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Article updated on June 9, 2024 at 2:00 PM PDT

Best Wi-Fi Wireless Speaker of 2024

Check out the best Wi-Fi speakers on the market, tested by our experts.

Our Experts

Written by 
Ty Pendlebury
Prakhar Khanna
John Falcone
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
Ty Pendlebury Editor
Ty Pendlebury has worked at CNET since 2006. He lives in New York City where he writes about streaming and home audio.
Expertise Ty has worked for radio, print, and online publications, and has been writing about home entertainment since 2004. He is an avid record collector and streaming music enthusiast. Credentials
  • Ty was nominated for Best New Journalist at the Australian IT Journalism awards, but he has only ever won one thing. As a youth, he was awarded a free session for the photography studio at a local supermarket.
Prakhar Khanna Update Writer / CNET
Prakhar writes and updates all kinds of articles on CNET. When not tinkering with gadgets, he can be found napping. Contact: parkydoesstuff(at)gmail(dot)com Twitter: @ParkyPrakhar
John Falcone Senior Editorial Director, Shopping
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
Expertise Over 20 years experience in electronics and gadget reviews and analysis, and consumer shopping advice Credentials
  • Self-taught tinkerer, informal IT and gadget consultant to friends and family (with several self-built gaming PCs under his belt)
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Our Picks

$249 at Amazon
sonos-era-100-2
Best speaker overall
Sonos Era 100
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$120 at Ikea
Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf
Best budget speaker
Ikea Wi-Fi Symfonisk Bookshelf
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$200 at Amazon
Amazon Echo Studio on a table.
The best sounding Amazon Echo
Amazon Echo Studio
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$95 at B&H Photo-Video
Apple HomePod Mini in yellow
Best AirPlay speaker
Apple HomePod Mini
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$180 at Walmart
sonos-roam-lake-background
Best portable speaker
Sonos Roam
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$149 at Amazon
wiim-pro-1
Best for streaming to existing systems
WiiM Pro
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$180 at Amazon
A black JBL Playlist Capsule speaker on a pink table against a green background.
Best for Android users
JBL Playlist 150 [Out of Stock]
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Whether hosting a pool party or backyard barbecue this summer, music is a must and so is a good wireless speaker. Speakers these days are pretty high-tech, from voice control to sound quality to Bluetooth connectivity. We found the best Wi-Fi wireless speakers to stream music wherever and whenever you want this summer.

For the streaming speakers that do offer voice control, if you're not into that you can just turn it off. Either way, you don't need to spend very much -- for instance, a fantastic "dumb" multiroom speaker like the Ikea Symfonisk Bookshelf starts at $140. To help you figure out which will be the perfect fit for your home's audio setup, we made a list of the best Wi-Fi wireless speakers we've tested in the CNET labs. Read on.

Read more: Best Bluetooth Speakers of 2024

Editors' choice
$249 at Amazon

Best speaker overall

Sonos Era 100

At $249, the Sonos Era 100 is the smart speaker to please any music fan. The compact device makes a number of improvements on the award-winning One, including stereo playback and even better sound quality. With Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2 compatibility the Era 100 is a more flexible streaming speaker than ever before.

$120 at Ikea

Best budget speaker

Ikea Wi-Fi Symfonisk Bookshelf

For $120 there's a number of excellent smart speakers to choose from, including the Amazon Echo, Nest Audio and HomePod Mini, but the Symfonisk is bigger than all of them. Bigger cabinets usually mean bigger sound. While this speaker is best as part of a Sonos surround sound system, it also makes a great kids' room or garage speaker.

Watch this: Sonos Era 100 and Era 300 Are Here: See the Next Gen of Wireless Streaming Speakers
$200 at Amazon

The best sounding Amazon Echo

Amazon Echo Studio

The Echo Studio comes from the house of Amazon – the creator of Alexa. It is easy to set up and is loud enough to fill a room with sound. With thumping bass, clear sound and good highs, this is easily the best Amazon Echo. You can use Alexa to stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Tidal and more. 

Editors' choice
$95 at B&H Photo-Video

Best AirPlay speaker

Apple HomePod Mini

The HomePod Mini may be outgunned by the new HomePod in terms of output power, but it is also a third of the price. For its size, the HomePod Mini has a laundry list of useful features -- Siri voice assistant, temperature and humidity controls -- and it sounds really good, too. If you're deep in the Apple ecosystem, especially if you use Siri a lot, then the Apple HomePod Mini should make a seamless addition to your home.

$180 at Walmart

Best portable speaker

Sonos Roam

The Sonos Roam is a portable Bluetooth speaker on steroids -- it can be used out-and-about or it can be used as part of a Sonos multiroom system. It's affordable (for Sonos, that is) and it sounds better than other products of its type. It also comes with a choice of voice assistant to make choosing a song even simpler.

Editors' choice
$149 at Amazon

Best for streaming to existing systems

WiiM Pro

Not a speaker as such, but a great option for people who don't want to buy a whole new one. Say you've got a stereo system -- or even an old Bluetooth speaker like the Fluance F170 -- and you wanted to be able to add Wi-Fi streaming to it. The WiiM Pro offers the best sound and streaming support of any other dongle I can think of -- and it's only $149. The app makes it easy to set up and use, and it will integrate with many multi-room systems too.

$180 at Amazon

Best for Android users

JBL Playlist 150 [Out of Stock]

Google may offer a lot of speakers, including the Nest Audio, but the one that was truly great with music -- the Home Max -- has been discontinued. It's surprising then that the list of affordable-yet-good-sounding Chromecast built-in speakers can be counted on the fingers of one hand. And of those, the JBL Playlist is the best I've tested, with a generously sized speaker and enough volume to fill a typical room. It also has Bluetooth and an auxiliary input to expand its flexibility. It may not be "smart", but if you want a system that can be controlled via an existing Google Assistant speaker, this is the one to get.

Other Wi-Fi speakers we tested

  • JBL Link Portable (Out of Stock): The Link Portable is a larger-size competitor to the Sonos, being both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth compatible, and it can play louder and with weightier bass. In his review of the Sonos Roam, reviewer David Carnoy says he preferred the sound and build quality of the Sonos and would buy it over the JBL
  • Bose Home Speaker 300 (Out of Stock): If you're after a responsive smart speaker, the Bose Home Speaker 300 is both snappy in operation and lovely to look at. In terms of audio quality, however, it doesn't measure up to its competitor, the cheaper Sonos One. In addition, the onboard Bose Music multiroom system is not compatible with existing SoundTouch products. The 300 appears to be out of production but it can still be found in new condition at select retailers. There are also plenty of refurbished models available for even less. Read CNET's review of the Bose Home Speaker 300.
HomePod 2 on wooden table

The new HomePod now features an edge-to-edge Siri display

Ty Pendlebury/CNET
  • Apple HomePod (2023) ($270): The new HomePod is a refined take on Apple's first smart speaker with better sound and more features. Despite new-found support for Dolby Atmos it's the temperature and humidity sensors which are the most palpable changes. Yet, at $300 most people are better off buying the HomePod mini which has an almost-identical set of features. Read CNET's review of the Apple HomePod (2023)
  • Bowers and Wilkins Formation Flex ($500): A smaller brother to the flashy Formation Wedge, the Flex is still quite stylish and boasts an open-hearted sonic signature. There's plenty of competition at this level though, including the Sonos Five, which is capable of a much bigger, party-ready performance. Read CNET's first take on the Formation range.
31-sonos-move

The Sonos Move

David Carnoy/CNET
  • Sonos Move ($399): If you want a wireless speaker model that's (kinda) portable and water resistant, the Sonos Move offers great sound in a very large box. If you need to power a tailgate or large party this would be great, but for most people the Sonos Roam is both cheaper and more pocketable. Read CNET's review of the Sonos Move.
  • Sony SRS-RA5000 ($798): Where are people supposed to put large speakers like the Sony SRS-RA5000 and the McIntosh RS150? A dressing table -- like, a really big one? The Sony is over a foot tall but adding to its potential awkwardness is its 360-degree playback, making the "best" place to put it at the center of a room. The sound is fine, but if you want to hear 3D spatial audio, the Amazon Echo Studio is a quarter of the price. Read CNET's first take on the Sony SRS-RA5000.
  • McIntosh RS150 ($1,200): The massive McIntosh RS150 has some great things going for it -- namely Chromecast built-in, Roon Ready and Spotify Connect. Nonetheless, the sound wasn't as clear as I'd expected and the unit offers no EQ controls to compensate. In addition, while the previous RS100 had the fabled McIntosh blue meter this update misses a trick by replacing it with LEDs. The competitive Naim Mu-so Qb is more compact and offers excellent performance for the same price.
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How does CNET test wireless speakers?

CNET follows a rigorous, unbiased evaluation process for all of our audio testing. We test Wi-Fi speakers ranging from simple bedside speakers all the way through to high-end systems. Our audio lab includes a Roon server running on a Synology NAS, Google Nest and Amazon Echo speakers, plus both iOS and Android devices. Similar speakers are compared side by side in a living room environment with different styles of music and utilizing multiple streaming platforms when required. We grade the sound quality of each by evaluating clarity, dynamics, bass response and stereo imaging (if applicable). If the speaker comes with a proprietary app we will compare that to other competitive controllers. 

Wi-Fi Speaker FAQs

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Are Bluetooth speakers better than Wi-Fi speakers?

Both of them can be termed as wireless speaker systems. Wi-Fi delivers the same basic convenience as Bluetooth: using your phone's Wi-Fi connection to play music over an external speaker or sound system. Just like speakers that use Bluetooth connectivity, it can work with a subscription music service app such as Spotify (via Spotify Connect) or Apple Music, a radio service like Pandora or TuneIn, or your own music collection. Here are the best reasons to get a streaming Wi-Fi speaker:

  • A Wi-Fi speaker sounds better than a Bluetooth speaker due to its higher bandwidth.
  • Wi-Fi has better range.
  • Wi-Fi doesn't take over your phone's audio channel -- so you can take a call without interrupting the song, for example.
  • It also works great for multiroom audio, allowing playback from multiple speakers all over the house via your Wi-Fi network, all controlled by a single phone app.
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How do multiroom speakers work?

Mutliroom enables users to play from one or multiple speakers anywhere in the house at once, with most systems able to support up to a dozen or more different zones. If you want to play a song in "house party mode," for example, where it blasts from multiple speakers throughout the house simultaneously, all of those speakers have to share the same ecosystem. For Sonos and other proprietary systems, all of those speakers will have to be Sonos (or connected to a Sonos device). For Chromecast, all of the speakers regardless of brand, will need to be Chromecast-compatible. And so on. 

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How do I connect my Wi-Fi to my music?

Most speakers come with a dedicated companion app for iOS and Android which is used for both setting up and controlling your system. It goes without saying that you'll need an internet connection to use a Wi-Fi speaker, and most speakers support at least 2.4GHz connections or even 5Ghz. Check your documentation for the name of the app you need and make sure you also have your Wi-Fi password handy. Most apps use a simple step-by-step process, so you should be listening to music in a matter of minutes.