Wireless Speakers

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Compact Wireless Speakers
Amazon Echo Wireless Speaker/Voice-Activated Assistant: $180
Using voice activation, the Echo functions like a cross between a wireless speaker, a personal assistant ready to provide weather or news, and a home controller for lights and other connected devices. A remarkable addition to any home. (July 2015, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Sonos One Wireless Smart Speaker: $199
Sonos may be late to the smart speaker party but the Alexa-equipped Sonos One was worth the wait. Its voice control chops are formidable and it may well be the best sounding smart speaker available. As reviewer Rob Sabin put it, “By offering up the Sonos One at the same $200 entry price as the Play:1, and allowing Alexa voice control to be added to any pre-existing system, they've given hesitant buyers with a critical ear a real incentive to explore this brave new world of home automation.” (April 2018, Read Full Review)
Sonos Play:1 Wireless Speaker System: $199
The cost of owning a Sonos wireless music system is lower than ever with the diminutive Play:1. Connect it to your router, download the free controller app to your smartphone or tablet, and start building a wireless wholehouse music system with access to dozens of streaming services. Describing its sound as spacious and engaging, reviewer Rob Sabin wrote: “There are many high-performance wireless Bluetooth speakers out there, but none of them offer the multiroom options of Sonos’ app-based control system.” (April 2014, Read Full Review)
Oppo Sonica Wireless Speaker: $299
Oppo, known for best-in-class Blu-ray players and Top Pick-designated headphones and amp/DACs, has made a welcome entry into the wireless speaker market. Unlike many of its competitors, the Sonica sounds great and supports both Bluetooth streaming and hi-res, multiroom playback over Wi-Fi. Reviewer Bob Ankosko wrote: “I was immediately struck by the fullness and depth of Amos Lee’s “Till You Come Back Through” (Spirit). Lee’s soulful voice filled my 12 x 12-foot office in a most convincing way.” All that from a speaker no bigger than a loaf of bread. (December 2016, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Kanto SYD Bluetooth Speaker: $330
In a world littered with mediocre Bluetooth speakers, Kanto’s SYD distinguishes itself as a stellar performer that delivers rich, powerful sound from an enclosure the same width as a standard size audio component. Best of all, it does so at an eminently reasonable price. “I was blown away by the intimacy, clarity and depth of Holly Cole and her jazz quartet performing 'Larger Than Life' from 2007’s Holly Cole) — and that’s just one example of many,” wrote reviewer Bob Ankosko. “Quite an accomplishment for such as small speaker.” (Posted 9/26/18, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Como Audio Solo & Duetto Wireless Music Systems: $299, $399
Don’t be fooled by the clock-radio appearance of the Solo or Duetto. Yes, each has a clock with dual alarms and an FM radio, but these extras barely scratch the surface of what these expertly crafted tabletop music systems can do. Both models support Bluetooth streaming and multiroom wireless via Wi-Fi with a variety of wired and wireless source options, including Internet radio, Spotify Premium, and music stored on a PC or server. You’ll be hard-pressed to find compact system that’s as versatile or sounds as good as either of these. (February/March 2017, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Denon Heos Wireless Multiroom Sound System: $300 and up
Heos is Denon’s answer to the popular Sonos multiroom music system and it ranks among the best in terms of sound quality, setup simplicity, and flexibility. It operates over Wi-Fi and you can build a system around any combination of three excellent sounding speakers: the Heos 3 ($300), Heos 5 ($400), and Heos 7 ($600). Denon also offers the Heos Amp ($499) for connecting any non-powered speakers and Heos Link ($349) for existing music systems. Everything—including the rooms in which you want music to play—is controlled by an intuitive app (Android and iOS). Heos is a worthy contender of the Goliathan Sonos and deserves serious consideration. (January 2015, Read Full Review)
Apple HomePod Wireless Smart Speaker: $349
HomePod may be late to the smart speaker party but it’s an instant contender featuring outstanding build quality and best-in-class sound. Calling it “a shining triumph of audio engineering,” reviewer Rob Sabin cautioned that some smart-speaker shoppers will find the HomePod’s Apple-centricity to be limiting. On the other hand, if you’re just dipping your toe into smart speakers and aren’t put off by the monthly commitment to Apple music, you need to ask yourself what you really plan to use your smart speaker for.” Either way, HomePod is a great lifestyle speaker well worth the asking price. (June 2018, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Riva Turbo X Bluetooth Speaker: $199
(updated 11/30/18; original price: $349) Riva made its mark in the crowded Bluetooth speaker field with the Turbo X, a great sounding portable with a fine fit and finish and features you won’t find on other Bluetooth speakers. (July/August 2015, Read Full Review)
Klipsch Three Wireless Music System: $400
(price increased to $499 due to addition of Google Assistant voice-control functionality) Klipsch has brought its considerable audio talents to bear on this beautifully crafted tabletop stereo system, which melds retro styling with state-of-the-art features and sound (hi-res included). Evoking what Klipsch calls the “mid-century” design legacy of its late founder Paul W. Klipsch, the Three boasts impeccably finished walnut panels, a knit grille, and something you don’t expect to see on modern gear: a toggle switch. Listening to Suzanne Vega on Internet radio, reviewer Bob Ankosko was impressed by what he heard: “The Three conveyed the breathy quality of Vega’s vocals with just the right amount of ambience.” (June 2017, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Kicker Bullfrog Jump Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker: $300
(original price $400; updated 11/30/18) The Bullfrog Jump is a rugged portable speaker that was conceived for rough and tumble use outdoors, making it ideal for tailgating and pool parties. And it more than lives up to the Kicker tradition of delivering big, bold sound, as reviewer Bob Ankosko discovered: “From Amos Lee to the Zombies, I gave the Bullfrog a serious workout on Pandora, hopping from station to station, artist to artist, and genre to genre while moving room to room and eventually outside. The Jump was a great companion.” (January 2017, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Kanto YU6 Powered Wireless Speakers: $400/pair
(original price $480; updated 11/30/18) Looking for a simplified yet versatile audio setup that skips the audio rack and its tangle of cables? Along with the convenience of built-in power and Bluetooth wireless streaming, pair of YU6 speakers from Canada’s Kanto provide an optical input and an RCA input you can switch to phono: Plug in your turntable — or any source component — and you’re good to go. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann called the YU6 a “fabulous two-channel starter system” that excels with digital sources.” (January 2018, Read Full Review)
Riva WAND Wireless Music System: Festival, $499; Arena, $249
Riva Audio proved it could build an awesome Bluetooth speaker with the mighty Turbo X and has accomplished the same with a Wi-Fi-based multiroom system comprising the mix-and-match Festival and Arena speakers. Both impressed reviewer Rob Sabin with big sound from small cabinets, although he did have a few quibbles with the Chromecast control interface. “In the final analysis, the Festival and Arena delivered a crazy-high level of engagement with the music that made my blood flow and kept me punching up track after track.” (December 2017, Read Full Review)
Sonos Play:5 Wireless Music System: $499
Sonos has given a complete makeover to its highly popular original speaker and upped the price $100. In return you get overall improved performance and Trueplay, an amazing new feature that automatically optimizes sound quality no matter where you put the speaker. Reviewer Darryl Wilkinson wrote: “I’ve tested Trueplay on different Sonos speakers, and it overcame some truly awful locations such as on a countertop against the microwave, on the bottom shelf of a nightstand, and even behind the door of a kitchen cabinet.” (February/March 2016, SoundandVision.com, Read Full Review)
Cambridge Audio Air 200 Wireless Speaker System: $190
(originally “Minx 200 Air” priced at $599; updated 11/30/18) The Minx 200 Air might be small but it’s loaded with technology, including exotic drivers, AirPlay and Bluetooth wireless connectivity, digital amplification, and DSP processing. Most important, it delivers excellent sound from an inconspicuous cabinet. Reviewer Mark Fleischmann wrote: “If you want music in the kitchen, in the bedroom, on the deck, in the garage—basically, anywhere with a power outlet—this $599 product is well worth the price. It certainly was a big hit in my home.” (SoundandVision.com, posted May 29, 2014, Read Full Review)
B&W Zeppelin Wireless Music System: $699
Bowers & Wilkins has revised, revoiced, and updated the popular Zeppelin speaker it introduced in 2008 (and updated in 2012) to eliminate the iPhone/iPod dock in favor AirPlay and Bluetooth connectivity—and it sounds better than ever. “The Zeppelin Wireless isn’t the cheapest wireless speaker out there—and that’s pretty much the point,” wrote reviewer Mark Fleischmann. “It’s for someone who would rather pay a little more to get the best than buy something uninspiring to save a buck. It sounds gloriously musical, and without the dock, it looks more elegant than ever.” (April 2016, Read Full Review)
Audioengine HD6 Wireless Speaker: $600/pair
(original price $699, updated 11/30/18) The HD6 has a lot going for it. For starters, it’s just under a foot tall, it has built-in power, and it’s wireless—in other words, you won’t need to worry about speaker cables or having a separate receiver or amplifier. Further sweetening the deal is the choice of three gorgeous wood veneer finishes, simple setup, and awesome sound. “The speakers projected a huge, spacious soundstage, with a sense of width and depth that no single-box speaker can muster,” wrote reviewer Michael Trei. “The very top octaves were just a bit soft sounding…but I soon decided that this was a deliberate voicing decision made by Audioengine.” (May 2016, Read Full Review)
Soundcast VG7 Outdoor Wireless Speaker: $800
If Naim’s remarkable Mu-so Qb is the mother of all indoor wireless speakers, Soundcast’s new flagship VG7 speaker is its outdoor counterpart. Like the Mu-so, it carries a substantial price tag, but if you’re headed for the backyard or a tailgate party, you’ll get what you pay for in sound quality, ease of use, and reliable operation. As reviewer Rob Sabin put it, “The VG7 is a true leader in its class, and highly recommended.” (July/August 2017, Read Full Review)
Naim Mu-so Qb Wireless Music System: $899
Hailing from Naim Audio, one of the U.K.’s most respected names in high-end audio, the superbly crafted Mu-so Qb may well be the best all-in-one wireless music system on the planet. “[The Qb] is without question one of the best-sounding compact speaker systems I’ve heard,” wrote reviewer Bob Ankosko.” Its natural tonal balance and ability to play loud and clean with solid bass will surprise and delight you.” Need we say more? (July/August 2017, Read Full Review)
Naim Uniti Atom Wireless Music Player: $3,000
A follow-up to Naim’s outstanding Mu-so Qb Wireless Music System, the Uniti Atom is a gorgeous and impeccably-built 21st Century remake of the classic integrated amp, melding hi-res streaming capabilities with a high-performance 2 x 40-watt power amplifier. “I loved almost everything about Naim’s Uniti Atom stream-plifier,” wrote reviewer Daniel Kumin. “Everything, that is, except the price. Which is not to say that $3,000 is unfair for so beautifully conceived, engineered, and executed a product.” (June 2018, Read Full Review)
Naim Mu-So Wireless Speaker System: $1,399
If you’re in the market for a great sounding tabletop music system, the Bluetooth/Airplay-capable Mu-so deserves serious consideration. In the words of reviewer Fred Manteghian, “The Mu-so is by far the best-sounding device of its type I’ve encountered, filling the room with music at a level that is very satisfying for all but metalheads.” (January 2016, Read Full Review)

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