Want the flexibility of your streaming app with the big, plush sound of a home hi-fi set up? Wireless multi-room speaker systems can give you both. With these systems, you can:
- Listen to your entire music collection anywhere in your home
- Play the same music in every room, or different music in different rooms, easily controlled from your app
- Stream from your favourite online services like Spotify
- Beef up your TV’s sound without trailing wires
So how do multi-room speakers work?
Wireless multi-room speakers are different from Bluetooth speakers. Although some do have Bluetooth as well. They’re serious home audio speakers with high-level technology built in. You put one (or more) in every room where you want music to play.
Instead of connecting directly to a particular device, like your laptop or a CD player, the speakers connect to your Wi-Fi network. That means they’re all interconnected. If one of them is playing audio from your TV, any of the others can too.
You can control each speaker individually using an app, for different music in different rooms. They can stream music directly from the internet using services like Spotify and Pandora Internet Radio, or you can use them to play the entire music library on your phone or laptop.
Are they right for me?
You might be asking yourself…
Is it easy to set up?
Absolutely. Wireless speakers are incredibly easy to set up. Although it differs a little depending on the system you choose, the basic steps are:
- put the speakers where you want them
- download the app that goes with your system
- open the app and follow its simple instructions to add the speakers to your network
- voila – you’re ready to go
Is my home big enough?
Wireless speakers work best if your home has at least two distinct spaces. Your system can expand, so if you live in a studio flat or a smaller one-bed, you might consider multi-room speakers if you plan to move somewhere larger soon or if you want to create a stereo surround sound system. The beauty of multi-room is that it can grow with you.
Can I afford it?
The great thing about wireless multi-room speakers is that you don’t have to buy a whole system at once. You can start with just one or two speakers – say a soundbar for your TV and a small speaker in the kitchen. Later you might get an extra for the bedroom. Still later, you might give your TV full surround sound… and so on.
What are my options?
There are several brands on the market. Here we look at 2 of the main ones:
Sonos is where multi-room began. It offers speakers suited to every room with its Play range and boasts probably the smoothest user interface on the market.
You can be set up in minutes, and adding new speakers to your network is easy. You can go from 1 to as many as 32 speakers around your home. The Play series of speakers are consistently highly rated – that’s why we’ve given the smaller Play:1 and larger Play:3 and Play:5 an Our Experts Love tag.
What can I stream? Spotify, Google Play Music, Deezer, Qobuz and many more as well as the music on your laptop/phone etc
Samsung R Series
Crave the latest thing in tech? The Samsung R series speakers are designed to play sound 360 degrees around the room. The idea? That you get the same sound quality wherever you’re stood. So the speaker can take centre stage rather than sitting in the corner.
With sleek, minimalist design, the R Series speakers will suit the most chic of homes. Connect them to your Samsung TV and soundbar and existing Samsung wireless multi-room speakers to create a multi-room network.
What can I stream? Spotify, Deezer, Napster and more as well as the music on your laptop/phone.
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