Denon and Marantz roll out AirPlay 2 support for select AV receivers

Posted:
in iPhone edited August 9
Audio specialists Denon and Marantz began rolling out promised support for Apple's AirPlay 2 on Thursday, providing owners with firmware updates that bring certain AV receivers in compliance with the wireless streaming protocol.

Marantz


Though not announced on either company's official website, users of Denon's X3500H receiver are reporting availability via online forums. Marantz is also pushing out AirPlay 2 compatible firmware for its AV7704 home theater pre-amp, according to 9to5Mac.

Denon and Marantz are closely aligned, having merged in 2002 to form what would become D+M Group. The corporation, which itself acquired a number of smaller audio brands, was purchased by Sound United in 2017, bringing it under the same roof as Polk Audio and Boston Acoustics.

In May, Denon and Marantz announced plans to bring AirPlay 2 to 29 components, building on Apple's rolling list of compatible products. Neither audio company provided details on a launch timeline, though today's releases serve as evidence that work on AirPlay 2 software is well underway.

Released as part of iOS 11.4, AirPlay 2 improves on Apple's audio streaming platform with support for multi-room audio, allowing users to synchronize music across multiple speakers. First available on Apple's own HomePod, AirPlay 2 made its way to the Sonos Beam, Sonos One, Sonos Play:5 and Sonos Playbase in June.

Alongside Denon, Marantz and Sonos, audio hardware manufacturers Bang & Olufsen, Libratone and Naim have promised to add AirPlay 2 support to both new and existing products.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 12
    FatmanFatman Posts: 180member
    Hopefully Yamaha will follow with support for full Airply 2  with their Aventege line.
    libertyforallwatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 12
    chasmchasm Posts: 994member
    Great news for audio lovers
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 12
    Any word on Yamaha receivers yet?! 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 12
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,775member
    Yes, I have  Yamaha too, no way to update it I assume.  

    Related but OT a wee bit (mods can move to the thread on that product if there is one please), I just ordered the new high-end Pioneer CarPlay head that is wireless, anyone used one get ... any comments?
    edited August 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 12
    Here's the issue for real audiophiles:

    Airplay is a badly compromised system for hifi audio. First, it is limited to 16bit 44kHz. Even Chromecast Audio goes up 24bit 96kHz. If you're happy with CD quality audio then Airplay is....OK, but audio has come a long way in the past 10 years so let me ask you are you happy with your 1080p TV or do you want 4K? Why then would you compromise on audio?

    Second issue is Airplay wants to control the clocking of the musical stream. Taking control of the clocking away from the end devise is a compromise. This gets complicated so Google the term, "RAAT and clock ownership" to read some discussions about why Airplay's scheme for managing clocking is not ideal.

    When you start to go over $1,000 for audio components, you're near the price range where quality should really matter. A much better way to go about this is to buy devises that are roon ready. NAD is doing this as well as ELAC, Bluesound, Creek, Naim, Krell, PS Audio, and many more. What a roon ready device does is integrate with the roon player (kicks iTunes in the butt) and allows for all audio formats including FLAC up to 32bit 384kHz, DSD up to 512, and Master Quality Authentication MQA files), It allows for the endpoint to own its own clock, allows for multi room audio. It is a far better system if you really care about music.

    It seems Denon and Merantz could easily updated their devices to be roon ready if they go through the process. At that point their receivers could be considered by more serious audiophiles.
    rezwits
  • Reply 6 of 12
    nunzynunzy Posts: 662member
    Here's the issue for real audiophiles:

    Airplay is a badly compromised system for hifi audio. First, it is limited to 16bit 44kHz. Even Chromecast Audio goes up 24bit 96kHz. If you're happy with CD quality audio then Airplay is....OK, but audio has come a long way in the past 10 years so let me ask you are you happy with your 1080p TV or do you want 4K? Why then would you compromise on audio?

    Second issue is Airplay wants to control the clocking of the musical stream. Taking control of the clocking away from the end devise is a compromise. This gets complicated so Google the term, "RAAT and clock ownership" to read some discussions about why Airplay's scheme for managing clocking is not ideal.

    When you start to go over $1,000 for audio components, you're near the price range where quality should really matter. A much better way to go about this is to buy devises that are roon ready. NAD is doing this as well as ELAC, Bluesound, Creek, Naim, Krell, PS Audio, and many more. What a roon ready device does is integrate with the roon player (kicks iTunes in the butt) and allows for all audio formats including FLAC up to 32bit 384kHz, DSD up to 512, and Master Quality Authentication MQA files), It allows for the endpoint to own its own clock, allows for multi room audio. It is a far better system if you really care about music.

    It seems Denon and Merantz could easily updated their devices to be roon ready if they go through the process. At that point their receivers could be considered by more serious audiophiles.
    Nobody claims that AirPlay sounds great. Spec slaves don't buy Apple stuff anyways.
  • Reply 7 of 12
    Here's the issue for real audiophiles:

    Airplay is a badly compromised system for hifi audio. First, it is limited to 16bit 44kHz. Even Chromecast Audio goes up 24bit 96kHz. If you're happy with CD quality audio then Airplay is....OK, but audio has come a long way in the past 10 years so let me ask you are you happy with your 1080p TV or do you want 4K? Why then would you compromise on audio?

    Second issue is Airplay wants to control the clocking of the musical stream. Taking control of the clocking away from the end devise is a compromise. This gets complicated so Google the term, "RAAT and clock ownership" to read some discussions about why Airplay's scheme for managing clocking is not ideal.

    When you start to go over $1,000 for audio components, you're near the price range where quality should really matter. A much better way to go about this is to buy devises that are roon ready. NAD is doing this as well as ELAC, Bluesound, Creek, Naim, Krell, PS Audio, and many more. What a roon ready device does is integrate with the roon player (kicks iTunes in the butt) and allows for all audio formats including FLAC up to 32bit 384kHz, DSD up to 512, and Master Quality Authentication MQA files), It allows for the endpoint to own its own clock, allows for multi room audio. It is a far better system if you really care about music.

    It seems Denon and Merantz could easily updated their devices to be roon ready if they go through the process. At that point their receivers could be considered by more serious audiophiles.
    Gee, I'm as big a Roon fan as the next audiophile.  I've only recently come into the Roon fold since I stayed away due to the cost (I've since put Roon everywhere in my house).  But knocking Airplay as inadequate is missing the big picture.  The user should get the opportunity to choose whatever streaming format he/she wants to use and hopefully, our main receivers and processors will embrace the gamut of popular formats.  I love listening to MQA recordings on Tidal (listening to the "new" John Coltrane album right now).  But Tidal doesn't carry everything and every now and then it's convenient to use Airplay and/or Apple Music.  Would I like to see Denon/Marantz pick up Roon as an endpoint?  Sure.  But Denon/Marantz and Roon have to get together on that for it to happen.

    As for Airplay, specifically the original Airplay 1, keep in mind that it was pretty much the OG of home streaming.  It was 16bit/44khz from the beginning which was kind of a problem.  Early on, it wasn't unusual for people to have drop out problems trying to play music through Airplay to Airport Expresses.  The problem was that the AEs only knew out to handle 16/44 PCM information even though the original content was likely MP3 or AAC.  iTunes converted the music on the fly and sent it...which was fine except this was in the days of 802.11b networking where even a CD quality music stream could choke on a lousy wifi connection.

    Airplay 2 is not bound by those restrictions.  It can handle any number of bit depths and sample rates, as well as PCM and encoded formats.  This was explained in the original WWDC lecture about this last year.  It's up to the client machine to implement 24 bit and whatever sample rate it can stand.  With Denon/Marantz rolling out support widely this week, we'll see just what they can do, at least with this brand.
    edited August 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 12
    Here's the issue for real audiophiles:

    Airplay is a badly compromised system for hifi audio. First, it is limited to 16bit 44kHz...
    Are you just going around to different Apple rumor sites and copy pasting this? What a weird day you must have. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 12
    Better than AirPlay would be direct Apple Music support so the audio doesn't have to bounce through your phone. My Yamaha AVR supports this for Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer. But of course, Apple Music itself would need to support controlling a remote device which is not currently a thing.
    edited August 10 watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 12
    lovemnlovemn Posts: 48member
    Does the Airplay 2 update mean I can use Homepods instead of my receivers bookshelf speakers for reproducing television audio?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 12
    polymniapolymnia Posts: 893member
    Better than AirPlay would be direct Apple Music support so the audio doesn't have to bounce through your phone. My Yamaha AVR supports this for Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer. But of course, Apple Music itself would need to support controlling a remote device which is not currently a thing.
    Apple Music does support being controlled by Sonos. I think Sonos is the only 3rd party Apple has let into the fold. Not much help for your Yamaha, but Sonos is happy to sell you a Connect for $500 that will allow Apple Music integration. That’s what I do for my Marantz receiver and the various Play:X speakers scattered around my house.


  • Reply 12 of 12
    rezwitsrezwits Posts: 597member
    Here's the issue for real audiophiles:

    Airplay is a badly compromised system for hifi audio. First, it is limited to 16bit 44kHz. Even Chromecast Audio goes up 24bit 96kHz. If you're happy with CD quality audio then Airplay is....OK, but audio has come a long way in the past 10 years so let me ask you are you happy with your 1080p TV or do you want 4K? Why then would you compromise on audio?

    Second issue is Airplay wants to control the clocking of the musical stream. Taking control of the clocking away from the end devise is a compromise. This gets complicated so Google the term, "RAAT and clock ownership" to read some discussions about why Airplay's scheme for managing clocking is not ideal.

    When you start to go over $1,000 for audio components, you're near the price range where quality should really matter. A much better way to go about this is to buy devises that are roon ready. NAD is doing this as well as ELAC, Bluesound, Creek, Naim, Krell, PS Audio, and many more. What a roon ready device does is integrate with the roon player (kicks iTunes in the butt) and allows for all audio formats including FLAC up to 32bit 384kHz, DSD up to 512, and Master Quality Authentication MQA files), It allows for the endpoint to own its own clock, allows for multi room audio. It is a far better system if you really care about music.

    It seems Denon and Merantz could easily updated their devices to be roon ready if they go through the process. At that point their receivers could be considered by more serious audiophiles.
    That is all wireless?  WOW 👍 
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