In a few short years multi-room speakers have exploded in popularity, allowing you to stream music all around your home, whether playing different music in each room or grouped together in party mode.
Not only are the best multi-room speakers convenient, they negate the need to run a whole bunch of wires around your home. Most multi-room speakers connect to your home's wi-fi network to ensure stable streaming, and can be controlled by dedicated apps, your streaming service of choice or even your voice.
Sonos is probably the best known maker of multi-room speaker systems but it's facing stiff competition, with rivals offering simple-to-use controls and great sound quality. Tech giants Amazon, Google and Apple have got in on the action too, joining 'proper' hi-fi brands such as B&W and Naim.
To help you pick a multi-room speaker that suits your needs, we've compiled a list of the best options, rated according to performance, connectivity, build quality and value for money. All of the below scored four or five out of five in our reviews, meaning they're the best multi-room speakers we've tested. Happy streaming!
How to choose the right multi-room speaker
Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.
You might have your eye on a complete multi-room system, but you don't have to buy it all at once. You can start with one or two speakers and expand from room to room, spreading the cost over months or even years. You don't even have stick to one brand of speaker, but if you do mix and match, check that the speakers have the same streaming tech built in (AirPlay 2 or Google's Chromecast, for example).
Most systems are now compatible with voice assistants such as Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa. You can opt to listen to the same song in every room, or a different song in each room, ensuring a harmonious home in more ways than one.
Sonos' multi-room speakers are the most recognisable, and with good reason. They're intuitive and generally sound fantastic. But there are plenty of rivals, too, all serving tempting features such as support for hi-res audio files or your favourite streaming service, Bluetooth connectivity and more. Read on to discover the best multi-room speakers we've tested.
It seems that it isn't enough for the best multi-room speakers to just deliver great sound and a decent array of features anymore. Ever since Apple's mighty HomePod 2 landed early in 2023 with the ability to deliver spatial audio, the race has been on to see who could challenge the biggest dog on the block when it came to integrating the much-vaunted tech into their own speaker designs.
Enter the Era 300, Sonos’ more expensive rival to the HomePod 2 that looks to beat Apple at its own game. With its unique, “cinched hourglass” shape, there’s no question that the Era 300 is a bit more of an acquired taste than most of the brand’s rather more conservative designs, but what isn't up for debate is how superbly the five-star Era 300 manages to perform. In short, it is absolutely excellent.
Throw whatever you like at the Era 300, chances are it has it covered, filling our testing rooms with cohesive, spacious sound without a hint of a struggle. Big choral numbers feel broad and immersive thanks to spatial audio, but the Era 300 excels seemingly with all genres and across every taste. Hip-hop, classic rock, soundtracks, it’s all covered with ease. Yes it’s expensive and yes, it smacks of a rip-off having to pay 20 quid extra for a wired connector, but the Era 300 has earned the right to be cheeky. A truly five-star performer, and one of the best multi-room speakers we’ve tested in a good while.
Read the full Sonos Era 300 review
The HomePod 2 is the latest speaker from big tech heavyweight Apple that we’ve reviewed. It’s the pricier option in Apple’s current lineup, sitting well above the smaller HomePod Mini also featured in this list, and a successor to the first generation HomePod we tested all the way back in 2018.
Though it looks a lot like its predecessor, under the hood it’s a completely different beast and a clear sonic step forward for the brand. Our tests revealed it to be one of THE best sounding smart speakers you’ll find, with it blowing its closest rival, the Amazon Echo Studio, out of the water and offering a much more precise low end than the first generation HomePod.
The deep integration with Apple’s ecosystem also makes it blissfully easy to set up. Paired with an iPhone all you have to do is scan for the speaker and run through a few on-screen commands to get it fully up and running and integrated with your smart home setup. The entire process only took us a few minutes.
This includes a clever process where the speaker uses in-built sensors to optimise its sound settings for its position in the room. Testing the feature by moving it closer to a wall in our listening room, our reviewers could hear the HomePod 2 adjusting its sound in real-time. Very impressive.
The only real downside to the HomePod 2 is that it is very much designed for people embedded in Apple’s ecosystem. Its primary connection is locked to Apple’s AirPlay 2 tech, Apple Music is the only music streaming service natively supported and Siri is your only option for voice commands. This is a minor annoyance as services like Tidal or BBC radio still don’t work with Siri. This will limit its appeal to those who aren’t Apple fans or fully ensconced in the iOS ecosystem, and might favourite more platform-agnostic options like the more affordable Sonos Era 100.
Read the full Apple HomePod 2 review
As the name suggests, Sonos’ range of wireless speakers promises a new ‘era’ for the American audio company. Released alongside the superb Era 300, the Era 100 keeps up with its bigger, more expensive brother by delivering a host of streaming playback features within another excellent-sounding speaker.
If you’re not keen on forking out the somewhat whopping £449/$449/AU$749 asking price for the Era 300, the Era 100 is a fine option as a wireless home speaker. Just like its heftier counterpart, the 100 delivers a big, open sound, a lovely sense of rhythmic drive and all the detail and precision you could hope for at this price point. The app is excellent to use, the number of streaming features is, frankly, vast, and everything is as well-made and reliable as you’d expect.
Again, Sonos rarely delivers what you’d call ‘budget’ options in the best wifi speakers category, and we’re still not delighted to be forking out extra for a wired connection, but if you’re still happy to spend a decent amount of cash without making as much of a dent in your funds as the 300, the Era 100 is a five-star banker.
Read the full Sonos Era 100 review
Sonos has ruled the multi-room roost for over a decade now, and with good reason. The Sonos One is one of the best-sounding multi-room speakers on the market, combining room-filling sound with Amazon's Alexa smart assistant voice controls.
It was recently replaced by the Sonos Era 100 (see above), so won't be on sale much longer.
Essentially, the Sonos One is Sonos' old Play:1 speaker with added voice control smarts. But that's a winning combination in our book.
It also features Apple AirPlay 2 tech built in, so you can stream music, podcasts and radio stations directly from your iPhone or iPad. And if you're an Apple Music subscriber, you tell Siri what to play, in what room.
Sound-wise, it's nigh-on identical to the Play:1, but again, that's a very good thing indeed. Delivery is weighty, full-bodied and loud, which is not what you would expect from a speaker this size. The soundstage is spacious and impressively organised, with vocals given plenty of breathing room, making them instantly more engaging.
Looking for an affordable, feature-packed multi-room speaker? This is the One to go for.
Read the full Sonos One review
The Audio Pro Addon C3 isn't just the best Bluetooth speaker at this price, it's a stylish, wi-fi connected, multi-room capable centrepiece – and a previous What Hi-Fi? Award winner.
Sound is focused yet open and airy, meaning you can fill a decent sized room with immersive, weighty sound. It has a fantastic sense of refinement for such a small speaker, not to mention a rear-firing bass reflex port that delivers plenty of low-end grunt.
This model won't charge your smartphone but it does feature an ethernet port, giving you the option to hardwire it to your home network. The battery serves up around 15 hours of playback (though less if you crank the volume up to the max).
The C3 supports streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal, Qobuz and Apple Music, and while there's no built-in voice assistant, you can control the speaker via the Alexa app.
If you're after something more rugged and portable, we'd suggest rivals such as the Ultimate Ears Megaboom or JBL Xtreme. But as a sensational-sounding multi-room proposition, this speaker gives Sonos a serious run for its money.
Read the full Audio Pro Addon C3 review
Audio Pro is in the highly favourable position of having produced one of our favourite wireless speakers in the Addon C10. After this multiple award-winner, the Swedish firm released a sequel, the sensibly named Addon C10 MkII, promising enhanced functionality, sound quality and design.
With the C10 MkII, Audio Pro builds on the original model's feature list, which boasted Bluetooth, AirPlay, aux and RCA inputs and access to music streaming services via wi-fi, by adding AirPlay 2 and Google Cast streaming smarts. It's worth noting the 3.5mm aux input has gone, as has Alexa voice control (in favour of Google) and the carry handle.
In the name of improved sound quality, Audio Pro has enhanced the electronics here and revised the bass port design, while for control there are additional buttons on the speaker itself. Most crucially, you can now connect over wi-fi, Bluetooth, AirPlay 2 or Google Cast.
When we tested the original C10, we pitted it against models almost double its price and found it bettered them. And this MkII is more of the same, thanks to better bass and improved fidelity. If £500 ($500) is your maximum budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a speaker that comes close to the Audio Pro C10 MkII.
Read the full Audio Pro Addon C10 MkII review
At What Hi-Fi?, we know full well the value of revisions. Yet still, it was quite the surprise when first we heard about one made by Naim, with its second generation of the Mu-so Qb wireless speaker. The previous iteration was great, earning five stars when it was first reviewed. This version, however, is is truly phenomenal.
You can now choose between an Olive, Terracotta or Peacock grille alongside the standard black, but the best tweaks Naim has made go far deeper. Remove whatever colour grille you've gone for and you'll be rewarded with upgraded and optimised midrange and bass drive units, all powered by a total of 300W of amplification.
Belying its box-like dimensions with a punchy bass alongside sparkling and rich tones across frequencies, the Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation scooped up our most recent What Hi-Fi? Award for the best home wireless speaker over £500 ($500) – for the second year running – and was our overall Product of the Year.
Read the full Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation review
The HomePod Mini really is bijou. At just 8.4cm tall and 9.8cm wide, it’s quite a bit smaller than the similarly spherical Amazon Echo. In fact, it’s even dwarfed by the Echo Dot. Get its swirling orb of coloured light up and running (when Siri is listening or processing) though, and you realise you've got a classy performer on your hands.
It goes loud, too. From the moment we start playing music, it’s clear that the HomePod Mini comfortably outperforms its size and price, quite frankly embarrassing its direct competition with the sophistication and maturity of its sound.
Siri is your voice assistant, and after a short period of learning it'll respond to the phrase “Hey Siri, play something I'll like” not by streaming your most played track of the last few weeks, but by playing something that you may have never listened to before but is a good fit for what you often do listen to. It’s a really powerful way to discover new music, and Alexa is nowhere near as good at it.
Read the full Apple HomePod Mini review
Multi-room speakers don't have to cost the earth. But if you want stunning design and audiophile sound, you can't go far wrong with the impressive Naim Mu-so 2, which sits more towards the top end of the price spectrum. Though rest assured it more than justifies its price.
It streams hi-res music up to 32-bit and offers direct streaming from Spotify Connect and Tidal. Throw in Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast, and you have access to yet more internet radio stations, plus Deezer, Qobuz and Google Play Music.
The Mu-so 2 connects to its smaller siblings, the Mu-so Qb speakers, via AirPlay 2, Chromecast or Naim's own software. Building a multi-room system around the Mu-so 2 won't be cheap, but you'll be rewarded with premium build-quality, rich sound and plenty of bass. Dig deep into those pockets,and you'll have the beginnings of a stunning multi-room system.
Read the full Naim Mu-so 2 review
The fourth-gen Echo doesn't just have a new look – it also has a built-in Zigbee smart hub, which makes it easier to connect to lots of smart devices spread throughout your home.
One downside to the new design is you don't get true omni-directional sound from the rear of the device. But because it has to be plugged in to operate, it will likely sit next to a wall anyway, so that shouldn't be an issue.
It boasts a 76mm woofer and dual 20mm front-firing tweeters, a set-up that supports Dolby Stereo. Like the older Echo Plus, it now features what Amazon calls 'premium adaptive sound', allowing it to sense the acoustics of your space and fine-tune audio playback accordingly.
It works. Music has more impact than on the previous-generation Echo, with the lower end of the frequency range coming across as pleasingly textured and full-bodied. And while the treble is slightly underplayed, it handles tracks with greater refinement. At this price, that's nothing short of miraculous.
Read the full Amazon Echo (4th Generation) review
The Sonos Roam is the firm's cheapest and smartest speaker. Portable, with Bluetooth and wi-fi connectivity, the Toblerone-shaped Roam is a great alternative to the company's first Bluetooth speaker, the much larger, heavier and more expensive, Sonos Move.
Designed for both indoor and outdoor use, the (appropriately-named) Roam is rated IP67 waterproof and boasts a 10 hour battery life – despite being a sixth of the size of the Move.
It comes with an excellent bag of tricks, too. Sonos Swap (exclusive to the Roam) lets you 'hand off' whatever music the Roam is playing to another Sonos speaker nearby, while improved Auto TruePlay uses the speaker's microphones to optimise the sound according to the speaker's surroundings.
Want the smallest and smartest speaker in the range? The picnic-friendly Roam could be just the ticket. Sound quality is seriously full-bodied, but it's fair to say other Bluetooth speakers offer a slightly more dynamic performance. Does that matter? Not really. Not when you factor in the Roam's nomadic abilities, AirPlay 2 support and robust build quality. All in all, a great Sonos starter speaker.
Read the full Sonos Roam review
The market is full to bursting with portable Bluetooth speakers in budget price bracket, but not all of them have the JBL Link Portable’s neat features, including hands-free voice assistance, a charger cradle and wireless streaming via wi-fi or Bluetooth. Suddenly, much of that competition seems to melt away.
For a speaker of this size, it has oodles of detail and an expansive mix with everything present, including bass. Provided you have a solid surface at home and you’re not looking to daisy-chain it with another JBL speaker, it has a lot going for it.
Read the full JBL Link Portable review
They're not cheap and the aesthetic won't appeal to everyone, but if you want a wireless pair of standmounts that nothing comes close to right now in terms of sound, you've just found them. The Duos are deadly precise speakers with excellent clarity and a performance that makes you want to dig out tune after tune just to hear what they can do.
The multi-room feature set, while not perfect (we'd prefer a single app to handle every function), is more than made up for by the superb audio performance. A must.
Read the full Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo review
Amazon adopted a spherical design for its fourth-gen Echo and Echo Dot speakers, to great effect. But like the third-gen Dot, it still has just one 4cm driver inside (though it's now front-facing) and a four-mic array. That's hardly surprising given the space constraints inside this mini speaker.
But there is a new chip inside, which makes the Alexa voice assistant much quicker to respond. Also new is a low power mode when idle to hopefully lower your 'leccy bills.
The Echo Dot is a standout solo speaker (given its low price), but it's as part of a multi-room system that it really shines. Say “Alexa, play David Bowie everywhere” to get the Star Man in every room of your house. Stereo pairing is possible too, but only between two Dots of the same model. And it has most of the big-name music streaming services onboard.
Sonically, it's a real step up from the previous model, albeit a way off what spending proper hi-fi money will get you. There's real zeal and agility, and an extra ounce of focus over the older iteration. A great buy at the budget end of the market.
Read the full Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) review
B&W is a 'proper' hi-fi brand, so how does its premium multi-room speaker fare?
The answer is, very well indeed. The Formation Wedge isn't cheap but it delivers detail in spades, supports 24-bit/96 kHz hi-res audio, and is optimised for multi-room integration with the Formation family (including the superb B&W Formation Duo speakers).
It also boasts B&W's proprietary wireless mesh system, for rock-solid hi-res streaming between devices. And it sounds awesome, with clear vocals, no edginess in the treble, and a wonderfully cohesive presentation. The timing is spot on, too. Calm, controlled, clear. This B&W never loses its cool.
Its striking looks aren't to everyone's taste, and you'll need to consider investing in a Roon subscription to get the best out of the Wedge. Those factors aside, this is a stunning speaker and a great start to a premium multi-room set-up.
Read the full Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge review
How we test multi-room speakers
At What Hi-Fi? we comprehensively test and review every product we recommend, from soundbars to speakers, headphones and TVs. And it's no different for multi-room speakers.
As a rule, we do comparative testing – ensuring new products are tested against their rivals according to product type, features and price. Almost all the testing is carried out by our team of expert reviewers at our dedicated test rooms.
Multi-room speaker systems are tested for sound quality, features, ease of set-up and use, and overall performance. And we aim to test multiple products in each family, usually involving at least two wireless speakers and a soundbar but this will vary depending on each system's product line-up.
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