I’m confused by all the different wireless streaming technologies out there?


We’re here to help.
 
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Bluetooth

Play music directly transmitted from any smartphone, tablet or laptop, to a single Bluetooth-enabled speaker or headphones.

Pros

  • Works with Android, Windows and Apple operating systems.
  • Stream music in places where there’s no WiFi, like a BBQ outside.

Cons

  • Only works within an approximate 10-metre radius.
  • Relatively low audio quality compared to AirPlay, Cast and Connect.
  • Potential for interruptions to the music from incoming calls etc.

 

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Apple AirPlay
Play music from a single AirPlay-compatible source, like an iPad or iPhone, and stream it directly to AirPlay-compatible speakers on the same network.

Pros

  • AirPlay uses low levels of audio compression.

Cons

  • Range is dependent on your WiFi network.
  • Potential for interruptions to the music from incoming calls etc.

 

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Google Cast

Available either as a dongle or built-in technology that plays music (or video) on a speaker system (or TV) by directly streaming it from the Internet via WiFi.

The music is streamed from the cloud directly to your speakers through your WiFi router, so your phone or tablet is only commanding the device to play the music and is not bound to what is playing on the speaker.

Pros

  • Higher-quality WiFi connectivity means better audio quality.
  • WiFi streaming is less susceptible to interruptions.

Cons

  • Range is dependent on your WiFi network.

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Spotify Connect

Connect is a remote control technology built into all Spotify apps (mobile, desktop, tablet) and certified hardware (speakers, TV, Playstation etc).

It works for Spotify Free users app-to-app. So, for example, you can control on your phone and play music on your tablet (and the other way around). However, you need to have Spotify Premium to use it on Connect-enabled speakers, which are available from over 100 brands.
The music is streamed from the cloud directly to your speakers through your Wi-Fi router, so your phone or tablet is only commanding the device to play the music and is not bound to what is playing on the speaker.

Pros

  • Higher-quality Wi-Fi connectivity means better audio quality.
  • Direct streaming to your speaker means better battery life for your phone.
  • No interruptions to the music when taking a call or playing a game.
  • You can even leave the house and control what is playing on your speaker.
  • Some Connect-enabled speakers offer presets for automatic-on, volume and playlists.

Cons

  • Requires Spotify Premium to play on Connect-enabled products (except Playstation & Smart TVs)