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The Best Bluetooth Speakers for the Home


June 19, 2018 Tech By Photo by Google

In this new era of wireless speakers, where wi-fi-connected speakers can play music while you’re on the phone (with no interruption), connect to other speakers in a multiroom setup and be controlled by a voice assistant, it seems like the traditional Bluetooth connection has been lost… or at least reserved for cheaper, portable speakers. Well, for starters, that’s not true.

Many of today’s high-end wireless speakers also have Bluetooth connectivity, which, specifically with Bluetooth aptX, can stream high-resolution audio tracks. And compared to speakers that stream over wi-fi, Bluetooth speakers are straightforward and simple to use; instead of wondering if the speaker supports AirPlay, Chromecast, DTS Play-Fi or Sonos, you just open up the Settings app on your smartphone, connect and boom, you’re jamming out.

It’s true that connecting to your home’s wi-fi opens up a lot more abilities for a speaker, but a standard Bluetooth speaker can still be great for the home. In fact, many people prefer them. It can fill a large room with high-res tunes and, with advances in Bluetooth technology, multiple people can connect to a single Bluetooth speaker at the same time. Also, Bluetooth doesn’t discriminate; whether you’re streaming something on YouTube or listening to music on Apple Music or Spotify, a Bluetooth speaker will play it all.

If you’re somebody who’s looking for a powered speaker (needs to be plugged in) that’s easy to use and won’t be moved, a Bluetooth speaker might be the best option for you. And there are quite a few speakers for you to choose from. These are our favorites.

Best Overall Sound: Peachtree Audio Deepblue3

The Deepblue series of powered speakers have been lauded for years as some of the best all-in-one systems for the home. This third-generation model is latest and greatest speaker in the series. Released earlier in 2018, it packs five drivers — 6.5-inch woofer, two 3-inch midrange drivers and two one-inch soft dome tweeters — and 440 watts of power. It’s super easy to use, with straightforward Bluetooth and aux buttons right on top of the speaker. You can adjust the bass settings right from the speaker or its remote. It also has an optical jack in case you wanted to connect your turntable (with phono stage) or Sonos Connect.

Drivers: 5
Frequency response: 40–20,000Hz
Connectivity: Bluetooth aptX, 3.5mm aux jack, optical
Weight: 16 pounds

Best High-End Design: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless

The Zeppelin Wireless is on the expensive side, but it’s one of our favorite Bluetooth speakers for the home. The speaker is way more than just looks. It has five drivers (two one-inch double-dome tweeters, two 3.5-inch midrange and a 50-watt, 6.5-inch subwoofer) and gets loud. And it supports high-resolution streaming (24bit/192kHz) and really sounds great. The speaker is a wi-fi and Bluetooth speaker, so you’ll need an app for intial setup. The Bluetooth is easy enough to use, but the cool thing is that it supports AirPlay and Spotify Connecting, making this a great speaker for iPhone owners and Spotify subscribers.

Drivers: 5
Frequency response: 44–28,000Hz
Connectivity: Bluetooth aptX, Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, aux, Ethernet
Weight: 14.3 pounds

Simpliest to Use: Marshall Woburn Bluetooth

For anybody who digs the looks of Marshall’s classic guitar amps, this Woburn basically looks exactly them. It has brass-plated features and a striking speaker grille. Like you’d expect from the rock-n-roll giant, this speaker gets loud and doesn’t skimp out on the bass. Part of what makes this speaker great is how simple it is to use. It’s strictly a Bluetooth speaker, so there’s no need to deal with a companion app (even in the set-up process). You just flick a switch, connect via Bluetooth and you’re good to go. It also comes in two colors, black or cream, in case you want to switch things up.

Note: If you like the look of this speaker, Marshall also makes the Woburn Multi-room speaker ($599), which adds wi-fi connectivity with support for Chromecast, AirPlay and Spotify Connect.

Drivers: 3
Frequency response: 35–20,000Hz
Connectivity: Bluetooth aptX, 3.5mm aux jack, optical, RCA
Weight: 17.42 pounds

For Bose Loyalists: Bose SoundTouch 20 (Series III)

This is the middle child in Bose’s SoundTouch series, smaller than the SoundTouch 30 and larger than the SoundTouch 10. Unlike its previous generations, the SoundTouch 20 (Series III) has built-in Bluetooth and it’s easy enough to stream music — you just hit the button on the speaker or remote and connect. It’s also a wi-fi speaker that comes with a number of music services (such as Pandora, Spotify and Deezer) already integrated into the SoundTouch app. You can also connect this speaker with Bose’s other hi-fi speakers in a multi-room system. That said, this speaker sounds great all by itself. If you like the Bose signature sound and look, you can’t really go wrong with this speaker.

Drivers: 2
Frequency response: N/A
Connectivity: Bluetooth aptX, 3.5mm aux jack, optical, RCA
Weight: 7 pounds

Best Smart Speaker: Google Home Max

The Google Home Max is the one smart speaker on this list. Yes, it’s primarily a wi-fi speaker that can control any Chromecast-enabled speaker (there are a lot of them), but it can also easily be used as a Bluetooth speaker. In fact, pairing the speaker via Bluetooth is incredibly easy — just say “OK Google, Bluetooth pairing” and it’ll enter pairing mode. As far as sound, the Google Home Max is by far the best-sounding in Google’s smart series. With four drivers, dual 4.5-inch woofers and two 0.7-inch tweeters, the way this speaker sounds will do doubt impress you.

Drivers: 4
Frequency response: N/A
Connectivity: Chromecast built-in, Bluetooth, 3.5mm jack
Weight: 11.7 pounds

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