Wireless speakers come in all shapes and sizes, with incredibly varied and extensive features to boot. That's reflected in the six products below, all Best Buy winners in the wireless speaker category at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022.
We have a mix of wireless speakers here that, despite being part of a crowded market that sees new contenders popping up all the time, remain the best-sounding options at their respective price bands.
Wireless speakers can be small, portable Bluetooth speakers that you can take with you anywhere (in the garden, to the beach or on holiday, for example), or they can be mains-powered speakers with a bucketload of features (such as multi-room functionality) that sit proudly as your main home audio system. Whatever your preference or indeed budget, the six winners below (two portable, four for the home) represent the best in their respective fields.
If you are looking for a budget option for the home, the tiny but mighty HomePod Mini smart speaker is a superb alternative to the Amazon Echo and Sonos One... for iOS users, anyway. At sub-£100, this Siri-powered speaker is a brilliant-value option and works seamlessly within the iOS ecosystem, though its audio chomps are what really delight: for such a compact design, it delivers a big, substantial and sophisticated sound that none of its competitors come close to.
Two returning Audio Pro speakers sit in the middle of the home category. The Addon C3 and Addon C10 MkII have fought off new competition – even from new models in the Swedish brand's line-up – to hold on to their trophies, thanks to their combination of superbly balanced and mature sound quality and a long list of streaming features that go beyond their modest price tags.
Both are multi-room speakers, too. The C3 is actually portable in the sense that it has a built-in battery (though isn't built like the truly portable Award winners below), while the C10 MkII is the bigger, mains-powered option.
Want something properly portable? The returning JBL Charge 5 champ is the most rugged and weather-proof option for adventure types. This also staved off competition from within, from the newer JBL Flip 6 – a great alternative if you want a smaller, more affordable speaker. But the Charge 5's more powerful sound, wider soundstage and longer battery life (along with the ability to charge your phone via USB) won out, yet again.
Dali's exquisite Katch G2 (pictured top) is still a stone-cold stunner, with a gorgeous, premium design that goes hand-in-hand with a sound that is astonishingly clear, subtle and has impressive bass weight. It may seem pricey for a portable Bluetooth speaker, but we can confirm that there's nothing else that troubles its standing here, and it remains one of the best sound-per-pound options we've encountered.
At the top end lies, unsurprisingly, another home speaker: the premium Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation remains the gold standard. There's no other wireless speaker quite like it. It's been around the block for a while, but this "old-timer" (in the wireless speaker world, at least) is still such an impressive performer. Richly textured, powerful and punchy, lively and insightful. It's a wonderfully engaging sound that brings hi-fi sensibilities to a one-box wireless speaker design that's sized and priced attractively.
These six Best Buy winners are all to be applauded, but only one will win our coveted Product of the Year trophy for the category when those special awards are announced next Wednesday (9th) at the What Hi-Fi? Awards ceremony. Make sure to check whathifi.com that evening for the final results.
Want more choice? Check out our long list of the best Bluetooth speakers
See all the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winners
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