The finest wireless speakers of 2022 are available in a variety of sizes and designs, with plenty of top tech features built-in. There are voice assistant-enabled compact speakers that pump out your favorite music as you work, as well as huge multi-room devices that may fill your entire home with music.. But what is the best one right now? Read our guide about the best wireless speakers and find out now!
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Fans of music and fans of wireless connections can get the best of both worlds by buying the best wireless speakers. There is so much out there beyond Bluetooth, and you don’t have to give up audio quality to get rid of extra wires and cables. If you aren’t familiar with all the ins and outs of WiFi (wireless) speakers or what to look for, we’ve got you covered. We investigated the coverage, streaming capabilities, features, equipment size and home app support in each of our top 5.
Read our review of the top 5 best wireless speakers to see which one is best for you, then get ready to say a happy goodbye to some of those not-so-beloved cables. Let’s start off with an overview and our very top picks, then we’ll get into the details.
We gave Naim Mu-so QB 2nd Gen a score of 9.9 out to 10. The Naim Mu-so offers nice positioning possibilities, lots of options for your connection, and is compatible with your household smart assistant, although you will have to pay for all these features.
We gave the Sonos One, a solid yet affordable wireless speaker, a score of 9.2. The Sonos One pumps out excellent sound and can sense the acoustics of its environment and adjust the sound accordingly, which is a great feature. All this comes at a reasonable price.
You are probably familiar with Bluetooth speakers, which play music without having to be plugged into a device. WiFi or wireless speakers can also play music wirelessly, but generally can boast better audio quality than a Bluetooth speaker.
WiFi speakers provide great sound because they can receive signals over a broader space with more dependability. You can control multiple speakers simultaneously using just one device and, if desired, play something different in different rooms. For example, you might want the radio playing in the kitchen at the same time that someone is watching a movie in another room.
Two drawbacks to wireless speakers are: 1) a Bluetooth speaker is much more portable in general, although not always, as you will see below; and 2) WiFi speakers sometimes only work with the app that you get from the speaker brand; in other words, some speakers won’t allow you to listen to Spotify right from your cellphone.
Each wireless speaker has its own set of features, so read our summary carefully rather than making assumptions about any of them. What follows is a more detailed description of each of our top 5 WiFi speakers and their capabilities.
The 2nd generation Mo-su QB is an upgrade to a device that was an excellent product to start with. This wireless speaker needed few upgrades in appearance, as it was already a handsome unit that you would not need to tuck away out of sight. It has the same nice dial on top as the earlier version, but Naim added some lighting to it.
Beauty is as beauty does, but when you get below the surface is when the Mo-su QB 2nd Gen speaker truly stands out.
There is a three-way stereo speaker combination with upgraded and optimized midrange and bass drive units underneath the grille. The speaker broadcasts farther and with greater effect due to a bass driver aiming the sound forward and tweeters and midrange drivers aiming the sound waves outwards.
The Mu-so QB skillfully balances its bass weight and low-end punch without sacrificing precision in the slightest, producing a powerful soundstage in your room.
Improvements have been implemented that result in greater auditory openness as compared to its predecessor, all of which is remarkable in a speaker this size. The Mu-so QB 2nd Gen creates full strength in the core of the music while retaining a light quality with effective sound dispersion.
It is also a very nimble performer on both ends of the range of sound. A funky guitar riff comes out with an impressive rumble that can turn on a dime to upper-register classical music without missing a beat.
Connectivity abounds as well, because Naim put three years of engineering work into creating a new streaming platform. The speaker comes with a remote control if you don’t care to use the app for some reason.
All the features in the Mu-so QB 2nd Gen include plenty of streaming to choose from. This Naim speaker now includes Chromecast built in, Apple AirPlay 2 plus Bluetooth streaming, not to mention Spotify Connect, Roon Ready, Internet radio and Tidal — which you can try free for 90 days.
If you are willing to buy one or more additional Naim speakers along with this one, you can create a high-end multi-room system in your home that is capable of handling five Naim streaming products.
Audiophiles operating on a budget should be satisfied with the Sonos One WiFi speaker, especially for the price. Fabulous sound quality issues from an attractively sleek device.
This wireless speaker boasts a multi-room speaker platform and full connectivity with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. But it doesn’t end there.
If you have a hankering for a specific song on Spotify, it responds to your voice command to play it. If you are feeling festive, you can use the Sonos app to group together all the speakers on a floor and have them all play the same song.
You will find more powerful and more expensive speakers than this one in our top 5 list, but the Sonos One may be the best choice on the market for most people at this time. Get the Sonos One wireless speaker to play In My Mind by Dynoro and you will revel in the full bass and energetic sound.
If good things come in small packages, the Sonos One is a small package at a reasonable price that brings impressive sound power to your party, even if you choose relatively complicated pieces of music. The Sonos One includes a built-in microphone that senses the acoustics of the space it is in and adjusts its sound reproduction accordingly.
For instance, a song with multiple instruments weaving in and out of a song, such as Pain by The War on Drugs, comes through clearly despite the sound complexity. This is partly due to the way the speaker adapted its sound to suit my room’s particularly resonant quality.
If you want true sound separation, however, you may wish to opt to set up a pair of stereo speakers rather than the one speaker in this package. Considering the size and price of the Sonos One, though, it’s hard to complain, especially when you can, if you wish, add more Sonos speakers to the set-up for a stereo effect.
The KEF LSX, with a price tag around 1200 euros, is a smaller version of KEF’s award-winning LS50 wireless streaming system, which would have set you back another 700 euros on top of that. A smaller footprint and more affordable: what’s not to like?
Use the LSX to play music from the KEF Stream app over your choice of Ethernet or WiFi. Spotify and AirPlay 2 are also included. While the LSX main speaker ignores the old RCA and USB connections, the optical and 3.5 mm auxiliary inputs on the LSX main speaker let you connect TVs and portable devices, plus you can crank up the bass on the system using the subwoofer output as desired.
The size of the LSX’s sound output closely approaches that of the Naim Mu-so mention above, despite its smaller devices and drivers. Just listen to the serene drum and guitar duo from Nick Cave’s Jubilee Street and you will hear that these KEF wireless speakers “practice what they preach,” as the song says. LSX brings admirable transparency to each tone in the song’s range of guitar sonorities and the guitarist’s varied emphasis on each tone.
It is not only in the amount of detail that the speakers expose, but also the dynamic discretion that it delivers. The placement of the crystal clear vocals is considered no less than the bells subtly ringing next to it.
KEF’s signature ‘Music Integrity Engine’ controls the speaker’s digital signal processing to ensuring that timing is as precise as one could wish in any audio device. Then with a change to the Ljósið by Olafur Arnalds, the LSX proves itself to be fully up to the task. The piano tones are lush, smooth and tight, while the speaker is flexible enough to reproduce the pianist’s varying pressure on the keys and the texture of the violin accompaniment. The LSX provides a pleasant listening experience throughout.
The JBL Link Portable wireless speaker practically does it all, as it offers hands-free voice support, a charging case and wireless streaming via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, which many portable Bluetooth speakers in the same price range (under 200 euros) cannot claim to do. Companies competing with the JBL Link Portable could be excused for feeling a little worried.
As the listener moves around the room, the JBL Link Portable’s sound remains attractively smooth. When playing All For Us by Labrinth and Zendaya, we enjoyed a fully open sound, with ample space for the furious drums and vocals building up momentum. The background vocals sound surprisingly all-encompassing as the synthesizer leads the sound attack.
This small speaker naturally cannot offer the quality of active speakers with its built-in amplified, but the sound is satisfactory all the same.
One weak point in the JBL Link Portable speaker is its handling of the stronger treble range. The slightly muffled upper-register vocals have a balanced sound profile in this track, a Hi-Fi orientation that is daring given the small footprint here, but the JBL Link Portable’s bass is more powerful than most others in its class, on par with JBL’s 360-degree Pro Sound.
The JBL Link Portable may sound mildly lackluster to listeners who prefer speakers with a more treble-focused, playful sound. The question you should ask yourself is whether you prefer a wider, more refined and expansive sound, or one with energy and power right through the middle and high tones.
WiFi and Bluetooth both connect easily to the JBL Link Portable when you use the built-in Google Assistant quickly. Alternatively, you can connect to the speaker using the Google Home app for Android and iOS.
Another feature is using AirPlay 2 through the Apple Home app on your iOS device. You might link your Spotify account to the Google Home app and you can get started with voice commands and start streaming music. You must use AirPlay 2 or Chromecast in order to use Tidal.
Fans of the silver screen will be pleased by the quality to be had with this WiFi soundbar, considering its price. The MS650’s connection possibilities include a 4K-capable HDMI loop-through system, optical and auxiliary audio inputs, and an output for adding an optional subwoofer, in addition to the expected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Some may wish it included another HDMI input, but there is always the option, if necessary, to send multiple audio sources through your TV’s audio output.
In terms of sound quality, the size and intensity of the sound from the HW-MS650 when playing movies delivers a powerful soundtrack, especially in surround mode, that is fantastic for a three-channel system. The HW-MS650 is capable of creating an amazingly intense wall of sound around the movie viewer.
This speaker does the same thing if you are listening to vocal music, too, with no degradation of sound in the vocals and no overwhelming bass tones.
When you want a heavy bass, however, use the MS650’s bass extension, which amps up the bass to place you in the eye of a storm of sound. You will be impressed by the output from just one wireless speaker.
As with many choices in life, there is no one single best item that will make everyone happy. Your selection depends on your preferences, priorities, and the rooms where you want to listen to music. Here are some considerations to help you figure out which wireless speaker will be the best choice for your individual needs.
Smart speakers like the JBL Link Portable or the Sonos One are current selling well, and more companies are producing similar products all the time.
Devices that recognize speech have made great strides, and using speech is a nice hands-free way to turn the volume up or down or switch to a different song or program, rather than the old-fashioned looking around for the remote. Video and music are not the whole picture, however, as some smart speakers can tell you weather forecasts, send messages or make a reminder for yourself.
Is your home already set up with smart devices that respond to voice commands? If so, keep an eye out for WiFi speakers that include microphones or smart assistants, to keep everything in your house fully integrated.
While you are at it, also find out if the wireless speaker you want will work with the music and audio apps you already use. For example, many WiFi speakers will work with Spotify and Tidal, but it’s worth taking the time to check.
Specifically, think about where you keep your music. Do you use iTunes, Google Play Music or Amazon Music? Not all products support all three apps, although Sonos, to mention just one, does.
Before buying, find out for certain that the speaker works with your device or devices, whether smartphones or tablets. You will generally find compatibility with Android and iOS devices for most speakers, but that compatibility will differ a bit between each product.
Some specific features of certain products may support one type of phone and not the other. An example of this is Sonos’ Trueplay tuning system, which does not work on Android phones, only iPhones. Our best advice is to consider all your devices and read the detailed description of each wireless speaker to be sure that it will do what you need.
If you move from room to room a lot while at home (moms, especially, will relate to this), you will appreciate that wireless speakers can be set up to play in multiple rooms, provided those rooms are equipped with connected speakers. This is a feature you won’t get on a Bluetooth speaker, while wireless speakers can make sure that you don’t miss a note or a word.
For multiple room audio capability, we would recommend speakers made by Sonos or even Yamaha’s MusicCast and Bose’s SoundTouch, which weren’t on our top 5 list but still are perfectly good for this purpose. These are all small enough that they can be set up as bookshelf speakers if space is tight.
Depending on how much of an audiophile you are, there are some further choices. If films are important enough that you would like to enjoy a home theater, buy yourself a high-quality AV receiver for great sound quality. If you are a musician or music producer and have a home studio, you might want to spring for a studio monitor to help you hear every little nuance.
Our best advice overall is to think about what would enhance your experience the most and then check the specifications of the wireless speaker you are considering.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer here. Your best choice naturally depends on what you value the most. If top quality is your motivation, we think you will like the Naim Mu-so QB 2nd Gen. If your budget is the limiting factor, we would recommend the Sonos One. If portability is the top feature for you, we like the JBL Link Portable. Finally, if you can’t live without your TV shows, try the Samsung HW-MS650 for your viewing — and listening — pleasure.
The central issue with wireless speakers is the power of the WiFi signal they need to work with. If the signal is weak to start with, the speaker can only do so much.
Beyond that, there are plenty of choices in setting the speaker up. You will have a single audio system and then use most any smart device on your network to control the speaker. Also, you can add on to your new speaker system at any time, covering additional rooms as needed. With this system, the music you hear comes either from your personal collection or is streamed from an external site, and other network applications will not break into the song you are listening to. The big advantage of wireless speakers over Bluetooth speakers is that the data files are compressed for WiFi in a way that preserves the sound quality: if you have high-resolution (Hi-Res) music files, you will in fact hear Hi-Res music on your wireless speaker.
Regardless of your budget or your individual preferences, you will be able to find a good wireless speaker to meet your needs. In creating this list of the 5 best wireless speakers, we necessarily focused on the ones available where we are, and we had to pass over many other wireless speakers that you might be equally happy with. In any case, our selection will give you an idea of what is on the market and the features you should think about before buying one.
We would love to know what you think about our top 5 wireless speakers and if you think you will purchase one. Or if you already treated yourself to a new WiFi speaker, are you pleased with it?
The most crucial aspect to consider when purchasing a Bluetooth speaker is the sound quality of the device. You should pay attention to the overall harmonic distortion, which should be less than 1 percent. Another thing to remember is that it must have a frequency range of 100Hz to 20kHz.
There are two options for going wireless: WiFi and Bluetooth. WiFi speakers communicate to your home network. Because most of them use AC power, they almost always require a connection. Bluetooth speakers instantly connect with a smartphone or laptop without the need for any setup.
The minimum requirements for wireless home theater speakers are as follows: A transmitter is required to send the necessary audio signals and a wireless receiver is required to receive the transmitted audio signals in a wireless speaker setup.
The Bluetooth adapter may be connected to a car stereo’s AUX input, which is generally a 3.5mm connection. After it’s connected, you should link your wireless speakers with the Bluetooth adaptor.