Wireless Multi-Room Speakers: Your Music, Your Way
Listening to music at home used to be a pretty simple thing. In years past, you'd simply fire up your turntable, cassette deck (maybe in the form of a sweet boombox), or CD player, then sit back and let the sweet sounds of your favourite tunes sweep over you. However, if you wanted to listen in another room, you'd have to lug all of your equipment (including the speakers!) into the other space. Annoying!
Nowadays we have better options. Wireless multi-room speakers make it easy to enjoy your 80s one-hit wonder playlist in almost any room, and with rich, room-filling sound quality to boot. ("Come On Eileen" never sounded so good.)
Read on to find out why a wireless multi-room speaker system might make sense in your home, then browse Best Buy's wide selection to find the perfect one for you.
What Is a Wireless Multi-Room Speaker System?
A wireless multi-room speaker is a self-contained speaker that has wireless technology, so it can connect to other compatible speakers and your home's Wi-Fi network. Purchase multiple speakers for key rooms in your home and you can enjoy your favourite playlists in multiple rooms without having to carry anything. (It's almost like your music follows you around.)
Sonos is one of the best-known brands in this product category, with a line of speakers that have become extremely popular. Bose is another well-known player in this space, and tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Apple are making huge strides with their products.
The Benefits of Wireless Multi-Room Speakers
There are a bunch of reasons why these speakers are exploding in popularity. Here are a few of them:
Great Sound Quality
Advanced technology allows these speakers to generate high-quality audio, eliminating the need to have large, bulky speakers.
Wireless and Portable
Wireless connectivity eliminates the need for cables – the only wire you need is the power cord.
Since a wireless multi-room speaker is self-contained (i.e. it doesn't have other components that need to be connected, like how a CD player needs to be plugged into a speaker), you can easily move it around in a room, or between rooms. All you need is a nearby power outlet, or an extension cord if the outlet is further away. This also means you don't need to go through a complicated installation process – just plug it into the wall, connect to the network, and press play.
More Ways to Listen
The wireless connectivity built into these speakers expands the ways you can enjoy your music. You're able to stream music from compatible network sources, such as Spotify or a media centre PC. If you have multiple speakers you can choose which speaker is broadcasting your tunes – simply open an app on your smartphone and choose the speaker you want.
Some wireless multi-room speakers have built-in voice assistants, like Amazon Alexa in the Echo products, Google Assistant in the Google Home line, and Siri in Apple's HomePod. These speakers allow you to control your music with simple voice commands, and you can also do other things like get weather forecasts, do quick online searches, set timers, and much more.
If you like using one of these voice assistants, you don't have to limit yourself to getting products from just that one company. Amazon Alexa, for example, is available in select Sonos speakers like the Sonos One.
Things You Should Know
If you're ready to take the plunge into a wireless multi-room speaker system, here are a few factors to keep in mind.
Most wireless multi-room speakers need to connect to your home's Wi-Fi network so they can access online music sources or use voice assistant functionality. Some of these speakers can also link to your computer network to stream music from other devices, like your laptop or desktop computer.
Some speaker systems have their own proprietary ecosystems, which means if you want to expand your audio network you'll need to purchase more speakers from that specific brand. In most cases you won't be able to mix-and-match speakers from different brands.
Converting Regular Speakers
If you have regular, "non-smart" speakers, you might be able to connect them to a wireless multi-room system by adding a component like Google Chromecast Audio or Sonos Connect.
Since most wireless multi-room speakers feature online connectivity, they're able to receive future software updates. This can improve functionality and maybe even give your speaker new features.