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Best Multi-Room Speakers 2017: Sonos and other brilliant alternatives

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Looking for the perfect multi-room speaker system? We’ve narrowed it down to five great multi-room options for every kind of household and budget.

Sonos is no longer the only audio giant on a mission to dominate your house one room at a time. Samsung, Bose and a few lesser-known names are getting in on the multi-room act, and the wider choice means a multi-room system is more affordable than ever.

There’s a lot more flexibility with setup these days too, with Sonos and others ditching the old-fangled hub – a device you had to plug into your router to create a wireless network for your fleet of speakers. None of the multi-room systems in our round-up require a hub; you simply download an app to connect the speakers to your home network. Most will stream via Bluetooth too.

Related: 18 Best Soundbars For Your TV Round-Up

All of the multi-room speakers in our round-up are compatible with both iOS and Android devices, but it’s important to make sure the system you choose can stream the right content. Some speakers will happily stream from any music app you like, while others are limited to key services like Spotify, Deezer and Napster.

The beauty of a multi-room system is that you can build on it over time. If your dream of Sonos heaven is stifled by your budget, you can always invest in just a couple of speakers to begin with and then add more later.

If you’re too impatient to wait, you might want to consider some of the cheaper setups on the market. The Jam Smart Sound multi-room system offers a punchy little speaker called Jam Rhythm, available for a neat £80. You can add its more costly sibling Jam Symphony later on if you find yourself with a little more cash to throw at some room-shaking bass.

Of course, it’s never going to be cheap bringing the audio cavalry into your house, but there’s a system here for everyone. You can start browsing our favourite multi-room speakers below. Alternatively, head to our Best Bluetooth Speaker 2017 Round-Up if you’re after that one winning speaker.

Sonos

1 / 5

Sonos

Key features:
  • Stream from over 30 services, including Deezer, Spotify and Stitcher
  • Play: 5 and Play: 3 speakers can play stereo
  • Play:5 has Line In support
The daddy of the multi-room speaker setups, Sonos offers a great variety of speaker options. There's even a soundbar in the mix, the Sonos Playbar, which lets your TV join in on the fun.

You can directly connect Sonos speakers to your home network quickly and easily. If your Wi-Fi signal is weak, you can plug speakers directly into your router via an ethernet cable, or alternatively, grab a handy device called Sonos Boost. Like the Pure Jongo system, there’s also the option to transform wired speakers or a home theatre setup into a music streaming system via the additional Sonos Connect hardware.

You can run music from your computer, but the best source of control is the Sonos app, available for both Android and iOS. Its clean, fresh interface and universal search function makes it super-easy to find the music you love.

With one of the most comprehensive apps and a growing army of compatible speakers, Sonos is still one of the best multi-room setups to invest in, and it's affordable – despite a slight post-Brexit price increase across the entire range.

Prices: Play: 1 (£199), Play: 3 (£299), Play: 5 (£499), Playbar (£699), Sub (£699), Connect: Amp (£499), Connect (£349), Boost (£99)

MORE: Sonos Play: 1 review
Pure Jongo

2 / 5

Pure Jongo

Key features:
  • Music streaming from any app
  • Stream over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Stream directly to Hi-Fi
The trio of Pure Jongo multi-room speakers looks just as sleek and sophisticated as Sonos, and is a versatile option if you're working with a smaller budget.

There are currently three different size speakers in the Jongo family, and you can stream music over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth from any music app or streaming service you fancy. There's a Pure Connect app for setting up the speakers, which you can also use to play your own music, and discover radio and on-demand content too.

In terms of arranging a full setup with access to an unlimited range of music apps, this is definitely the one that offers the best value for money.

Prices: T2 speaker (£99.99), T4 speaker (£149.99), T6 speaker (£199.99)

Related: Pure Jongo T6 review
Samsung Shape

3 / 5

Samsung Shape

Key features:
  • 360-degree speakers in the range
  • Bluetooth
  • M7 speaker can be positioned horizontally and vertically
Currently boasting a lively crowd of six different speakers, Samsung’s multi-room alternative to Sonos is wide-ranging and versatile. The big beast of the family, the M7, can deliver clear, enjoyable sound and weighty bass performance.

The entire system is controlled via the Samsung Multiroom smartphone and tablet app, and the streaming magic happens over Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Spotify, Deezer, Napster and the usual fare of apps is supported.

The M7 is triangular in shape, allowing it to be positioned both vertically or horizontally depending on how you like it. The rest of the R-series speakers in the range deliver omni-directional sound, and come in various orb shapes to deliver that 360-degree punch.

It's a piece of cake getting a fleet of Samsung Shape speakers singing in harmony throughout your house, and Samsung even offers a device called the WAM-270 Link Mate to bring your TV in on the rich sound action.

Prices: M7 (£330), R1 (£149), R3 (£250), R5 (£302), R6 (£299), R7 (£379)

Related: Samsung Shape M7 review
Bose SoundTouch

4 / 5

Bose SoundTouch

Key features:
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Free controller app
  • Six preset streaming buttons
Best known for its noise cancelling headphones, Bose has delivered a high-performing collection of multi-room speakers in its SoundTouch range. The system offers multi-room audio streaming via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

There are three speaker models in the SoundTouch family, all of which can deliver content from your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The free SoundTouch app is available on both Android and iOS devices for remote control around the house.

One neat little feature is an array of six preset buttons on each speaker in the range, allowing you to jump directly to your favourite internet radio stations or playlists with a single press. You can quickly set up and change your favourite go-to stations using the app.

Prices: SoundTouch 10 (£169.95), SoundTouch 20 (£279.95), Soundtouch 30 (£429.95), SoundTouch SA-5 amplifier (£369.95)

Related: Bose SoundTouch 30 Review

5 / 5

Jam Smart Sound

Key features:
  • Two Wi-Fi speakers
  • Spotify, Tidal, tunein and more
  • Jam Home audio app

The Jam Smart Sound multi-room system features two speakers for round-the-house fun: Jam Rhythm and Jam Symphony. The mid-sized Jam Rhythm is better suited to kitchens, bedrooms and offices, while Jam Symphony brings booming bass to larger spaces for double the price.

While Jam's offering has less variety than some of the big multi-room families in this round-up, it comes with the perk of being the most affordable, starting at just £80 for the Rhythm.

Control is via Jam's app, available for both iOS and Android, and there's also an intercom feature in case you need to announce home time to your party guests through your multi-room setup, Big Brother-style.

Prices: Jam Rhythm (£80), Jam Symphony (£169.99)

Related: Jam Rhythm Review

Related: Jam Symphony Review

Weehaaw

June 3, 2014, 9:36 am

Would still pick sonos any day of the week.

Alex Walsh

June 3, 2014, 9:36 am

The number of outages of Spotify on the SONOS network is increasing and is getting more and more irritating.

Prem Desai

June 3, 2014, 10:30 am

It's good to see other manufacturers join the wireless / multi-room bandwagon. Competition is always good.

Why Sonos does it for me is they've managed to combine ease of use, reliability and flexibility together. I do not know of a bad Sonos product yet - I own at least one of everything they make.

The other very important thing about Sonos is that this is all they do. Their existence depends on their products. Other manufacturers like Bose, Logitech, Denon, etc have their fingers in many pies - the moment they get bored or face any challenges, they could pull out or reduce any effort to this market.

I am unanimous in that

June 3, 2014, 12:17 pm

Sonos is excellent kit. Expensive but well made, simple to use and properly supported.
Would definitely recommend.

A. Mir

June 3, 2014, 12:36 pm

You forgot to mention Denon's new HEOS range which is quite interesting.

freemangeoff3

June 3, 2014, 1:18 pm

for some reason I thought
sonos was going to be higher on the list.

Prem Desai

June 4, 2014, 12:24 am

The reviewer has already called it 'the daddy' and 'the best' ...

How much higher were you expecting?

Richard Jones

September 3, 2014, 9:17 pm

Did you look at the Spaced360. Amazing.

Daz71

October 10, 2014, 12:23 pm

I've experienced this a lot in the UK. Have resorted to individual bluetooth speakers and using phones/tablets for the source. Having all the music around they house synchronized is not really worth the cost of a system like the Sonos in our house at least.

Nevalti

June 9, 2015, 7:35 am

A year ago I would have agreed with you BUT Sonos kit is unable to play the BBC HLS streams. That means that for the last 6 months we have only had the pretty useless quality, temporary and intermittent MP3 streams from the BBC. Sonos simply refuse to say IF and when they will ever support the BBC HLS streams. That renders the whole system almost useless to me. Also, the system is incapable of hi-res music.

Yes, it is good equipment but we are now suffering from the old age of its design.

Nevalti

June 9, 2015, 7:37 am

Agreed - As long as you don't want to listen to any BBC station or to hi-res music.

Congruent Thoughts

June 21, 2015, 1:39 pm

Like mentioned by Alex: 'The number of outages of Spotify on the SONOS network is increasing and is getting more and more irritating'. Yes - this is the most irritating part! We relay on the Spotify Playlists when preparing something important for the next day. When sudden outages occur when we most need it, and some real stupid and dumb reauthorize demands are showing up two minutes before we really need the music, There i can throw the whole Sonos System out of the Window in pure frustration. I have bought the Sonos speakers and they are mine, I also pay fully for the Spotify service and do not need all this suspicious crab around our system. So Alternatives are highly welcome.

If Sonos is not able to deliver a stable system - we must find stable systems in Asia.
I support Sonos as long as I feel supported by them.
This are the rules...

Craig Jacobs

June 28, 2015, 9:27 pm

For me one of the most important things is the software to organize and play music, both on the computer and mobile devices, and the flexibility of where music will be stored. I've been fighting with iTunes for the last few years and this is a primary driver for me - under no circumstances will iTunes or Airplay be any part of the equation for a new music system. I would really like ro see a comprehensive review of the software for these things. The one thing that is holding me back from Sonos is the seemingly excessive pricing. For example I have a nice (very nice) pair of powered speakers that I would like to use. With Sonos I will need to pay $350 for that privilege. That borders on the realm of ridiculous, especially since the Play 1 is only $200 and contains not only the electronics to stream the music, but also two drivers and 2 class-D amplifiers. Came here looking for alternatives, left disappointed.

thetosters

March 23, 2017, 10:46 pm

For anyone who is searching for some alternative for Pure Connect app (management and playback on Jongo Speaker family) it's worth trying app: Ad Libitum. Unfortunately is only avail for Android.

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