Sonos wasn’t the first company in the world to release a wireless speaker, but there’s little question that the company played a major role in popularizing the category. Thanks to the success Sonos has had, every audio company imaginable has jumped head first into wireless speakers.
While there’s no question whatsoever that Sonos remains one of the best in the business when it comes to wireless home audio solutions, one size never fits all. Some people want different designs, and others might not want to work within the confines of the services Sonos supports. Whatever the case, rest assured that there are plenty of other great options out there for people in search of a new wireless speaker. In this post, we’ll check out five Sonos alternatives that offer great designs and fantastic sound.
Naim Mu-So Qb Wireless Music System
Some like to save the best for last, but we decided to highlight our favorite pick at the top of this list. Meet the Naim Mu-So Qb.
Naim is a familiar brand to any audiophile, with a rich history of premium audio products. The Mu-So Qb is the latest addition to the company’s lineup, and it’s also one of our favorite. The speaker’s compact design measures less than 9 inches on any side and yet it delivers a powerful 300 Watts of sound that fill a room far more impressively than one might imagine.
The Mu-So Qb has a lot going for it, but it shines brightest in two key areas. The first is design. A product’s appearance will always be a matter of opinion but for our money, this is one of the most sleek and sophisticated speakers we’ve ever seen. And the second is clarity. Even at high volumes, the Mu-So Qb is clear across the full audio spectrum.
Naim’s Mu-So Qb supports high-resolution audio from supported apps (Spotify, TIDAL and “iRadio” Internet radio) just like Sonos speakers, or you can connect via AirPlay, Bluetooth or a physical cable to play music from any source. It also supports multi-room functionality so you can chain multiple Naim speakers together. It’s versatile, it’s gorgeous and it produces crystal clear high-quality sound, just like you would expect from a Naim speaker.
Bose SoundTouch 10 Wireless Music System
The Bose SoundTouch 10 speaker won’t turn heads like the Mu-So Qb and it doesn’t feature sound that’s quite as big, but it also costs just a small fraction of what Naim charges. In terms of bang for your buck, it doesn’t get much better than this wireless speaker.
The SoundTouch 10 is the smallest speaker in the Bose SoundTouch lineup, but don’t let its diminutive stature fool you. Like all Bose speakers, this model offers high-quality audio you have to hear to believe.
Bose’s SoundTouch 10 supports Bluetooth as well as integrated apps like Amazon Prime Music, Spotify and Pandora, which will deliver higher-quality sound as a result of direct support.
Raumfeld One S Wireless Streaming Speaker
Next up is the Raumfeld One S, which is a compact speaker just like the Bose SoundTouch 10 and is priced just a touch higher at $249.
For that price you get a speaker that fills a room a bit better than the Bose model, though, to our ear, the audio quality isn’t quite as rich. That’s not to say it doesn’t sound great — it’s just not quite on par with that great Bose sound you know and love. The Raumfeld One S projects sound much better though, so it all depends on what your priorities are. Do you want better range but slightly lower-quality sound, or better sound and slightly lower-quality range?
The One S supports streaming from TuneIn, TIDAL, SoundCloud, Napster and Spotify Premium, though it doesn’t support Bluetooth. The company says support for additional services including Pandora, iHeart Radio, Google Play Music and more is coming soon.
Definitive Technology W7 Wireless Speaker
The Definitive Technology W7 wireless speaker is a good option for people who like the look of the Naim model we covered, but who can’t afford to cough up that kind of cash.
This great model from Definitive Technology doesn’t support Bluetooth, just like Sonos speakers. Instead, it uses DTS Play-Fi wireless streaming technology to deliver high-quality sound that Bluetooth will never be able to match. The speaker itself packs a 4-inch woofer alongside four 1-inch aluminum dome tweeters that keep music loud and clean. Bass is powerful, mids are never muddy and highs shine at low volume or high volume.
Supported services include Pandora, Sirius XM, Napster, Songza, Deezer, AM/FM, Internet radio, iTunes and more.
Denon HEOS 5 Wireless Speaker
Last but certainly not least, we have the Denon HEOS 5. This speaker looks great, it sounds great, and the price places it right in the middle of the pack.
The HEOS 5 supports Bluetooth streaming as well as high-resolution audio from a wide range of services. Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, Spotify, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, SoundCloud, TIDAL and Napster are all covered with this speaker.
Inside the unique design sit four custom drivers, a passive radiator and four amplifiers. And speaking of that unique design, it features an integrated handle for portability but you can’t see it from the front, so it doesn’t ruin the look.
This Denon speaker offers great sound as well as wonderful versatility. It’s definitely worth checking out.
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