Best Buyers Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar's round-up of the best connected wireless speakers and speaker systems in 2018.
Speakers are the conduit for music in the home. Sure, headphones can be useful if you do not want the world to know what you're listening to, but if your goal is to replicate the Risky Business scene, you're going to need a speaker.
Fortunately, we have some ideas on where to start.
What do you need to create the best speakers on the market? Advanced audio engineering to create a musical sound as close to the source as possible, if not a little better. It is done with a technique called Digital Signal Processing that transforms the digital files that you own or transmit and converts them into audible noise through a DAC.
If that sounds too complicated, do not get entangled in semantics. Good speakers take the audio files and make them sound good, plain and simple.
In addition to pristine audio playback, you should look for speakers that can connect wirelessly to your devices. Trust us, leave your phone at a party because you need to listen to music is not so fun (or safe))
Find a system that sounds good, works well without cables and packages in a large number of functions as support Intelligent assistant, a built-in battery and Spotify Connect, well, you'll find a speaker that deserves to be called the best speaker on the planet.
You could go through all that work … or you could let us do it instead.
To that end, what you will find below is a list of the 10 best wireless speakers, ordered according to their price / performance ratio.
1. Best wireless speaker: Sonos One
At the moment, the Sonos One is the king of connected speakers
Weight: 1.85kg (4.08 lbs) | Size: 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 in | Drivers: 1 x tweeters, 1 x woofer | Supported Connectivity: AirPlay, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, 3.5 mm, RCA | Ethernet: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB: No
Intense, full-bodied sound
Combine the best of Alexa and Sonos
Combine two for stereo setup
No Google Assistant yet
If you're in the market for a connected, clean, exceptionally exceptional sound speaker, you'll find nothing better than the Sonos One. Offering the best of Sonos' multi-room speaker platform and Amazon's smart home-based prowess, Sonos One is the pinnacle of connectivity.
Do you want to listen to your favorite Spotify song? All you need to do is ask! Do you want every speaker on the top floor to play the same song? Group them through the Sonos app and you'll have a party at home in minutes.
While there are more powerful (and more expensive) speakers listed below, for the vast majority of people, the Sonos One is the best deal in 2018.
Read the full review: Sonos One
2. Finalist: Sonos Play: 5
Another excellent flagship speaker of the multi-room king
Weight: 6.3kg | Size: 204 mm x 364 mm x 154 mm | Drivers: 3 x tweeters, 1 x woofer | Supported Connectivity: AirPlay, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, 3.5 mm, RCA | Ethernet: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB: No
Easy to install
Sonos was one of the first companies to enter the connected speaker business, and as a result has one of the integrated loudspeaker systems more integrated in the market.
Sonos Play: 5 is the flagship of the company and has the
Unlike the solutions based on Bluetooth or Google Cast, the Sonos speakers are controlled directly from their own application, which incorporated the integration for several Transmissions services, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn a full range of smaller services.
Since this is a multi-room configuration, you can also add additional speakers such as Sonos Play: 3 and Sonos Play: 1 to build a complete surround sound system, but if you want to make it simple, then you should find Play: 5 to offer a sound more than enough.
Read the full review: Sonos Play: 5
3. Best stereo replacement: Pure Evoke C-F6
The all-in-one audio system of your dreams
Weight: 4.2kg | Size: 380 mm x 145 mm x 223 mm | Drivers: 2 x 3 "full range | Supported connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: No
Modest and attractive design
Incredible playback options
Without Google Cast support
The pure Evoque C-F6 is not a flashy speaker – it's modest (but refined) seems to slide unpretentiously into any décor, although it does not have the most expensive multi-room premium options on this list.
But that is also not really the goal of Evoke C-F6: its positioning It is a single-store room for all your audio playback needs.There is a dazzling variety of audio source options, with the biggest attractions being Spotify Connect, DAB, Internet radio, Bluetooth and old faithful CD playback. .
With an application Solid speaker that allows you to control the speaker from the other side of the room, and the Evoke C-F6 that offers a warm and natural ndstage of your stereo speakers, will occupy a preferential place in any bedside table or living room shelf in the that decides to exhibit.
Read the full review: Pure Evoke C-F6
4. Best Bluetooth Speaker: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
An Iconic Design Speaker for Connected Age
Weight: 6.5kg | Size: 188 mm x 660 mm x 183 mm | Drivers: 2 x Tweet, 2 x mid range, 1 x Subwoofer | Supported connectivity: AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth aptX | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: No
Wide range of connectivity options
Somewhat cumbersome configuration
It's a difficult call between this speaker and the Mu-So Qb for the player music with better looks in this list, but the Zeppelin is without doubt the most striking.
But as with all these speakers, the proof is in the pudding, and the Zeppelin sounds absolutely impressive no matter what volume you play it. Your bass has no distortion, and its midrange is nice and blunt.
It is also backed by a wide range of connectivity options, so you will not have problems for your darker applications to play through the speaker.
The only problem is its price: $ 699 (£ 499 / AU $ 999). But although the tag price ensures that only serious audiophiles will give you some consideration, it's much less expensive than the Mu-So Qb, and you get a similar level of sound quality.
Read the full review: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
5. Best Hi-Fi Speaker: Mu-So Qb
Impressive look, but fortunately not just a pretty face
Weight: 5.6kg | Size: 210 mm x 218 mm x 212 mm | Controllers: 1 x woofer, 2 x midrange, 2 x tweeter, 2 x passive Radiator | Supported connectivity: UPnP, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth aptX | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: Yes
Full and vibrant sound
The configuration is not perfect
You may not have heard of it before, but Naim audio is a company that it produces the most elegant connected speakers on the market, and we believe that the Mu-So Qb is the best one that has been released so far.
It comes with a full set of connectivity options including aptX Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, which means that all your music must be compatible with its maximum resolution, no matter what device you are using.
But even if you do not have your phone in your hand, the speaker can still be controlled with its elegant touch screen that allows you to access Internet radio stations, for example.
It has a premium price, but if you look for the Qb, you will not be disappointed.
Read the full review: Mu-So Qb
6. Best wireless speaker for your TV: Samsung HW-MS650
Be afraid, traditional hi-fi speakers. Be very afraid
Weight: 3.6kg | Size: 1060 x 78 x 130 mm (W x H x D) | Drivers: 3 custom units x | Supported connectivity: HDMI 4K / HDR only link, optical audio input, 3.5mm audio port, bidirectional Bluetooth, Wi-Fi | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: Yes
Incredibly powerful sound
Gravity handling that defies physics
Supports many sources
Slightly limited stereo effect
Not content with dominating the world of television , Samsung now seems to have its sights set on becoming the number one brand for home entertainment audio, too. All this effort has already produced outstanding results in the form of the Dolby Atmos HW-K850 and, especially, HW-K950 sound bars, as well as a range of innovative multi-room wireless speakers.
But, above all is the South Korean manufacturer HW-MS650. No other single-body sound bar has combined so much unprocessed power with such clarity, scale and, especially, low, or excelled so consistently with both movies and music. It's the kind of performance that only genuine audio innovation can offer, and with that in mind, it's worth its $ 450 / £ 599 price.
Read the full review: Samsung HW- MS650 Soundbar
7. Best Google Assistant Speaker: Google Home Max
Great sound with a great brain to match
Weight: 3.2 kg | Size: 209 x 294 x 166 mm | Drivers: 2x Tweeters, 2x Woofers | Supported connectivity: DLNA, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5 mm | Ethernet: Yes |
Aux-in: Yes | USB: Yes
Google Cast integrated
Compatible with Bluetooth
Exclusive to the USA. UU
When it comes to filling a small apartment with Google Home devices, is something bad too bad? As Google Home Max showed us, the answer is no.
Although it is absolutely massive, the Home Max is a surprisingly versatile addition to a space of any size, thanks to its balanced and impressive sound delivery and Smart Sound function that helps it adapt to any environment in which it has configured.
The big loudspeaker from Google is smarter than it's entitled to be, with smart touches like the mobile resting pad and orientation-oriented touch functions. It is also appreciated that its appearance is highlighted if you choose to observe it, but they blend into the scene during daily use.
The only problem? Only available in the US UU For now.
Read the full review: Google Home Max
8. The best bookshelf speakers: Wireless KEF LS50
If you came by bookshelf speakers, go with them
Weight: 6.12kg | Size: 420 x 198 x 192 mm | Drivers: 2x mid-range to high, 1x subwoofer | Supported connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth aptX, USB, Toslink / 3.5mm | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: Yes
Impressive sound quality
Beautiful and compact design
Without AirPlay or Google Cast
Slow mobile application
If you are looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers that handles Wireless audio In addition to having the traditional connections for your vinyl player, see the KEF LS50 Wireless. While KEF's flagship speakers are not compatible with all wireless standards on the market, they are compatible with Tidal or Spotify, as well as Bluetooth 4.0 standard.
In terms of sound quality, they are amazingly detailed and their outstanding sonic feature is their holographic image and instrumental layers: we could hear exactly where each instrument came from and each instrument sounded different and never fuzzy. Soundstage was expansive with good space on the side and above the listener. The resolution is excellent since the speaker can look for micro-details that are lost in smaller audio systems.
If you are an audiophile who wants the convenience of wireless audio, either directly from Internet transmission services such as Tidal or Spotify or from a home server, the KEF LS50 Wireless should be at the top of your list.
Read the full review: KEF LS50 Wireless
9. Smarter wireless speaker: Marshall Stanmore
A stylish hyperconnected speaker
Weight: 4.70kg | Size: 350 x 185 x 185 mm | Drivers: 2x mid-range to high, 1x subwoofer | Supported connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth aptX, USB, Toslink / 3.5mm | Ethernet: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | USB: Yes
Many connectivity options
Great retro design
Large and large structure
From his trio of new multi-speaker speakers, the Marshall Stanmore is the son medium. However, that does not mean that he is the unloved brother.
While the larger Woburn is just a little also large for most rooms, and the smaller Acton has a number of connectivity issues, the Stanmore achieves a good balance between the two with a big and forceful sound, without deviating too much to the territory of & # 39; excess & # 39; (Even if you mark our words, you will do it if you wish).
It has its own application to control it, but we were fans of how well it integrates with a series of other services like AirPlay, Google Cast and Spotify Connect, which means you can follow the applications with which you are familiar while still is controlling your new toy.
But it's the on-board controls that impressed us the most. You can configure presets from a number of different services, which means you can switch between predefined Spotify playlists and Internet radio stations with a turn of a brass Marshall vintage style knob.
It does not have the most refined sound of the speakers on this list, but the Marshall Stanmore is cleverly designed and easy to use.
Read the full review: Marshall Stanmore
10. Best wireless speaker for iOS lovers: Apple HomePod
Excellent sound, so smart speaker
Weight: 5.5 lbs (2.5kg) | Size: 6.8 x 5.6 inches (172 x 142 mm) | Drivers: 7 x tweeters, 1x Woofer | Supported connectivity: AirPlay | Ethernet: No | Aux-in: No | USB: No
Incredible sound quality
Attractive and simple design
Without Bluetooth transmission
Requires subscription to Apple Music
If we only qualify the Apple HomePod according to the merits of performance sound, the HomePod probably ranks first on this list. But, like a connected speaker, it has a long way to go.
In general, it offers a rich and clear sound that will imp
ress anyone who hears it, and every facet of the way audio is designed and delivered has been well thought out. through. But there are still some small bumps that eliminate part of the brightness: Siri can not search the web, the lack of Bluetooth transmission or being able to control your Apple TV or iPhone directly from the speaker are omissions that many would like to have.
Once you build these features, we will definitely visit you again and possibly give you a higher place on this list. Until then, however, it is a speaker that only serves a specialized audience, and still not very well.
Read the full review: Apple HomePod