The best wireless speakers make it easy to stream sound from your phone across the house, but to big, powerful speakers with hi-fi levels of sound quality. The best Wi-Fi speakers also act as multi-room speakers, using technology such as AirPlay 2, Google Cast and Spotify Connect to make it easy to play music in just one room, or everywhere in your house, perfectly synced.
The best wireless speakers usually edge a little into the premium end of things, both in design and in sound quality. They're made to look great while sitting on a sideboard, as well as impressing with their audio. This doesn't mean they all cost a lot, though: they range from small options that don't break the bank to big and luxurious speakers from hi-fi specialists – our guide has something for everyone.
The best Wi-Fi speakers generally sound better than the best Bluetooth speakers, thanks to being both bigger (which is always useful for speakers) and smarter, often with better sound-handling electronics. Few are portable, of course, but if you don't need them to be, then it's better to put all your focus on sound quality.
Some of these speakers support Bluetooth streaming as well as Wi-Fi, of course . Many also have support for Alexa or Google Assistant, though we're not making those a priority for this guide – we have a separate guide to the best smart speakers if that's really important to you. We're really focusing on audio quality, style and great support for different streaming options.
Some of the best soundbars also have multi-room functionality built in, so will act as part of a streaming setup with compatible speakers, but again we're not including those, because they're designed to only go in one specific spot in the house – but factoring in which multi-room systems the one you buy supports is a good idea
The two most important multi-room systems are Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Cast, because if something supports both of them, it enables you to play just about anything from either iPhone or Android to those speakers. Spotify users will really love Spotify Connect, though it does mean you're committed to one streaming service.
The best wireless speakers 2022
The first Zeppelin speaker was a 2007 iPod dock, and it's safe to say that the current model is quite a bit more advanced. That's why it won the T3 Awards 2022 trophy for Best Wireless Speaker.
It streams pretty much everything via aptX Adaptive, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and B&W's own Music app, which supports all the key streaming services, and it borrows some of its technology from the kind of hi-fi equipment where if you have to ask the price, you can't afford it. By audiophile standards this is cheap.
The Zeppelin has a hi-res DAC (24-bit/192kHz, initially restricted to 24-bit/96KHz) feeding 240W of class D amplification into twin double-dome tweeters, a 150mm subwoofer and twin 90mm mid-range drivers, which use the same tech as B&W's range-topping 800 Series speakers. In the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin review, we concluded that given a good quality audio source, the Zeppelin sounds fantastic – incredibly detailed and involving.
The Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is a powerhouse speaker in a sleek design that treads the line between being techy and being hi-fi. It's a pretty wide design, and is capable of hogging most of a sideboard to itself, but if you want sumptuous and powerful music, it's well worth giving up that surface space.
Our 5-star Naim Mu-so 2 review says "Play something stripped back to human voice or piano, or minimalist electronic music, and it sends shivers down the spine. Whack on something like early ’80s dub reggae and it sounds HUGE."
It's capable of bass deeper than the Mariana trench, and volume that could drown out a jet – yet it stays perfectly refined while doing it. It's not shouty, it's just a serious piece of speaker gear that wants to represent every part of the music perfectly.
Sonos has long dominated the multi-room market and despite market-leading status immediately making certain critics and consumers hate it, its speakers have always been somewhere between good and excellent. They have also, perhaps, been a bit over-priced at times but that is not a criticism one can level at the Sonos One SL, which puts the DEAL into the phrase, "This is the best cheap wireless speaker you can get, deal with it."
The Sonos app is not the greatest thing ever invented, I'll grant you. It offers so many connectivity options that it's naturally quite unwieldy at times. However, updates has smoothed off some of the roughest edges, and it does offer support for just about every music service out there.
In terms of the sound quality, it really impresses with detail and clarity across the whole range, and how well balanced it is for treble and mid-range especially. Bass is a little thin, but that's no surprise given its size, and some will prefer that kind of sound profile anyway. You can have two working as a seamless stereo pair, and if you can stretch to that price, that's really one of the best-value wireless speaker buys out there. But just one works excellently too.
The best wireless speakers 2022: best of the rest
You know what you're getting with a Sonos smart speaker: multi-room compatibility, a wide range oof audio sources and of course, great sound. This is the replacement for the much-loved Play:5 and the deserved winner of a T3 Platinum Award.
You can run the Five solo or better still, as half of a stereo pair, and it delivers genuinely room-filling sound: the audio dispersion is impressive and the room calibration software in the Sonos app does an excellent job of tailoring the sound to the space it's in. The low end is surprisingly big for such a relatively small speaker, and there's superb clarity across the frequency range: the bass gets a little quiet at higher volumes but you can adjust the in-app EQ to change that. It's a very warm-sounding speaker that particularly lends itself to vocal and acoustic performances, but it has more than enough punch for the heavy stuff too.
If you already have a Play:5 this isn't an essential upgrade unless you really want to use the Sonos S2 app, which the Play:5 isn't compatible with. Otherwise there isn't a lot here to make you want to spend your money all over again. But if you're looking to enhance an existing Sonos setup or take the first steps into Sonos's world, this is a hugely impressive speaker with an equally huge sound.
While the Audio Pro A15 might be a lot more modest than the other devices on this list, it does manage to solve a very real problem, what if I want to use my multiroom system outside? This water-resistant wireless speaker is portable and packs a battery that should last about 11 hours in total so you can literally use it anywhere.
While it won't quite shake the walls in the same way as some much beastlier devices, in our Audio Pro A15 review we thought that the sound was fantastic, it was clear, balanced and detailed - perfect for small to medium sized rooms. You'll be able to connect to it using Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio cable, and it'll work with your other Google Home, Apple Home or Audio Pro compatible multiroom speakers.
The Ruark R5 is less satisfactory than the Naim or Sonos when it comes to streaming. But it makes up for a slightly ropey app and lack of streaming connectivity (no AirPlay or Chromecast here, and the Tidal implementation is pants compared to Naim's) with excellent sound and a wealth of additional features.
Like a mini system for the 21st century, Ruark's R5 chucks in a CD player, DAB and FM radio and two extra inputs, including one pre-amped for use with a turntable. There's also a Bluetooth aptX input, which is not compatible with many devices so far, but still nice to have.
Ruark's signature audio is in place, which is to say it sounds great but is not really built for rockin' out or mashing up de place. An extra bass speaker does make it more party-friendly than previous Ruarks, but it's still more at home with ’70s and ’80s classics than hip-hop or pounding rock, as our full Ruark R5 review review says.
Factor in the CD player and radio (there is web radio as well) and you have something seemingly aimed at a slightly older crowd, or one that's less keen on going 'full digital'. We'd like this better if it dropped the legacy elements and tightened up the app and streaming experience, but Ruark's many fans will love it, and the value for money is undeniably impressive. Well, as long as you actually are going to play CDs, vinyl and radio through it rather than just your streaming service of choice…
A more affordable multiroom speaker that oozes style and minimalism, the Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII won't be an eye-sore in any modern living space. You get the choice of three sleek colours, so design-wise it's sure to be a hit.
It works with plenty of multiroom setups - including Google Cast, AirPlay 2 and Audio Pro's own system. You'll also be able to play music through Bluetooth and the RCA inputs on the back, as well as using Spotify Connect or Tidal through the WiFi connectivity. Six presets buttons give you a shortcut to some of your favourite internet radio stations and playlists as well. This speaker is incredibly easy to set and use. What Audio Pro does really well is building speakers that cater to every type of music and the Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII is no different, as our full Audio Pro C5 Mk II review explains.
These look like two Bender from Futurama heads and sound like God yodelling in your ear. Bowers & Wilkins' Formation Duo is uncompromisingly specced, and not exactly affordable.
Obviously taking the view that if you're splashing thousands on a stereo pair of wireless speakers, B&W would also like to sell you a pair of stands for several hundred and a standalone wireless box for also a large sum if you want to use any external sources. Oh, and if you want to really get the best out of Formation Duo you'll also need the Mac and Windows app Roon, which costs a further $500 (about £450; you get a free 1-month trial with a code from B&W). Otherwise, it's AirPlay 2, Spotify or Bluetooth for you, my wealthy friend.
All your qualms about costs do rather melt away – assuming you can afford it – when you put on some music and listen to the Duo. That's because Bowers & Wilkins' pair of speakers sounds far better than anything else quite like them on the wireless market. That's especially true once they're ensconced on their stands and receiving music via Roon's fully buffed, hi-res-capable streaming. Well, in for a penny, in for just shy of 5 grand, eh? Here's our full Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo review.
In our Naim Mu-so Qb (2nd Gen) review we were unequivocal: "we're looking at a speaker that is, simply, the best speaker for those who want uncompromising audio quality, but don't have space for big stereo systems or wireless units that take over a whole sideboard on their own."
The Qb is the smaller sibling of the Naim Mu-so (2nd Gen), but it's much smaller at 210 x 218 x 212mm. That's bigger than, say, an Amazon Echo, but it's much smaller than most high-end wireless speakers and its diminutive dimensions belie its power: there's 300W of audio power here, with the sound quality we've come to love from Naim. We've tried every conceivable genre of music on the Mu-so Qb (2nd Gen) and it's all sounded spectacular.
In our review, we said that it is "a high-end hi-fi system squeezed by mad scientists into a cube that could fit into the living room of a pokey flat… but that has the sound quality to fill a ballroom if needed." And while that's a funny mental image it's absolutely true: this is a superb high-end speaker that sounds fantastic in any environment. The only thing it doesn't deliver is true stereo – it's a one-box system – but that's common to all single-unit systems. There's simply nothing at this size that sounds better.
The Beosound Level is one of the few great wireless home speakers that's also portable, so you can make it truly wireless if you want. As you'd expect from Bang & Olufsen, the audio quality is excellent overall, and provides plenty of bounce and energy for pop while still feeling accurate and refined for less highly produced fare.
The Level is fairly slim, which makes it easier to house than some of the other options here, and it looks fab while doing it. It comes in two looks: one with black fabric and a silver metal frame, but we're into the gold frame with wood grille pictured above.
It's crammed with features into that frame, including AirPlay and Google Cast streaming support, Google Assistant integration, Bluetooth, a 16-hour battery life, and the ability to wall-mount it (though this requires an add-on you'll need to buy).
It can be laid flat as well as stood upright, and the sound profile changes to be more open with 360-degree audio – though you can't charge it when it's lying flat.
It has a few small flaws – the audio is a little less expansive than physically larger units here, and the carry handle is too close to the buttons, so you get accidental presses – but as far as super-smart, super-stylish speakers go, this is one of the best around, as our full B&O Beosound Level review testifies.
How to choose the best wireless speaker for you
Decide what type of streaming you want to employ. Apple fans may favour AirPlay 2. Google lovers may want Chromecast compatibility.
Obviously if you're a subscriber to Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music Unlimited, Qobuz or one of the myriad other subscription-based streaming services, you'll need compatibility with that, but note that these can also be piggy-backed over Chromecast or AirPlay. Apple fans: while AirPlay 2 supports multiple speakers from your mobile, original AirPlay speakers only allow this via your PC or Mac.
I've helpfully indicated what each speaker is compatible with, to help you out, there. Some of them also support Bluetooth, either because there is consumer demand for big, expensive speakers that support the format or because brands just feel obliged to chuck it in as a backup.
You'll also want to consider what size of room you want to use it in. Again, I've noted what size of space I think each speaker is able to fill – small (offices, kitchens, bedrooms); medium (larger bedrooms, most front rooms) and large (more palatial or open-plan spaces, combined kitchen/lounge type spaces, Donald Trump's toilet and so forth).
Finally, although these are meant to be wireless, in some houses that's just not going to work, and you may have to revert to powerline AV – T3 uses and endorses Devolo powerline AV (opens in new tab). A lot of these speakers have ethernet connections to accommodate this. Although with the best mesh networks (opens in new tab), high-speed wirelessness for all is no longer a pipe dream.