The Best Bluetooth and Wireless Speakers for 2021

The Best Bluetooth and Wireless Speakers for 2021

 Wireless speakers are everywhere these days. Big, small, portable, expensive, cheap, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi...the sheer amount of choice can seem overwhelming. But our top picks are sure to have at least one speaker that's right for you. Before anything else, though, you need to decide how you want to go wireless.

Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi Speakers

Bluetooth is the most common wireless music streaming standard, but it isn't the only one. Bluetooth is a point-to-point wireless system, pairing a transmitter (your phone or computer) with a receiver (your speaker) to play music. It's very direct and easy to set up, and can stream pretty high-quality music thanks to technological advancements that have greatly improved audio fidelity over what it was a few years ago. Bluetooth generally doesn't have any multi-room tricks in itself, though some speakers can set up stereo pairs with the help of an app, while others can create a wireless mesh among multiple speakers for multi-room audio. It isn't quite as high-fidelity or as powerful as Wi-Fi multi-room audio, however.

Wi-Fi audio includes standards like Apple AirPlay and Chromecast, along with various manufacturers' own Wi-Fi streaming platforms. Wi-Fi can handle more bandwidth than Bluetooth, so it can support higher-fidelity audio. It can also integrate into your home network, so you can easily play audio from any device connected to your Wi-Fi without pairing anything.

The trade-off is that Wi-Fi music systems require a Wi-Fi network to connect to, so they can't be used portably with your smartphone like Bluetooth speakers (though many offer Bluetooth pairing as a backup). The different Wi-Fi standards also mean various services might or might not be available to stream over the device, though this is less of a problem than it has been in the past thanks to Chromecast and Sonos' lengthy lists of supported third-party services. It's worth noting that the new Sonos Move supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth streaming, so compatibility isn't an issue at all.

The Best Wireless and Bluetooth Speaker Deals This Week*

*Deals are selected by our partner, TechBargains

Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker — $25.99 (List Price $29.99)

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 Bluetooth Speaker — $299.95 (List Price $479.99)

Samsung MX T40 2ch Blueooth Sound Tower — $199.99 (List Price $299.99)

Want to Save Even More?  DealFinder automatically applies the best promo codes at checkout.

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Most new speakers available feature some kind of wireless support, whether they're clip-on bike speakers or big soundbars. With some exceptions, any speaker you pick up at an electronics store will be able to stream audio either over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Your speaker might even be able to handle both wireless methods. Check if your Wi-Fi speaker has a Bluetooth mode for using it on the go.

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