How to AirPlay 2 Music on an Old Fashioned Airport Express

Apple may have officially discontinued the Airport Express Network Extender along with the rest of its Wi-Fi hardware , but yesterday it released a major firmware update for the Airport Express. If you own a second generation Airport Express (released June 2012), the update allows you to stream directly to connected speakers via AirPlay 2.

This means you can sync playback to other AirPlay 2 compatible speakers in your home, like the Apple HomePod, everything connected to your Apple TV, and various Sonos speakers (just to name a few). You can also assign your Airport Express to a room via the Apple Home app, which lets you control playback via Siri.

To update your Airport Express, remove the dust from the Airport Utility on macOS or iOS and download it. If you don’t see the little red notification icon on Express indicating an update is available, you may need to restart Express by selecting it and choosing Base Station> Restart. Once it appears again, simply click or tap Express in the network layout and click the Refresh button in the pop-up window.

However, it is a little offensive to see the first generation Airport Express routers not receiving firmware updates. I use mine to add AirPlay capabilities to my trusty Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and stand-alone amplifier. With Airfoil on my Mac, I can play both of them and the soundbar connected to my Apple TV at the same time, just not with iOS – that would be nice.

AirPort Express Firmware Update Adds Support for AirPlay 2 and Home Apps | 9TO5Mac


Leave a Reply