoderate superior money, you could bargain an AVR aliases amplifier pinch AirPlay built-in.

WiiM Pro received connected a achromatic background.
WiiM Pro

$149 $169 Save $20

The WiiM Pro adds AirPlay and Bluetooth functionality to immoderate amplifier aliases powered speaker done RCA, optical, and coaxial audio outputs. If you ain aggregate AirPlay devices, you tin besides usage nan WiiM Pro's RCA input to formed an audio root (CD player, turntable, portion deck) to aggregate speakers astir your home.

Some AVRs and Stereo Amplifiers Include AirPlay

Sony stereo receiver's screen.Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

For a tightly integrated experience, see buying an AVR aliases stereo amplifier pinch AirPlay functionality. An AVR aliases stereo amp pinch built-in AirPlay eliminates nan request for an outer adapter, and it whitethorn beryllium nan champion action for those who are already readying connected upgrading nan brains of their audio system.

As nan sanction implies, an AVR aliases "Audio/Video Receiver" connects your TV and speakers to aggregate video and audio sources. These connections are facilitated complete respective HDMI, RCA, optical, and phono ports (plus AM and FM antennae, and successful this case, wireless AirPlay connectivity). You tin link immoderate aged passive speakers to an AVR, and because audio tin beryllium configured connected a per-input basis, you tin prime typical settings for video aliases euphony playback. (AirPlay streaming doesn't support Dolby Atmos, truthful your AirPlay input will beryllium constricted to stereo audio.)

Only a fistful of AVRs see AirPlay functionality. One of nan much fully-featured options is Onkyo's 7.2-channel AVR, which has a wealthiness of dedicated audio inputs successful summation to Wi-Fi streaming (AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Chromecast) and Bluetooth connectivity. The Yamaha RX-V4A 5.2-channel AVR and Denon S570BT 5.2-channel AVR are a spot much modest, but they're besides much affordable.

If you don't request a large location theatre system, a stereo amplifier pinch AirPlay functionality is your champion option. It'll supply a much contiguous euphony acquisition pinch acold little setup aliases configuration. There's conscionable 1 problem—the only notable stereo amplifier pinch AirPlay is nan Sonos Amp, which costs much than immoderate of nan AVRs listed above. Sonos Amp is simply a awesome product, and it tin merge pinch different Sonos devices to create a wireless whole-home audio system. But it's a very costly AirPlay solution, and if you already ain an amplifier, you're astir apt amended disconnected pinch an AirPlay adapter.

Please statement that AVRs and stereo amplifiers are made for passive speakers. If you ain progressive speakers that person powerfulness from a wall outlet, you must bargain an AVR aliases amplifier pinch stereo pre-out jacks (or bargain an AirPlay adapter instead). The Onkyo 7.2-channel AVR has stereo pre-out jacks, but nan different devices listed successful this conception do not.

Onkyo TX 7.2-Channel AVR connected a achromatic background.
Onkyo TX 7.2-Channel AVR

$448 $649 Save $201

The Onkyo TX 7.2-channel AVR (TX-NR696) offers Dolby Atmos compatibility, a wide input selection, 4K video output, and precocious Wi-Fi audio streaming capabilities. Enjoy AirPlay 2, Chromecast Audio, and moreover Sonos compatibility successful 1 all-encompassing unit.

Add AirPlay to Any TV pinch Apple TV aliases Roku

Person holding a Roku remote.Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

If nan champion speakers successful your location are hooked up to a TV, adding AirPlay to nan operation is simply a inexpensive and easy task. Simply bargain an Apple TV aliases Roku instrumentality and plug it into your AVR, soundbar, aliases TV. All current-gen models of Apple TV and Roku see AirPlay 2 functionality and will look successful nan AirPlay database connected your iPhone, iPad, Mac, aliases Apple Watch. (Of course, this will besides adhd AirPlay video casting and surface mirroring functionality to your TV aliases location theater.)

As for which Apple TV aliases Roku instrumentality you should buy—well, let's explain thing first. AirPlay streaming maxes retired astatine 16-bit/44.1kHz "CD quality" and doesn't support Dolby Atmos. A $30 Roku Express will springiness you nan aforesaid AirPlay audio value arsenic a $150 Apple TV 4K. If AirPlay audio is nan only point you attraction about, nan inexpensive Roku is fine, though Apple TV is notable for its heavy HomeKit and Siri integration.

That said, you'll astir apt usage your Apple TV aliases Roku for much than conscionable AirPlay audio. Look astatine each disposable models and bargain 1 that has nan features you attraction about, specified arsenic 4K video solution aliases Dolby Atmos audio. Note that smart TVs from Sony, Samsung, LG, and VIZIO often see AirPlay functionality. Smart TVs that usage Roku's operating strategy whitethorn besides support AirPlay, though this isn't ever guaranteed.

Roku Express packaging.
Roku Express

$24 $30 Save $6

The affordable Roku Express streams 1080p video and includes AirPlay functionality. It's a awesome action for anyone who wants to adhd AirPlay to their TV, location theater, aliases soundbar.

A Raspberry Pi Can Also Get nan Job Done

A heap of Raspberry Pis connected a woody table.Jason Fitzpatrick / How-To Geek

The unused Raspberry Pi that's sitting successful your table drawer tin beryllium converted into an AirPlay receiver. While this whitethorn sound for illustration a difficult aliases analyzable task, it's really beautiful straightforward. You conscionable copy-paste a bunch of worldly into your Raspberry Pi's bid line, group nan Raspberry Pi's superior audio output to its AV jack (or usage a USB DAC), and link nan Raspberry Pi to your audio amplifier aliases progressive speakers.

There are a mates of different AirPlay players for Raspberry Pi and Linux. But nan quickest, easiest, and astir celebrated action is Shareport Sync. It has immoderate minor limitations—you can't formed from nan Windows iTunes app aliases macOS versions anterior to Catalina 10.15, for example. But, for nan astir part, Shareport Sync is simply a full-fat AirPlay solution.

A Shareport Sync installation guide is disposable connected GitHub. But nan installation guideline is simply a spot excessively broad, truthful I propose pursuing Pi My Life Up's tutorial. It provides instructions specifically for nan Raspberry Pi and explains really to get nan champion capacity from Shareport Sync. All mainline versions of nan Raspberry Pi machine are compatible pinch Shareport Sync.

Raspberry Pi 4 starter kit connected a achromatic background.
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit

This charismatic Raspberry Pi 4 kit comes pinch aggregate RAM options. It's sewage everything you request to get started.

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