Streaming is currently dominating the music consumption industry due to its convenience, cost, and song libraries, and with these top 5 sound systems, you can dominate the summer:
5. Denon HEOS 3
The HEOS interestingly can’t be initially set up using wifi, but after connecting your device using a prehistoric 3.5mm cable, you can control the speaker using Denon‘s HEOS app for iOS and Android. Once your speaker is set up in the app, you can rename it and group it with any additional HEOS speakers. The app (which is unfortunately said to be a bit buggy) integrates with your basic streaming services – Spotify, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Pandora, and other services. The size of the HEOS 3 is said to not be able to handle the power of particularly loud, bass-heavy music despite its claim of having bass and treble controls. So if you’re after a bumping party you should probably scale up to the HEOS 5 or 7. Or you could browse a list of Top 5 Streaming Speakers for Summer for other alternatives!
You can grab the HEOS 3 from Harvey Norman for $369
4. Samsung R7 WIFI Speaker WAM7500
As the name suggests, this speaker plays sound through “Ring Radiator technology” to deliver “a rich audio experience with balanced room-filling sound, more so than any other conventional speaker”. Basically, it should sound the same from every angle. The WAM7500 can connect via Bluetooth and Wifi, and plays MP3, WMA, AAC, FLAC, WAV, and Ogg. It supports the popular streaming services such as Spotify and Pandora. The device comes with a smartphone app that allows you to control each speaker of the system, even allowing you to control other Samsung products such as TVs. And best of all, in my opinion at least, it looks like an egg so it doubles as a sculptural and talking piece.
You can grab the R7 from Myer for $699.00
3. Definitive Technology W7
The W7 has a “Tri-Polar” configuration, meaning that it delivers audio from three sides (four 1″ aluminum dome tweeters and one 4″ mid/bass driver), which radiates sound off surrounding walls. The speaker allows you to stream music services (Spotify, Pandora, and others), internet radio, and your personal music library from a smartphone, tablet, or computer using the Definitive Technology app. The accompanying Play-Fi app is said to be only ok with a single speaker, and pretty difficult with multiple – but size, price, and audio quality are awesome.
2. Bose SoundTouch 10
In addition to being able to use the SoundTouch app on your smartphone or tablet through both Bluetooth and WiFi, the speakers come with a small remote control. The SoundTouch supports playback of MP3, WMA, AAC, Apple Lossless and FLAC, but like Sonos and Denon, not 24-bit high-res files. The SoundTouch is also said to handle bass very well in spite of its small size. One interesting advantage over Sonos is that SoundTouch enables you to connect two speakers as a left-right stereo pair. If Bose is ever able to get access to Apple Music streaming through SoundTouch speakers and improve their app, Sonos may have to watch their backs.
You can grab the SoundTouch10 from JB Hi-Fi for $299
1. Sonos PLAY:1
You guessed it – Sonos has come in at number one. Sonos‘ obvious edge within the market is that they were one of the first companies to introduce streaming speakers to consumers. No longer a niche market, Sonos have paved the way for tech companies. Since 2004, Sonos has continued to expand and innovate with new products. Streaming services Tidal and the lesser known Qobuz have brought CD-quality FLAC files at 16-bit/44.1kHz to the Sonos, rivaling the sound quality of competitors. The biggest advantage of the Sonos is that it’s the only one listed that supports streaming through Apple Music. Being the second most popular streaming platform behind Spotify, Sonos will have to be weary of other Streaming Speakers upping their game.
You can grab the PLAY:1 from JB Hi-Fi for $299
Are these speakers out of your price range? Fear not! You can still rule this summer. Check out this cool Cobblestone that launched via Kickstarter! It looks like it… rocks.
If you don’t have the money for a streaming speaker, the Cobblestone gives you the ability to turn your existing speaker into one. Plug it in and download the app and you’re ready to go. The Cobblestone uses your Wifi network to control your speaker and supports all music formats including FLAC. Using the MÜZO app you can access the classic streaming services like Spotify and Pandora wirelessly.
Best of all, you can grab it off Amazon for only $59!