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The best wireless speaker 2021: find the best connected speakers for your home

the best wireless speaker of 2021, the sonos one, in a range of colors
(Image credit: Sonos)

The best wireless speakers in 2021 come in a huge range of shapes and sizes, from compact voice assistant-enabled desk buddies right through to big multi-room models that’ll fill your home with sound.

As well as offering pristine audio playback, the best wireless speakers have lots of modern features packed in, including smart assistants like Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant. Many of the best home speakers also boast built-in support for a range of your favorite streaming services, as well as slick designs that will look the part in any home.

Some of these wireless speakers double up as Bluetooth speakers as well. This means you can easily cast music from your phone or another Bluetooth device, though some rely on a Wi-Fi network.

Whatever you need a new wireless speaker for, the amount of choice out there means making the right decision can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve selected and ranked the best wireless speakers for 2021 based on price and performance to make your decision a little easier.

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Our top picks

the sonos one wireless speaker in white

(Image credit: Sonos)

For the time-being, the Sonos One is the king of connected speakers

Weight: 1.85kg (4.08 lbs)
Size: 6.36 x 4.69 x 4.69 in
Drivers: 1 x tweeters, 1 x woofer
Supported Connectivity: AirPlay, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, 3.5mm, RCA
Ethernet: No
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Full-bodied, rich sound+Alexa and Google Assistant+Combine two for stereo setup
Reasons to avoid
-Premium price

If you're in the market for a cleanly designed, exceptional sounding connected speaker, you'll find none better than the Sonos One. Offering the best of both Sonos' multi-room speaker platform and both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant's smart home prowess, the Sonos One is the pinnacle of connectivity. 

Want to hear your favorite song from Spotify? All you need to do is ask! Want every speaker in the upstairs to play the same song? Group them together via the Sonos app and you'll have a house party in minutes. 

While there are more powerful (and more expensive) speakers listed down below, for the vast majority of folks, the Sonos One is the best wireless speaker of 2021.

Read more: Sonos One review

the sonos play:5 in black and white

(Image credit: Sonos)

Another excellent flagship speaker from the multi-room king

Weight: 6.3kg
Size: 204mm x 364mm x 154mm
Drivers: 3 x tweeters, 1 x woofer
Supported Connectivity: AirPlay, Bluetooth 4.2, Google Cast, Spotify Connect, 3.5mm, RCA
Ethernet: No
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Easy to setup+Powerful sound
Reasons to avoid
-Simple design

Sonos was one of the first companies to get into the wireless speaker business, and as a result has one of the most seamlessly integrated speaker systems on the market. 

Unlike solutions which rely on Bluetooth or Google Cast, Sonos' speakers are controlled directly from its own app, which has built in integration for a number of streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Apple Music, Deezer, TuneIn, and a  whole range of smaller services.

Since the Play:5 comes with multi-room support, you can also add additional speakers such as the Sonos Play:3 and Sonos Play:1 to built up a complete surround sound system, but if you want to keep it simple, then you should find the Play:5 to offer more than enough volume. 

Read more: Sonos Play:5 review

the pure evoke c-f6 wireless speaker

(Image credit: Pure Evoke)

The all-in-one audio system of your dreams

Weight: 4.2kg
Size: 380 mm x 145 mm x 223 mm
Drivers: 2 x 3" full range
Supported Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth
Ethernet: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Modest and attractive design+Incredible playback options
Reasons to avoid
-No Google Cast support

The Pure Evoke C-F6 isn't a flashy wireless speaker – its modest (but refined) looks let it slip unassumingly into any decor, although it doesn't boast the premium multi-room options of pricier competitors on this list.

But that's also not really the point of the Evoke C-F6 – it's positioning itself to be the one-room, one-shop stop for all your audio playback needs. There's a dazzling array of audio source options on offer here, with the biggest draws being Spotify Connect, DAB, Internet radio, Bluetooth and old faithful CD playback.

With a solid app letting you control the speaker from across a room, and the Evoke C-F6 offering a warm and natural soundstage from its stereo speakers, it'll take pride of place on whichever bedside table or living room shelf you decide to pop it on.

Read more: Pure Evoke C-F6 review

The Pure Evoke C-F6 seems to only be available in the UK right now, but we'll keep our eyes peeled in case any US or Australian retailers restock the wireless speaker.

the sonos move portable wireless speaker in black

(Image credit: Sonos)

The best Bluetooth speaker in the world

Weight: 6.61 pounds (3kg)
Battery life: 10 hours
Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz, and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2
Drivers: One down-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class-D digital amplifiers
Aux-in: No
USB charging: Yes (USB-C, and comes with charging dock)
Reasons to buy
+Integrates with a home Sonos speaker network+On-the-go tunes
Reasons to avoid
-Not as feature-rich when using Bluetooth-Cant be used as rear cinema speakers

Here’s the thing about the Sonos Move – it’s so good, you might want to consider it not only as your on-the-go party station, but also as your main in-the-home wireless speaker too.

With two quality drivers, a solid app that unlocks playback from hundreds of wireless sources, multi-room capabilities and smart audio-tuning tech which tweaks the output based on the speaker's immediate surroundings, the Sonos Move is engineered well beyond your average Bluetooth speaker. It's a versatile speaker, one that stands solidly alongside the built-for-home Sonos speakers that the company made its name on.

It’s not perfect – it’s heavy as a byproduct of its incredible sound, it’s expensive due to its rich feature set, and it sadly can’t be used as rear channels for a home cinema set-up. But if you’ve got the money, it’s hard to fault the Sonos Move when it comes to hunting down the one of the best Bluetooth speakers in the world.

Read more: Sonos Move review

Note: If you're looking for a more portable option, check out the Sonos Roam. It's our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker in 2021, and it's much smaller and more rugged than the Move.

the bose portable home speaker in silver

(Image credit: Bose)

A great Sonos Move alternative

Weight: 2.4 pounds
Battery life: 12 hours
Wireless range: N/A
Frequency response: N/A
Drivers: N/A
Bluetooth version: 4.2
Aux-in: No
USB charging: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great design+Well-balanced sound
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-Lacking in bass

There's a growing market for portable smart speakers, and the Bose Portable Home Speaker is a great example, offering the smarts of Google Assistant and Alexa alongside Bluetooth connectivity.

The Bose Portable Home Speaker isn’t the brand’s first outdoor-friendly speaker, and it shows: gorgeous minimalist design meets weather-ready robustness, with a light build and handle that lends itself to listening on the go. 

It doesn’t quite meet the sonic dexterity of the Sonos Move, or the value for money of the UE Boom 3 and JBL Charge 4 – but if you love that Bose sound and build quality, this is the speaker for you.

Read more: Bose Portable Home Speaker review

the mu-so qb wireless speaker in copper

Stunning looks, but thankfully not just a pretty face

Weight: 5.6kg
Size: 210mm x 218mm x 212mm
Drivers: 1 x Woofer, 2 x Mid-range, 2 x Tweeter, 2 x Passive Radiator
Supported Connectivity: UPnP, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth aptX
Ethernet: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
USB: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Amazing looks+Full and vibrant sound +Small form factor
Reasons to avoid
-Setup isn't seamless

You might not have heard of it before, but Naim audio is a company that produces some of the most stylish connected speakers in the business, and we think the Mu-So Qb is the best they've put out yet. 

It comes will a full suite of connectivity options including aptX Bluetooth, Spotify Connect and AirPlay, which means all of your music should be supported at its maximum resolution, no matter what device you're using. 

But even if you don't have your phone in hand, this wireless speaker is still controllable using its sleek touch-screen which allows you to access internet radio stations, for example. 

It's got a premium price, but if you pluck for the Qb then you won't be disappointed. 

Read more: Mu-So Qb review

the sonos arc soundbar

(Image credit: Sonos)

The best wireless soundbar you can buy right now

Dimensions: 1141.7 x 87 x 115.7mm (W x H x D)
Speaker configuration: 5.0.2
Claimed audio power: N/A
Connections: HDMI input (ARC), optical digital audio to HDMI converter, Bluetooth, Ethernet port, 802.11b,g Wi-Fi, Apple AirPlay 2, IR receiver
Reasons to buy
+Dolby Atmos, TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus+Discrete all-in-one soundbar+Amazing surround sound and music playback
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn’t suit every room

Sonos has a new surround sound solution and it’s contained entirely in a single soundbar it calls Arc. 

The Sonos Arc draws on Dolby’s latest TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus sound codecs to deliver the best quality lossless audio found on cutting edge Blu-ray disks and some of the leading streaming services. It then enhances the 3D soundscape using Dolby Atmos object tracks to bounce certain sounds off the walls around you so they feel like they’re coming at you from all angles.

While all this might sound complicated, the Sonos Arc setup couldn’t be simpler, involving just a couple of steps on the smartphone app. The minimalist cable connections and all-in-one system construction add to this no-fuss feeling and streamlined aesthetic – making it the best soundbar you can buy in 2021 that doubles up as a fantastic wireless speaker for your TV.

Read more: Sonos Arc review

  • Looking for more great soundbars? Check out the best soundbars you can buy

the Google home max wireless speaker

(Image credit: Google )

The best Google Assistant speaker

Weight: 3.2kg
Size: 209 x 294 x 166 mm
Drivers: 2x Tweeters, 2x Woofers
Supported Connectivity: DLNA, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, USB, 3.5mm
Ethernet: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
USB: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Sounds incredible+Google Cast built-in+Bluetooth compatible
Reasons to avoid
-Exclusive to the US

When it comes to stuffing a small apartment with Google Assistant devices, is too much of a good thing bad? As the Google Home Max proved to us, the answer is no. 

Although absolutely massive, the Home Max makes for a surprisingly versatile addition to a space of any size, thanks to its balanced, awesome sound delivery and Smart Sound function that helps it adjust to any environment you set it in. 

Google’s biggest wireless speaker is more elegant than it has any right to be, what with clever touches like the moveable resting pad and orientation-friendly touch functions. It’s also appreciated that its looks stand out if you choose to notice it, but blend into the scene during everyday use. 

Read more: Google Home Max review

[Update: We've reviewed the latest Google speaker – the Google Nest Audio brings improved audio and a new design to the brand's flagship wireless speaker.]

the KEF ls50 wireless bookshelf speakers in white

(Image credit: KEF)

Truly phenomenal stereo speakers for wire-free listening

Dimensions: 305 x 200 x 311 mm (12 x 7.9 x 12.2 in.)
Weight: 20.1kg (44.31lbs)
Dolby Atmos / DTS:X enabled: No
Active or Passive: Active
Subwoofer: N/A
Frequency response: 40 Hz – 47 kHz
Maximum Output: 108dB
Reasons to buy
+Phenomenal audio quality+Easy setup+Lots of connection options
Reasons to avoid

Available in a range of chic colors, the LS50 Wireless II build upon the success of LS50 Wireless, which impressed with their detailed sound and connectivity options, to create what could be the best stereo speakers you can buy today at this price. 

With support for Hi-Res Audio, an expansive soundstage, and excellent detail and dexterity, audio quality is nothing short of fantastic. Add to this a vastly improved app, the ability to adjust the EQ settings, and blissfully easy setup, and you have yourself a pair of stereo speakers that can really do no wrong in our eyes. 

Read more: KEF LS50 Wireless II review

the marshall stanmore wireless speaker

(Image credit: Marshall)

A hyper-connected stylish speaker

Weight: 4.70kg
Size: 350 x 185 x 185 mm
Drivers: 2x Mid-to-high range, 1x Woofer
Supported Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth aptX, USB, Toslink/3.5mm
Ethernet: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
USB: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Lots of connectivity options+Great retro design
Reasons to avoid
-Big heavy build-Price

Of its trio of wireless multi-room speakers, the Marshall Stanmore is the middle child. However, that doesn't mean it's the unloved sibling. 

While the larger Woburn is just a little too big for most rooms, and the smaller Acton has a number of connectivity issues, the Stanmore strikes a nice balance between the two with a sound that's big and punchy, without straying too far into 'overkill' territory (although mark our words, it will if you want it to). 

It features its own app for controlling it, but we were fans of how nicely it integrates with a host of other services including AirPlay, Google Cast and Spotify Connect, meaning you can stick to the apps you're familiar with while still controlling your new toy. 

But it's the on-board controls that impressed us the most. You're able to set presets from a number of different services, meaning you can happily switch between pre-defined Spotify playlists and internet radio stations with a twist of a vintage Marshall-styled brass knob. 

It's not got the most refined sound out of the speakers on this list, but the Marshall Stanmore is intelligently designed and simple to use. If you're looking for something to take on the road, check out our Marshall Tufton review – it packs the vintage Marshall look and rocking sound into a portable design.

Read more: Marshall Stanmore review

the amazon Echo studio wireless speaker

(Image credit: Amazon)

The best Alexa speaker

Weight: 7.7lbs
Size: 206 x 175mm
Drivers: 1 x upward-firing midrange speaker, 1 x right-firing midrange speaker, 1 x left-firing mid-range speaker, 1 x forward-firing tweeter, 1 x downward-firing woofer
Supported Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplay
Ethernet: No
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Gigantic sound+Alexa smarts
Reasons to avoid
-Larger than your average Echo-3D audio is a mixed bag

The Amazon Echo Studio is an impressive offering - a smart-speaker and Dolby Atmos immersive sound home cinema unit, all in one tidy package. Some of its experiments with upmixing stereo sources can sound a bit confused, but it's otherwise a very powerful, feature-rich smart speaker – especially considering the price.

It's a good option for anyone who's low on space and can't stretch to an upfiring soundbar or multi-speaker setup, while Alexa smarts means that it can act as the center of your smart home, as well as your music player. 

If you're upgrading from the simple speakers built into your TV, or a lowly stereo soundbar, it's a fantastic and simple upgrade to make to your home cinema system. You'll get a cracking, resonant bass response, excellent volume and far more depth than a comparably-priced soundbar can offer.

As ever with virtualized surround sound, it's not as impactful as having discrete physical speaker channels above and behind you, hooked up to an AV receiver. But that's a huge expense, and not practical for all living room arrangements, making the powerful Echo Studio an impressive value option.

Read more: Amazon Echo Studio review

[Update: We've just reviewed the Amazon Echo Show 10, which comes with a rotating screen and can double up as a home security camera.]

apple homepod

(Image credit: Apple)

Superb sound, so-so smart speaker

Weight: 5.5lbs
Size: 172 x 142mm
Drivers: High-excursion woofer with custom amplifier and array of seven horn-loaded tweeters, each with its own custom amplifier
Supported Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth, Airplay
Ethernet: No
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Great sound+Nice, minimal design
Reasons to avoid
-Siri's scope is limited-Apple Music needed

The Apple HomePod finally entered the wireless speaker battle for your bookshelf in early 2018, and it's still a great choice in 2021. 

The obvious benefit of an Apple HomePod over an Echo or Google Home device is that it'll play nice with your other Apple products. So if you're a die-hard Apple fan the HomePod may be a no-brainer. 

But it's worth asking the same question you should always be asking yourself when you want to splurge on a new Apple product: how much of a premium should you pay for owning a device that fits only seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem?

When we reviewed the device we were torn because we were really reviewing two things at once: how the HomePod weighs up as a premium speaker and how it fares as a smart home hub.

In the former category, the HomePod is excellent, as it boasts incredible sound and a very intuitive set-up. But in the latter, Siri is only middling in its implementation, and the fact that you're not able to break out of the Apple ecosystem for many key functions also rankles.

Read more: Apple HomePod review

[Update: Having first gone on sale at the start of 2018, the Apple HomePod smart speaker is now being discontinued, with Apple turning all of its attention to the smaller (and cheaper) HomePod Mini instead.

That doesn't mean it won't get any updates, though. A recent update has brought lossless audio on Apple Music to the HomePod and HomePod mini.]

Best wireless speakers 2021: at a glance

  1. Sonos One
  2. Sonos Play:5
  3. Pure Evoke C-F6
  4. Sonos Move
  5. Bose Portable Home Speaker
  6. Mu-So Qb
  7. Sonos Arc
  8. Google Home Max
  9. KEF LS50 Wireless II
  10. Marshall Stanmore
  11. Amazon Echo Studio
  12. Apple HomePod
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How to choose the best wireless speaker for you

When it comes to picking a new home speaker, sound is probably the most important factor. If you're looking for room-filling sound, check out models that feature 360-degree grilles and disperse audio at all angles; the Amazon Echo Studio or the Sonos One are good places to start. 

If it's true audio-fidelity you're after, opt for trusted brands like Sonos, Bowers & Wilkins, and KEF – speakers from these companies are always likely to sound brilliant. 

If smart home connectivity is your main concern, then check out Amazon Echo and Google Home / Nest speakers; you'll need to work out which voice assistant's ecosystem suits you, Alexa or Google Assistant.  

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