Finding the best quality wireless speakers
Darcy Wintonyk and Lynda Steele, CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, December 18, 2012 6:00AM PST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 18, 2012 7:41PM PST
Wireless speakers make a great Christmas present for your favourite music lover, but with so many systems on the market it’s hard to know which one is best.
Consumer Reports just tested eight wireless speaker systems that make it easy to stream music from your smart phone, tablet, or computer without a bunch of wires.
Future Shop’s Elliott Chun says the speakers have come a long way in the past few years.
“The possibilities these days are endless,” he told CTV’s Steele on Your Side. "People just want to de-clutter when it comes down to it, and it's just the latest high-tech craze right now -- having wireless everything."
The ones tested by Consumer Reports cost between $200 to $650 and use either Wi-Fi or Bluetooth technology.
Bluetooth speakers work with lots of portable devices, and generally they’re pretty easy to set up. They are designed to work in the same room as the device that’s playing your music.
But if you want to play your music in different rooms, you will want speakers that work with a Wi-Fi network. You can listen in the kitchen while someone else listens on a second speaker in another room.
One downside is that nearly all Wi-Fi speakers require that you already have an existing home wireless network, and you have to make sure that the speakers are compatible with the devices that you plan to use them with.”
Testers evaluated the speakers for audio quality in the Consumer Reports’ audio lab. Monster’s Clarity HD Micro speaker sounded only fair.
Both of the top rated speakers have very good audio. For Bluetooth, Consumer Reports recommends the stylish Edifier Spinnaker speaker system for $350.
The top-rated Wi-Fi choice is also $350. It’s the Sonos Play:3 system that includes a speaker and wireless adapter. And you can get even better audio quality if you pair two of those speakers, which would bring the cost to $650.
Another plus with the Sonos Play:3 Wi-Fi speakers is that you can stream music from dozens of online music services, such as Pandora and Spotify.