Sonos has reigned supreme in the multi-room speaker market, thanks to its easy-to-use control app (crucial to the multi-room experience) and its extensive, unrivalled support of streaming services, iOS and voice assistants.
But it's not the only ecosystem out there, and there are now plenty of excellent Sonos alternatives for multi-room music.
Whether you want something cheaper than Sonos, or offering a different set of features (hi-res audio, Bluetooth), we've rounded up the best Sonos alternatives out there. And there's something for everyone.
Audio Pro may be a relative newcomer to the multi-room market, but we're big fans of the Swedish company's wireless speakers (which have separately picked up plenty of Awards), and together they make an excellent Sonos alternative. In fact, Audio Pro won our multi-room system Product of the Year.
The Audio Pro Addon C3, Addon C5A and Addon C10 all sound superb for the money. They're entertaining, musical performers and superior to a lot of rivals at similar money, while also offering Bluetooth and line-in inputs on many of their models.
The Audio Pro range doesn’t include the same home cinema components as some of its multi-room rivals, and the app is simple rather than full of features, but for sound quality at the price, this system is currently unbeatable.
Read more: Audio Pro multi-room system review
The first genuine aleternative to Sonos was Bluesound, whose key hook of high-resolution audio support made it our preferred multi-room system for years (as multiple Awards trophies attest).
Now in its third iteration, Bluesound provides a solid Sonos alternative with an improved BluOS app that makes daily use a breeze. If you have deep pockets and a library full of hi-res music, it's worth a punt.
Bluesound's current line-up includes Pulse 2i, Pulse Flex 2i, Node 2i, Powernode 2i and Pulse Soundbar 2i, and you can add older Bluesound models into the mix, too.
Read more: Bluesound multi-room system review
Amazon's multi-room-supporting Echo speakers are a great cheaper alternative to Sonos. The Amazon Echo (3rd Gen), Echo Plus (2nd Gen), Echo Dot (3rd Gen) are all considerably cheaper than the entry-level products from Sonos or Audio Pro. With the current Echo (3rd Gen) costing just £90 ($99), it's more affordable to dot these speakers around your home than the Sonos One SL (£159, $159) or Addon C5 (£229, $249). If you want a bigger Amazon speaker, there's always the newer Amazon Echo Studio.
With Amazon Echo speakers now supporting Spotify (along with Amazon Prime Music, Amazon Music Unlimited and TuneIn radio) across multi-room, it has an attractive and immediate appeal to casual listeners who want a house filled with music without spending too much.
Read more: Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Gen) review
Google has its own smart speakers such as the Google Home and Google Home Mini which support multi-room just Sonos, but the beauty of Chromecast is that it is baked into a vast range of other products, including Android devices, TVs, soundbars, AV receivers and wireless speakers from a variety of manufacturers.
It means you don't need to stick to one brand to go multi-room; you just need to have the compatible products (such as a Sony or Philips TV, Harma Kardon Citation Tower, LG WK7, Sony STR-DN1080 amp) and make sure they're connected to the same network. Then simply press play on your iOS or Android device to 'cast' music to your connected products.
Looking for another mix-and-match option? DTS Play-Fi is a third-party app (that's nowhere near as slick as Sonos's) that lets you link select products from manufacturers such as Arcam, Klipsch, Martin Logan, McIntosh, Pioneer, Onkyo and Polk for multi-room streaming.
Read more: Google Home review
AirPlay 2 - Apple's proprietary streaming protocol - finally brought multi-room capability to its products in the summer of 2018. A multi-room system built out of the Apple HomePod smart speaker is the obvious Sonos alternative here: it's easily the best-sounding speaker of its kind (surpassing the Sonos One in audio performance) and Siri works with Apple Music beautifully.
But it's also pricey, and HomePod doesn't natively support any music service - not even BBC radio stations - apart from Apple Music.
Alternatively, you could consider a mix-and-match approach using AirPlay 2 speakers. It's supported by plenty of heavyweight hi-fi brands so you've no shortage of options including the Libratone Zipp 2, Audio Pro Addon C10 and Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation. Of course, it only works with Apple's iPhone, iPad, iPod and MacBooks as a source - which isn't a problem if you're an iOS user, but it means Android users can't join in on the fun. You do get to choose from some superb-sounding hi-fi kit, though.
Read more: Apple HomePod review
Denon and Marantz might be better known for their AV receivers, but they also offers soundbars, subwoofers, amplifiers and wireless speakers. What's more, all of that kit can be connected up through their shared HEOS platform.
Since launching, HEOS has been upgraded with support for high-res audio and additional support for streaming services such as Amazon Music. You also get more Alexa skills, allowing you to control playback with vocal commands.
Sound is smooth, spacious and replete with insight. And while Audio Pro's offering just edges it on sound quality, HEOS makes for a superb all-rounder – and it offers a wider choice of pick 'n' mix components.
Read more: Denon HEOS multi-room system review
The Bose SoundTouch system is a bit of a mixed bag. Reliable wi-fi streaming and and impressive sound – blessed with plenty of scale and dynamic expression – are the highlights. Sadly the control app is less impressive. It's easy to use, but lacks functionality.
Were it not for the commanding presence of Sonos and Audio Pro in this category, the SoundTouch would be higher up this list. We admire its sound and simplicity, but it doesn't quite measure up to more contemporary, feature-laden rivals. Still, it's a decent performer at an attractive price.
Read more: Bose SoundTouch multi-room system review