Wifi vs Bluetooth Speakers

Wireless technology is constantly evolving, and how we use it to connect our speakers is also changing. Bluetooth has become the dominant choice for the last two decades and has continued to evolve, with Auracast being the latest exciting feature that will change how we use Bluetooth. The introduction of Wifi to home speakers was parallel to the development and rise of Bluetooth, with both types of connectivity now offered in some leading speakers. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each technology and which is worth investing in.

Bluetooth And WiFi Speakers At a Glance

WiFi or Bluetooth for Portable Speakers

For use outside of your home, Bluetooth connectivity is required as a primary or secondary connection method. WiFi speakers need to be connected to a WiFi network; they are limited to use indoors or out on your patio, where you’re still within range of your network.

Until recently, most portable speakers only had Bluetooth support. However, some newer releases have begun incorporating both WiFi and Bluetooth in their designs, allowing users to toggle between the connection settings depending on their situation. The benefit of this approach is that you can get the best of Bluetooth and WiFi.

Portable Bluetooth speakers that can also be connected to WiFi are ideal for music lovers who want Bluetooth on the go but then switch to WiFi when the speaker is at home and tied in with their WiFi network.

Bluetooth vs WiFi For Home Audio

In contrast to portable speakers, where WiFi inclusion is a fairly new concept, home audio speakers have provided WiFi support for over a decade, with Sonos being a driving force in its adoption. In-home audio, relying on Bluetooth is still a viable option, depending on what you’re using it for. 

For listening to music in a single room, modern Bluetooth codecs provide a low-latency experience along with high-resolution audio. Still, if you fancy yourself an audiophile, WiFi will give you a slightly higher ceiling for high-quality sound, with less compression and the ability to play lossless audio, something Bluetooth can’t achieve due to bandwidth limitations.

Because Bluetooth is limited (with the exception of upcoming Auracast devices) to connecting to a single device, using Bluetooth for a multi-room audio setup isn’t viable. However, with WiFi, you can connect multiple speakers of different types across your home, all with the ability to connect seamlessly. Imagine it’s Christmas, and you want to get the family in the holiday spirit. You could use a multiroom setup to have jingle bells playing softly across all your home WiFi speakers for a fully encompassing auditory experience.

Smart Home Integration

The integration of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into smart home systems has transformed how we interact with and manage our living spaces. LE audio (Low-Energy) is commonly used for short-range communication between devices and smartphones, while Wi-Fi provides high-speed internet connectivity and remote access to smart home devices. Smart home hubs and various controllers connect to the home Wi-Fi network, enabling access to cloud-based services and facilitating remote control and monitoring of connected devices. 

Many smart home devices support both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, giving you more flexibility within your ecosystem. Integration with voice assistants and smart home hubs enables easy and effective control of connected devices, regardless of their wireless technology. Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-enabled devices can interact with other online services and platforms, enhancing convenience and functionality. 

Overall, integrating Bluetooth and Wi-Fi into smart home systems allows users to create customized automation routines, enhance comfort and convenience, and improve energy efficiency.

How Auracast Is Expected To Change The Landscape

With Auracast emerging from its development phase and being introduced to speakers, we expect Bluetooth to compete with WiFi in-home audio setups. The biggest limiting factor in Bluetooth is its limited connection capabilities, which don’t support how multiroom setups work.

Auracast will change that, creating new possibilities within Bluetooth. Auracast will allow multiple supporting speakers to sync with Bluetooth, allowing multiroom setups similar to what is achievable through WiFi.

We’ll have to see how the rollout of Auracast impacts the prevalence of WiFi-enabled speakers. Still, we may see WiFi support decline as Auracast evolves over the next several years.


In summary, the question as to whether one should go with Bluetooth or WiFi is a nuanced one that relates directly to how you plan to use your speaker. WiFi has several strengths over Bluetooth for home use, while Bluetooth holds a defined advantage over WiFi for portable audio. Still, this landscape continues to evolve, and the industry is on the edge of its seat to see how Auracast’s introduction will change how we use wireless audio.

Avatar photo
Written by
Bryn De Kocks

Bryn De Kocks is the lead editor for Audiostance, as well as one of our trusted reviewers. He has more than 15 years of experience in online publication and stands firm in being transparent with both the benefits and drawbacks of the products he reviews. Outside of editorial work, Bryn has been an avid online gamer and casual digital music producer since his teenage years, bringing his understanding of audio and especially headphones to the table. His daily driver is a humble pair of Fidelio X2HRs powered by a Fiio E10K. In his spare time he enjoys nature photography.

View all articles
Leave a reply