Wireless speakers—especially Bluetooth models—provide greater flexibility for those of you who want to enjoy music anywhere, including the backyard or park where you're hosting your Fourth of July barbecue. The connectivity features let you stream music from the convenience of a smart phone or tablet over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, liberating you from the clutches of the 3.5mm jack. And streaming music services such as Spotify and Pandora guarantee you’ll be able to entertain yourself and your guests, no matter their musical tastes.
As with their tethered counterparts, wireless speakers run a wide gamut of audio quality—and price. Here are five budget speakers that did well in our tests:
Sonos Play:1, $200
The least expensive of the Sonos wireless speaker line, the Sonos Play:1 (pictured above) still packs a punch, outclassing similarly priced speaker systems from other manufacturers. The Sonos Play: 1 is noted for its impressive sound and ease of use, but the real treat is its expandability through other Sonos Play speakers, allowing listeners to build their surround sound system, one speaker at a time.
The Sonos Play:1 comes with an Ethernet cable to connect with your router, but you may also link it through Wi-Fi either to another Sonos device or an optional additional Sonos Bridge component ($50). Setting up is easy through the Sonos iTunes and Android app, which also lets your smart phone be used as a remote control.