It has been more than five months since we last covered wireless speakers here on BGR, but with summer in full swing, it’s time to help ensure that Apple Music is keeping your pool parties on track with the best possible sound. We’ve recommended some real gems in the past — check out last year’s holiday buying guide and this post on the Bayan Audio Soundbook X3 for examples — but I’ve tested about a dozen more speakers since then, and there are two options among them that really shined.
As always, I try to offer a wide range of options when recommending accessories. So for this post, I’ve chosen one speaker that’s small and affordable, packing a surprising amount of punch in a bite-sized box, and a second larger showpiece that carries a premium price tag with style and performance to match.
Grain Audio PWS
First up is Grain Audio’s tiny PWS speaker. The slick real wood case houses two 2″ loudspeakers, a passive radiator, a patented bass isolation system, “award-winning MaxxAudio sound processing by Waves recipient of a Technical GRAMMY award” and a battery that lasts for eight hours on a charge.
The speaker supports Bluetooth 3.0+A2DP with aptX so it can connect to any smartphone or tablet in a matter of seconds, and the sound quality is definitely impressive. You won’t believe a speaker this tiny can get as loud as the PWS gets while remaining clear with punchy bass and smooth highs.
Marshall Woburn x John Varvatos
Next up, we have a much different speaker for a much different consumer.
Any audiophile on the planet will be very familiar with Marshall speakers. The company that bands rely on when playing stadiums and concert halls around the world also makes wireless speakers and headphones, bringing top-notch pedigree to an increasingly crowded space.
And if you’re an audiophile willing to pay for sleek styling to match your speaker’s sound quality, the limited-edition John Varvatos version of Marshall’s Woburn speaker just rocketed to the top of your list.
We covered Marshall’s Stanmore speakers in an earlier post, and we were very impressed. The Woburn is everything the Stanmore is, but better. The sound quality is ridiculous at low volumes and with the speaker cranked up. I have yet to find a genre of music that trips the Woburn up where clarity is concerned, and the deep bass may very well induce labor if you’re not careful.
There are only 300 numbered Varvatos edition Woburn speakers out there, and they cost $850 apiece, which is a healthy premium over the regular Woburn’s $600 price tag.