Wireless Wonders: 7 Wireless Speakers Reviewed

When you hear the term wireless speakers, chances are you think of Sonos. There’s good reason for that. Sonos staked out the wireless speaker category early on, establishing a solid product line known for reliable performance, engaging sound, and a user-friendly app that controls speakers in multiple rooms around the home. It also didn’t hurt that Sonos had the marketing budget in recent years for Super Bowl commercials—not exactly something that audio manufacturers are known for doing.

Sonos may have established a long lead in its category, but competitors have now arrived—in droves. To get a sense of what the newcomers offer and how they stack up against Sonos, we rounded up a few. Our goals: Gauge the usability of each system’s app, assess the speaker’s sound quality, and check out differentiating features, such as auto EQ and an ability to pair speaker sets for stereo playback. Along with the proprietary ecosystems (Sonos, Bluesound, etc.), we wanted to cover the open platforms, including DTS Play-Fi and Qualcomm AllPlay.

To even the playing field, we tested the smallest, entry-level speaker in each manufacturer’s line and kept them below the $300 price point. The thinking is that most buyers will start out with a single, low-cost model and perhaps move on to pricier speakers that offer higher performance and, of course, deeper bass. Regardless of the speaker chosen, both the key platform features and the app used to control them are consistent across each manufacturer’s line.

Related: What You Need to Know About Wireless Multiroom Music Systems

eugovector's picture

How about, "Anything plus the Chromecast Audio"? Forget 3rd party apps, you want native app support with casting.