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The Sonos One is the cheapest AirPlay 2 speaker you can buy

The Sonos One is the cheapest AirPlay 2 speaker you can buy


Apple has published a list of all the upcoming AirPlay 2 devices, and they’re not cheap

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Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

Almost a year after it was first announced, Apple has finally released its updated AirPlay 2 multiroom audio streaming platform. The company has also posted a list of devices that users can expect to work with AirPlay 2, including speakers from Sonos, Bang & Olufsen, and Libratone as well as AV receivers from Marantz and Denon (spotted by MacRumors).

None of the third-party speakers actually have AirPlay 2 yet; only Apple's own HomePod does right now. This is just Apple’s list of the initial devices that will eventually support AirPlay 2 once these companies release their firmware updates, which don’t really have any announced timetables yet.

You really never want to be a situation where a Sonos product is your “budget” option

The biggest problem with Apple’s AirPlay 2 list is how expensive all of these speakers are. The cheapest option on the list is the Sonos One, which costs $199.99. (You really never want to be in a situation where a Sonos product is the “budget” option.) Those prices only go up with luxury brands like Naim and Bang & Olufsen; their speakers reach the four- and five-digit range.

Adding to the issue is the fact that, as of now, there’s no Apple-made option for AirPlay 2 like the Airport Express, which made it possible to add AirPlay support through a 3.5mm headphone jack to non-AirPlay devices. And given that Apple just announced that it would be discontinuing its entire AirPort range, I wouldn’t hold my breath that any AirPlay 2 version is particularly forthcoming, even as competitors like Google offer devices like the Chromecast Audio.

The full list of speakers and receivers that will (eventually) support AirPlay 2 as of now is listed below, assuming you can afford any of them.