The Best Multiroom Wireless Speaker System
We’ve spent hundreds of hours over several months using six multiroom wireless speaker systems in every possible room and even outside, and we’ve ultimately determined that Sonosis the best multiroom wireless speaker system. It has a class-leading music ecosystem, excellent sound quality, and unparalleled ease of use. Because there is a variety of great-sounding speakers at different price points, just about anyone can get into the Sonos system with room to grow.
The best part about a multiroom wireless speaker system compared with a series of Bluetooth speakers is that it connects directly to the Internet instead of relying on your phone or computer. Just select the music you want to play and the machine will do the rest, freeing up your phone to do other stuff—with no notification sounds or ringtones to interrupt playback. And you can play different music in different rooms, or group them together, all while maintaining independent volume control on each unit. If you’re not sure if that’s for you, the $200 PLAY:1 is a great starting point. It costs less than most high-end Bluetooth speakers, yet measures as accurately as speakers costing several times as much. You can also pair up two PLAY:1s in stereo mode to get an amazing-sounding stereo setup for just $400—no amps or speaker wire required.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $700.
If you want something with even better sound quality, the PLAY:5 can compete withmid-range bookshelf speakers that require a separate amplifier. A single PLAY:5 in a horizontal arrangement creates a large soundstage on its own, while a pair can hold their own with similarly priced bookshelf speakers.
There’s also a soundbar option called the PLAYBAR, which has an optical input for pairing with your TV. It’s a great-sounding soundbar in its own right, but the Sonos integration makes it much more versatile.
If you want to add some bass, the Sonos SUB can be added to any of these speakers to firm up the low-end response. Its price is a bit steep, but the design with dual opposed drivers reduces distortion compared with single-driver subs. It also integrates automatically with the other Sonos speakers, setting the crossover correctly for a seamless blend. Combined with the PLAYBAR and a pair of PLAY:1s you can create a full 5.1 channel wireless home theater system.
There are a number of other speakers and accessories you can add to your system. The three-driver PLAY:3 sits between the small PLAY:1 and large PLAY:5 in terms of maximum volume, sound quality, and price. It’s the oldest model in the range, and we feel the PLAY:1 offers a better combination of …