Best Wireless Bluetooth Speakers 2017 – BUYER’S GUIDE!

It’s 2017 and you might still have a CD player and a few boxes at home. Are you ready for something else? Think of the very latest in audio: a single box, which lets you wirelessly listen to your favorite music.

Multiroom Audio

They are still speakers you are listening, but they are no longer connected to a CD player or radio. Each loudspeaker is a complete sound system itself. The music is digitally controlled via your wireless Wi-Fi network to the speaker and you can decide how many speakers you want to connect. Either you want one for every room, or only one in total, for the system it makes no different, but you will feel it in your wallet. The beauty is that you can start with the smallest entry-level speaker and as time goes by, you can expand the system with as many speakers as you want. A leader in this field is the American Sonos. They already started in 2002 with “streaming” of audio to this kind of network speakers. Therefore, they have a big advantage over the other brands that followed the success of Sonos and also start to focus on network audio. Next to Sonos, I have therefore selected three other brands and undergo various listening and user-friendly testing. Always looking at the entry-level speakers and their expansion opportunities.

Your smartphone as remote control

All tested systems are controlled with a smartphone. Without an iPhone or an Android device, you can actually do nothing with these systems. This is purely for control of the music because all the other work done in the speaker itself: each one is a small computer system itself.

There won’t be any CD involved

The music that you play, you can play it directly from your smartphone or tablet, or even via a network. To do this you then need to store your entire music library into audio files. What format does not really matter much, the most famous (MP3, WAV, FLAC and WMA) are supported by all tested systems. A streaming service like Spotify is not a problem only if you use a lesser-known service like Rdio or Deezer, it’s smart to check in advance whether they are supported; which varies by system. Do you want to connect individual devices as a DVD player or turntable and you want to connect like this, a multi-room system is unsuitable for this kind of appliances? If you can let go of this and are you willing to put all of your music on a network drive, or even better, to listen to your music with services like Spotify or Tidal, a whole new listening world will open for you.

Do we have a winner?

There isn’t a real winner in this test. All four are all good systems, but as you can read, they each have their strengths and weaknesses. If you take this into your consideration, it really can’t go wrong. Maybe you have some difficulty connecting the systems, only Raumfeld had a childishly simple setup. If you do exactly what the app instructs you, you’ll have sound in 5 minutes. Sonos is slightly more difficult with a separate “bridge” into the computer, but I’m sure it will work out eventually. For all the systems discussed, it’s recommended avid music lovers might prefer to buy two speakers directly. With one speaker, the sound is played mono and once you add a second, you can determine whether it should also have a mono playback or that the speaker is connected in stereo with the first, so you’ll have left and right speaker.


Samsung WAM350 SHAPE M3 Wireless Audio Speaker WiFi

What is it?

‘Connected Home’ is a hot item at Samsung, which includes having a sound system. TV, blue-ray player and sound bar (to boost the TV sound) are all in their line of products.

How’s the sound?

The sound of this entry level is not so special, but the slightly more expensive models produce a better sound. There is even a wonderful speaker that looks like a piece of art and displays full surround sound. This WAM7501 costs under $ 400 and if you want to place a few of these around the house, the costs will go up quite naturally.

Is it nice?

Since the M3 is cheaper than the competition, with Samsung you can create the cheapest multi-room setup. The look is, unfortunately, the same, it has a little ‘plastic feel.

Extras?

The beautiful curved soundbar base with eight additional speakers make up even a full 9.1 Surround. When you’re finished watching a movie, you can individually control each speaker for music.

Advantage:

cheap, many expansion options, surround system.

Disadvantage:

cheap look.


Denon HEOS 1 HS2 Wireless Speaker (Black) (New Version)

What is it?

Denon has chosen to look modern classic, with the same metal grilles as Sonos (also available in black and white) with classic lines, extension speakers Heos 3, 5 and 7 continue that line and finished with beautiful speaker cloth.

How’s the sound?

The sound is somewhat disappointing, sharp high sound, and it sounds in the bass like a small cardboard box. That is a weakness of the system. Like the app that lets you operate the system and play everything, it is not really user-friendly and sometimes faltered. Fortunately, this is something that can be solved by a software update.

Extras?

Apart from the various speakers, Denon has a soundbar with subwoofer (for bass), an amplifier, an audio box for your old stereo and even a sophisticated audio system for the whole house. Possibilities are enough. You can even listen to the Heos 1 when you’re outside the house, with a special battery you can make it a wireless speaker.

Advantage:

many expansion options, battery module for wireless use.

Disadvantage:

the sound is not great, not very user-friendly software.


Sonos PLAY:1 Compact Wireless Smart Speaker for Streaming Music

What is it?

A high-quality product at a low price. Not only the workmanship and material is premium, this is also same for the speakers and amplifiers. By the weight of nearly two kilograms, you can feel that this box is full of electronics.

Easy to connect?

Setting up the system requires you to own a computer, unfortunately, you can’t do this only with the app on a tablet or smartphone. Once you have set it up, you can control things with the app and you no longer need the computer. Conversely, though, if you only have a computer or laptop, you can use the speaker to play music directly.

How’s the sound?

The sound of the Play: 1 is not very exciting, there is also nothing that sounds too loud or too sharp. It also doesn’t produce a solid and deep sound, which could be in some cases, actually an advantage. For added depth Sonos also has a dedicated subwoofer speaker.

Extras?

Along with the special soundbar (so you improve the sound of the TV) and two additional speakers (there are two larger sizes), you’ll have a surround system for your TV.

Advantage:

can also be used by a desktop computer or laptop, fine workmanship, stable system.

Disadvantage:

computer needed for set up, the design may be a little ‘cold’.


Raumfeld One S Wireless Streaming Speaker

What is it?

Raumfeld is part of the German loudspeaker brand Teufel it gradually expanding the sales area. It is an Internet-only brand, you can buy it only online and not in stores.

Is it nice?

Raumfeld seems to focus more on the serious listener. The design of all the speakers is stylish with classic black speaker cloth, some would call it old-fashioned.

How’s the sound?

The Little One S has a beautiful deep sound with a silky smooth treble.

Extras?

Very useful on the smaller One S are the 4 presets buttons. Here you can adjust your favorite album, Internet radio station or playlist, artist and selecting right away if you turn on the device. Raumfeld is also the only system that plays audio in high resolution, such as a USB stick which you can simply stick into the speaker.

Advantage:

presets buttons, high-resolution audio, easy set-up.

Disadvantage:

extension speakers only in pairs for sale.


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