These three types of speakers: Bluetooth, wireless and airplay, are on a functional level, not as different as they seem.
There are subtle technological differences between them, but for the everyday user they are best treated as a type of speaker in general. So, if you see Airplay hi-fi speakers advertised, don’t be put off, the chances are they will be similar to what you’d expect from wireless and Bluetooth hi-fi speakers.
The key thing to remember is that Airplay is for Apple products. It is Apple’s own wireless platform. It uses a wifi connection rather than Bluetooth. This means that you have to be logged into a wifi network, whereas Bluetooth can work on the move as long as both your music device and your speaker are Bluetooth enabled. Some people are against this Apple model as it forms a part of Apple’s attempt to dominate the market and force Apple users to buy their own products. With this in mind, it is vital to remember that your Ipod or Ipad will be able to connect via Bluetooth to a set of hi-fi speakers made by another company. So, if you have an Apple music playing device, don’t be under the illusion that you have to buy the Apple hi-fi speakers. Instead, shop around and consider the options as you would with any other music device.
Bluetooth/wireless/airplay hi-fi speakers allow you to play media on iphone without docking it which means you can play music and control it anywhere within range of the hi-fi speakers.
In terms of technology, wireless hi-fi speakers are actually very similar to traditional loudhi-fi speakers that use wires. However, they receive audio signals using radio frequency waves rather than through the audio cables themselves. This means that you can link your hi-fi speakers to your music playing device without a wire and play music or radio from anywhere in your house. This is a particularly good feature for Ipad and smartphone users, because it means that you will be able to control the music as long as you have your music player with you.
There is a little point here which is worth being aware of and which many people are not clear on. Wireless hi-fi speakers still need electric power, so they need to be kept near to a plug socket or power outlet. It is only the wire to the music device that is taken out of the equation. Some hi-fi speakers can be charged, or come with batteries, and it is only these that can be used without wires entirely.
Put briefly, the things that you ought to consider are the weight, the sound quality, the style and the size. The size of these products varies from the size of the palm of your hand to huge ones that wont be so portable.
For those looking to travel or go completely wireless you’ll need to consider battery power. Think about how the product charges and what is best for you (some use a 12v plug, some use micro usb connection (the micro usb connections = less battery but also less weight).
One brand worth considering is Philips. Their Fidelio P8 hi-fi speakers cost £200 and is a thoroughly detailed and well-balanced system. Music lovers are agreed that it's one of the best sounding portable hi-fi speakers that there are. The Philips Fidelio P8 can share its eight hour battery. This is a great feature as it means you don’t have to have your music device charged in order to use it. In fact, the hi-fi speakers will actual charge your phone or ipod to full level whilst you use them.
Two other models worth considering are the Native Union Switch and Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12. These also have the feature to share the battery with the music device itself. The Beolit 12 hi-fi speakers have a great fun feature which connects it to several music devices at once. This means that anyone can chip in with a choice of song once the current song has finished playing. This is a cool feature and its great fun, but the hi-fi speakers will set you back around £450.
In the end, there are so many reputable brands and hi-fi speakers to choose from that your best bet is looking online at a variety of the ‘top 10 wireless hi-fi speakers’ guides. Even these cannot agree, but they will give you a good sense of what is out there.