back to article Eight... AirPlay speakers

Apple’s AirPlay wireless streaming protocol can be used to play music from an iPod touch, iPhone, iPad, or from iTunes on a Mac or PC, directly to a compatible speaker. AirPlay uses Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth and so audio is not compressed in order to send it to a speaker. The good news is that some of the biggest names in hi- …


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  1. Kevin Fairhurst

    I disagree....

    The Teac *does* sound abysmal. We tested it against a similair styled Sony and the Sony sounded a million times better.

    But why no Denon Ceol / Marantz 603(?) / Sony G2 series? Have auditioned these all recently for myself and ended up with the G2BNIP (ie DAB and AirPlay/Wifi) as the Marantz and Denon both took the best part of a week to start playing from an iPhone once it was plugged in.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I disagree....

      The Marantz, Denon and Sony are micro-systems with satellite speakers not all-in-one speakers/dock units so I'm guessing that's why they are not listed. Read the title - it says "speakers".

      And the Teac is far from abysmal. Granted it is not in the same class as the Philips - my fave and the device I own - but if you want something fully-featured for a small office or bedroom it ain't bad for the price.

      1. Kevin Fairhurst

        Re: I disagree....

        And this is where we get in to the usual issues regarding audio products; it's all subjective. As I said, having demoed the Teac alongside a similar product from Sony, the Teac sounded awful. Absolutely awful. And the mrs was grateful that i said as much as she thought it stank too and was worried I'd buy it regardless ;)

        As to the speakers/mini system distinction, if you've got the room for a Zep' Air you have more than enough space for one of the systems I mentioned. Okay so it isn't an all in one package, but when you're spending the kind of money being discussed here, being able to move the speakers for better stereo separation is no bad thing in my book.

        I liked the Fidelio but the mrs wasn't as impressed with the sound, although it was miles ahead of the other all-in-one systems we tried. There was another Philips similar to the Teac that was god-awful as well, worse than the Teac in fact. And as I said there was also a similar Sony. If those two products were also tested then there would have been a nice round ten products on test :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Current versions of bluetooth offer more than adequate bandwidth for uncompressed audio.

  3. Code Monkey

    Anyone else think the second one looks like a toaster?

  4. M_W

    Looks nice

    But if you want a proper airplay solution, surely a nice set of small Monitor Audio speakers, even a basic Cambridge Audio amp and an Airport Express as the Airplay device would sound 1000% better than any of these one box solutions on test, and potentially cost around the same?

  5. asheon

    iHome AirPlay iW1?

    1. leeeeeb

      Re: Looks nice

      Yes, but this whole category of device is really for people who want a completely integrated and cable free setup. The problem of course is that these are often used as satellite speakers in the kitchen or bedroom for which they are just too blasted expensive.

      The airplay micro system are great, but these integrated speakers need to be much more competitive with bluetooth equivalents.

    2. That one over there

      Re: Looks nice

      That's what I did, sort off.

      I got some fag packet sized D-class amps (Sure electronics, 15w) from fleabay for 35 quid and my old Tannoy 607 and 603 speakers and some Linn ceiling speakers for the bathroom. These and some airports, either N's or G's (turned the wireless off on the G's) and Bobs your aunty.

      They sound great to me and plenty loud enough which is probably all that most people would want/need. Indeed, when I needed some more amps I had to order another 6 for other people.

      Not as cool as the ones in article but massive geek satisfaction value.

  6. P. Lee Silver badge

    It's all fun and games

    until someone decides to make some microwave popcorn.

    Has anyone tested against this? I had a Philips 2.4ghz AV wireless setup and I found that the microwave (and more irritatingly, the neighbour's microwave) wreaked havoc with it.

  7. f1rest0rm

    How much?

    These all see rather overpriced .....

    1. Powelly
      Thumb Up

      Re: How much?

      I agree. I don't know if it's down to cost of licensing the Airplay tech from Apple, or because Apple has some kind of minimum spec written into the licensing agreement to maintain quality, but there must be a gap in the market for cheaper systems (<£100). I just want something to stream iTunes to while I'm washing up, sitting in the garden, etc., but don't want the hassle of an Airport Express and separate speakers.

      As an aside I think it's ludicrous that Apple don't allow an iPhone/iPod Touch to function as an airplay receiver, but I can download an app to do exactly that with my Missus' Motorola Xoom.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        Re: How much?

        we have 2 of these: Sony NAS-SV10i: iPod dock (well, it seems the previous version & has DAB) and they are ok for the kitchen. they also talk to each other (i.e. stream to each other) as we have one of their media boxes connected to my home cinema/audio system. i can control them all via my iphone/android.

  8. Big_Boomer

    OOOOOooooh Goody, even more iPoop speakers.

    Nice Shiny-Shiny for people with more money than sense.

    Is there THAT big a market for iPoop speakers that you have to review a load of them at least once a month? I thought ElReg was Sci-Tech News,.... not "What iPoop Speakers Monthly"

  9. Popup

    Please be objective

    There are some excellent objective and measurable criteria when evaluating a speaker:

    - linearity

    - efficiency

    - loudness

    It all comes down to parameters that can be measured and quantified in a frequency-response curce, rather than fuzzy adjectives like 'warmth' and 'ambience'.

    If you insist on testing analogue peripherals, such as speakers and displays, please set up a lab with proper equipment to actually measure the results!

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