Like last year, the What Hi-Fi? Awards wireless speaker category is split into portable models that you can take out and about, and home wireless speakers that are more suited to living in your house, potentially as part of a multi-room system.
Our round-up of this year's winners starts with the delightful Apple HomePod Mini. Despite its diminutive size, it’s a mightily impressive smart (i.e voice-controlled) wireless speaker that punches well above its weight. It goes loud, sounds clear, and just shows more musical ability than any rival at the money.
Audio Pro has had a great deal of success with the What Hi-Fi? Awards over recent years and we see both the Addon C3 and Addon C10 MkII scoop gongs in 2021. The former is a repeat winner and talented speaker that packs multi-room skills, portability and fantastic sound quality into an attractive package. The latter is a sequel to a three-time Award-winner and a home wireless speaker that puts many more expensive rivals to shame. It is also a fantastic all-round package boasting multiple streaming features, excellent build quality and high-quality sound.
Proving that there’s a place in the market for premium wireless speakers is the “truly phenomenal” (quoted from our review) Naim Mu-so Qb 2nd Generation, which wins for the second year in a row. It’s powered by Naim’s own streaming platform, which is also found in the company’s high-end products and it produces a refined and sophisticated sound that sets the bar extremely high. If you’re looking to build a premium multi-room system, the Naim should be your first building block.
Switching over to the winners in our portable sub-category and we kick things off with the multi-talented JBL Charge 5. It delivers serious on-the-go sound in an extremely durable package. And, as the name indicates, its party piece is the ability to charge portable devices from its own built-in battery.
We then step up to the new Dali Katch G2, which is a great portable wireless speaker on many fronts. Its predecessor, the first generation Katch, was a What Hi-Fi? Award-winner in 2016 and 2017 and this new model has once again made its mark on our team of reviewers. The premium finish and smart design help it stand out from the crowd, and it backs this up with a detailed, clear and expressive sound that is a rarity at this price.
The big question, though, is which of these wireless speakers will pick up the coveted Product of the Year gong at our Awards ceremony tomorrow, Wednesday 3rd November? Stay tuned to whathifi.com on the big night, when all will be revealed.