Apple’s upgrade to its original AirPlay audio/video streaming protocol, AirPlay 2, lets you choose multiple audio destinations while listening to audio playback, like music or podcasts, or streaming video. However, some people have found there’s a catch: when they use the AirPlay selection dialog in iOS, iPadOS, macOS, or tvOS, they cannot select multiple devices. What gives?
AirPlay 2 requires that all devices selected are also AirPlay 2 destinations–they must be up-to-date and compatible. That set of devices is extremely large. Apple provides a list of AirPlay 2-certified receivers, speakers, and TVs. You might choose to route sound to TV speakers and a receiver, or a pair of HomePods in one room and remote speakers or even a MacBook Air in another.
However, you may find you can’t select another audio destination. The reason is due to compatibility:
If you pick an original AirPlay-compatible output device, you can’t pick AirPlay 2 destinations.
If you select an AirPlay 2 destination, you can’t select an original-flavor AirPlay audio output device.
I see this on my home network, as I have a several-year-old Yamaha receiver that still works perfectly well but has non-upgradable AirPlay destination firmware built in. I’d have to upgrade the receiver to take advantage.
This Mac 911 article is in response to a question submitted by Macworld reader Joey.
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