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What Wireless Speaker Should I Buy

At What Hi-Fi?, we've reviewed many products from both JBL and Bose, and we've liked products from both brands. Though, while Bose speakers are often stylish and have lots of features, sometimes JBL can offer up better value for the money in terms of performance.

what wireless speaker should i buy

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However, while JBL is very dominant when it comes to Bluetooth speakers, as you'll see with the list above, we tend to find wireless speakers from other brands, like Apple or Audio Pro Addon, will serve you best when it comes to buying a wireless speaker.

Of course, Sonos wasn't the first company to do this, but Sonos did manage to design stylish, performant, feature-rich speakers that were never too tough to set up, bringing high-quality multi-room audio to the masses.

Now, the company offers a variety of products from smart speakers to soundbars, many of which we've found to offer up strong performances and good values. All of this, together, adds up to why Sonos is so popular.

When choosing a wireless speaker, besides setting and sticking to a budget, you need to think about where you'll be using it and what you want from it. Will a small wireless speaker for a second room suffice, or do you want a big speaker that can fill a larger space? Do you want portability from your wireless speaker? In which case you might want to pick something with a built-in rechargeable battery.

Wireless speakers tend to include Bluetooth in their feature set for basic streaming, but many can be connected to your home wi-fi network so you can use features like AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect and any multi-room features they might have. If you subscribe to a streaming service it's worth bearing in mind.

Many wireless speakers come with their own control app so you can take command of all their features using a smartphone or tablet. Some apps work better than others which will affect how easy they are to use.

Once you've decided what you're looking for, you'll want to draw up a list of candidates, and to help with that, we've got you covered below with a great selection of wireless speakers across different price points. There should be something for everyone and anyone...

It seems that it isn't enough for the best wi-fi speakers to just deliver great sound and a decent array of features anymore. Ever since Apple's mighty HomePod 2 landed early in 2023 with the ability to deliver spatial audio, the race has been on to see who could challenge the biggest dog on the block when it came to integrating the much-vaunted tech into their own speaker designs.

The 2021 update (sensibly titled MkII) to the multiple What Hi-Fi? Award-winning Audio Pro C10 (also listed, below) adds AirPlay 2 and Google Cast to complete a multi-room home run and gain a 2021 What Hi-Fi? Award for the best home wireless speaker at 250 - 500.

This includes a clever process where the speaker uses in-built sensors to optimise its sound settings for its position in the room. Testing the feature by moving it closer to a wall in our listening room, our reviewers could hear the HomePod 2 adjusting its sound in real-time. Very impressive.

At What Hi-Fi?, we know full well the value of revisions. Yet still, it was quite the surprise when first we heard about one made by Naim, with its second generation of the Mu-so Qb wireless speaker. The previous iteration was great, earning five stars when it was first reviewed. This version, however, is is truly phenomenal.

Belying its box-like dimensions with a punchy bass alongside sparkling and rich tones across frequencies, the Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation scooped up 2020 and 2022 What Hi-Fi? Awards for the best home wireless speaker over 500 ($500).

This is basically the wi-fi-enabled, multi-room version of Audio Pro's Addon T3. It has the same minimalist looks that the Scandinavian company is known for, complete with textured surfaces and embossed leather carry handle, but the wireless tech adds a whole new dimension to your listening. It's just a shame that controlling it using the smartphone app isn't a bit better thought through. Still, this is a belter of a speaker, make no mistake, and a fine addition to any home set-up. A What Hi-Fi? 2022 Awards winner.

They're not cheap and the aesthetic won't appeal to everyone, but if you want a wireless pair of standmounts that nothing comes close to right now in terms of sound, you've just found them. The Duos are deadly precise speakers with excellent clarity and a performance that makes you want to dig out tune after tune just to hear what they can do.

The Naim Mu-so-2's extensive feature set includes all manner of wireless streaming technologies such as AirPlay 2 and Chromecast. Tidal and Spotify are also supported, as is high-res audio to the tune of 24-bit/88kHz. It's not just about streaming, though, with a HDMI ARC input allowing you to hook up a TV and boost its sound at the same time.

The Naim looks like a premium wireless speaker and it sounds like one too, with a rich, confident sound, packed full of detail and delivered with immense rhythmic drive. Bass is plentiful and of a high quality.

The second-generation Sonos One is really a Sonos Play:1 in new clothing, but that's no bad thing. It now boasts Amazon's Alexa smart assistant for voice controls, and it's all the better for it. In fact, with its room-filling sound, it stands apart from the glut of smart speakers that are smart first and speakers second. Throw in Apple's AirPlay 2 tech and the fact that the One fits seamlessly into a multi-room set-up, and you've got a winner on your hands.

Yes, the newer Sonos Era 100 has rather stolen the One's thunder as of late, but that doesn't diminish the qualities of one of Sonos' most popular wireless speakers. It's also good news for bargain hunters, as the emergence of the new Era range has meant a significant price drop for slightly older models. A five-star Sonos speaker at a discount is nothing to be sniffed at.

The multi-room titan's first travel-friendly speaker (the 2019 Sonos Move is technically portable but weighs a hefty 3kg to the Roam's 430g) isn't short on connectivity or features. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is joined by support for AirPlay 2 and voice controls. Headed to the beach or the pool? The IP67 rating means the Roam is both water and dust resistant. The built-in battery offers a pretty decent 10 hours playback and support for Qi wireless charging.

Aside from the raw audio quality of a wireless speaker, we also test and evaluate every aspect of its performance, including battery life, connection quality, ease of use, and versatility. Our review philosophy doesn't change based on price or brand reputation, either.

All wireless speakers are tested and reviewed in the context of their value on a performance-per-dollar basis, and as part of our testing procedure, wireless speakers are compared against similarly-priced class leaders to see how they perform and help us figure out an appropriate rating.

A dedicated soundbar can offer sonic advantages over these speakers because it can include a center channel for improved dialogue and/or a subwoofer for improved bass response. Since this review originally published, Roku has introduced the Wireless Subwoofer, which you can pair with these speakers to improve the bass performance, especially with movies, though it roughly doubles the price of the system. Roku has also introduced its own Smart Soundbar with a built-in Roku media player, and you can pair the Roku TV Wireless Speakers with the soundbar to get true surround sound. (You can read our thoughts on the Roku soundbar in our guide to the best soundbars, but the short version is: We prefer the audio performance of the Roku TV Wireless Speakers.)

Positioning the speakers is also easier. Since they require only power cables and not AV connections, you can place them where they are convenient or sound the best, without being tied to the TV. I did not notice any lip-sync issues or other problems that you might expect to see with wireless speakers. They just worked.

The market is bursting with Bluetooth speakers right now, and narrowing down a list of the best models is a huge undertaking. There are literally hundreds to choose from, but very few make the grade when it comes to delivering top sound quality for your favorite music. The few that do are listed here. They deliver the kind of sound quality to make a musical connection and receive a thumbs up from our expert audio reviewers. Each model in this list is also a worthy investment that combines great performance, versatility, long battery life (where applicable), along with a practical design that is either portable friendly or sits discreetly on a shelf or sideboard cabinet.

As one of the most versatile wireless speakers around, the Denon Home 150 is much more than a Bluetooth speaker and comes with plenty of Wi-Fi smarts and Alexa voice control, too. It needs to be connected to a power outlet but can form part of a multi-room music or home theater system paired with other HEOS platform speakers. It has integrated app support for all the best music streaming services. 041b061a72


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