T3 Awards 2017: Best Wireless Speakers

The T3 Awards – or the Oscars of Tech, as many call them – are now in their 11th year, and bigger than ever. Literally, in fact, as we have added a number of new categories this year to reflect the changing face of tech, including Best Wi-Fi/Multi-room Speaker. 

Why? Because in 2017 Bluetooth speakers aren't the only game in town when it comes to wireless music.

All of the speakers in this category – both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth – look and sound beautiful, offer rock-solid connectivity and a lifetime of musical enjoyment. Well, a good few years of musical enjoyment, anyway.

The winners in both the Best Bluetooth and Best Wi-Fi/Multi-room categories will be the speakers that deliver the best musical performance, at a price that, while it may be premium, isn't outright mad.

Urbanears Baggen

The multi-room streaming choice of hip kids, Scandinavia's Baggen comes in a range of totally on point colours, from understated to loud. For pop, electronica and rock it leans more towards the 'loud' end.

The really knockout features on the Baggen are the addition of tactile volume and preset knobs that let you immediately access favourite Spotify playlists and web radio channels. Push the volume knob down and you can also stream whatever's playing on your Baggen to any other Urbanears speaker in the vicinity.

B&O Play M5

A typically stylish B&O speaker, the BeoPlay M5 leverages Google Chromecast for easy multi-room setup, but also supports AirPlay, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth. 

Audio is punchy and exciting and the sound stage has a surprising amount of width, due to some kind of ungodly DSP magic.

Denon Heos 7 HS 2

A veritable Toblerone of sound, the latest update to Denon's flagship multi-room speaker is premium, delicious, triangular and inexplicably available in EVERY Duty-free shop in the world. 

In many ways, this pointy-headed titan outdoes Sonos' similarly-priced veteran the Play:5, with a straightforward app, easy setup and a humungous wall of sound.

Sonos Playbase

Having been there and done that in the multi-room speaker market, Sonos is now targeting home cinema.

However, while the Playbase is an excellent platform (literally – your TV sits on it) for TV and movie sound, it is also compatible with the full Sonos range and can operate as a solo wireless speaker or part of a multi-room system.

With thunderous bass and a big sound stage this movie-ready speaker sure puts on a performance.

Master & Dynamic MA770

The most audacious speaker of the year, the MA770 was designed by award-winning architect Sir David Adjaye, no less, and has a casing that is made of concrete.

Yes, it is very good at playing back hard rock – ho ho – but the MA770's sound has a warmth and subtlety that belies the material it's largely made from. 

Given its uncompromising price and appearance, this is perhaps one for the connoisseurs rather than the Beats Audio crowd, but the MA770 is anything but uninviting once in full flow. A towering achievement.

Riva Arena

Available in black or white, obviously, Riva's Arena hides a welter of tech innovations beneath its unassuming exterior. 

Unusually for this kind of small, one-box wireless multi-room speaker, the Arena produces genuine stereo (most rivals are mono), with a room-filling sound that's surprising from such a small enclosure.

An optional battery pack allows you to take it out of the house or into the bathroom (it's water resistant and fairly rugged too) and audio quality is absolutely champion. 

Also to be judged: Best Bluetooth speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

Incredible VFM from this 100% waterproof outdoor party speaker that also laughs in the face of being dropped and abused.

Cambridge Audio YoYo M

The most successful stab at an 'audiophile' Bluetooth speaker to date, this stereo pair of elegant boxes summons up a truly engaging racket.

Monster Superstar Blaster

Recently upgraded to be even louder and more neighbour-annoying, this retro-futuristic 'ghetto blaster' is the most fun a person can have with Bluetooth.

Bose SoundLink Revolve

Offering full 360-degree sound, this is Bose's greatest Bluetooth device ever. Portable, great sound, looks like a sawn-off Dalek. What more could a music lover ask?

Geneva Touring S

Like a throwback to a more elegant age – specifically, the late 1950s/early 60s – the Touring S is a DAB radio with a side order of Bluetooth. A great looker, with cracking audio for its size, and perfect for stashing in your executive luggage.

How are the Award winners chosen? 

Most of the victors are decided by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams, aided by a panel of expert judges from the tech biz. That includes the Bluetooth and Multi-room speaker categories.

Our Awards for the people who have shaped tech this year and throughout its history, are awarded by the T3.com and T3 magazine teams.

On the following key categories YOU get to vote:  Gadget Of The Year, Brand Of The Year, Retailer Of The Year and Phone of the Year. 

Vote for other categories in the T3 Awards 2017 together with Three