An oft-asked question.
Dear Informr: What's the difference between an Airplay speaker and a Bluetooth speaker? Why would I choose Airplay?
Bluetooth is a universal wireless platform that is found in a wide range of electrical devices that includes mobile phones, laptops, cameras, printers, household items and even cars.
AirPlay, on the other hand, is Apple’s own proprietary Wi-Fi dependant wireless platform, enabling users to stream digital audio or video content to other AirPlay-supported devices.
With regards to the main question, just like many things, it comes down to personal taste of the individual. There are a lot of Bluetooth-enabled speakers that provide very quick and high-resolution streaming of your music to an AV receiver or loudspeaker. If you don’t live in the Apple ecosystem then this may be the way for you to proceed. If you’re already an Apple-user, however, then AirPlay is something you may have already experienced. You may find the premium worth the expenditure in order to have the simplicity and power of that system as well as the potential for lossless quality streaming of AAC files.
With respect to AV receivers, AirPlay seems to be the dominant technology.
This isn’t so much about which is necessarily better. It’s more about which you need to accomplish your goals.