If you are considering a new audio system for your home, you may want to look into wireless speakers. Unlike traditional speakers, wireless speakers do not have to be directly hooked up to their sound source. This means somewhat less restriction as to where you place your speakers, as well as avoiding most unsightly cords. We say "most" because wireless speakers usually aren't completely wireless: they still need a power source. Completely portable battery-powered wireless speakers do exist, but this limits how long you'll be able to play audio for before the battery dies.
The audio quality for wireless speakers is much better than before, however traditional wired speakers are the way to go for the best sound quality. Nevertheless, a good quality wireless speaker can still produce good quality sound. There are a few different types of wireless speakers. Bluetooth speakers have become quite popular, which allow you to transmit sound from any Bluetooth-enabled device. When streaming through your phone, any text message or phone call can interrupt the music. Wi-Fi speakers offer a greater range than Bluetooth, however can be more difficult to setup.
Our Winner: UE Megaboom
Ultimate Ears Megaboom is a 360-degree wireless speaker with Bluetooth connectivity. It comes in a cylindrical shape that measures 8.9 inches by 3.3 inches. The PartyUp app allows you to wirelessly connect more than 150 speakers for the ultimate party experience. It has speakerphone capability too, so if you receive a phone call while its connected to your smartphone, you can choose to answer via the speaker or your phone. You can also use your Megaboom as an alarm, scheduling it to wake you up with your favorite songs. Up to 8 Bluetooth devices can pair to the Ultimate Ears Megaboom. This wireless speaker is available in five colors, and you can choose to add a 3- or 4-year protection plan on Amazon. At under $200, this is our most budget-friendly wireless speaker choice.
Runner Up: Bose Sound Link Revolve+
The Bose Sound Link Revolve+ is a 360-degree Bluetooth speaker that can also pair with NFC devices. The speaker itself measures 7.25 inches by 4.13 inches by 4.13 inches and weighs just two pounds. It has a wireless range of up to 30 feet. We like that since it is portable, Bose designed it to be durable enough to toss in your bag or even if it accidentally gets knocked over. There are buttons on top to easily adjust volume if you don't have your phone handy. You can also access voice input for Siri and Google Now from the speaker to send text messages and more. You can place this speaker either in the middle of the room or near a wall, in which case the 360-degree design will reflect the sound off the wall. You can use the intuitive Bose Connect app to pair more than one speaker if desired. A control panel on the speaker lets you adjust volume up or down and play/pause your music. This speaker is available in black or gray. You can choose to add a 2- or 4-year protection plan when purchasing on Amazon.
Favorite Multiroom Speaker: Sonos Play 5
Sonos Play 5 is a multiroom wireless speaker, meaning you can play music throughout your home. It measures 8.03 inches by 14.33 inches by 6.06 inches and weighs 14 pounds. You can stand it up vertically or lay it on its side. It is available in a white or black matte finish with a graphite grille. A touch control at the top lets you adjust volume, pause/play music, and change tracks easily if you've momentarily misplaced your phone. Sonos thoughtfully designed their speaker to be humidity-resistant (though not waterproof) so you can play it in the bathroom without fear of damage. Reviewers loved the sound quality, the ability to play music in multiple rooms, and generally found the setup not to be difficult. The price tag is steep, however, so keep that in mind. Sonos offers a 1-year warranty.
Best Sound Quality: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
The Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless is a wireless hi-fi speaker that offers sound quality that audiophiles will appreciate. You can connect to your smartphone or other devices via AirPlay, Spotify Connect, or Bluetooth. This speaker measures 25.9 inches by 7.4 inches by 7.2 inches. One downside is that there is not an Android app to control this wireless speaker, though you can run it from a PC that is running iTunes. This wireless speaker is very expensive, however if you consider yourself an audiophile or sound enthusiast, this speaker won't disappoint you. Setup was easy enough and relatively intuitive. At $699, this wireless speaker is definitely expensive, however we believe it is a sound investment (couldn't resist it!). You can choose to add a 3- or 4-year protection plan when purchasing on Amazon, which we recommend.
Our favorite wireless speakers also turned out to be the most budget-friendly option among our recommendations: The Ultimate Ears Megaboom. Reviewers love how portable it is and the fact that it is shock-proof and waterproof. It comes in five fun colors, can connect to countless other speakers, comes at a good price, and produces great sounds. We also liked that you can use it to set an alarm, that it's compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Now, and that it has speakerphone capability. Our runner up is the Bose Sound Link Revolve+, which like the UE Megaboom, is a 360-degree wireless speaker with Bluetooth connectivity. This speaker is water-resistant but not waterproof. The Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless offers the best sound quality out of the wireless speakers we reviewed, so it is a great choice for audiophiles. It is expensive though! Finally, we like the Sonos Play 5 multiroom capability. This is a great choice for those who want to play music in different rooms, whether the same synced song or a variety of hits.