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CNET: The best Wi-Fi speakers of 2017


With over a dozen different brands of Wi-Fi music players to choose from, it can be hard to find the right one for you. These four Wi-Fi speakers are the best models CNET has found on today’s market.

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Amazon Echo Dot (2nd Generation)

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/amazon-echo-dot-2nd-generation/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 5.0 stars out of 5 (Spectacular)

The good: The second-gen, mini-sized Amazon Echo Dot smart speaker is just as smart as the first at nearly half the cost, and it’s better at hearing you, too. It’s also the only Echo product you can connect to an existing audio setup.

The bad: Amazon’s Echo products still can’t offer audio that syncs across multiple devices in multiple rooms.

The cost: $49.99

The bottom line: The new and improved Echo Dot takes Amazon’s best-in-class smart home speaker and wraps it in an ultra-affordable package.

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Sonos Play:5

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/sonos-play-5-2015/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The second-generation Sonos Play:5 is a sleek, well-designed Wi-Fi speaker that delivers rich sound for its size and strong bass. It offers the full Sonos wireless experience, controllable from iPhone, iPad and Android apps, with compatibility with nearly every key music service, including Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and Amazon.

The bad: Fairly pricey, especially if you want to buy a second one for stereo sound.

The cost: $499.00 to $499.95

The bottom line: While pretty expensive, the second-gen Play:5 is the best-sounding Sonos speaker yet.

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Bose SoundTouch 10

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/bose-soundtouch-10/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Bose SoundTouch 10 is a very compact Wi-Fi speaker that plays much bigger than its size would indicate, and it offers convenient features like Bluetooth and shortcut buttons. The app is pleasant to use and most functions are straightforward. The sound is impressive with surprisingly punchy bass (for a small speaker) and an articulate, exciting midrange.

The bad: The revealing nature of the speaker means some genres of music can sound a little harsh at higher volumes. There’s no mute button and no integrated battery for on-the-go use. The competing Sonos offers more services over Wi-Fi, more sound-tailoring features and a superior app.

The cost: $179.59 to $199.99

The bottom line: The affordable Bose SoundTouch 10 is an impressive sounding compact Wi-Fi wireless speaker that also offers Bluetooth connectivity.

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Polk MagniFi Mini

Product Review: https://www.cnet.com/products/polk-magnifi-mini/review/#ftag=CAD187281f

CNET rating: 4.0 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The affordable Polk MagniFi Mini is capable of a much bigger sound than its minuscule size suggests. The package is compact and will fit easily into most living room setups. The ability to Cast directly from your phone simplifies music streaming.

The bad: The Wi-Fi connection on our test unit was unreliable, and the ARC-only HDMI input limits connectivity somewhat.

The cost: $299.00 to $299.95

The bottom line: The Polk MagniFi Mini’s mix of features, performance and compact size makes it one of the best sound bars for the money.

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The following CNET staff contributed to this story: Executive Editor David Carnoy, Senior Associate Editor Ry Crist, Senior Associate Editor Ty Pendlebury and Senior Editor Laura K. Cucullu. For more reviews of personal technology products, please visit www.cnet.com.



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