Gone are the days when installing a multi-room music system meant trailing wires throughout the house. Now, with this Plug ‘n’ play-systems, you can stream music or move seamlessly from one room to the other, or even play different music in different parts of the house, all from your smartphone or tablet. It has never been so easy to get in multi-room music. With prices still wallet-friendly, you no longer need to make your house mortgage to buy the kit with a wireless speaker in each room. Different systems use a different type of connection: some can be hooked in to your wi-fi router, others have their own ad-hoc network, and many use Bluetooth. There are plenty of multi-room audio systems in the market which makes it quite difficult to choose the best. That’s why we made this article.
Here we list the best wireless multi-room audio systems currently on the market.
Wireless Multi-room Music System – The Best List
#5 Denon HEOS 5
The HEOS 5 from Denon is the 2nd product in the HEOS wireless speaker line. HEOS 5 is larger and more powerful than HEOS 3, and much cheaper than the HEOS 7. The HEOS 5 looks like an ordinary, rectangular speaker in front-view, but looking at it from any angle will reveal the uniqueness of the design. The speaker is eye catchy and has a premium finish to it.
The rear panel consists of Power port, Ethernet and USB ports, a 3.5 mm aux-input, and reset buttons. Setting up of a HEOS speaker is a unique, but fortunately simple process. You can connect your music device wirelessly or by 3.5mm audio jack and the whole system can be controlled through the free HEOS app for iOS and Android.
As for the performance, we found that the mids and highs were crisp and clear but the bass lacked the punch. When we raised the volume to higher levels, the distortion was clearly there. The much larger Heos 7, with active subwoofer driver that takes away a large part of the pressure from the mid-woofers with no problem.
The Heos 5 is the best of the three, for the combination of performance and price in comparison with the rest of the line. It is still expensive though, comparing with Sonos Play 5, the HEOS 5 doesn’t stand up to what we expect from a $400 speaker.
#4 Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
Back in 2012, Bose introduced the third generation of their Wave models. These small home audio systems sport classic designs and were supplied with advanced FM radio functionality and with CD and MP3 playback functionality. A year later, Bose announced the sound touch lineup aimed at the wireless lifestyle of today. The Bose Wave Soundtouch is their recent and unique model combining the functionality of a sound touch system with a Wave Music System. The design of this product looks more like the wave series, very similar to the Wave Music System III.
Just like other Bose Wave products, the entire models have this vintage vibe and you can choose from the light titanium silver, dark charcoal, and platinum white styles, depending on the furniture or other home theater components that you want to adjust with. The Bose Wave Soundtouch has no physical buttons, but only touch sensitive surface.
The Bose has a punchy warm sound that is particularly pleasing with rock music and does not make any pain with softer styles such as folk, either. One of the most important aspects of a streaming speaker is the ability to withstand music dropouts, and this is something private-mesh networks such as the Sonos speakers are able to do very well. Despite the fact that Bose showed a similar level of reliability on a standard WiFi network and thoroughly beaten up the dropout sensitivity on PS1. Bose was able to make play music from multiple sources like DLNA, Internet radio and WiFi router without issue.
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The connection options are Ethernet and Wi-Fi but there is no Bluetooth function. The absence of Bluetooth means that the Bose Wave sound touch drops the compatibility with all old Bluetooth devices and feature phones and focus on the new age wireless system, but Wi-Fi is superior in terms of speed, range, and reliability. You can use this compact system in your living room and all the other devices in your home should be able to connect to the Bose Wave Soundtouch if this is connected to the router.
The Wave Bose sound touch is one of the most versatile compact speaker systems ever. But it’s a little bit expensive. If you have not tried a Bose sound system in the past, this is your golden chance. Know the balance of premium audio with useful features with Bose Wave Soundtouch.
#3 Polk Audio Omni S6
Polk Audio is the one company that comes to our mind when talking about the home audio system. The Omni S6 is one of their latest products for the domestic market, also one of the larger speakers in the series.
The design of the Polk Omni S6 is such that it is more of an all-rounder speaker, which can act on its own as a standalone speaker, while also as the driving force behind a coherent and varied full flexed multi-room home theater set-up. If you have an input device connected directly to the speaker to which the other Polk speakers connected, the Omni S6 is to drive the other speakers for a balanced room-filling sound signature.
The Omni S6 offers a very nice and polished sound and as a result, there is little to complain about in terms of the actual sound quality. The combination of small size with dual 4-inch drivers, the Omni S6 provides good bass. Once connected, the speakers to fill up the space much better if you use them in the same room. Overall, the Omni S6 provides a very rich and balanced sound.
The Play-Fi app, Polk’s own streaming, and connecting app act as a go-between the system and if any speakers are connected to the same wifi network, the app can pick them up and add them to the connection. The major advantage of the Omni S6 is its versatility. You can turn off certain speakers, play everything and even adjust the volume of each speaker separately. We tested the use of the Play-Fi system along with the Omni S2 and the use of the Play-Fi feature is a great addition.
The Omni S6 is not designed to be a portable speaker; instead, it is much more of a fixed unit.
#2 SONOS PLAY:1
The Sonos Play: 1, the baby brother in the Sonos line-up of wireless speakers, is the cheapest Sonos speaker available at a retail price of $199 with a free Sonos Bridge. It is an excellent small speaker, with leading sound quality for a wireless speaker of this price and size.
Each Sonos Play: 1 features two drivers, a mid-range / bass driver, and a smaller tweeter – the same blueprint adopted by the traditional bookshelf speakers. As with most Sonos-kit, there are no wired inputs. If you are not familiar with the Sonos system, here is how it works – when connected to the parent device, music to the Sonos Play: 1 not streamed using AirPlay or Bluetooth, but Sonos own software system. The Sonos system is equipped with a variety of streaming services including Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Cloud Player.
The setting up of a Sonos Play: 1 takes a while, especially if your router is not in the area where the speaker needs to be installed. The user manual is simple and easy to understand. Soon after the setup, the Sonos system is a pleasure to use.
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Use the Sonos app to stream from smartphones and tablets. The Play: 1 can also be used as a satellite speaker within a surround sound system with the Sonos playback bar, and two of these can be connected to a stereo pair. Anyway, the Sonos Play: 1 produces excellent, rich and warm sound for its size.
Bass response is excellent but we felt like the treble is too much at higher volume levels leading to a slight variation in the pleasant sound signature.
The convenience of the Sonos speakers and streaming software is something you pay for, so if you absolutely want to get the best sound and the ‘best sound only’ for your money, you may have to sacrifice on user-friendliness, features, and appeal. Otherwise, if you want is the balance between good looking easy to use the sound system and good sound quality, Sonos Play 1 is the best for budget-conscious minds and Sonos Play 5 is the one for the rich.
The Sonos Play: 1 is a great little speaker, and if you hesitate to buy Sonos Play: 3 because it’s too expensive, we recommend the Play: 1.
#1 SONOS PLAY:5
Sonos is still the number one in the market because the wireless speakers not only does its job but also makes the house an entire wireless speaker ecosystem that works very well and more importantly-delivers great sound. The 2nd Gen Sonos 5 delivers astonishing audio with a solid balance of rich bass and clear treble.
The available colors are black or white models, which both have a Black Front Panel with speaker grills, the Play: 5 look minimal and tight. Measuring 8 x 6 x 14.3 inches and a weighing 14 pounds, the Play: 5 quite large and is equipped with a single button to play/pause, with volume buttons on both sides of it which are all located at center on the top panel.
Behind the front grill, the Play: 5 hide three tweeters and three midrange drivers that are individually driven by six class-D digital amplifiers. The back panel houses power plug, an Ethernet cable connection and a button to connect the speaker to an existing Sonos system. The speaker can also be combined with other Sonos 5 speaker to form a stereo pair so that one works as the left channel and the other as right.
Sonos claims the speakers are designed to operate in relatively increased air humidity, so you can play music in the bathroom too and so not have to worry about steam. The Play: 5 can be connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth or home wireless network. You will need Sonos app which you can download for Android or IOS free of cost. The app covers all of the multi-room and multi-speaker setups, including the configuration of two Play: 5 speakers as a stereo pair or playing music in multiple rooms in the house.
As for the performance, the speaker system delivers astounding clarity and punch. It can handle the lows and mids at a balance and even for mid-volume level; it delivers robust and deep bass. You will feel as if a powerful subwoofer is inside the room. But it is not boomy too. The Play: 5 prevent the adding deep bass when it is not suitable for the track.
If you are looking for an excellent multi-room wireless speaker, look no further as this is the best you can get in the current market. If you want a bit smaller and much less expensive start, the Sonos Play: 1 might be a good idea which is more compact but less powerful Sonos speaker available at half the price of Play 5.