While Bluetooth speakers remain popular and viable in today’s speaker market, they aren’t always the best solution for home audio. Bluetooth range can be limited and impacted by the structures of your home. On the other hand, wifi speakers have the benefit of having the same range as your wifi router provides and providing a multiroom audio solution. Some wifi speakers also offer Bluetooth connectivity, which increases the versatility.
The Sonos Play:5 is an excellent WiFi speaker. It offers great value for money, the ability to create a multi-speaker setup (including home theater), advanced features, and great sound.
Quick Pick – Our Awards!
The Sonos Play:5 offers great multiroom support and the same high-quality sound we’ve come to expect from Sonos products. We’d have liked to have seen Bluetooth connectivity, however.
The Sonos Move is the perfect WiFi speaker for those who want all the features of a home speaker but with the portability and weather protection found in traditional Bluetooth speakers. It offers both WiFi and Bluetooth support and can be powered by AC or battery.
Best Sound Quality
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge is the audiophile’s choice. It offers high-fidelity audio in a beautiful, compact design, and while it’s not going to be the best choice for everyone, you’ll know if it’s right for you.
The Budget Choice
The Ultimate Ears Megablast is the perfect choice for those looking for WiFi functionality without requiring the same high-fidelity audio that some of the more expensive models offer. This speaker is highly versatile and can be treated as a home wifi speaker or a portable Bluetooth speaker.
What To Expect From WiFi Speakers
WiFi speakers are quite different in their nature from a lot of traditional Bluetooth variants. That is to say, there is a distinctly different goal in mind when developing a WiFi speaker. While Bluetooth speakers are focused on providing a portable solution that is often accompanied by impressive waterproofing features and a rugged design, WiFi speakers tend to focus more on home features like smart assistants and tend to feature more classic speaker designs that are a bit more toned down and lack that same rugged nature.
Some WiFi speakers offer a bit more versatility with both Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity provided. This isn’t necessarily to create more portability but rather to provide alternative home-based connection types. It’s often easier to connect using Bluetooth than WiFi, especially if visitors are prone to taking the role of the DJ at times.
A big benefit to WiFi speakers is that they can be integrated into one’s existing home audio setup. This will allow you to sync music between multiple rooms without encountering traditional Bluetooth party chaining limitations.
The 8 Best WiFi Speakers
In our opinion, these speakers represent some of the best WiFi speakers on the market. We’ve selected products for this list based on their features, audio quality, and reliability. We’ve also taken cost into account to ensure that we are inclusive of most budget constraints.
1. Sonos Play:5
14.3 x 8.0 x 6.0″
If you’re looking for a contemporary, sleek-looking WiFi speaker, then the Sonos Play:5 will deliver. The entire Sonos range is ultra-stylish and will suit most decor, especially modern and minimalist living spaces.
The Play:5 features six speaker drivers, each independently driven by six internal Class-D amplifiers. There are 3 x 4-inch woofers, 2 x ¾-inch tweeters for left and right, and a 1-inch tweeter for the center delivering 50W RMS or 80W peak. Some serious power for a speaker of this size. All the speakers are positioned on one side, which means you have to be in front of the Play:5 for optimum listening.
The Play:5 can be placed vertically or horizontally and even has a built-in gyro so the internal processing will adjust accordingly. In the horizontal position, the Play:5 becomes a stereo, single-source speaker. In a vertical position, the speaker delivers a mono signal which is usually best when linking two Play:5 speakers together as a stereo pair.
While we’re on the subject of linking speakers, the Play:5 can be used as a single-source, paired, or even incorporated into a multi-speaker sound system. You can choose to have a multi-room Sonos system or use the Play:5 in a surround-sound home theater setup. The options with the Play:5, and the entire Sonos range for that matter, make it a versatile WiFi speaker well worth the $500 price tag.
As well as linking to other Sonos speakers, the Play:5 is also compatible with Alexa. Unfortunately, Alexa is not built-in, so you will need to pair the Play:5 to an Echo or other Amazon Alexa device.
Versatile connections and control
You have two audio input options WiFi and ⅛-inch AUX. There is also an Ethernet input if you prefer to connect your WiFi speaker to the internet using a cable connection (find out why you might want to do this in our buyer’s guide at the end of this article). There are six internal WiFi antennas on all sides of the Play:5 to ensure the speaker is always connected to your network. To date, going through reviews and comments online, I have yet to see anyone complain about WiFi connectivity with any Sonos products (which are within range of the WiFi network, obviously). If you’re an Apple user, you’ll be pleased to know you have Airplay as an option for playing music too. There is no Bluetooth connectivity for the Play:5.
Controlling the Play:5 can be done via the onboard buttons or via the Sonos app. Above the Sonos badge on top of the speaker are three touch-sensitive buttons, including a play/pause button and two pads on either side. Aside from play/pause you can also adjust the control volume and skip tracks. On the rear of the speaker, there is the Sonos Join button which allows you to link one or more Sonos speakers. Configuring your multi-speaker setup can be done using the Sonos app.
You can connect your favorite streaming services through the Sonos app, perform the same functions as the onboard controls, and adjust audio settings and features.
Impressive sound with thumpy bass
The best thing about the Play:5 is it sounds as beautiful as it looks. The bass is thick and punchy with excellent control. It’s definitely a fun sound that will suit most genres of music. The mid-range is forward, with vocals and instrumentation coming through nice and clean. The mids also don’t appear to be muddied by the low-end. Sonos have definitely got the balance right here. Highs are nice and crisp, adding a sparkle to the sound, which, again, makes the Play:5 a fun speaker to listen to.
If you’re looking for more bass, then you might want to consider adding the Sonos Sub for some earth-shaking low-end. Like all Sonos speakers, the Sub and Play:5 pair wirelessly.
Why We Recommend It
The Sonos Play:5 is an excellent WiFi speaker. While not cheap, it offers great value, the ability to create a multi-speaker setup (including home theater), advanced features, and great sound. If you enjoy Sonos products but want something more portable consider the Sonos Move, which doesn’t match the sound quality of the Sonos Five but does have more versatility.
2. Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII
RCA, WiFi, BT
12.6 x 7 x 6.5″
If you’re looking for high-fidelity audio, the Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII offers excellent sound quality in an aesthetic, simplistic, clean build. If you want to reveal your driver cones, the fabric cover can easily be removed thanks to the magnet design that holds it in place. We always appreciate color variations to ensure a speaker fits one’s interior decor, and the Addon C10 MKII delivers three variations (Black, White & Gray) that will work in almost all interior color pallets.
The Addon C10 MKII is the largest and loudest of the Addon series but also the best sounding of the group. While we feel that improvements are being made on the C3 and C5, the C10 comes closer to delivering a great all-around audio solution. The frequency response offered by the C10 is also wider than that of the C3, C5, and C5A, offering a range of 45Hz to 22kHz, and while frequency response doesn’t always equate to a wider sound, the C10 does come through sounding substantially more full than the other Addon models.
I love the control area of the Addon C10 MKII; its fine metal finish lays almost flat with the speaker, with very little protrusion. Despite this design, the buttons still feel good on the fingers, like an elevator button.
Pristine Audio Quality
Sound quality is where the Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII really shines. Despite the relatively compact nature of this speaker, it’s driven by an impressive 5.25″ woofer which is supported by two 3/4″ tweeters for the treble. These drivers are powered by two 20W amplifiers as well as a larger 40W amp.
Looking more closely at the sound signature of these speakers, you’re going to get a balanced representation that performs best in music that isn’t extremely reliant on bass. That’s not to say the C10 MKII lacks a good bass response; the stock sound still provides a solid, thumpy low end. But if you’re someone who is interested in a high-fidelity sound but still considers yourself a bit of a closet basshead, adding the Audio Pro SW-10 subwoofer can bring some really impressive sound with more focus on that low end.
Added Multiroom Support
The original Addon C10 was criticized for its lack of multiroom support, so it was very refreshing to see Audio Pro take the feedback to heart and release the MKII version with improved multiroom capabilities. The Audio Pro Addon C10 MKII supports Apple AirPlay 2 and comes with built-in Google Cast. The C10 MKII also comes with Bluetooth support, which we always appreciate, but given that this speaker was introduced in 2017, only Bluetooth 4.2 is offered. We’d like to see an MKIII to provide more modern Bluetooth technology. But given that this is primarily designed as a WiFi speaker, we can’t complain too much about the slightly older Bluetooth version. Then, of course, the WiFi connectivity supports both 2.4 and 5 GHz networks.
Aside from wireless connectivity, there is also an output for a dedicated subwoofer (RCA) for those looking to add some extra bass. And an RCA cable input if you’re looking to use this speaker with a wired connection.
Why We Recommend It
This speaker is best suited for those who want great audio in their WiFi speaker and prefer a more balanced sound signature. It offers WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, though it is not a portable solution as it requires AC power. The C10 is, without a doubt, the most impressive of the Addon range.
3. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge
Optical, WiFi, BT
6.5 x 2.6 x 8.9″
Bang & Olufsen is a premium audio brand that is renowned for its great sound and unique speaker designs. The Beosound Emerge WiFi speaker fits the bill perfectly with its router-like design with a wood finish. Despite its slim form factor, this speaker produces excellent sound quality that will impress the most demanding listeners.
The slim nature of the Emerge is deceiving when it comes to what it has to offer. Despite the appearance, Bang & Olufsen have somehow managed to fit a 4″ woofer along with a dedicated 1.45″ midrange driver and a 0.6″ tweeter. These are powered by three separate class D amplifiers for each of the drivers, a 60W for the low end and two 30W amps to drive the midrange and the tweeter.
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge features WiFi support (802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. This ensures that you get versatility in how you connect to the speaker. We wouldn’t recommend this speaker as a portable solution, and it’s best suited on a bookshelf or next to your vinyl player.
The Emerge also supports several streaming services (AirPlay 2, Chromecast, and Spotify connect). There is also integration with Bang & Olufsen radio if you’re after a built-in music service.
In terms of the inputs and outputs, there is an ethernet connection (10/100 Mbit), an optical combi jack if you’re looking to get the most out of your audio using a cabled connection, a USB-C power port, and then a micro USB service port.
Incredible sound quality
Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound Emerge represents the experience we expect from Bang & Olufsen. You get a crisp, clean sound that carries impressively well for a speaker that only 15W during typical use. In fact, the efficiency of the engineering of the Emerge is quite astounding, as this speaker is capable of producing 92dB of volume, even with its small form factor and low power usage.
The frequency response on this speaker spans from 45 – 22000 Hz, which is a fairly broad range, and one can really notice a lot of nuance in the treble. In fact, throughout the frequency range, the Beosound Emerge performs excellently, with a punchy bass response, warm mids, and a very distinctive and accurate upper mid and treble.
Why We Recommend It
The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge is a classy speaker with a classy sound signature. It is best served for audio enthusiasts who are picky about how their speakers sound and who prefer a more classic design style that fits well into wood-finished areas. It provides everything we look for in a quality home WiFi speaker.
4. Sonos Move
9.44 x 6.29 x 4.96″
The Sonos Move is a great WiFi speaker for those who want all the home audio features that come with a WiFi speaker but also want a speaker that offers the portability found in traditional Bluetooth speakers. Not only does the Sonos Move come with battery power, it even offers sufficient waterproofing for almost all outdoor situations.
The Move is a fairly compact and light WiFi speaker weighing in at just 6.6 lbs and measuring only 9.44” tall. While this smaller build does mean that there are limitations to the overall sound when compared to the Sonos Five, the two speakers offer two very separate benefits.
We recommend going with the Sonos Five if you’re looking for a casual at-home speaker with great sound, a balanced sound signature, and don’t care too much about features. The Sonos Move is better suited for casual listening and portability, along with additional smart-speaker features. It’s not to say the Sonos Move is bad sounding, it just falls behind the Five in this regard.
Best for podcasts & casual listening
The Sonos Move’s audio quality may not quite match some of the larger Sonos models, but that’s not to say the Move is bad at sound. You’re still going to be getting audio quality that surpasses most of the traditional portable Bluetooth options, such as the JBL Charge or Flip series.
The sound signature of the Move is still quite balanced, especially for a smaller, portable WiFi speaker. There is some noticeable compression on the low end when the volume is cranked, but this nuance will be most noticeable to critical listeners, and the Move isn’t really aimed toward being the best out there when it comes to sound. Instead, the Sonos Move looks to balance a quality sound signature, along with sufficient volume, features, and then, of course, portability.
The low end is a little less pronounced and clean than the Sonos Five, but the midrange of the Move is impressively balanced, and the treble is still bright and appealing. The treble of the Sonos Move is highly intelligible and excels at podcasts or media where there is more focus on the upper mids and highs.
The Sonos Move performs best around the 70% volume range, but there is a little degradation in quality when pushed above 85%, especially towards the low end. These smaller details are something that is difficult to resolve in smaller portable speakers, such as the Sonos Move. Overall, we are impressed that a relatively small and portable speaker offering so many features can put out close to 90 decibels of volume before we see a drop-off in quality.
Impressive connectivity & features
The Sonos Move is a fairly unique WiFi speaker in that it blends a traditional WiFi home smart speaker with a portable Bluetooth speaker. Traditionally, these two types of speakers are quite separate, and finding a speaker that offers a blend of both can be quite challenging.
The Move offers both WiFi (802.11a/b/g/n 2.4 GHz or 5Ghz) and Bluetooth (version 4.1) while also offering the same support for Alexa, AirPlay 2, and Google Assistant that we tend to look for in home WiFi speakers. The Sonos Move can therefore fulfill all the same multiroom features that a good home wifi speaker does, as well as the additional benefit of being a portable Bluetooth speaker. We would have liked to have seen newer production models coming with Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.2, but Bluetooth 4.1 is still viable.
When it comes to portability, a 36Wh battery is able to power the Move for around 11 hours at regular listening levels. Additionally, an IP56 waterproof rating ensures that the Sonos Move is also protected when taken outdoors and is protected from both dust and directional water. The Sonos Move can easily handle some rain without being subjected to damage.
Why We Recommend It
The Sonos Move is a great speaker for those who want something that is highly versatile. You’ll get the same features as most other quality WiFi speakers, but also everything you need to use this speaker as a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can carry outside onto your patio or take to your friend’s place.
5. Bose Home Speaker 500
AUX, WiFi, BT
6.7 x 8.0 x 4.3″
The Bose Home Speaker 500 looks like the big brother to the Bose SoundLink Color II, which was featured at number 6 in our best portable Bluetooth speakers article. In fact, the Home Speaker 500 shares a similar aesthetic with both the SoundLink and SoundTouch range from Bose but doesn’t share the same features and cannot pair with these speakers either.
The Home Speaker 500 is a large pill-shaped speaker with a speaker on the bottom, a full-color LCD display in the middle on the front, and a control panel at the top. If you like to see your album art in a full-color display, then you might be impressed with the LCD on the Home Speaker 500. I found it to be a little pointless. It’s a “nice” feature but doesn’t really add much value to the product itself.
Connections and Control
Audio input connections for the Home Speaker 500 include ⅛-inch AUX, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The Home Speaker 500 also has Alexa built-in so no need for an external device to access voice commands. Bose has included an array of eight microphones so your voice can be picked up no matter where you are in relation to the speaker. There is also a mute function for times when you don’t want Alexa to listen in. You know how nosy she can be!
The Home Speaker 500 has a comprehensive control panel on top of the speaker. Audio controls include play/pause, volume up/down, track skip, input selection, and Bluetooth control. The microphone mute is also located on top of the speaker. Also on top of the Home Speaker 500 are six preset buttons that allow you to assign your favorite track, artist, album, playlist, or internet radio station. The presets can be activated using the buttons on the Home Speaker 500 or via the Bose Music app. There is no remote control for the Home Speaker 500.
The Bose Music app allows you to add Bose Home speakers to your network, program various settings, and stream your favorite music services. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to pair Bose Home speakers but you can link them to the same network and stream the same audio to all the speakers at the same time. Bose has included an audio sync technology so all the speakers play the same audio at the same time without any delay for a professional sound home audio network.
The Bose sound profile
As to be expected from Bose, the bass the Home Speaker 500 produces is chunky and slightly accentuated. The speaker is really loud, too, and will easily fill most living spaces. The sound is controlled with zero breakups or distortion. If you like your WiFi speaker to be loud with a decent amount of bass, then you’ll be pleased to know Home Speaker 500 ticks both of these boxes.
The mid-range is your typical Bose profile. It’s not as detailed as the Klipsch or Sonos but it’s above average in terms of quality. Vocals and instrumentation come through clearly, but it’s slightly muddied by the bass. The highs offer a nice sizzle to add to the fun sound this speaker produces. For the average consumer listening to music and podcasts, the Home Speaker 500 sounds just fine. If you are more particular about your audio quality, then you might prefer the sound profile of either the Sonos or Klipsch.
One thing Bose has got right with the Home Speaker 500 is dynamics. The sound quality remains constant no matter how loud or soft you play the speaker. Even at low levels, you still get a nice warm, punchy low-end which not many speakers manage to get right. If you’re looking for a WiFi speaker that’s loud and fun to listen to, then you’ll love the Home Speaker 500. It’s not audiophile quality but it’s certainly an entertaining speaker to listen to.
A speaker for the masses
If you’re looking for an audiophile-quality speaker, then I’d recommend considering the Beosound Emerge instead. But it’s safe to say Bose speakers are built for the masses, offering a fun audio profile to listen to. The speaker is loud and provides a significant amount of bass, which is going to be appreciated most by EDM, rock, urban, and pop music fans. The fact that you have Alexa built-in is a bonus. While the speaker doesn’t come with a remote you can ask Alexa to change the functionality for you so I don’t see this as a reason not to purchase the Home Speaker 500. At under $400, the Home Speaker 500 is a relatively affordable premium WiFi speaker with great features and good sound.
Why We Recommend It
While the Bose Home Speaker 500 isn’t the most prestigious of speakers on this list, it does offer a bass-heavy signature that makes it more of a ‘fun’ speaker. If you’re someone who prefers a bit more of a low-end sound and doesn’t want to spend a fortune, the Home Speaker 500 holds a lot of merit.
6. Marshall Stanmore II
WiFi, RCA, AUX
13.8 x 7.7 x 7.3″
Musicians and music fans will most likely be familiar with Marshall guitar amps. These iconic amplifiers have been around for decades and used by just about every musician who’s picked up an electric guitar in the last 50 years or so. Recently Marshall released a series of consumer audio products which include speakers, headphones, and other accessories.
The Marshall Stanmore II is modeled off a real full-sized Marshall amplifier with many of the iconic parts and features. The shape, rotary knobs, speaker grille, and branding all give the Marshall Stanmore II a classic Marshall amplifier aesthetic. If you’re a musician and a Marshall fan, you’ll be surprised and amazed at just how similar the Marshall Stanmore II is to a real Marshall guitar amp. If you’re a fan of the vintage look, then you’ll also love the design features of this awesome WiFi speaker.
Connections and Control
There are three options when hooking the Marshall Stanmore II up to play audio. These include ⅛-inch AUX, RCA, WiFi, and Bluetooth. There is also a Bluetooth-only version of the Marshall Stanmore II available, so make sure you’re buying the correct version.
There are two ways to control Marshall Stanmore II. Either using the onboard controls or via the Marshall Voice app. Starting with the controls, you have three rotary knobs and three buttons located on top of the Marshall Stanmore II. One rotary knob is for volume, while the other two adjust bass and treble tone. The buttons are for switching between inputs, play/pause, and mute/unmuted for the internal microphones. The Marshall Stanmore II features Amazon Alexa built-in, which is why the speaker features internal microphones. There is also a Marshall Stanmore II with Google Assistant if you prefer the Google voice assistant.
The Marshall Voice app enables you to connect and play your favorite streaming services and adjust audio settings. The Marshall Stanmore II cannot be paired with other Marshall WiFi speakers as yet. However, this is something Marshall is working on for future firmware updates. This update will likely allow you to connect the Marshall Stanmore II to other Alexa-enabled speakers and not just another Marshall speaker. More information and updates can be found on the Marshall website.
If you have a Google Home speaker network, then the Marshall Stanmore II with Google Assistant will connect to the Google Home network and work with the other speakers on the same network.
Slightly loose low end
The Marshall Stanmore II delivers a loud, somewhat warm sound. The bass is nice and chunky. However, it’s a little woolly on the low end. Where the Klipsch The Three is tight, defined, and punchy, the Marshall Stanmore II is a little looser on the low-end.
Mid-range is not as clear and forward as the Klipsch The Three. However, Marshall Stanmore II delivers a clean response which most people will appreciate. The highs deliver a nice little high-end sizzle which adds to the speaker’s clarity.
In short, the Marshall Stanmore II is surprisingly loud with great sound quality. You’re not going to the same quality as the Klipsch, but then the Marshall Stanmore II is $100 cheaper.
Why We Recommend It
The Marshall Stanmore II is an obvious choice if you’re a musician. The sound quality is great and it’ll look badass next to your large Marshall guitar amp. If you liked the Klipsch The Three, then the Marshall Stanmore II offers a similar vintage design aesthetic but at $100 cheaper. Like The Three, you also have the option of an Alexa or Google Assistant model, depending on your preference.
7. Bose SoundTouch 10
AUX, WiFi, BT
5.6 x 8.3 x 3.4″
The Bose SoundTouch 10 is a compact WiFi speaker close in size to the Amazon Echo, Sonos One, or Apple HomePod. The SoundTouch 10 stands a little over 8 inches tall, most of which is the speaker itself. Above the speaker are four LED indicators, each assigned to an input so you know exactly where your audio is coming from. On top of the SoundTouch 10 is a set of controls.
Connections and Control
There are three ways to control your SoundTouch 10. The onboard controls, remote control, or via the SoundTouch app. The onboard buttons give you access to a range of audio functions and six programmable presets. Buttons include power on/off, input selection, and volume up/down. The supplied remote allows provides identical buttons and layout but also includes track skip and like or dislike for streaming services.
The SoundTouch app allows you to play your favorite streaming services, adjust audio settings, and connect multiple SoundTouch speakers.
A big plus for Bluetooth fans is the SoundTouch 10 provides both Bluetooth and WiFi wireless connectivity. There is also a ⅛-inch AUX input for cable connections.
If you have two SoundTouch 10 speakers, they can be paired as a mono or stereo pair. These can also be linked to multiple SoundTouch speakers for a multi-room system. In addition, the SoundTouch 10 is also compatible with Alexa devices.
Although the SoundTouch 10 is compact, this speaker delivers some serious sound. Easily enough to fill small to medium-sized rooms. I wouldn’t consider the SoundTouch 10 to have a big bass sound but does have a decent punch for a speaker this size. True to the Bose name, the SoundTouch 10 low-end is tuned slightly to offer a more exciting low-end response. The mid-range is good but not as present as competitors. Highs are nice and crisp but, again, falls short of some competitors in terms of detail and quality. Having said that, this is a very affordable speaker and one needs to compare apples with apples here.
Why We Recommend It
For an affordable, premium WiFi speaker, the Bose SoundTouch 10 offers great value for money. One thing the SoundTouch 10 has over the other compact speakers in this list is the fact it has a remote control and programmable presets. The speaker can also be paired with a second SoundTouch 10 in either mono or stereo or connected to a Bose SoundTouch WiFi speaker system. If you like Bose headphones and speakers, you will love the Bose SoundTouch 10.
8. Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST
3.5 x 9.4 x 3.5″
The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is one of the lightest of the wifi speakers on this list, aligning somewhat with the Sonos Move. The MEGABLAST offers a great alternative to regular WiFi speakers and targets a younger, more active market that likes to make noise on the go.
The MEGABLAST shares similar design features to the JBL Charge or other Ultimate Ears speakers. The speaker is protected by a waterproof rubberized cover. Not only does the cover offer IP67 waterproof protection, but it’s also resistant to mud and shockproof for the odd bump, knock or drop. Perfect for use in the home and facing the challenges of the great outdoors.
What separates the MEGABLAST from the other WiFi speaker systems on this list is its built-in 16-hour battery making it a portable WiFi speaker, which is nearly 50% longer than the Sonos Move.
The MEGABLAST stands just shy of 10 inches high and houses a total of four active speaker drivers and two passive bass radiators. Speakers include 2 x 2-inch full-range drivers with 2 x 1-inch tweeters delivering 360° sound.
The MEGABLAST offers two input options, Bluetooth or WiFi. Having both options further adds to the adventurous spirit of the MEGABLAST, as you can use WiFi at home and Bluetooth while exploring. The speaker boasts an impressive connectivity range with 330ft for WiFi and 150ft for Bluetooth. Certainly a step up from competitors like JBL, Sony, and other premium portable speaker brands.
There are just three functions you can control on the MEGABLAST. Volume up/down and mute the internal microphone. To access the full functionality of the MEGABLAST you’ll need to download the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST app, available for both iOS and Android devices. Using the app you can play audio from your favorite streaming services and adjust EQ settings. Pairing multiple MEGABLAST speakers will be added in future firmware updates.
The MEGABLAST also features Alexa built-in, which is amazing for a WiFi speaker of this kind. It is important to note not all of Alexa’s features can be accessed using the MEGABLAST. Features not available include Alexa voice or video calling, Drop-in, notifications, and messaging.
Impressive sound for size
When it comes to sound quality, the MEGABLAST is in a different league than a typical home WiFi speaker. The quality is very different and more in line with a premium portable Bluetooth speaker. It’s a speaker built for fun over audio quality. Having said that, the MEGABLAST does provide 360° sound, which many WiFi speakers do not.
The MEGABLAST delivers a nice punchy bass sound, although this will sound a little loose and woolly when compared to the WiFi speakers on this list. The mid-range is a little muddy, but this is normal for portable Bluetooth speakers. The highs deliver a good amount of sizzle and clarity. Again, nothing like the refined sound of a home WiFi speaker. One thing you will be impressed with is just how loud the MEGABLAST is. This speaker will easily fill small to medium-sized rooms.
If you’re looking for a portable WiFi speaker to use inside and outside, then look no further than the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST. This brand is on par with the likes of JBL and Sony when it comes to the portable speaker market and I’m impressed at both the durability and sound quality you get from Ultimate Ears speakers. This speaker is NOT for those looking for a premium audio experience. The MEGABLAST is meant to be a fun, outdoor WiFi speaker and for that, this speaker is top of its class.
Why We Recommend It
The Ultimate Ears Megablast is a brilliant portable choice for those looking for WiFi functionality on an affordable and portable speaker. While the Sonos Move offers some of the same features, the sound quality on the Move has a more balanced sound, while the Megablast focuses more on that casual, fun signature. If you’re limited on budget and want a lot of versatility, this speaker may be what you need.
Buyer’s Guide – What To Look For In WiFi Speakers
WiFi speakers are still relatively new to the market when compared to the likes of Bluetooth. Because of this, there isn’t much talk about what makes these speakers worth the investment and what to expect. This buyer’s guide will help you make the best purchase choices when you’re looking for a WiFi speaker.
Connection Types & Features
The first thing you should look at when buying a WiFi speaker is the connection types that it offers. Most WiFi speakers at this point in time cover both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz wireless networks, but this is something you should keep in mind and make sure your network is supported on the device you’re after. Similarly, while voice assistant features are common on WiFi speakers, they aren’t always supported or partially supported. If you’re looking to have a specific smart speaker feature, make sure the model you’re considering offers it.
Sound quality is important with every speaker, but perhaps more so with WiFi speakers due to their slightly hefty costs. While affordable WiFi speakers do exist, you’ll find that there are significant drops in audio quality in the lower-priced options. On our list, we’ve removed popular wifi speakers that offer the sound quality we wouldn’t feel comfortable recommending.
Because WiFi speakers don’t tend to be focused on producing big sound, these may not be the best choice for parties. For that, Bluetooth speakers tend to hold the advantage at this point in time. Instead, you’ll find that wifi speakers tend to focus more on critical listening, with more focus on balanced sound signatures than Bluetooth alternatives.
Portability isn’t something that is very common with WiFi speakers. Instead, most WiFi speakers are made as dedicated home speakers that, at most, move between rooms in your home. In many cases, they will not even feature a battery and solely run on AC. If you’re looking for the same kind of portability you find with Bluetooth speakers, there are a few options (such as the Sonos Move) that take everything one loves about both wifi and Bluetooth speakers and blends them into one.
How We Selected These Products
Our selection of the best WiFispeakers is based off several performance metrics, most noteably: sound quality, portability, budget, features and connectivity. We opted not to include wifi speakers that offered inferior sound or build quality. Some speakers were selected primarily for their sound performance, while others we’ve included for their features, such as waterproofing. All the speakers on this list, we feel comfortable recommending to buyers and feel as though we could stand by our selection decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions About WiFi Speakers
Which is better; Bluetooth or WiFi speakers?
Neither one is particularly superior to the other. Both wifi and Bluetooth speakers offer their own benefits and drawbacks. Wifi speakers serve best as dedicated home speakers, while Bluetooth speakers tend to offer portability. If you’re unsure, you can always consider something like the Sonos Move that incorporates both connection types.
Should I use WiFi or Ethernet to connect my WiFi speaker?
If you’re going to purchase a WiFi speaker, then use the WiFi connection. Unless you are using the speaker in a room where WiFi dropout is an issue, there is no point running an Ethernet cable to a WiFi speaker. It defeats the point of having a WiFi speaker. If you’re looking for audiophile quality, then purchase a high-end speaker. WiFi speakers are for convenience and fun. With WiFi technology as good as it is these days, the difference between using your WiFi connection or Ethernet port to stream music off the internet is so marginal it’s not worth the effort of running a cable.
What’s the difference between a speaker with Alexa built-in and Amazon Echo devices?
For the most part, a WiFi speaker with Alexa built-in will perform the same as the Echo. There are some WiFi speakers which don’t offer full Alexa functionality so it’s important to check this before buying. One thing I have noticed is some speakers with Alexa built-in don’t react as fast as an Echo with carrying out tasks.
What are the benefits of WiFi speakers?
The most noticeable benefit to a WiFi speaker is that it offers multiroom support where you can sync multiple speakers across your household together. They also tend to offer more smart speaker features, such as Google, Amazon, or Apple integration.
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