best wireless speakers

The Best Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers of 2017

Best Wireless Speakers of 2017

So, you’re in the market for the best wireless speakers. You’re in luck! there has never been more choice, but that might also leave your head spinning when it comes to picking the right one for you. Above all else, sound matters, so keep in mind that there might be some options out there with more bells and whistles, what we’re focusing on most of is great sound! Nothing makes me cringe more than when I watch someone listening to music, at home or elsewhere, out of their built-in phone of laptop speakers! Ughhhh! I realize that I’m a bit more of an obsessed audiophile than most, but come on, listening to your music that way is just uncivilized, not to mention you’re completely missing out on hearing the music the way the artist intended! Let’s be clear, a full-blown home stereo is always going to win, but I get that we’re in the age of digital convenience and not everyone wants to spend $10k on a high-end, big bulky system like me – so these are your best options to get the most bang for your buck in the wireless speaker word.

Before we proceed to the Best Wireless Speakers List, let’s just quickly cover the main wireless formats, because this can be a BIG factor in how you use your system.

  1. Airplay – This format is strictly for iOS (Apple/Mac) users. In this format, the speaker and streaming device (phone/laptop) connect to each other over your home network so there are no proximity issues. Now Apple has also enabled a direct connection, so you can still connect when away from your home network (this will have some proximity restraints similar to Bluetooth). Bottom line –If you’re an Apple user this connection makes things really simple. [Also – see our article on the right way to use Airplay]
  2. WiFi – This format links to your home network, sounds great and has no proximity issues. Many portable devices like this will also have Bluetooth or Airplay as well so you can use it on your home network. Sonos pioneered this method.
  3. Bluetooth – This works with just about every phone and computer, but keep in mind the device you’re playing from typically needs to be within about 15-20ft of the speaker. Sound quality is slightly less than Airplay or through your network, but some people can’t notice. A bigger issue is that often you will find yourself having to re-establish the connection on new playing sessions.

There are some other new and up and coming formats, but these are the main formats. Also, keep in mind most speakers will likely have multiple connection options as well as a direct wired option too.

Keep in mind every wireless speaker in this list is GREAT, so I’m not putting in any particular order –that will be up to you based on your own budget and application (i.e. mostly to use at home or just for something to take to the beach etc.). Whether you use a streaming service like Spotify, or steam from your own library these speakers will delight you.

Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (White/Black) Click for details

Sonos pioneered the space, no naturally they are going to end up on many best lists.  this is just one of three of three of their speakers that had to be included in the best wireless speakers top 10! Sounds incredible and worth every penny. Keep in mind Sonos uses it’s own app (mobile/laptop) to play and is strictly geared to home use (none are portable). The Play 1 delivers a sweet detailed sound with a surprising bass extension for speaker of this size. You can also add another speaker for full stereo sound!

Bang & Olufsen (B&O) Beoplay S3 Bluetooth [Editors Choice at reduced price]

B&O over the years have been known for building top quality products, although you tend to have to pay a big premium style over performance.  When this S3 speaker came out, it was well over $300 which gets into tough competitive territory but when the price dropped on Amazon to $126! I had to try this baby out.  In short, I was absolutely blown away.  In fact, I could potentially justify this at a much higher price.  Crisp, clear and punchy with much deeper, clean bass than I could have ever expected from such a little speaker.  I didn’t expect it, but it beats two of my favorites from Sonos with ease (model 1 and 2) although I’ll say the only drawback is that it’s Bluetooth only (no airplay or home Wifi network) and has a few limitations when it comes to multi-room/speaker setups and control.  It does let you add a second speaker for a stereo pair, and I’ll more than likely get one at this price and use this setup in my bedroom.  At the new price, this is without question the clear winner in the non-portable best wireless speaker space and I can’t wait to try the other models.

Read our full [Beoplay S3 Wireless Speaker Review]

 

 

Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Next Generation Ultra Portable

Cambridge may not be one of the more well known commercial brands, but these guys don’t mess around when it comes to their audio products. For the size, versatility, and price this one had to be included. Need a rugged splash-proof option for the beach then this is a no-brainer. Amazon is blowing these out at dirt cheap prices (click link above to see.)  Read our full OONTZ Angle 3 review

 

Sonos PLAY:3 Mid-Sized Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (White/Black)

Everything I said about the Sonos Play 1 applies to this bad boy with even bigger sound and more bass punch for just $100 more. We have one of these in our large office and it’s amazing how much detailed room-filling sound comes out of this little box. Read the full Sonos Play:3 Review

Libratone ZIPP WiFi + Bluetooth Multi-Room Wireless Speaker Click for Details

When I think best portable wireless speakers, I think about this guy.  If you want to get more serious about your portable sound it’s tough to beat this powerful great sound. Libratone is really making a name for themselves in wireless speaker technology – their entire line is solid! You can add more speakers as well for true stereo or surround sound. Airplay, Bluetooth, DLNA, Multiroom up to 6 speakers –this one is a winner. Check out our video Libratone Zipp Review

 

ARCHEER 25W Bluetooth Speakers (A320) with Super Bass, Bamboo Wood Home Speaker with Subwoofer

This little guy sounds as good as it looks. This unit delivers a lot of sound for the price and offers good multi-use capability. If you’re looking for something inexpensive and good for a small room or portable use then the Arceer is worth checking out!

 

 UE BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker – Black

This one may cost a bit more than other similar portables in the size class, but the sound and power is well worth it. You can add additional speakers as well. This is one of my favorite small portables –the Ultra boom is also fantastic as well which delivers even bigger sound with a small increase in size. Rock solid!  This had to be on our portable best wireless speakers list!

JBL Flip 2 Portable Wireless Speaker (Black)

If you’re on the more price conscious side then it’s tough to beat the bang for the buck you get with this little guy. Big portable sound at a superb value. This little powerhouse had to be on the best wirless speaker list!

 

Sonos PLAY:5 Ultimate Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music (Black)

In short, this is one of the best all-around wireless home speaker options that begin to rival, if not exceed, some far bigger home systems. At just under $500 it’s not cheap, but for the sound, it delivers it’s a steal! One of these will fill a room with rich detailed sound that will compete with full-size separate systems –match with a second speaker and you are now getting into the big leagues of wireless sound and the upper end of the best wireless speakers anywhere. This one is my favorite of the bunch for sound quality and value. It’s not as fine as the Naim (below) but most, unless you’re a crazy audiophile like me, won’t even notice.

Audio Pro Addon C10 2‑way Speaker

If you’re not familiar with Audio Pro, you should be.  These Sweedish speakers have been tough to find, but looks like Amazon caught on and you can easily find there.  In short, this speaker is able to sit at the table with those at double the price.  Tons of features, fantastic build and at $350 you are going to have a tough time finding anything that will sound better.  If you are in the market for a non-portable at this price then this speaker MUST be on your shortlist.  It’s got a big sound, punch rhythmic bass and full of clarity and detail.  This is what you call a winner!

Check out our full VIDEO review here: Audio Pro Addon C10 Review & Test (Best Wireless Speakers)

pro addon C10 audio pro review

Naim – Mu-So Reference Wireless Music System

Not familiar with Naim audio? Well you should be. They are one of the world-leading audio equipment manufacturers based in England. I’m talking about the most serious and best sounding equipment on the planet, and not something you will find at a common store like Best Buy. Some of their CD players cost more than $40k! Naim is starting to make more “accessible” products for the masses and this is one of them. When you get into this level it’s really about being able to appreciate more than just volume and bass punch, but about the fine realism and detail in the music. Aside from its impeccable design and build quality, this will be a statement piece in any room. At just under $1500 you can start to get a full-size system that can rival, but for an all-in-one wireless slick package, this is the king. When you want to talk best wireless speakers look no further – but you’ll have to pay!  Read the full Naim Muso reference wireless music system review

 

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