Firmware update adds AirPlay 2 support to Libratone ZIPP speakers

By

WWDC 2017 AirPlay 2 device makers
Craig Federighi highlights speaker makers adding AirPlay 2 support at WWDC 2017
Photo: Apple

At WWDC 2017, Apple announced speaker support for the Home app, powered by an update to AirPlay. While introducing Airplay 2, they highlighted several speaker makers that would add support for the new protocol. Nearly a year later, iOS 11.4 finally launched with support for the updated wireless audio protocol.

As of today – 4 months after becoming available in iOS – speaker manufacturer Libratone has made good on their AirPlay 2 promise.

Sonos Amp gives old audio systems a brain boost

By

Sonos Amp
The new Amp is twice as powerful as the the old one.
Photo: Sonos

Got a bass-bumping home audio system but also got serious smart-speaker envy? The new Sonos Amp is here to save your old speakers by integrating them into Sonos’ ecosystem and adding a few new tricks along the way.

Sonos unveiled the new amp this morning which is the successor to the company’s Connect:Amp. While it’s not something more normal consumers will buy, it could help Sonos become a mainstay in serious audio systems created by professional installers.

Take a look:

Apple’s ancient AirPort Express miraculously gets AirPlay 2 support

By

AirPort Express
With Air Port 2 support added, the AirPort Express is your ticket to whole-house audio.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

It’s possible you have an old AirPort Express wireless router in a box somewhere. Dig it out and set it up, because it can now be used as part of an AirPlay 2 audio system.

Even though it’s been discontinued, Apple just issued a firmware update for the second-generation AirPort Express that adds AirPlay 2 support.

Sonos speakers just got smarter with AirPlay 2 upgrade

By

Sonos supports AirPlay2
Sonos speakers connect to over 80 streaming services.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos is opening its speakers to a new world of listening experiences today with the addition of AirPlay 2.

The smart speaker company teased AirPlay 2 support last month during the introduction of its Beam speaker. Now, just over a month after Apple added AirPlay 2 as part of iOS 11.4, Sonos is the first third-party speaker company to dive head first into the new tech. And the company added a few tricks your HomePod can’t match.

macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 brings AirPlay 2 to iTunes

By

wwdc 2017
MacOS High Sierra is still being updated. In fact, there's a new version out now.
Photo: Apple

Apple isn’t quite done with macOS High Sierra, even though most people’s attention is on the replacement, macOS Mojave. What’s likely the final update to the old version, macOS 10.13.6, is now available for download.

The main purpose of this release seems to be bug fixes, but the release notes do mention one new feature.

Sonos busts out new Beam sound bar, plus AirPlay 2 support

By

sonos beam
Sonos Beam is sleek but packs a punch.
Photo: Sonos

Sonos is making a power play to take over your living room with its latest smart speaker called Sonos Beam.

Beam is a new sound bar that is smaller than Sonos’ Playbar and Playbase, but it also packs some new features like a five-microphone array and it plays well with Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and of course, Siri.

Watch out HomePod, this thing looks amazing:

How to set up HomePod stereo pairs with AirPlay 2

By

HomePod
Now all you need is a second HomePod.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Almost a year after it was first announced, AirPlay 2 is finally ready and running on iOS. AirPlay 2 lets you stream audio from your iPad or iPhone to more than one speaker at the same time (something that has always been possible on the Mac). And if you use AirPlay 2 with a pair of HomePod speakers, you can choose to treat them as the left and right speakers of a stereo pair, giving a much bigger-sounding audio picture.

Here’s how.

Ears-on review: Stereo HomePods will blow you away

By

HomePod
Two HomePods are better than one.
Photo: Erfon Elijah/Cult of Mac

Stereo-pairing has been one of the most anticipated HomePod features and now that it has finally arrived, it was definitely worth the wait.

HomePod owners can now pair two or more speakers together to create rich stereo soundscapes in their house for an audio experience that’s unlike any other. CultCast producer Erfon Elijah went ears-on with the new feature and says his finely tuned ears were tingling with delight from the sounds HomePod can blast out. The 360-degree sound is so enveloping that it’s hard to tell where it’s even coming from.

Listen to the difference:

tvOS 11.4 arrives with AirPlay 2, watchOS 4.3.1 brings bug fixes

By

apple tv and siri remote
Grab the latest tvOS 11 update now.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple pushed two other software updates for Apple TV and Apple Watch owners this morning to go with the big new iOS 11.4 release that came out today.

tvOS 11.4 and watchOS 4.3.1 don’t contain nearly as many exciting new features as iOS 11.4, but if you like playing music from your Apple TV you should definitely grab the update ASAP.

iOS 11.4 finally brings HomePod stereo pairs and AirPlay 2

By

iOS 11.4
The sound at home is about to get sweeter with iOS 11.4.
Photo: Apple

iOS 11.4 is finally here, bringing AirPlay 2’s multi-room audio capabilities as well as the long-awaited ability to use two HomePods in stereo.

The free update uses AirPlay 2 to move music from room to room or play the same music throughout the home on compatible speaker systems. You can control music using an iOS device, HomePod, Apple TV or making requests through Siri.