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Fluance wireless speaker for story on best wireless speakers under $200.

Best Wireless Speakers Under $200

These speakers, recommended by Consumer Reports, make the perfect holiday gift for music lovers

Wireless speakers make a great holiday gift, offering a convenient, easy way to listen to music, news, sports, and more. And unlike many other electronic gadgets, WiFi and Bluetooth speakers aren't likely to become outdated in a year or two. 

But which wireless speaker to choose? If you're buying for someone who will use the speaker away from home, say, at the park or beach, look for a Bluetooth model that's rugged and water-resistant. If the speaker will spend its life indoors, opt for a WiFi model to get greater signal range—you won't need to keep your smartphone, laptop, or tablet nearby to keep the music playing.

Above all, you want to find a model that's easy to use and has good sound for the money. The following speakers tick both of those boxes, and are recommended by Consumer Reports.

To learn more about selecting the right wireless speaker, check out our wireless speakers buying guide and ratings.

Go to Consumer Reports' 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for updates on deals, expert product reviews, insider tips on shopping, and much more. And be sure to check our Daily Gift Guide.

1

Fluance Fi50
Fluance Fi50

    Fluance Fi50

    Sure, the faux-wood finish and retro design may remind you of grandpa's Vista Cruiser station wagon from the 1970s. But performance-wise the Fluance Fi50 is very much a creature of the 21st century.

     

    The enclosure of this hefty 13-pound speaker is actually made of MDF, or medium-density fiberboard, which is often used in cabinets. The manufacturer claims that the material damps resonances and allows the twin 5-inch speakers to perform at their best.

     

    Our testers report that the Fi50 delivers very good sound quality and is very easy to use. It features analog audio inputs along with Bluetooth, an LCD display, and a remote. The Fi50 operates on AC power and is designed for indoor use. 

    2

    Sonos Play:1
    Sonos Play:1

      Sonos Play:1

      This stylish, solidly constructed Sonos speaker delivers very good sound quality all on its own; and if you pair it with another Play:1 in a stereo configuration, you get even better sound.

      You can easily add more Sonos wireless speakers via WiFi to create a multiroom sound system capable of playing different selections in different rooms of your home. How about some Miles Davis in the dining room for the grown-ups and Jay-Z in the family room for the kids? Nice. (The Play:1 operates on AC power.)

      Sonos also has an Alexa-powered smart speaker, the Sonos One, $200, which we haven't yet tested. This model can integrate with the Play:1 in a Sonos system, but you need two identical speakers—either two Ones or two Play:1s—to make a stereo pair.

      3

      Vava Voom 21
      Vava Voom 21

        Vava Voom 21

        Bargain hunters should check out the VaVa Voom 21. This Bluetooth model is the lowest-priced speaker among our recommended models, and it's frequently discounted. Our test team found that the VaVa Voom 21 paired with a phone reliably, and the controls were easy to use.

        This may not be the best-sounding speaker on the market, but the bass has good impact and there's enough volume to fill a medium-sized room. Maybe even the bedroom of some kid on your shopping list.

        5

        JBL by Harman Flip 4
        JBL by Harman Flip 4

          JBL by Harman Flip 4

          Ever wonder what a speaker sounds like underwater? JBL says this model can be submerged without damage, which, at the minimum, means it should stand up to a rainstorm or a spilled water bottle. (Consumer Reports hasn't tested the claim.)

          Water-resistance aside, this cylindrical Bluetooth speaker from JBL earns Best Buy designation from CR for its attractive combination of good performance and low price. It's available in six colors and a number of patterns, including camouflage.

          Our testers found the sound quality to be good. Two units can be used in stereo—buy a pair, and you can better fill a room with sound, while still paying less than you would for mono speakers. The test team also liked the Flip's ease of use, including its fuss-free pairing. 

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          Allen St. John

          I believe that technology has the power to change our lives—for better or for worse. That's why I’ve spent my life reporting and writing about it for outlets of all sorts, from newspapers (such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times) to magazines (Popular Mechanics and Rolling Stone) and even my own books ("Newton’s Football" and "Clapton’s Guitar"). For me, there's no better way to spend a day than talking to a bunch of experts about an important subject and then writing a story that'll help others be smarter and better informed.