Originally Posted by a32guy
Very neat -- but wouldn't a2dp be cleaner and easier?
Perhaps, although my stock head unit only allows one BT device to be paired at a time. This isn't helpful when travel companions are present. BT Pairing is usually tedious and cumbersome (and can only be done while the car is not moving). Airplay is super easy to use for anyone with an iDevice -- simply attach to the car's WiFi network, and Airplay instantly becomes enabled.
I haven't used Bluetooth systems that allow simultaneous device pairing so I can't comment on how functional they are. Any number of users can be simultaneously connected to an Airplay network. The Airpot Express will play music from the last device that requests attention, which is a seamless way to stream music between multiple users (as long as your friends aren't overriding music choices all the time).
Still, it's a great system for long or short car rides. There might
be an equivalent Bluetooth system out there, but I haven't used it or seen it yet. I do think AE's "pairing" procedure is superior to any Bluetooth pairing. Although, all of this is only true if your passengers have iDevices.
It is worth nothing however that A2DP systems can send commands back to devices (e.g. skip song). This can't be done with the AE. All actions have to be performed on the iDevice.