After testing AirPlay speakers against Bluetooth speakers, one thing has jumped out at me: AirPlay is way, way better. In terms of sound at least. Which is why I’m interested in the Wren v5 wireless speaker, an AirPlay speaker from an ex-president at Harman International.
The Wren is a $400 cabinet with a wireless radio and a gorgeous rosewood or bamboo body. It packs a 50-watt class D amp, and sits on a silicone mat so it doesn’t skip and vibrate when you crank the tunes.
You can also connect sources via USB or AUX.
I still use little Bluetooth speakers for in-shower audio and podcast listening, not to mention travel and the like, but for music and movies I’m all about AirPlay these days. But AirPlay, and it’s required Wi-Fi radio, sucks batteries. So the fact that Wren is just about to launch a Bluetooth version will make some people happy. I’d skip that though, and just add a cheap Bluetooth audio dongle for the times I really need it. After all, who wants to drop $400 on a lossy speaker?