Before we dive into our hand-picked list of the best wireless speakers to buy (which is, presumably, why you’re on this page), it’s worth quickly defining what we mean by a wireless speaker.
In this instance, we’re not focusing on ones with rechargeable batteries that you can take down to the beach, camping, or wherever else speaker manufacturers assume we have time to go to. If that’s the sort of thing you’re after, then you’ll want to check out our list of the best Bluetooth speakers instead. In this feature, we’re specifically focusing on speakers that are capable of easily letting you listen to the most popular streaming services, like Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, and more.
Some of them might have built-in Bluetooth for direct music streaming. Others will have extras like smart assistants, Chromecast, Apple Airplay 2, and even DAB radio. But the core streaming service element remains standard across all of our picks.
- Read more: Our guide to the best smart home tech
There are countless options out there, of course, but we feel that our choices below cover a range of different budgets, features, and styles, that should appeal to most people’s needs. There are a fair few to get through, so scroll down, and see what catches your eye.
The best wireless speakers to buy today
Sonos One Gen 2
The Sonos One is probably the best wireless speaker for most people. You’re paying a little more than some alternatives in the Sonos range, but in this instance, your extra cash nets you a speaker with built-in Alexa and Google Assistant smarts. This might not sound like much at first, but having a solid speaker with the ability to play your tunes at a mere voice command is a luxury you’ll never want to give up once you’ve tried it.
While there are plenty of other smart speakers out there that offer the same voice control tricks, the One combines these brains with stellar sound, serving up punchy performance with crisp details. Combined with Sonos’ well-established app and ecosystem, this is a no-nonsense wireless speaker that gets the job done with minimal fuss.
- Read more: Sonos One review
Amazon Echo Studio
If you’re already familiar with Amazon’s Alexa ecosystem, it makes sense to stick to familiar territory. Enter the Echo Studio — Amazon’s best-sounding Alexa-powered speaker to date.
Despite its relatively small footprint (at least, compared to most of the other speakers on our list), it manages to sound surprisingly full-bodied. A recent update also means that its virtual Dolby Atmos immersive sound experience is now even better, endowing content with a more spacious 3D effect. It won’t replace a dedicated surround setup of course, but considering the price and simple operation, the Echo Studio deserves plenty of praise.
Apple HomePod Mini
While the original HomePod has been discontinued, the Mini variant is still going strong. It’s practically a no-brainer for any Apple fan with an Apple Music subscription, thanks to the fact that it’s got built-in Siri smarts. In fact, it’s the only smart speaker with Siri, period, so if that’s your preferred digital butler of choice, then it practically deserves a spot on your shelf.
Assistant aside, it sounds far better than its relatively affordable price tag would suggest, making it a perfectly formidable speaker in its own right. Be warned though — if you don’t have an Apple Music subscription, you can only control other music streaming services like Spotify via AirPlay on your phone, which rather limits its convenient operation.
- Read more: Apple HomePod Mini review
Ruark R2 MK4
The fourth generation of Ruark’s handsome R2 is sleeker and sexier than ever, with a slimmer profile making for a speaker that’ll sit on shelves and window sills without a fuss.
Retaining the original’s wonderfully modern-yet-retro design, we’re particularly taken with Ruark’s iconic circular control dial and real-wood slats. While it offers support for most major streaming services like Spotify and Tidal, it stands out from most of its rivals thanks to the inclusion of a built-in DAB+, FM, and internet radio. There’s also an aux-in and USB-C port for direct playback, along with Bluetooth 5.0 for direct streaming. There’s no smart assistant support, mind, so you’ll have to use your phone to control streaming playback.
Audio Pro A10 MKII
The second iteration of Audio Pro’s excellent A10 MKII retains its predecessor’s handsome cylindrical design (complete with soft fabric cover), and bolsters it with newer tech in the form of AirPlay 2 and Google Cast connectivity.
These features join the company’s own dedicated multiroom streaming option, and we’re fans of the prominent physical buttons which let you control music playback and switch inputs, along with the handy set of four pre-set function keys for easy access to your favourite stations, playlists, and more. The latter makes it an ideal choice for those of us still looking for a little more physicality in our lives, and that’s all without mentioning the impressive sound quality which manages to remain crisp and balanced.
Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation
With a whopping 300 watts of power artfully hidden away beneath its deceptively compact cubic body, the second version of Naim’s critically-acclaimed Mu-so Qb sounds far more incredible than its diminutive stature suggests.
Capable of delightful room-filling sound, it’ll handle anything you care to throw at it with ease, with a fun motion-sensitive control dial, slick app, and AirPlay/Google Cast support thrown in for good measure. It’s one of the more expensive options on our list, but given the delightful design, small footprint, and superb sound, it definitely won’t disappoint.
- Read more: Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation review
KEF LS50 Wireless 2
KEF’s gorgeous pair of active speakers will hit your bank account harder than any other option on this list, but your ears and eyes will be rewarded in equal measure.
Retaining KEF’s iconic design DNA, they’ll comfortably take pride of place in any home setup, demanding attention with their smooth curves, polished finish, and coloured tweeter. Available in a striking range of colours, they’re sure to impress without even being turned on. Once you do fire them up though, you’ll be treated to thumping bass, precise sound, and stereo clarity that a single-source speaker simply can’t match. With Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, Google Cast, Bluetooth and more available, they’ll serve you well for years to come.
Ikea Symfonisk picture frame speaker
And now for something a little different — a speaker that does its best to look like a regular piece of art. The Symfonisk comes with a standard fabric design which can be easily removed and replaced with different options if you want to mix up your style. It can easily be wall mounted in either orientation, and it sounds far better than its unique design would suggest.
With loud performance and decent clarity, even the bass delivers, pointing to the fact that it’s powered by Sonos’ own expertise. The only real complaint we have at this price is the power cable, which is a bit of an eyesore if you’re hanging it from a wall. If you can live with that though, then this is a pretty unique option for artful streaming playback.
- Read more: Ikea Symfonisk picture frame speaker review
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin
The latest version of the legendary Zeppelin is the most tech-packed variant yet, landing with AirPlay 2, Bluetooth 5.0, and support for streaming services like Spotify and Tidal. There’s even support for Amazon’s Alexa smart assistant, for those moments when you’re too lazy to reach for your phone.
Sound is, as expected, very impressive, with a wide soundscape doing a decent job of filling a room with clear, precise renditions. It can’t truly replicate the feeling of a proper stereo setup, mind, but no single-source speaker can. With dashing looks and a premium build, it’s ready to take centre stage on whichever table or shelf is lucky enough to house it.
- Read more: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin review
Triangle AIO 3
We’re rather smitten with the Triangle AIO 3’s retro-tastic, minimal design. A speaker you’d be proud to have out on full display, it’s available in a variety of striking colours if you want to make a statement, though you can pare things back with more muted colours if you’d prefer to have it blend in with its surroundings.
It might lack a little on the bass front for true low-end lovers, but details and soundscape are precise and wide, and all the major streaming services that most people use are supported. If you’re sold on the looks and want multiple units, it’s multi-room compatible too. It’s a shame the remote isn’t as handsome as the speaker itself, but if you’ve fallen for the main body’s looks, then there’s nothing stopping you from pulling the trigger.
- Read more: Triangle AIO 3 review