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 the immersive spatial audio experience, 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 when playing spatial audio with Dolby Atmos tracks, 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. It comes with all the bells and whistles of Sonos's exhaustive app, making multi-room playback a doddle if you have multiple Sonos speakers or soundbars around your home.
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 wireless speaker from big tech heavyweight Apple. It's the pricier option in Apple’s current lineup, sitting well above the smaller HomePod Mini also featured in this list - both are five-star performers and deliver a seamless multi-room experience, provided you're ensconced in Apple's ecosystem.
Though it looks a lot like its predecessor, under the hood the HomePod 2 is a completely different beast and a clear sonic step forward for the brand. Our tests revealed it to be one of the best-sounding wireless smart speakers you’ll find aside from Sonos, offering a much more precise low-end than the first-generation HomePod from 2018. Overall, the HomePod 2 sounds even better than the first model, coming across as tighter, more solid and better organised both spatially and rhythmically to offer a more enjoyable, more versatile sound presentation in almost every way.
The deep integration with Apple’s ecosystem also makes it blissfully easy to set up with an iPhone. There's also 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 natively with Siri. This will limit its appeal to those who aren’t Apple fans or locked into 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 multi-room speaker giant. 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.
While the older Sonos One is still knocking about (and for a decent discount if you're quick), the Era 100 delivers a step-up performance in every way. It's not exactly 'budget' when it comes to wireless speakers, but it does offer one of the best, most convincing entry points into the best multi-room system on the market.
If you’re still happy to spend a decent amount of cash without making as much of a dent in your funds if you opt for the Era 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 both Alexa and Google smart assistant voice controls. It was recently replaced by the Sonos Era 100 (see above), so won't be on sale much longer, but it's still worth considering.
The Sonos One is still a winning combination, offering voice control smarts alongside its musical and Sonos's considerable multi-room talents. There's a vast array of music streaming services built into the app, but there's no Bluetooth on board. However, it does feature Apple AirPlay 2 tech built in, so you can stream music, podcasts and radio stations directly from your iPhone or iPad.
Sound-wise, it delivers a 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. The Sonos Era 100 offers stereo sound and even more detail, dynamics and weight, but this One still offers a charming performance.
Looking for an affordable, feature-packed multi-room speaker? This is the One to go for.
Read the full Sonos One review
The Addon C3 is basically the wi-fi-enabled, multi-room version of Audio Pro's Addon T3. It has the same minimalist looks that the Scandinavian company is known for, complete with textured surfaces and an embossed leather carry handle, but the wireless tech adds a whole new dimension to your listening.
The Audio Pro Addon C3 does support all the main streaming services, though, including Tidal, Spotify, Qobuz and Apple Music, with playback controlled via the Audio Pro Control app for iOS and Android. It’s not quite the seamless experience offered by Sonos’ equivalent app, but neither is it seriously flawed.
Set-up is a painless process whether you choose a Bluetooth or wi-fi connection. When setting up a multi-room system, the app searches for other Audio Pro speakers in the vicinity on the same network, and you can then drag-and-drop from here to group or separate speakers, either in stereo pairs or multi-room zones, or else make manual adjustments to bass and treble.
Sonically, it's a belter of a speaker and a fine addition to any home set-up. The sound offered is mature, refined and textured, with an open, detailed delivery backed by a really impressive sense of rhythmic drive. At this price, the only thing we could really find to gripe about was a slightly clunky control app, but that's hardly the most fatal of fatal flaws.
A worthy What Hi-Fi? 2022 Awards winner.
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 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.
This is peak Naim, so the sound is exactly as rich and pleasing as you'd expect. The tweaks might not have been extensive, but they make a noticeable difference when you fire your Mu-so Qb up and really let it loose. Treble response is lively and open, with a satisfyingly meaty bass delivered with punch, precision and panache. The second generation also improves markedly on its predecessor’s timing and dynamic range, thriving when delivering snappy rhythmic patterns and sparky numbers.
Belying its box-like dimensions to deliver a truly satisfying experience, the Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation scooped up a What Hi-Fi? Award for the best home wireless speaker over £500 – for the second year running – and was our overall Product of the Year. Not bad at all.
Read the full Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation review
If the HomePod 2 is too big for your living space but you still want a smart speaker to integrate into your Apple ecosystem, the HomePod Mini is your next best bet. At just 8.4cm tall and 9.8cm wide, it’s quite a bit smaller than the similarly spherical Amazon Echo (5th gen). 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 little performer on your hands.
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 probably haven't heard before but which has been curated to fit in with your current listening habits and tastes. It’s a really powerful way to discover new music when paired with an Apple Music subscription, and Alexa is nowhere near as good at it.
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.
It's an impressive performer for its size and asking price, and is a relatively affordable way to build up an iOS-focused multi-room system.
Read the full review: Apple HomePod Mini
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
Amazon's smart speaker range has become big business in the past decade or so, with Alexa becoming almost synonymous with the whole concept of integrated, domestic AI. The latest addition to this wildly popular series of affordable smart speakers is the Echo Dot (5th Generation), a tempting performer that practically gives itself away thanks to its meagre asking price and five-star quality.
Not that the Dot feels cheap. Whereas once Alexa was a one-note performer capable of answering basic questions about the weather and or what the capital of France is, now she's as filled to the brim with skills and knowledge as Keanu Reeves after he's been uploaded with various handy computer programs (although she doesn't, as of yet, "know Kung fu"). The Dot's cybernetic assistant is more helpful than ever before, stuffed with so many tricks and quirks that you will often find yourself falling into the trap of speaking to Alexa as though it, or rather she, were a real person.
Audio has come a long way, too. We weren't hugely keen on the sound of Amazon's early Echo models, but the trajectory has been very much one of continual improvement courtesy of Jeff Bezos' tireless team of audio tinkerers. Amazon's so-called “best-sounding Echo Dot yet” lives up to its billing thanks to a single 44mm front-firing speaker (4mm larger than the previous gen’s 40mm), offering sound that feels, for the size, weighty, listenable and surprisingly versatile.
Read the full review: Amazon Echo Dot (5th Generation)
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.
And thanks to its wi-fi ability, it can still be included in your wider Sonos multi-room system as the smallest speaker in the range. 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
They are not cheap and their aesthetic might not appeal to everyone, but if you want a wireless pair of standmount speakers that sound fantastic and have multi-room powers, you have found them. The Duos are deadly precise speakers with excellent clarity and speed of performance that make you want to dig out tune after tune just to hear what they can do.
The multi-room feature set, while not perfect (we would prefer a single app to handle every function), is more than made up for by the superb audio performance. Bowers & Wilkins may have been late to the multi-room party, but boy it arrived with a bang – more fashionably late than annoyingly so.
The speakers bristle with raw energy, and the stereo imaging is completely on-point. They deliver a huge amount of power when called for, while serving up a delicate beauty in the quieter passages.
The downside? They will expose any flaws in recordings, so make sure your source material is up to scratch.
Read the full Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo 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. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London, Reading and Bath, where our team of experienced, in-house reviewers, test all of the speakers we review.
What Hi-Fi? is all about comparative testing, listening to one set of speakers up against the next, to figure out exactly how they differ and what each one does best. We keep class-leading products in our stockrooms so we can compare new products to ones we know and love.
We are always impartial and do our best to make sure we're hearing every product - including multi-room speakers - at their very best. So we'll use different partnering products, experiment with speaker positioning, try plenty of different types of music, and give them plenty of listening time (and time to run in).
Alongside sound quality, multi-room speaker systems are also tested for their various features, ease of set-up and use, including using voice assistants where included. We aim to test multiple products in each family as well to gauge how it operates in a genuine multi-room experience, usually involving at least two wireless speakers and a soundbar, but this will vary depending on each system's product line-up.
All review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than an individual reviewer to eliminate any personal preference and to make sure we're being as thorough as possible. There's no input from PR companies or our sales team when it comes to the verdict, with What Hi-Fi? having decades of delivering honest, unbiased reviews.
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