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AirPlay for MacBook: 10 Things to Know Before Getting It


You want to make your MacBook stand out from the crowd, and Apple’s AirPlay is one way to do that. If you’ve been considering getting this cutting-edge technology for your laptop or another device, you should know a few things before taking the plunge. 

From streaming music within minutes of installation to watching movies in an entirely new way, AirPlay for MacBook has some fantastic features but also its limitations. In this post, we’ll provide an overview of what AirPlay can do and what it won’t so that you’re better equipped to decide if it’s right for you. 

10 Things to Know

  1. Wireless Technology

AirPlay is a wireless technology by Apple that lets users stream audio and video from their Macs to other devices over Wi-Fi networks. It is accessible from Mac’s menu bar, allowing you to connect with your AirPlay-compatible audio devices quickly.

  1. Need Compatible Speakers

It would help if you had an AirPlay-compatible device or speakers to use on your MacBook. Some popular compatible models include AirPort Express, Play:5, Play:3, and Playbar by Sonos; HomePod; Apple TV; and many more brands of receivers and speakers that have been certified for use with AirPlay.

  1. Active Internet Connection

To use AirPlay on your MacBook, you’ll need an active internet connection, either through Wi-Fi or Ethernet cable, and a router capable of transmitting a signal throughout the house so that all your compatible devices can receive the signal without interruption.

  1. Setup

Once you’ve got the router, necessary cables, and compatible devices set up, all you need to do is open System Preferences on your MacBook, click on Sound, and select your device’s name from the Output tab. Where it will show up if it’s correctly connected via Wi-Fi, and choose whether you want to mirror what’s playing through your computer or output only sound or video (depending on which device you are connecting to).

Setting up AirPlay is relatively simple, and you are unlikely to encounter technical issues on your MacBook, for instance. However, on the off chance that you do and want to figure out why is that the case, you will need to seek a quick solution online or ask someone for help personally.

  1. Multiple Devices’ Connection

Another great thing about AirPlay is that it allows multiple devices connected to one network to listen or watch simultaneously by creating separate streams for each listener/viewer. So if someone in the house wants to tune into their favorite music or show while you’re listening/watching something different, they can join in without interrupting what’s playing on yours.

  1. Connect Apple TV

Suppose you have an Apple TV connected to your network via AirPlay. In that case, it gives you additional benefits, such as streaming content directly from the iTunes Store (or a compatible app) onto your TV screen instead of purchasing separate movies/TV shows for each device in the household—allowing everyone access at once.

  1. No Need for Extra Equipment

With some newer models of Macbooks, there’s no need for extra equipment. You can open System Preferences again and click the Displays icon under Hardware so that whatever content is being streamed on your laptop appears automatically on any nearby HDTVs equipped with an HDMI port.

  1. Access Remotely with iCloud Family Sharing

Furthermore, if you ever find yourself away from home but still want access to some of those same features, then using iCloud with Family Sharing enabled will allow everyone in the family who has set up an account with Apple ID credentials access remotely via any web browser-enabled device.

  1. Control Over Audio Settings

With Airplay’s recent updates, users have even more control over their audio settings. Such as being able to adjust volume levels when streaming music across multiple rooms in their home without having to go back into System Preferences whenever they want to make changes.

  1. Tip

Last but not least – one safety tip worth noting is that when streaming videos over larger distances (such as between two different buildings). Check for any lag times caused by buffering, which could result in lower quality playback experience due to poor network connection strength and potential stuttering issues due to too much data being transmitted at once.

Cons of AirPlay for MacBook

The use of AirPlay for MacBook has its downsides, as with any technology. One of the main cons is the limited compatibility when it comes to streaming content. AirPlay only works with Apple products and services. This means that if you have a Windows PC or an Android device, you won’t be able to stream to your Macbook using AirPlay.

Additionally, there are limited third-party applications and hardware accessories that are compatible with AirPlay.

Furthermore, if your Macbook is running on older versions of macOS, you may not be able to use the full features of AirPlay due to compatibility issues.

Another significant downside is related to sound quality. When streaming audio over AirPlay, the sound quality can be significantly lower than other wired solutions, like connecting directly through a USB cable or an auxiliary cable. This can be especially noticeable when playing high-quality audio files such as lossless audio formats.

Lastly, there have been reports of latency issues when streaming video content over AirPlay which can sometimes make watching videos particularly painful.

Final Thoughts

Overall, AirPlay for MacBook is a significant investment if you want to improve your audio experience. It is essential to keep in mind the considerations mentioned above before making your purchase to ensure you are getting exactly what you need and want. With some research, you can find the perfect AirPlay device for your MacBook and enjoy all it offers.

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