AirPlay is an amazing technology that allows a user to stream audio, and sometimes video, wirelessly to other devices. For example, the Apple TV allows an iPhone to use AirPlay to watch movies on the big screen, or to listen to your favorite album. Most times you hear AirPlay, you hear Apple TV or speakers along with it. And that makes sense due to audio and video being the only two forms of media streamed through it. Though what interests me is in the speakers.
Apple offers many speakers in their brick-and-mortar stores, and even more on their online store. Now while these speakers are genuinely very good, if you’re specifically looking for AirPlay-enabled speakers, you’re looking at a minimum of $349 ranging all the way to $2,699. That’s a little pricey if the point of interest is AirPlay. Here’s a way to make it affordable to you.
Pick up an AirPort Express. Yup, those little $99 Apple TV doppelgängers that route your internet. A feature that many do, though a surprising amount of people don’t know about this little box is it’s headphone jack. Plug any speaker into that headphone jack and you have yourself a full-featured AirPlay speaker. You can even password protect it!
In my experience, I’ve found the best bang for your buck if you’re in the market for a set of AirPlay-enabled speakers, is the Big JAMBOX by Jawbone and an AirPort Express. All together you’re looking at $399 for the lot, but you’re getting an amazing AirPlay speaker that can undoubtedly fill a room, that just so happens to have a fifteen-hour battery life and LiveAudio, a feature I’ve yet to find in any other speaker to date.
The message is, don’t restrict your search to speakers that have AirPlay built-in if want to stream your music. All it takes is $99 to use AirPlay on any speakers you have with a 35mm jack and you’re good to go.