Yamaha Speakers & Soundbars Get Apple AirPlay 2 Support

Mike Wheatley

Yamaha is updating a whole bunch of its wireless speakers, soundbars and receivers, with 15 of them gaining compatibility with Apple’s AirPlay 2 and 23 getting support for Enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC).


AirPlay 2 is Apple’s proprietary specification for streaming audio from iOS devices to supported speakers. It’s become a big thing to have in 2019, with dozens of TVs from the likes of Samsung, Sony, Vizio and others adding support for it this year, plus various speakers and sound systems.

eARC meanwhile, is a protocol found on HDMI 2.1 enabled TVs that aims to provide the best possible audio resolution for external speakers.

With the updates, AirPlay 2 users will now be able to stream music from Apple and other sources to their Yamaha speakers.

Support for Apple AirPlay 2 “adds the ability to stream Apple Music and other streaming services from your iPhone, iPad, HomePod and Mac to multiple Yamaha devices and other AirPlay 2-enabled speakers – simultaneously, perfectly in sync and throughout your home,” Yamaha said.

In addition, Apple users will also be able to control what’s playing through their speakers using the Siri digital assistant once the update is rolled out later this month.

Yamaha is also adding support for eARC in late April, enabling compatible TVs to pass through audio to attached speakers or soundbars without losing any of its original quality. Compatibility with eARC is being added to Yamaha’s full range of 2017 and 2018 AV speakers, and will support audio formats such as Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD and also object based surround sound formats such as Dolby Atomos and DTS:X.

Other updates from Yamaha include support for Qobuz streaming, Spotify Connect, and Actions on Google, which enables connected devices to be controlled via Google Assistant.

"With these firmware updates, we're giving our customers more choices for how they enjoy their favorite music and audio content,” Yamaha’s director of consumer audio Alex Sadeghian said in its press release announcing the update. “Plus, they now have the option to use their favorite voice assistant, whether it's Siri, the Google Assistant or Alexa, to control the experience throughout their homes.”