What can speakers with the support of Wi-Fi?
Ideal for listening to streaming music or the one that is saved in the smartphone memory.
However, immediately raises the question: what is the model audio speakers are the most reliable, convenient to operate and, importantly, the “issue” really high-quality sound?
To find out, we took six soundbar different manufacturers and rated them on three simple criteria:
1) difficulty settings; the time elapsed since power up ready for use;
3) quality sound.
1. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin
Total system power output: 250 W
Supports streaming three ways: AirPlay, Spotify, Bluetooth
Quick Start: configuration process will take you less than a minute.
Download the mobile application business, and then install it to the device can play streaming music from popular smartphones, tablets and computers.
Through this applets can be easily customized Zeppelin Wireless, manage settings, and control playback – a couple of swipe across the screen mobile gadget and the initial setup is complete! Walkthrough setting allows to connect to the Wi-Fi network, and a minute later to listen to music while enjoying the high-quality sound.
Design: sure, Zeppelin looks very stylish. And, as in the photographs in the advertising “gloss”, as well as in real life: the glossy plastic from which the device body and the fabric covering the speakers – all assembled and tailored quality, looks like a single unit. However, the only thing that breaks the monolithic – the power cable, and is connected to the column through a connector located on the rear panel of the device, so it is not very noticeable.
Sound quality: on the whole it is quite good, such as vocal sounds natural, but no more. At the same time when such a device the size you expect a completely different sound, but it is subjective nitpicking, and only. Perhaps the only objective drawback – it is vague and blurry bass. In short, the audio system does its job well, but not perfectly.
Verdict: software and design of the device makes “airship” a serious player in the wireless speaker market. You can talk about his minor technical shortcomings, but his design – a great, and it was thanks to him Zeppelin Air and sold, I tell you, sold well.
2. Raumfeld Stereo Cubes
Total system power output: 160 W
Supports Streaming five ways: Airplay, Tidal, Spotify, Napster, Bluetooth
Quick start: the initial setup process takes no more than 5-7 minutes.
Download the app, install and run it, enter the password to access Wi-Fi, connect the device to your phone, choose the desired streaming music service. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes.
Design: cold German laconic forms – perhaps that’s all there is to know about the exterior of this device, but rather each of several loudspeakers, which form the multi-channel multi-radio (distribution and transmission of audio signals from the playback equipment to the speakers located in different parts of the house ).
In view of the above circumstances, the power and speaker cable (connecting) the cable between the speakers – is mandatory. I think it makes the system more cumbersome and even too fixed. In other words, this is not a portable soundbar, which you can take with you wherever you go.
Sound Quality: The sound is smooth and clean, but most bass “more gentle-gentle” than “nadryvisto-powerful.” At the same time at full volume column is not “choked” or breaks in wheezing that is not so bad.
Verdict: functionality, excellent performance and stylish “notes cubism” in design – the benefits of this audio system, but an abundance of accompanying her harness, so to say, not very happy.
3. Network mini-system Denon CEOL + speakers Dali Zensor 1
Total system power output: 120 W
Supports streaming three ways: AirPlay, Spotify, Bluetooth
Quick start: the setup process takes about 10 minutes.
For the initial activation of the device, the smartphone or tablet with HEOS App application, as well as miniJack cable.
Run the application, connect the device to your phone, click on the Connect button. We make the same actions with the rest of the acoustics and get ready to set multi-element system.
However, a number of intuitive settings are not clear, so you have to “look” in the user guide, with detailed description of the printed form does not (have CD), which is not very convenient.
Equipped with three network interfaces: wired and two wireless, and yet it is possible to configure and control playback via a mobile app, or via the remote control.
Design: The system consists of three elements: a central unit system and two speakers. If we talk about their design, it is all quite simple, uncomplicated and utilitarian: the central unit – milky white, glossy, rectangular shape, fairly compact, with a large informative display and speaker – lacquered in body color head unit, speakers hidden fabric “visor” in black.
The central unit – the center of all possible audio connectivity standards: there are a couple of digital and analog option and even spring terminals (terminals) are able to fix the “stripped” the cable going to the columns. But that’s not all. Thus, the front panel has the USB-port, and on the back – Ethernet-jack. Moreover, the gadget is equipped with a CD-player and FM-tuner radio will please fans.
Sound Quality: 60 watts of power per column – enough to fill a medium-sized room sound like a large room or small rooms.
Meanwhile, there is one “but” – the quality of music playback “lame”, if the “delivery” of content from a mobile device to an audio system, a way to use wireless data transmission. However, the bass appear when the music source is connected to the audio system via a wire.
Verdict: Denon CEOL – network device actually fully: there are all the possible standards to connect the sound source, and integration into your home network, work as an AirPlay-speaker.
4. Bose SoundTouch 30
Supports streaming two ways: Spotify, Deezer
Quick start: the setup process takes about 20 minutes.
Once you have downloaded and installed the app SoundTouch, SoundTouch controller gives access to music. System setup is fairly simple, but tightened over time – the application is accompanied by the installation of numerous tips.
The application for a smartphone SoundTouch gives full control required for access to music. It can help you make a list of presets to any source of music: Internet radio, playlist library or streaming music service.
Moreover, AllConnect application provides playback of audio from a phone or tablet based on the Android OS to any AirPlay-device.
Design: from audio rather concise and, I would even say, boring exterior, which makes it similar to the microwave. However, things are not so sad: the front and rear covers audiotkan, and on each side – inserts in white or black with a geometrical pattern. On the back all the traditional for this type of device: connector for the power cable, Ethernet input for configuration via a cable (also has the ability to customize without wires), USB connectors and microUSB, AUX input to connect any gadget with an audio cable.
Sound quality: with this everything is in order. Especially when you consider that this product was created to meet the needs of music lovers inexperienced amateurs, not picky audiophiles.
Verdict: Bose SoundTouch 30 – one component Wi-Fi system for the largest room in the house with acceptable performance and functionality.
5. Sonos Play: 5
Supports streaming four ways: Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer, Tidal
Quick Start: configuration process is quite simple and takes less than 3 minutes.
Connected to the network is wired or wireless manner. If you have Internet-connection communication with a variety of online-services (Apple Music, Spotify, SoundCloud).
With support for TuneIn offers access to web radio. It can also play audio files with 16 network devices, including PC, Mac or NAS. Available wireless streaming from iOS-devices and Android-devices.
Design: the enclosure has a rectangular shape, laconically. Three tweeter and the same Midwoofer covered audiotkanyu black. On the top panel of the case is barely noticeable indicator of operating modes, as well as touch the playback controls and volume level.
On the back of the speaker has a Ethernet-port, line 3.5 mm input jack and the power button to connect wirelessly to the Sonos system.
The housing design allows you to use the device in rooms with high humidity. Available vertical and horizontal installation, and the ability to work in a stereo pair with a similar speaker system or as part of a 5.1-channel system based on Sonos. In short, you can purchase additional speakers and place / hang them around the house.
Sound quality: this one-piece speaker provides enough powerful, detailed and, at times, precise sound with a rich voluminous bass, but only on the average volume.
Verdict: With amazing ease of setup and operation, the audio system of the manufacturer thoroughly consolidated its status as market leaders and the Sonos Play: 5 – is no exception.
6. Network audio player Cambridge Minx Xi + speaker Minx XL
Total system power output: 55 W
Supports one way streaming: Spotify and 10 audio file formats
Quick Start: 5 minutes, if you do not read the instructions. Download to iOS- or Android-powered device firmware application Stream Magic, you can control the player using a tablet or smartphone.
Design: the receiver has a solid exterior is atypical: coated in black (or white), piano lacquer housing – metal.
A good half of the area of the front panel is a 4-line display, which displays all necessary information: name of the radio station to the characteristics of the audio file playback.
The buttons are located on either side of the display provide access to key features and play modes. The rotary knob is also right push. It provides not only the volume control, and selection of the desired item from the menu.
Next to it is the connector “minijack” for external player analog and digital gadget can be connected to USB-port next to it.
The gadget is equipped with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi-adapter in conjunction c Ethernet-connector that allows it to receive digital audio from portable devices wirelessly.
In addition, Cambridge Minx Xi can receive Internet radio, and supports a variety of network services streaming music. And even when connected to a home network, the player is able to receive audio from a PC or NAS-server (cloud storage).
Sound quality: clear sound on bottoms and voluminous bass, so if the functionality of the pieces meet the modern requirements, its sound demonstrates the commitment of eternal values Hi-Fi – music of any genre sounds amazingly realistic and dynamic.
Verdict: too bulky and difficult to use for those looking for a simple function of the soundbar with wireless connection to the streaming music services or to portable audio devices (eg, smartphones).
However, this gadget will be just right for those who are looking for a player that is able to receive audio from a PC or NAS-server (cloud storage).
With regard to other important aspects when choosing a sound system, then that thing brilliantly proves that compact – is not synonymous with poor sound quality.