I first began using Airfoil back in late 2012 with my Windows system in order to take advantage of some existing Airplay speakers that I was using with iTunes only. Airfoil allowed me to redirect the sound from my browser-based Pandora player throughout the house.
Later on, when I switched to using an OS X platform (Mac Mini) I encountered the numerous issues that seem to plague Airplay users, random dropouts and disconnects being among the most annoying. On impulse I purchased the Mac license for Airfoil and found my issues were 90% improved.
I’m not sure why but playing iTunes content through native Airplay is still just an awful experience. Airplay devices seem to come and go as they please. While the issue is most notable with third party speakers (I have a couple of Philips Fidelio Wireless Speakers that I came close to launching out the window), it also manifests with my stereo which is attached via an Airport Express router and with my outdoor TV which is connected via Apple TV.
What a difference! I won’t say it’s perfect, anything depending upon home wireless connectivity seldom is, but the improvement in reliability is dramatic!
If that isn’t enough I can also install free add-on software on my Windows and Macbook machines and broadcast music from my primary Mac to wherever those other devices are. If your goal is to have your music available subtly throughout your home rather than blasting it from a single stereo or computer then this is your solution.
So I’m much happier with my setup now. When I am puttering in the house or when I have a party I have my music coming from every room so you can just enjoy it without straining. And very few dropouts compared to before!