Apple AirPlay 2 – All you Need to Know

Apple’s AirPlay 2 is the Apple’s greatest update into the multi-room, backed by some major renowned brands. The question arises what AirPlay 2 is and how will it work?

Apple hosted WWDC 2017 (World Wide Developer Conference) featured different innovations including the novelty in multi-room audio. Apple AirPlay 2 is the updated version that comes up with the Apple’s iOS 11 of previously released AirPlay.

Reading about AirPlay 2 questions might arise are there any benefits of updating to AirPlay 2 and will we able to upgrade already owned AirPlay product to AirPlay 2. Read out this comprehensive guide that will answer your all questions.

What is AirPlay?


Before getting yourself aware of AirPlay 2 you should know about AirPlay. AirPlay was launched in 2010 with iOS 4 when iPhone 4 were at its peak. AirPlay lets you to stream audio, videos and photos to Apple TV or AirPlay supported audio devices without the hectic of wires or USB cable across your home.

Through AirPlay your audio, video or any other streamings would travel over your wireless connection instead of Bluetooth. Unfortunately, earlier mode of connections were not stable enough, and you face often face drop out in streaming

Modifications to AirPlay made it more reliable and consistent to stream your photo, videos and audios over WiFi connection with a single tap and without facing drop outs.

What is AirPlay 2?

Apple Airplay 2
Apple Airplay 2

AirPlay 2 was introduced during WWDC 2017 which held from 5th June – 9th June. The main aim for the updated was to broadcast your music from your iOS device to multiple devices.

This is the Apple’s first major innovations towards multi-room technology and upgradations to AirPlay. Being a wireless protocol AirPlay was not much more efficient as compared to Bluetooth or Chromecast.

How does AirPlay 2 work?

What Apple demonstrated in the presentation is we can broadcast music between compatible speakers wirelessly over the same WiFi network. You can control this broadcast or stream through iOS devices, Apple TV box or through iTunes.

You can also setup names and description of where your speaker is located and then you can easily control these AirPlay 2 compatible speakers with your iOS device. You can also have privileges of what music you have to listen on which speaker.

As far as your speakers are compatible with AirPlay 2-compatible, you can connect speakers from variant brands through it.

Apple Device Compatible with AirPlay 2?

Any Apple device that comes up with iOS 11 will also get AirPlay 2:

You will have full AirPlay 2 support with Upcoming iPhone 8, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone SE and iPhone 5S. You will also be able to use with 12.9in iPad Pro (1st Generation), 12.9in iPad Pro (2nd Generation), 9.7in iPad Pro, 10.5in iPad Pro, iPad (5th Generation), iPad Air 2, iPad Air, iPad mini 4, iPad mini 3 and iPad mini 2. Good news is iPod touch (6th Generation) will also be compatible with it.

It is predicted MacBooks and other Mac computers will also be compatible with AirPlay 2 only when you have updated it to latest MacOS High Sierra operating system.

Brands Behind AirPlay 2?

Brands Behind Apple AirPlay 2

There is a very long list of brands who signed up to AirPlay 2 namely, Bang & Olufsen, Naim, Bose, Devialet, Dynaudio, Beats, Polk, Denon and much more. Apple’s recently introduced product with intelligent personal assistant “Siri” built in, HomePod, will also feature this technology.

Will We be able to Update AirPlay products to AirPlay 2?

There will be software updates to existing AirPlay speakers to AirPlay 2. Like Libratone has announced that later this year an update will be available to its Zipp line but not for their older products live Diva soundbar that were connected with AirPlay.

Along with Libratone, Naim has announced that their products, Uniti Atom, Uniti Star and Uniti Nova will support AirPlay 2 and update will be launched as the Apple with launch AirPlay 2.

AirPlay 2 Alternatives?

Bluetooth 5

One of the major competitors of AirPlay 2 will be Bluetooth, only in case if the recently announced “Bluetooth 5” will offer to broadcast from a single device to multiple devices.

Google’s Chromecast

Google Chromecast
Google Chromecast

In addition, there is Google’s Chromecast technology. In case you are using Chromecast product like Audio stick or a video device, you can broadcast music or videos from iOS or Android devices to your High Fidelity (Hi-Fi) devices. Some devices have Chromecast feature built-in, so you will not require an additional Chromecast device.

Whereas, Chromecast is slightly different from AirPlay. In AirPlay your iOS device act as a source from where you can control your speakers and your music is sent over WiFi network while on Chromecast your phone or tablet acts as a remote and your speakers play music from the Internet. Although there are third-party apps that will let you play music stored on your phone to the speaker

When I will be able to use AirPlay 2?

AirPlay 2 is subjected to release with the iOS 11 launch that is expected by autumn 2017. Most likely other stereo brands will update their devices to meet with this release. You will get timely updates through our blog about it.

Muhammad Usman Siddiqui is a young entrepreneur from Pakistan. His studies (Petroleum Engineering) has no relation to innovation and future technologies but the passion keeps him in this field.


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