A developer of AirPlay-compatible speakers has confirmed that the iPhone 4S is having a unique problem streaming audio to accessories, and that both speaker makers and Apple are trying to resolve it. iLounge has confirmed that third-party AirPlay accessories can drop the iPhone 4S’s audio stream within three to five seconds of starting playback, seemingly knocking the accessory offline for a brief period of time—an issue that does not appear to affect Apple TVs in any way. Libratone writes on its troubleshooting site, “Users of the new Apple iPhone 4S may experience both short and prolonged AirPlay audio drop-outs from time to time, and this issue seems to be occurring on all AirPlay-enabled speakers (from Libratone and other vendors alike). We are working actively with Apple and other speaker manufacturers to resolve this issue[.]” The company goes on to note that it is currently unclear whether the issue lies within the firmware of the iPhone 4S or the speaker’s firmware.
While iLounge has noted in past testing and reviews that all of the AirPlay speakers we’ve tested appear to have issues with at least occasional drop-outs, the issue with the iPhone 4S is more serious, rapidly and consistently interrupting audio playback within seconds of starting a song. In recent days, another speaker developer told iLounge that early AirPlay speakers have experienced unusually high return rates because of various wireless issues users have experienced, including audio drop-outs. Apple has yet to publicly address the issues.