Connect iPhone to wired speakers via AirPlay with this digital amp [Review]


Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier review★★★★☆
The Arylic A50+ is a solid way to connect your passive speakers to your Apple devices. No wires needed.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier lets you wirelessly send music to wired speakers from computers and phones. It uses Apple’s AirPlay, which has multiple advantages over Bluetooth, though it offers that too. And DLNA, Spotify Connect and more.

It pumps out 50W*2 with 4Ω passive speakers at 24V, with Sub Out for powered subwoofers.

I tested the capabilities of this digital stereo amp with the help of a friend who’s a bit of an audiophile. Here’s what we found out.

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Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier review

My friend built up a collection of great stereo gear, then along comes wireless audio. He doesn’t want to get HomePods to replace the speakers he already owns – they’re awesome. He just needs a way to connect his passive speakers to his Mac or iPhone.

That’s where the Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier comes in. Plug the speakers into it, including a subwoofer, and you can stream music from just about any app.

A wireless stereo amp for people serious about their music

Arylic’s amp is relatively small: 4.7 inches by 4.5 inches by 1.5 inches (12.0cm x 11.3cm x 3.7cm). It won’t take up too much shelf room, and is certainly smaller than many of the apps I owned in the past. It’s black and silver, and I find the look unobtrusive.

Flip it around and you’ll find Speaker Out, with a 4-Wire Phoenix Connector. There’s also Sub Out.

There’s no 3.5mm audio jack – that’s for amateurs. Joking aside, this product is an amplifier so you can’t connect it to speakers that have their own built-in amps. (Powered subwoofers are an exception.)

Cult of Mac is an Apple-related website so I focused my attention on the AirPlay capabilities, but the Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier can do a lot more than play audio from an iPhone. There’s also Bluetooth and DLNA for wireless connections with non-Apple devices.

Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier has a wide range of ports.
The A50+ includes Stereo RCA Line In, Optical In, micro-USB, USB-A, Ethernet, Speaker Out (4-Wire Phoenix Connector included) and Sub Out.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

And the A50+ includes stereo RCA Line In and Optical In ports so you can bring in audio from wired sources. There’s a USB-A port so you can connect a thumbdrive and pull music off that. You control these functions with a remote.

Plus, the amp has an Ethernet port so you don’t have to depend on Wi-Fi.

Hit ‘Play’ and…

My friend and I connected a pair of his Bose 503 speakers and sat back to listen to some music. I deferred to his judgment because he’s a lot pickier than I am, and he was pleased with audio quality of the Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier.

As mentioned, the A50+ puts out 50W on each speaker. With the Bose 503 speakers, my friend and I agree that’s plenty unless damaging your hearing is on your long-term plan. Of course, you can find more powerful amplifiers if you really need more sound. The A50+ is better suited for a living room than a nightclub.

That said, too many people forget that the amp is only one component in an audio system. There’s little Arylic can do to make cheap speakers from Walmart sound great, for example.

Great music needs good software, too

For iPhone or Mac, the connection the the A50+ is via AirPlay over Wi-Fi rather than Bluetooth. That means all your Apple devices can connect to the wireless amp – it’s not paired with just one or two of them. Your Mac, your spouse’s iPad and your kids’ iPhones can connect then start streaming music with a simple visit to their computer’s Control Center. They just need to be on the same Wi-Fi network.

Unfortunately, while the wireless amp supports AirPlay, it does not have Airplay 2.  That means it can not be be one of multiple devices receiving an audio stream. If you are playing a song on your HomePods, it can’t also be on the A50+.

The Arylic A50+ is a hardware-software combo
An iPhone can easily send audio to any AirPlay device (left). And 4Stream adds extra features (center and right).
Screenshots: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

AirPlay is controlled by software built into your Apple device, but Arylic also recommends 4Stream, a free application that adds an equalizer and other features.

Within its AirPlay limitation, I ran into no irritating problems using the device. It never lost the connection to my iPhone. But I recommend people read the instructions before the initial setup – it’s not complicated but you won’t figure it out on your own.

Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier final thoughts

My friend who helped with this review was also one of my college roommates. I remember when he had stereo wire stretching all over our apparent. I do not miss those days – wireless connections to speakers are so much less messy. That’s why I’m a big fan of AirPlay.

But people should not have to buy HomePods to get AirPlay. My testing found Arylic’s A50+ is a solid way to wirelessly connect your passive speakers to your Apple devices. That said, the lack of AirPlay 2 is a hinderance.



The Arylic A50+ Wireless Multiroom Stereo Amplifier costs $199.

Buy from: Arylic

Buy from: Amazon

A possible alternative is the Belkin Soundform Connect, which is somewhat similar. It includes a 3.5mm analog audio jack and optical digital output so it connects only to powered speakers – it’s no help with your passive speakers. Soundform Connect does support AirPlay 2, though. And it costs less: $99.95.

Arylic provided Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more in-depth reviews of Apple-related items.


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