Best AirPlay 2 Soundbars iMore 2021
AirPlay 2, the easy to use audio "casting" feature found on the iPhone and Apple TV, provides clean, lag-free sound to the wireless speakers in our homes. AirPlay 2 also works with Apple's HomeKit smart home platform, giving you the ability to set your speakers or soundbar to play your favorite tunes the moment you walk through the door. Here are our picks for the best AirPlay 2 soundbars to help you decide which is right for your home theater.
- Best for most: Sonos Beam
- Keep it 700: Bose Soundbar 700
- Cost effective: Yamaha MusicCast Bar 400
- TV, AirPlay 2, and HomeKit: Roku Streambar
- Premium sound: Bang & Olufsen BeoSound Stage
- A great bundle: Denon DHT-S516H Home Theater Slim Soundbar System
The Sonos Beam offers a rare combination of excellent sound quality, ease of use, and an affordable price, making it the best for most. This compact soundbar not only offers AirPlay 2, but it also works with a wide range of third-party services through the Sonos app. If you don't mind the wires, the Beam also has an HDMI-ARC port, giving you direct sound from your TV.
Bose's Soundbar 700 brings the company's legendary sound to the home theater in a thin soundbar package. The Soundbar 700 spans 38 inches wide, which blends well with most TV sizes, and it has a glass and metal frame that gives it a clean look. This soundbar is also future-proof with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant built right in, taking it along for the ride if you decide to change things up.
The MusicCart Bar 400 from Yamaha is a low-cost offering that gives you a lot of bang for the buck. In addition to the soundbar, Yamaha also includes a wireless subwoofer, and it has a variety of legacy ports if you want to keep things wired. Sound quality is no slouch either, with this pair offering up to 200 watts of total power through four woofers and two tweeters.
The Roku Streambar combines a Roku 4K media player with a compact soundbar form factor that makes upgrading your home theater quick and easy. In addition to AirPlay 2, the Streambar also supports Apple's HomeKit, allowing users to integrate it into scenes and automation that can instantly turn everything on with a tap or shout to Siri.
Bang & Olufsen's BeoSound Stage is a premium soundbar offering room-filling sound in a package that consists of high-quality materials. This beauty consists of an aluminum frame and cloth speaker front, along with a simple, flat design that will most definitely be a conversation starter. For controls, the BeoSound Stage has most functions available at the point of use, and of course, volume and content are adjustable through iOS or Siri.
The Denon DHT-S516H bundles a completely wireless subwoofer with its completely wireless soundbar to give you instant home theater sound. Inside the soundbar are two tweeters and woofers that support most audio formats such as DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Digital Plus. Unlike most AirPlay 2 soundbars, the DHT-S516H also supports Bluetooth audio streaming, giving you an easy way to get guests connected.
AirPlay 2 takes music and video streaming to new heights with fast connections, in-sync high-quality audio, and completely wireless capabilities. AirPlay 2 also breathes new life into your speakers and soundbars through HomeKit automation and scenes, setting up scenarios where you can blast intruders with loud alarm sounds when your window opens at night. Ever dream of having your music play automatically when you arrive home from a long day of work? AirPlay 2 and HomeKit can also make this happen.
We love the Sonos Beam for its affordable price tag, sound quality, and its ease of use. This connected soundbar plays nicely with most audio services and voice assistants, making it one of the most flexible options around. The Sonos Beam also works with other speakers within the Sonos line and other AirPlay 2 speakers, giving you the ability to expand in the future.
Want a soundbar that offers the most bang for your buck? Then check out the Yamaha MusicCast 400. This soundbar not only delivers great sound, but it also comes with a powerful subwoofer which instantly upgrades your tv setup into a banging home theater. Whichever option you choose, AirPlay 2 is there to keep the tunes going across all the rooms in your home and keep your movie watching area nice and tidy.
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