As listener preferences move towards wireless audio streaming, Bluetooth is becoming more and more prevalent in home audio gear.
A recent survey conducted by Lux Insights, Inc. reveals that 62% of consumers that are familiar with Bluetooth prefer technology that uses it.
So many top audio manufacturers have ported their premium sound technology over to a more portable Bluetooth form factor, that a Bluetooth speaker can practically replace a hi-fi sound system.
Take this news with a grain of salt, as larger wired speakers will always be better for accurate critical listening.
But as long as you don’t need to hear every sonic detail, a mid-size Bluetooth speaker will work great to liven up a party or set the mood as you move room from room.
What does a Bluetooth speaker need to keep up with a full-on sound system?
First of all, it has to sound good. The most important qualities to a sound system are clarity and balance.
A Bluetooth speaker is capable of achieving both of these qualities, although it should be noted that Bluetooth transmission ultimately limits the detail level of the sound.
The wireless protocol compresses your audio data, thus limiting the level of audio information the signal can carry.
Speakers that use the aptX codec offer a more faithful compression method, and should be favored for the best audio quality. Just make sure you have an aptX-compatible source like an Android phone.
And while aptX is a nice feature, it’s not necessary for a quality sound. Nor does it help provide more volume, which is another important factor for a home speaker.
If you’re going to spend a couple hundred bucks on a speaker, it has to seriously rock the house. Even if you don’t plan on dragging anything with a subwoofer out for a pool party, you can still get some major decibels out of a portable speaker.
To that end, the ideal Bluetooth speaker should also be somewhat portable. It doesn’t have to be lightweight or compact, but it should at least be easy to move into another room.
A battery is not necessary unless you want to take it outside. But it’s always nice to see, as is water resistant casing.
Last, the ideal speaker has to be Bluetooth compatible. Wired connections and Wi-Fi transmission may have a slight edge up on sound, but the people have spoken.
Bluetooth is the reigning champion in the departments of reliability, ease of use, and adoption.
With all that criteria layed out, it can still be hard to find a speaker to perfectly suit your own unique demands.
To make the task easier, we’ve tested ten of the top Bluetooth speakers across a variety of categories.
Keep your needs in mind as you browse our picks for the best Bluetooth speakers for room to room home use.
1. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
Output Power: 200 Watts
Frequency Response: 44Hz – 28kHz
Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, Air Play, Spotify Connect
Battery Life: N/A
Dimensions: 7.4 x 26 x 7.2 inches
Weight: 14.3 pounds
When I think of home Bluetooth speakers, the obtuse football shape of the B&W Zeppelin is the first …read more