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Best multi-room wireless systems 2022

Best multi-room systems Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best multi-room systems you can buy in 2022.

If you want to spread sound into every corner of your home, a wireless multi-room audio system could be just the ticket. 

Most multi-room music systems connect to (and work over) your home's wi-fi network so there's no need to trip over trailing wires, you can integrate existing hi-fi systems or start afresh, and you can add outdoor, portable speakers to the family, too. 

How to choose the right multi-room wireless system

You don't have to buy a complete system, you can start with one or two speakers and expand from room to room, controlling music via the tap of an app. 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.

There's a vast choice of multi-room speakers and systems on the market, but which is best? Sonos is the most recognisable brand, and with good reason. It's intuitive and sounds 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 music systems we've tested. 

Best multi-room systems - Sonos

(Image credit: Sonos)
The original multi-room champion combines versatility, usability and performance.

Specifications

Wi-fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Music streaming: Spotify Connect, Tidal, Qobuz, Apple Music
Voice control: Amazon Alexa
File support: MP3, WMA, FLAC (up to 16bit/44.1kHz), WAV, AAC and AIFF
Bluetooth: No

Reasons to buy

+
Still the best user experience
+
Consistent, natural, engaging sound
+
Regular updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Individual speakers can be trumped for sound
-
No hi-res support

It’s facing more competition than ever, but few multi-room offerings are as complete or as pleasurable to live with as Sonos. 

Sonos as a system has two big advantages: breadth of choice and simplicity of use. In the time its rivals have been playing catch-up, Sonos has launched a whole family of products, most recently the Sonos Ray and Roam, and got onside with a long list of streaming services, and added lossless audio support, not to mention nailing the usability aspect of multi-room.

Combining a broad range of accomplished products with the most substantial selection of streaming services and the most pleasant and complete user experience, Sonos remains one of the best multi-room options. 

The announcement that the company will end support for older devices due to the Sonos S2 software update poses questions around longevity, not least as it was previously a class-leader when it came to long-term device support. But the devices no longer supported are on the old side and it's an issue rivals will likely face too. 

For those dipping their toes into wireless waters for the first time, we'd still recommend Sonos products.

Read the full review: Sonos multi-room system

best multi-room system - Audio Pro

(Image credit: Audio Pro)
A great multi-room system for impressive performance at a low price.

Specifications

Wi-fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Outputs: Optical, RCA
Streaming: AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Deezer, TuneIn, Qobuz
Voice control: No
Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Detailed and expressive sound 
+
Old Addon speakers can be incorporated
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
App lacks the slickness and sophistication of the best
-
No soundbar

The Audio Pro range might be small compared to some multi-room rivals (there's no soundbar), and the app is a little lacking, but for sound quality at the price, it's hard to beat. And the company continues to add new products to the family, such as the recent Addon C10 Mk11 (even if not all recent additions have been quite as impressive).

The affordable, puck-like Link 1 hub turns your hi-fi and other Addon speakers into a simple multi-room system, while the larger Audio Pro offerings tend to deliver great sound and are easy to use. And new last year was a fully portable outdoor speaker, the Audio Pro P5.

As much as anything else, your chosen path for migration to multi-room should be about whose speakers you want around your house. For us, Audio Pro makes that particular decision admirably simple.

Read the full review: Audio Pro multi-room system

Best multi-room systems 2022 - Bluesound

(Image credit: Bluesound)
Hi-fi quality sound meets mainstream convenience in this excellent system.

Specifications

Wi-fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Outputs: Optical, RCA
Streaming: AirPlay, Spotify Connect
Voice control:
Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Capable of 24-bit/192kHz
+
Highly musical
+
Punchy bass

Reasons to avoid

-
Some components feel a bit budget

There's a lot to love about Bluesound's hi-res capable multi-room system. It's one of the most musical we've heard and boasts enough midrange clarity to pick out every nuance in an expressive vocal performance. 

The choice of products includes a streamer, server, streamer and amp combo and a collection of speakers ranging from the diminutive Pulse Flex 2i to the gargantuan Pulse 2i.

Its speakers might be bettered in terms of performance-for-pound by Sonos and Audio Pro, but this is one of the most 'hi-fi-sounding' multi-room set-ups we've tested and returns plenty of bang for buck.

Read the full review: Bluesound multi-room system 

Best multi-room systems 2022 - Denon

(Image credit: Denon)
A simple yet sonically-capable multi-room set-up.

Specifications

Wi-fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Outputs: Optical, RCA
Streaming: Spotify Connect, Amazon Music
Voice control: Amazon Alexa
Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
Smooth, spacious sound
+
Hi-res audio support

Reasons to avoid

-
Audio Pro pips it for sound quality

Denon might be better known for its AV receivers, but it also offers soundbars, subwoofers, amplifiers and wireless speakers. What's more, all of that kit can be connected up through Denon's 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, the HEOS makes a superb all-rounder – and it offers a wider choice of pick 'n' mix components.    

Read the full review: Denon HEOS multi-room system

Best multi-room systems - Bose

(Image credit: Bose)
A decent system at an attractive price.

Specifications

Wi-fi: Yes
Ethernet: Yes
Outputs: Optical, RCA
Streaming: Spotify Connect, Amazon Music, Deezer, TuneIn
Voice control: Amazon Alexa
Bluetooth: Yes

Reasons to buy

+
SoundTouch 10 a decent performer
+
Easy to set up and use
+
Wireless link among the best of its kind

Reasons to avoid

-
SoundTouch 30 overtaken by rivals
-
App lacks functionality and some streaming services

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 have fared much better. 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 the full review: Bose SoundTouch multi-room review

How we test multi-room systems

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 systems. 

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.

Joe Cox
Content Director

Joe is Content Director for Specialist Tech at Future and was previously the Global Editor-in-Chief of What Hi-Fi?. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? across print and online for more than 15 years, writing news, reviews and features. He has covered product launch events across the world, from Apple to Technics, Sony and Samsung, reported from CES, the Bristol Show and Munich High End for many years, and provided comment for sites such as the BBC and the Guardian. In his spare time he enjoys playing records and cycling (not at the same time).

  • egiangiul76
    According to this article the Sonos system does not have a good streamer (Sonos Port), while the Bluesound system does not have good speakers. Is there a muti-room system with both good speakers and streamer that accept analog input so that it can be connected to a traditional hi-fi system? The Audio Pro Link 1 does not take analog input.
    Reply