Entertainment

The 6 best Wi-Fi Speakers for next-level listening

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Amazon

There's no shortage of great Bluetooth speakers out there — a simple Amazon search yields over 3,000 results — but the selection of Wi-Fi speakers is relatively limited. Unlike Bluetooth speakers, which wirelessly pair with one device, the best Wi-Fi speakers connect to your home network, where they have more bandwidth to deliver a bolder, clearer sound, and they make it easy to play music through multiple units simultaneously and from farther away. They'll also give you the customized options you want, whether that's an integrated smart assistant, a rechargeable battery, or water-resistance for outdoor listening. And although they're a bit pricier than your standard Bluetooth wireless speaker, many audiophiles swear the fantastic sound is worth the cost.

When it comes to shopping, sound quality is arguably the most important factor, as it's the reason most people switch to the best home Wi-Fi speakers in the first place. There's a lot of nitty-gritty as to why some speakers sound better than others — drivers, frequency response, impedance, dynamic range — but the easiest way to decipher a speaker's sound quality is by simply referencing ratings and reviews to ensure that it's a worthwhile purchase.

Along with high ratings, you'll want to take a look at customizable features that'll make your listening experience even more enjoyable and convenient. For example, a built-in smart assistant empowers you to use voice commands to control listening, while Bluetooth capability — in addition to Wi-Fi — gives you multiple ways to connect. And if you want to the option of taking a speaker from room to room, you can opt for a portable, rechargeable design. No matter what you're looking for, these are the six best Wi-Fi speakers that'll deliver a next-level sound experience to your home.

1. The overall best Wi-Fi speaker

There are several reasons why the Bose Home speaker 300 is the best overall pick for most listeners: First, it's one of the more affordable options on the list, which is especially impressive considering the clear, 360-degree sound and deep, room-filling bass. Second, it has a relatively portable design, so you can take it from room to room, and the built-in smart assistant (your choice of Alexa or Google Assistant) gives you the power to use voice commands for ultimate listening convenience. Last but not least, this Wi-Fi speaker is also compatible with Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2, so you can switch it up at any time and stream your music from just about any source. And if you're looking for an even bigger, wider, stereo sound and don't mind spending a little extra money, you can opt for the Bose Home 500.

  • Available colors: black, white

One reviewer wrote: "Bose did it right AGAIN. This little system provides a big punch! I’m a big fan of Bose. I’ve tried the cheap sound boxes and nothing compares to Bose. [...] Built in Alexa is a fun feature and allows others to participate in the music experience. WIFI connection is working great. This system offers much more than expected."

2. The best cheap Wi-Fi speaker

If you're looking to get a Wi-Fi speaker without breaking the bank, the JAM Symphony speaker is the way to go. For less than $100, it fits easily on a table or shelf and features two channels and a subwoofer for a clear mid-range sound and decent bass. It's compatible with Apple AirPlay (but not Bluetooth), and although there's no built-in smart assistant, it does have a push-to-talk Alexa feature that you can access through your phone or tablet. Plus, the JAM app allows you to group speakers together for multi-room listening, so you can set up your whole home for a fairly low price. Note that there are a few drawbacks: Reviewers report that that the app is a bit glitchy at times and that certain streaming platforms — like YouTube — won't play on the speaker.

  • Available colors: black

One reviewer wrote: "I bought these with much skepticism, but I am pleasantly surprised. Setup was pretty straightforward and they sound great. So I ended up buying 5 and did my whole house for the price of one Sonos."

3. The best portable Wi-Fi speaker

The best portable Wi-Fi speaker offers something that most other Wi-Fi-enabled speakers don't: the ability to take it with you from room to room, or even outside. Unlike its competitors — which usually need to be plugged into the wall — the Sonos Move has a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 10 hours, and the speaker's charging base makes it easy to juice up again. The speaker is also weather-resistant for outdoor use and has a built-in Alexa for hands-free control. It's AirPlay-compatible and Bluetooth-enabled, so you can queue up your playlist and listen to your favorite tunes, even when you're offline. The best part? It's outfitted with Sonos' Trueplay technology, which measures — in real time — how sound is reflecting off of walls and furniture, and then fine tunes the speaker for the best sound quality possible.

  • Available colors: black, white

One reviewer wrote: "Portable (Check), pairable (check), weather resistant (check), Trueplay (check), voice control (check), bluetooth (check), Sonos sound and of course WiFi capability, (Check and Mate). This really is an amazing speaker. If you own a Sonos system it's a great adjunct."

4. The most durable waterproof speaker

This one's for anyone who tends to be a little bit harder on their electronics. The Ultimate Ears Megablast speaker is so durable, it can be immersed in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damage — and the brand calls it "virtually indestructible" due to its rugged, portable construction. It also has a rechargeable 12-hour battery life, Bluetooth capabilities, built-in voice control with Alexa, and 360-degree sound for parties, barbecues, and beach days. And while this doesn't have the brand recognition that Bose and Sonos have, it may be the best option if you're looking for something that can stand up to a little wear and tear.

  • Available colors: black

One reviewer wrote: "Buy this speaker and everyone at the party will love you. [...] When you consider the price, size, and that it's waterproof, this blows everything else away. Just one speaker filled a large pool area with great sound." 5. The best multi-room Wi-Fi speaker

The Sonos One boasts excellent sound quality, but the fairly affordable price point makes it a feasible option when it comes to outfitting multiple rooms or combining two speakers in one room for high-fidelity stereo sound. (Even nicer, each speaker can be mounted to the wall for a completely seamless look.)

This Wi-Fi speaker is also compatible with Apple AirPlay 2 — but not Bluetooth — and the built-in Alexa means you can use voice commands to control your listening. Don't care about voice command capability? You can save a little money upfront by opting for the microphone-free Sonos One SL instead.

  • Available colors: black, white

One reviewer wrote: "Build quality is outstanding. Which for the price of Sonos speakers in general, I would expect nothing less. Just nice to see they didn’t skimp out on quality. [...] You can also group them up together and stream music to many different rooms which is so nice."

6. A worthy splurge for audiophiles

Yes, it's an investment, but experts in the audio world say the cult-favorite Naim Mu-so Qb "throws a large, defined and deep soundstage" that's especially impressive given its relatively compact size, and that it "plays loud. Really loud." It boasts a ton of advanced hardware to ensure clear, deep sound and it connects via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Apple AirPlay, as well as through a variety of analog inputs. It syncs easily with other Mu0so Qb devices, so you can listen to music in up to five rooms, and it can all be controlled on your smartphone with the Naim app. But keep in mind: While you'll be getting next-level sound quality, you won't get certain convenience features, like a rechargeable battery or a built-in smart assistant.

  • Available colors: black, carbon

One reviewer wrote: "I had my eyes closed listening to Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and I could literally hear the small percussion in the background. I've never heard the small percussion instruments even when I went to the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor to listen to classical music and sat in the student section. At some point I forgot I was listening through a system. If you have any interest in music and are wondering whether this thing is worth it... do it."

Related Tags
Share: