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DISCLOSURE: The author, Ellen Parker, has commercial partnerships with the brands mentioned and linked to in this post. See disclaimer for more information.
Speakers are an integral part of a home, dorm room, office, or honestly, any place. Not just speakers though, wireless speakers. It’s 2017 and if you’re still opting for wired, then you’re falling behind.
As such, it’s important to know which wireless speaker is best for you. To help you out, here are some tips that’ll help you on your journey!
In the beginning we had the phonograph. Now, over 100 years later, we have wired speakers, wireless speakers, and even WiFi enabled speakers.
The problem is, with this myriad of options, how do you know what speaker are best for you? Beginning with the obvious first question, wired or wireless?
Wireless vs. Wired Speakers
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Yes, this is an article on choosing the best wireless speakers for you, so wired vs. wireless isn’t a question as much as it is an opportunity to talk about the benefits of wireless life. To start things off, cables are a nuisance.
Plain and simple. They take up space, get tangled, and you have to find a way to seamlessly integrate them into the decor without clashing (does anything ever go with a cable?).
Even worse, you can easily trip over wires or accidentally bring down the whole system by carelessly reaching for your phone to answer a text while it’s still plugged in.
Want to avoid all of this? Of course you do, that’s why you’re reading this. Wireless offer flexibility in positioning, just choose the optimal location and bask in the thought of not maneuvering wires around your living room.
Related: What to look for when selecting a Surround Sound System
The wireless factor also eliminates problems associated with cables such as bad quality due to a faulty cable. And if you have a pet that loves to gnaw on whatever they can sink their teeth into, you know the bummer that is listening to something with a frayed cable.
Better yet, wireless usually comes with the ability to stream music from your favorite services such as Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, SoundCloud, and more.
Okay, without further ado, let’s get started.
WiFi vs. Bluetooth
Bluetooth was the go-to wireless option a couple of years ago, but things are rapidly changing as WiFi technology improves and becomes the standard. Here’s a side-by-side comparison between the two:
|WiFi Speakers ● Bit-rate: 600 Mbps ● Bandwidth: 11 Mbps ● Range: 100-300 ft. ● Connectivity: multiple devices simultaneously ● Supported Media: audio, video, images||Bluetooth Speakers ● Bit-rate: 2.1 Mbps ● Bandwidth: 800 Kbps ● Range: 30 ft. ● Connectivity: one device at a time ● Supported Media: audio|
As you can see, WiFi speakers have higher bit-rates and bandwidth. Long story short, this means that more details and larger files can be transferred via WiFi, leading to a better quality listening experience.
If you’re still undecided between the two, why not have both? Some like HEOS wireless speakers come with both Bluetooth and WiFi compatibility, eliminating the need to choose.
Multi-Room vs. Stand-Alone
Why are you thinking of getting a wireless speaker? Are you trying to spice up your home office or dorm room, or are you setting up your bachelor pad for the occasional gathering? If you have a small space, chances are that a stand-alone speaker is best for you.
If, on the other hand, you have a lot of space and want to create the perfect atmosphere for a multi-room listening experience, then getting a couple of wireless WiFi speakers that sync up with each other is optimal.
Portable vs. In-Home
One of the biggest benefits of wireless speakers is that they can be portable. This means camping, backyard barbeques, and anything else that doesn’t include an electrical outlet. If the ability to take your speaker with you wherever you go is something you’d like, make sure that it has a durable design, is waterproof, has rechargeable batteries, and maybe even a rechargeable battery pack.
Round one is wireless vs. wired speakers, and of course, wireless trumps wired. Delving into your wireless options, you find yourself choosing between WiFi or Bluetooth, multi-room or stand-alone, and portable or in-home speakers.
You can choose a portable, stand-alone Bluetooth speaker, a portable WiFi speaker with multi-room capabilities, an in-home stand-alone WiFi speaker, or whatever variation you prefer. Choose wisely and enjoy!
Related: 10 Great Sources of High-res Audio