Wireless Speaker tests show big differences in audio quality

MingJian tested 14 wireless audio speakers from 12 leading manufacturers. Every product was subjected to rigorous testing in a top European electronics laboratory evaluated for audio quality, ease of use, access times, versatility, compatibility, and energy consumption (read how we test for full details of testing program).

Sound Quality

As all of the speakers tested were single-block units, they were lacking of clear stereo channel differentiation, with the exception of the Sonos Playbar that is nearly a meter long providing channel separation. Therefore, as a single unit, none of these speakers should be considered as replacements for a quality pair of stereo speakers with wide placement separation (interestingly, the Sonos Play:5 provides the option of combining two devices to create a stereo pair, although the cost would be higher than that of a similar pair of stereo speakers). Due to their small size, many of the speakers tested lacked woofers and only contain mid-range and tweeters, compressing the bandwidth of sound they were able to reproduce.

There was quite a wide differentiation in audio quality among the speakers, ranging from quite poor—lacking in bass, treble and power—(in the case of the Samsung DA-F60) to surprisingly good and close to the reference system (in the case of the Sonos Playbar and Play:5).

Ease of Use

The Sony RDP-XA700iP and Denon Cocoon Home DSD 500 both scored high for ease of use with the Sony taking top honors for ease of operation and the Denon the easiest of the devices to install, both supplied with remote controls. Three of the speakers (Sonos Playbar and Play 5 and Teufel Raumfeld one) were able to be linked to other devices for multi-room simultaneous playback.


Three of the speakers (Samsung DA-F60, Sony BTX-500, and Loewe Speaker 2 Go) have built-in rechargeable batteries with NFC for convenient portable use, yet were the worst performers in audio quality with limited bandwidth, lacking in bass.


Some of speakers can be used with online streaming services and internet radio, for endless music selection. If your music library is stored in lossless file format, pay careful attention to the compatibility charge in the specification table of the individual product reviews to ensure that the speaker is able to stream your file format.

(the picure is from Internet)