Everything you need to know about multiroom speakers

With Wi-Fi multiroom speakers you can listen to music anywhere in your home.

Home audio systems are more affordable than ever. Multiroom speakers are an easy-to-use and high-tech way to listen to music at home.

To compare speakers, look at the price, volume capacity, maximum room size, ease of use and how compatible they are with the systems and streaming services you use. Prices typically range from US$199 to US$1,800 per speaker but keep in mind one of the main features of multiroom speakers is the ability to connect multiple speakers together. You will likely be buying at least two or three speakers.

If you want a speaker that can understand voice commands and act as a personal assistant, a smart speaker would be better suited to your needs. Also, if you already have an at-home speaker system that works for you there’s probably no need to get Wi-Fi multiroom speakers.

This guide will give you the tools to choose the right multiroom speakers for your home. Read on to find out more.

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Popular wifi multi-room speakers compared

Data obtained at time of publication. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Price (AUD) Connectivity Room Size
Sonos One
Sonos One
$274.14
Apple Music, Spotify Connect, Amazon, Tidal, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Small to medium
A multiroom smart speaker with built-in Amazon Alexa that supports more than 80 streaming services.
Naim Mu-so
Naim Mu-so
$1,653.06
AirPlay, Bluetooth aptX, Spotify Connect, TIDAL, UPnP, Internet Radio, Multiroom, USB, Analogue & Digital inputs, Apple iOS, Android Apps
Medium to very large
The Mu-so can connect with up to 4 other Naim speakers and play the same music in 5 rooms at once.
Sonos Play:5
Sonos Play:5
$687.34
Sonos Proprietory, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music, Deezer, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Tidal, TuneIn, Analogue Audio, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Medium to large
Sonos' largest home speaker streams music over Wi-Fi and can connect to Amazon smart speakers.
Bluesound PULSE MINI
Bluesound PULSE MINI
$687.39
Amazon Music, WiMP, Slacker Radio, Qobuz, HighResAudio, JUKE, Deezer, Murfie, HDTracks, Spotify, TIDAL, Napster, KKBox, TuneIn Radio, iHeartRadio, Calm Radio, Radio Paradise via App, 3.5mm/Optical Dual Socket, Apt-X Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet
Medium to large
The Pulse MINI features dual speakers and a digital amplifier and is available in both back and white.
Naim Mu-so QB
Naim Mu-so QB
$1,238.43
AirPlay, Spotify Connect, UPnP, Tidal, Bluetooth, USB, Optical Digital, Analogue, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Medium to large
This compact version of the Naim Muso comes in black, blue, orange and red.
Master & Dynamic MA770
Master & Dynamic MA770
$2,479.6
Google Chromecast, Bluetooth, 3.5mm Auxiliary Analog, Optical Audio, Wi-Fi
Medium to very large
The MA770 was aims to deliver high-quality audio in a stylish package.
Denon HEOS 7
Denon HEOS 7
$825.08
Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Pandora, Deezer, Napster, SoundCloud, Tidal, TuneIn, Analogue Audio, USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Large to very large
Denon's biggest home speaker is designed for open spaces and can connect to up to 31 other HEOS devices.
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless
$964.28
Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, Analogue, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
Medium to large
With a 150mm subwoofer and class D amplifiers, the Zeppelin Wireless is built for high-quality audio.
Marshall Stanmore
Marshall Stanmore
$480.77
Apple AirPlay, Spotify Connect, Google Chromecast, Bluetooth, 2x Phono, 3.5mm Audio, Wi-Fi
Medium to large
The Marshall Stanmore features a unique vintage design with bass, treble and volume controls.
Apple HomePod
Apple HomePod
$480.69
AirPlay, Apple Music
Medium to large
The Apple HomePod smart speaker can be controlled with voice commands or any smart Apple device.

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What are multiroom speakers?

Many of us want to be able to listen to music and podcasts in the kitchen while we cook. This is easy enough if we have a speaker or smart device, but if we want to walk to the living room and continue listening, we have to bring the speaker or device with us each time. With multiroom speakers, you can get a speaker for each space and connect them together so they can work in tandem. You can continue adding speakers until you have your ideal listening set-up in every room in the house, or until your budget runs out. This is how you create a network of multiroom speakers.

Traditional home speakers required a complex set-up with many wires and just as many headaches. Wi-FI multiroom speakers allow you to connect multiple speakers around your home in just minutes and control them using an app on your smartphone, tablet or computer. However, if you already have a home audio system that works for you, it’s probably not worth upgrading to a multiroom speaker system.

How do they work?
Multiroom speakers either use your home Wi-Fi or create a mesh network. A mesh network means after connecting to the Internet, systems such as Sonos and Bose join together forming their own network. While traditional Wi-Fi speakers rely on Wi-Fi to connect and stream music, these mesh-network speakers won’t use your Wi-Fi while streaming. This means your bandwidth and data usage won’t be impacted by the speakers.

Why should I consider multiroom speakers?

With multiroom speakers, you can play music anywhere in your home with a quick tap on your phone, tablet or computer. You can play different music in each room or play the same music from every speaker so you can keep listening to your favourite songs as you walk from room to room. Most multiroom speakers will allow you to play music or podcasts from your digital library or a streaming service.

Advantages of multiroom speakers

  • Quick to install and easy to move if you change homes.
  • You can listen to the same music on every speaker or different music in each room.
  • Play content from your digital library or any streaming service.
  • Unlike Bluetooth speakers, Wi-Fi speakers won’t be interrupted by calls or texts.

Disadvantages of multiroom speakers

  • The cost of multiple speakers can add up quickly. If you only need music for one room in your house, there are cheaper options, such as Bluetooth speakers.
  • Speakers are often not compatible with other brands. Once you’ve bought a speaker it can be difficult to switch brands and keep everything connected.
  • Multiroom speakers are not as portable as Bluetooth speakers.

How to compare when choosing Wi-Fi multiroom speakers

Some people might be willing to pay thousands of dollars for the highest sound quality and sleekest designs available, while others might be satisfied with low-cost speakers that are easy to use and support all of the streaming services they subscribe to.

Choosing the right speaker for you depends on the cost of the speaker, how easy it is to use, the sound quality and how well it supports the platforms and streaming services you want to use.

Quick Stats

The following table shows the average range of a few important speaker stats for a wide range of speakers.

Price (USD) Maximum room size Volume capacity (decibels)
From $199 to $1,800 Small to very large 86dB to 110dB

Keep in mind, volume capacity measures the maximum volume a speaker can reach. This is not a volume you should listen to regularly. According to Safe Work Australia, long-term exposure to volumes over 85dB can lead to hearing loss. For reference, a loud conversation is around 70 dB, a typical lawnmower is 90dB and a chainsaw can be as loud as 110dB.

When choosing a multiroom speaker, consider the following additional features:

Summary

With a multiroom speaker system, you can start with just one quality speaker and add more over time as your budget allows. You don’t have to fill your house with speakers all at once unless you want to. Keep in mind, you will likely have to stick with the same brand so choose carefully. Make sure that brand offers everything you need from an audio system.

If you’re interested in buying multiroom speakers, start browsing today.

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Sarah Brandon

Sarah Brandon is a writer for finder.com.au and loves the challenge of tackling a new comparison. When she’s not at the office, she can be found writing novels or searching for the perfect artichoke dip.

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