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Best wireless speaker 2024: The top Wi-Fi-enabled options we’ve tested

We’ve tried and tested the best wireless speakers to bring you a definitive list of the most capable options at a range of price points

The best wireless speakers can transform how you enjoy music, podcasts, audiobooks and live radio at home but they don’t cost as much as you might think.

There are all manner of options available, ranging from portable models to large, expensive all-in-one systems capable of fulfilling the role of an internet radio, podcast player, TV soundbar and smart technology control hub. With so many choices, picking the right wireless speaker for you can be tricky.

That’s where we come in. We’ve tested wireless speakers from the industry’s biggest manufacturers and put our favourites into one easily digestible list. You can find that list below, along with an explanation of how we test wireless speakers and a comprehensive buying guide detailing everything you need to know before making a purchase.

Best wireless speaker : At a glance

Best wireless speaker under £250Sonos Era 100 (~£249)Check price at Amazon
Best cheap wireless speakerAmazon Echo Dot (5th generation) (~£55)Check price at Amazon
Best wireless speaker without a microphoneEdifier MS50A (~£130)Check price at Sports Direct
Best compact wireless speaker for Hi-res streamingBluesound Pulse Flex 2i (~£249)Check price at Amazon

How we test the best wireless speakers

Our primary focus when testing wireless speakers is on audio quality. This is usually the main thing people are interested in when buying a speaker, so we throw as many different types of content at the speaker as possible. That content includes music of just about every genre streamed from services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music, along with YouTube videos played over Chromecast and even videos on popular news websites. Where relevant, we use services that support specific audio formats such as Dolby Atmos, 360 Spatial Audio and Apple’s Spatial Audio.

We ensure that all connection options be they physical or wireless are put through their paces equally and that any features found in a companion app are thoroughly explored. Any EQ presets are critically analysed and we create our own EQs to evaluate the effectiveness of in-app graphic equalisers.

One of the big draws of many wireless speakers is their ability to be incorporated into a multi-room or multi-speaker setup, so, where possible, we’ll go through all the processes involved in doing so and report back on our findings. Speakers with voice assistant capabilities are used to answer a series of basic and more complex queries, while those with an in-built speakerphone are used to make and take numerous calls to assess voice clarity on both ends of the call. In addition to voice controls, we test physical controls extensively, using them to execute the speaker’s full suite of commands. If a remote control is included in the package, that undergoes rigorous testing, too.

The best wireless speakers you can buy in 2024

1. Sonos Era 100: Best wireless speaker under £250

Price when reviewed: £249 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… sound quality, multi-room audio systems
  • Not so great for… Google Assistant fans, stereo imaging

The Era 100 had the unenviable task of succeeding the excellent Sonos One but didn’t disappoint during testing. We found it a doddle to set up, very flexible and able to deliver superb sound quality.

In addition to Wi-Fi connectivity, the Era 100 supports Bluetooth, giving you another way to stream audio. However, it requires mains power to run so can’t be used on your travels like a traditional Bluetooth speaker. Voice assistant functionality is another of the speaker’s strengths but there’s no Google Assistant support this time around, meaning you’ll be relying on either Alexa or Sonos Voice Control. Both of these worked well when tested, however.

Audio is up to Sonos’ high standards. In testing, we were impressed by the impact and clarity of the bass registers; the mid-range comes through with plenty of body, while the upper registers are crisp and detailed. The company’s Trueplay tech can be used to optimise audio to your room’s acoustics regardless of the smartphone you use (previously only Android users could make use of it) and helps elevate the Era 100 above the competitors in its price bracket.

Read our full Sonos Era 100 review

Key specs – Drivers: 3; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect; Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa, Sonos Voice Control; Remote: No; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 120 x 130 x 183mm; Weight: 2.02kg

2. Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation): Best cheap wireless speaker

Price when reviewed: £55 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… those on a budget, Alexa lovers
  • Not so great for… room-filling sound, advanced features

If you want an attractive, affordable speaker that you can hook up to your Wi-Fi connection, the Amazon Echo Dot is hard to beat. While it won’t deliver room-filling audio like the majority of the entries on this list, we feel the fifth-generation iteration is the best-sounding yet thanks to its crisp articulation and impressive instrument separation.

In testing, the in-built Amazon Alexa voice assistant worked as well on the Echo Dot as on any of the retail giant’s most expensive options and the retention of the compact spherical design debuted on the fourth-gen model is a sensible one.

Regardless of how much you expect to use Alexa, the Echo Dot is a fine choice if you’re looking to add wireless audio to your home without breaking the bank. And if you’re after a smart wireless speaker for your kids, there’s the Amazon Echo Dot Kids, a child-friendly version of the speaker available in owl and dragon-themed designs.

Read our full Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation) review 

Key specs – Drivers: 1; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth; Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa; Remote: No; Companion app: No; Dimensions (WDH): 100 x 100 x 89mm; Weight: 340g

3. Sonos Move 2: Best portable wireless speaker

Price when reviewed: £446 | Check price at Amazon

Sonos Move 2 in charging cradle

  • Great for… on-the-go listening, intuitive controls
  • Not so great for… Google Assistant diehards, those on a budget

The Sonos Move 2 is a notable upgrade on its predecessor, with significant improvements made to battery life and audio quality and the addition of some useful new features. Wi-Fi connectivity is joined by Bluetooth support and the Move 2 can keep going for up to 24 hours, making it a fantastic pick for use at home and further afield.

We were particularly taken by how easy the speaker was to set up and use and how it sounded when up and running. Its pair of angled tweeters and mid-woofer delivered an impressive sense of space, excellent instrument separation and beautiful balance. Our only audio reservations related to the Move 2’s stereo effect, which we found a little limited, and restrained bass reproduction. There’s also no support for Google Assistant, but you’ve still got voice controls courtesy of Alexa and Sonos, which should be enough for most people.

Read our full Sonos Move 2 review

Key specs – Drivers: 3; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect; Voice Assistant: Alexa and Sonos Voice Control; Remote: No; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 160 x 127 x 240mm; Weight: 3kg

4. Audio Pro G10: Most stylish wireless speaker with Google Assistant

Price when reviewed: £220 | Check price at Currys

  • Great for… minimalist Scandinavian style, engaging sound
  • Not so great for… voice commands at high volumes

The G10 is Scandinavian manufacturer Audio Pro’s first attempt at a Google-enabled wireless speaker and one that impressed us a great deal. Audio quality is excellent, with a sound signature that’s engaging, well-balanced and delivers plenty of detail. The G10 also packs a punch for a speaker of its size and showed no signs of distorting even when we were blasting out tunes at maximum volume.

AirPlay 2 and Chromecast built-in give you a great range of streaming options and with Google Assistant on board you can control the speaker (and any others in its Google Home group) with voice commands. Those commands were picked up very effectively on the whole, although the G10’s microphones did struggle to hear us when the speaker was pushed to its limits.

Read our full Audio Pro G10 review 

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth; Voice Assistant: Google Assistant; Remote: No; Companion App: No; Dimensions (WDH): 140 x 140 x 193mm; Weight: 1.43kg

Check price at Currys

5. Edifier MS50A: Best wireless speaker without a microphone

Price when reviewed: £130 | Check price at Sports Direct

  • Great for… privacy, affordable wireless streaming
  • Not so great for… physical connection options

The Edifier MS50A is an unusual wireless speaker in that it doesn’t have a built-in microphone, meaning it has no way of listening in on your private conversations. It’s not without smart capabilities, however, as Amazon Alexa support enables you to control it via the Alexa app or a compatible speaker.

If you prefer physical controls, the top of the stylish, wood-coated cabinet is home to a touchpad that allows you to adjust volume, skip tracks and play or pause audio. We found the audio impressive for the price, with clearly articulated mids and deep, punchy bass. It also reaches impressive volume levels for a speaker of its size and manages to do so without distorting.

There are no physical ports on the MS50A but you do get both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as support for Apple AirPlay 2 and Spotify Connect. That ensures it’s very well-equipped for streaming and you can even integrate it into a multi-room system using the Alexa app should you wish.

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect; Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa; Remote: No; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 146 x 146 x 211mm; Weight: 2.26kg

Check price at Sports Direct

6. Ikea Sonos Symfonisk picture frame: Best wireless speaker-cum-art installation

Price when reviewed: £220 | Check price at Ikea

  • Great for…flexible positioning, audio quality
  • Not so great for… those wanting to display their own artwor

If you’re short on space or simply fancy a Wi-Fi speaker you can mount on your wall, this is the product for you. Ikea and Sonos’ third audio collaboration isn’t as discreet as the Wi-Fi-enabled bookshelf speaker and table lamp that preceded it, but sonically, it hits all the right notes.

We found audio quality impressive regardless of whether it was on our wall, desk or the floor and the Sonos app provides a quick and easy way to stream content from a huge range of services including Tidal and Spotify. There’s also support for Apple AirPlay 2 and the Symfonisk can be integrated into your existing multi-room setup if you own other Sonos speakers. Were you to buy two, you could even use them as rear speakers in a surround sound system with the Sonos Arc or Beam soundbars.

Unfortunately, the Symfonisk can’t be used to display your own pictures. Instead, you’ll have to make do with the design pictured above (in either black or white) or buy one of the alternative clip-in artwork panels sold separately.

Read our full Ikea Sonos Symfonisk picture frame review

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2; Voice Assistant: No; Remote: No; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 406 x 60 x 559mm; Weight: 4kg

Check price at Ikea

7. Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation: Best mid-range wireless speaker

Price when reviewed: £699 | Check price at John Lewis

  • Great for… streaming and connectivity options
  • Not so great for… voice assistant support

Naim’s original Mu-so Qb was a roaring success and the second-generation iteration is a significant upgrade both in terms of features and sound quality. It might lack in-built voice assistant support, but you can plug a smart device into one of the many inputs, which include a USB Type-A port, a 3.5mm analogue jack and optical S/PDIF. Other features we liked include support for Google Chromecast and Apple AirPlay 2 alongside music streaming services Spotify Connect, Tidal and Roon.

Unlike its predecessor, the 2nd Gen comes with a handy remote, although you can also control the speaker via the Naim Audio app on your smartphone. With connection flexibility, sensational sound and a compact, cuboid design, the Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation cements its position as one of the best wireless speakers around.

Read our full Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation review

Key specs – Drivers: 4; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in; Voice Assistant: No; Remote: Yes; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 210 x 218 x 212 mm; Weight: 5.6kg

Check price at John Lewis

8. Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i: Best compact wireless speaker for Hi-res streaming

Price when reviewed: £249 | Check price at Amazon

  • Great for… big sound in a compact package, connection options
  • Not so great for… voice assistant support

The Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i delivers audio far larger than you’d expect from a speaker of its size. It’s capable of filling a room with great-sounding, high-resolution audio and supports a whole host of wireless streaming services, including Amazon Music HD, Tidal and Deezer.

We found the BluOS app comprehensive, allowing easy control of the speaker through either a phone or laptop and providing plenty of ways to adjust the sonic experience. There’s a decent range of physical connections, too, with an Ethernet port, USB-A port for FAT32 and NTFS memory sticks, 3.5mm headphone out and analogue in. All these connection options, coupled with an attractive, minimalist design make the Pulse Flex 2i an enticing prospect for those wanting high-quality 24-bit audio streaming without breaking the bank.

Read our full Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i review

Key specs – Drivers: 2; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2; Voice Assistant: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (through Blue Voice); Remote: Yes (sold separately); Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 125 x 100 x 183mm; Weight: 1.23kg

9. Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation: Best wireless speaker for audiophiles

Price when reviewed: £899 | Check price at John Lewis

  • Great for… powerful, room-filling sound, stunning design
  • Not so great for… built-in voice assistant support, those short on space

The Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is our favourite all-in-one option for those with deep pockets. Delivering 450W of audio power, it can be used as a standard wireless speaker but also doubles up as a soundbar for your TV thanks to its HDMI ARC input. It’s pretty bulky, however, so you’ll want to check it will fit on your AV cabinet before splashing out.

Its HDMI port is just one of several inputs, with the Mu-so 2nd Gen also housing a 3.5mm analogue input, USB Type-A port and Optical SPDIF. Sonically, it’s a powerhouse across the frequency range and can reach extremely high levels of volume with no noticeable drop-off in quality or clarity. There’s no support for voice assistants but the Mu-so 2nd Gen is a room-filling wonder of a wireless speaker.

Read our full Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation review

Key specs – Speakers: 6; Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast built-in; Voice Assistant: No; Remote: Yes; Companion app: Yes; Dimensions (WDH): 628 x 264 x 122mm; Weight: 11.2kg

Check price at John Lewis

How to choose the best wireless speaker for you

There are a few key things you should consider when purchasing one of the best wireless speakers. Depending on your needs, some will prove more important than others, and as ever, make sure you set yourself a budget before splashing out.

Wireless connections and inputs

This is probably the most crucial aspect when you’re looking at buying a wireless speaker. All of the options on our list can play audio over a Wi-Fi connection but not all have Bluetooth functionality. You’ll typically find the pricier a speaker is, the more options it offers.

Modern wireless speakers do sometimes come with physical analogue connections but don’t expect the Earth. Most affordable wireless speakers will be limited to a stereo 3.5mm input; don’t expect extras until you move up to more expensive, audiophile-class gear.

Size and form factor

The best wireless speakers range considerably in size, from compact, desktop speakers to large systems that will take up a significant proportion of your living room. As alluring as a beefy setup may be, sometimes less is more.

Smart features and voice assistants

Google and Amazon speakers support their own voice assistants, but you’ll find plenty of other wireless speakers offering smart functionality.

The key is to look for one that fits with the devices you already own. Although some support multiple digital assistants, the vast majority support one or another so be careful which you buy if this is a priority.

It’s also worth noting the range of features on a third-party smart wireless speaker can be curtailed compared with first-party devices produced by Amazon and Google. Non-Amazon Alexa-enabled smart speakers, for example, can’t be used to make calls to mobile phones and other Echo devices in your home.

READ NEXT: Best smart speakers

Companion apps

While many wireless speakers allow you to simply stream audio to them directly from your favourite music app most also come with a companion app that lets you control various aspects of the speakers’ functionality. Not all of these are made equal, however, and it’s worth checking if they allow you to do what you expect.

Things to think about here include support for the streaming services you use. Most will work well with Spotify, for example, but how about Tidal, Qobuz or Amazon Music HD? You’ll want the widest support for these as possible because although you may not need something now, you may well do in the future. The last thing you want to do is have to buy a new speaker just because you switched streaming platforms or your phone from iPhone to Android.

Streaming standards

The same thing applies to streaming standards. The best wireless speakers will support a range of these so you can send audio directly from your phone, tablet or laptop over your home Wi-Fi network to your wireless speaker. The big three standards are Spotify Connect, Google Cast, and Apple AirPlay but others such as DTS Play-Fi and, for audiophiles, Roon Ready support are worth looking out for as well.

Finally, if you already have a selection of music files somewhere at home, maybe on a shared network drive or folder on your PC, you’ll also want to look for DLNA and UPnP support so your speaker and its app can recognise those sources and browse/play music from them.

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