(Pocket-lint) – Here’s our guide to the finest Wi-Fi-enabled speakers around. These devices will also support Bluetooth, but if it’s a Bluetooth-exclusive device that you’re after, then check out our guide to the best Bluetooth speakers.
We’ve also got a further guide should you be in the market for a smart speaker featuring a voice assistant – check out the best smart speakers.
As always, all the speakers we feature in our key buying guides have been reviewed by us here at Pocket-lint. Let’s check out the list.
The Sonos One (2nd generation) is a great little speaker than has so much potential beyond the speaker itself that we can’t recommend it enough as a starting place to embrace the Sonos system. This is about getting the most out of your digital streaming music service without spending a fortune in doing so.
Buy someone one of these and they’ll be going back a couple of weeks later to set up another one in another room. Expect music in your house to multiply very quickly and for good reason.
Amazon Echo Studio
Let’s be honest – Amazon is pretty dominant when it comes to Wi-Fi speakers for your home, and its Echo line is thankfully also really good for the prices it commands.
The Echo Studio is a game-changer, though – it’s a huge step up in audio quality, to high-resolution levels, but comes at a price that frankly embarrasses a lot of the competition. It’s not the most beautiful speaker going, but there’s real value on the sound front and amazing connectivity, too.
Libratone Zipp 2
The Libratone Zipp 2 is a total rework of the original speaker that dates back to 2012. The new quirky zip-up design is fun, while the physical size – which perhaps makes it a bit too large to cart around outside of the house – lends well to stomping bass and audio output.
That’s the rub of it really: for a touch more than many smaller portable competitors, the Zipp gives an extra wallop of sound. If you’re after an at-home portable speaker then Libratone seems to have things neatly zipped-up here.
This speaker has a subtle yet sophisticated design that we love, offers a brilliant app to connect to streaming services and all your music, among other great features such as capacitive touch controls.
More importantly, however, the sound it delivers is superb, especially with Trueplay software tuning. Sonos has competition nipping at its heels left, right and centre, but the Five shows what over a decade of experience can deliver. It’s the ideal way to start a Sonos multi-room system or add a badass centrepiece to an existing one.
Ruark Audio MRx
If you’re after great sound, plenty of connectivity and a pleasing design then look no further. It isn’t the cheapest though – £399 in the UK – so it is a premium choice wedged in a competitive market between cheaper wireless speakers below £200 and even more high-end offerings such as the Devialet and Naim line-ups below. The RotoDial control won’t be to everyone’s taste but the Ruark will win over prospective buyers with its sound quality. Bass isn’t overpowering and the soundscape wonderfully wide.
Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd generation
We’d not call the Qb a budget speaker by any means, but its price point is about as low as we thought we’d ever see from the Naim, um, name. Now in its second generation, the Qb certainly makes a strong impression, giving out high-quality audio at a smaller size and price compared to the larger Mu-so.
For a speaker so square the Qb is an all-round success.
Marshall Uxbridge Voice
If you’re a fan of the design icon that is the Marshall amp, you’ve probably already sat up at the design on show in the Uxbridge – it’s a classical look.
Luckily, the smart speaker is also a nifty mover in more modern ways, including its easy AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect functions. You can get it with Alexa or Google Assistant, too, making it a good all-rounder that also sounds pretty great.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Balance
Moving back up to the top end of the pricing scale, if you don’t mind paying an arm and a leg this gorgeous speaker from B&O will give you exceptional sound, especially relative to its size.
It’s really pleasant to look at and will blend in really nicely to modern and more classical decor, and the balance of sound it provides is exceptional.
Writing by Dan Grabham. Editing by Max Freeman-Mills.