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Best multi-room speakers 2023: 4 great options for your home

Building a multi-room speaker set-up is arguably easier than ever with so many different options to choose from. But which set-up is the best and the easiest to get to grips with?

We test a big selection of wireless speakers every year with multi-room capabilities, and from these assessments we’ve selected the best.

Not every set of multi-room speaker will necessarily suit you, so we’ve picked a selection that can fit into either their own ecosystems or others and have pitched them at various prices, starting from $199 / £199 upwards.

The criteria for these choices isn’t just about how they sound – though that forms the basis of our assessment since who wants a poor-sounding speaker? We’ve also considered how easy they are to set up and connect with other speakers.

We’ll always be updating this page as we test and review more wireless speakers. If you’re interested in other types of wireless speakers, check out our pages for best outdoor speakersbest smart speakers and our best Bluetooth speakers.

How we test

Learn more about how we test wireless speakers

We play a lot of music, and we play it loud. We play it everywhere – in the house, in the garden, and even in the bath if a speaker is waterproof.

We don’t just listen to the speakers; if there are special features then we make sure we fiddle with them until we’re satisfied. Recently, some Bluetooth speakers have begun to get smart functionality with the integration of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and as a result we’ve started speaking to our speakers as well.

Of course, it always comes back to the music. Speakers are tested by reviewers who have a love of music, a knowledge of sound quality, as well as a context of the market. We’ll listen to wireless speakers alongside similarly priced rivals, so when we recommend a particular model, it’s among the best you can buy for the money.

Obviously, we know not everyone has the same taste in music, so we won’t only test with the same perfectly mastered album, but with a variety of genres and file qualities, from MP3 to Hi-Res FLAC.

Naim Mu-So Qb 2

Best premium multi-room speaker
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Best premium multi-room speaker

Pros

  • Large-scale, detailed and nuanced sound
  • Extensive specification
  • That control wheel

Cons

  • Starting to look properly expensive
  • Imperfect app

If it’s an immensely premium multi-room speaker that happens to be shaped like a cube that you’re after, the Naim Mu-so Qb 2 is the one to go for.

The design on offer here is incredibly subtle and understated and for our money, makes Naim’s speaker one of the best looking out there. You’ll gave to look hard to find any changes compared to the original Qb speaker because, quite frankly, there aren’t any. The original model looked great, so it makes sense that Naim carried this through to the Qb 2. This means it retains the intuitive control wheel that offers otherworldly levels of tactility, making for a speaker that not only looks great but feels great, too.

To go with its modern aesthetic, the Qb 2 features equally premium-sounding audio backed by oodles of power and dynamism that lesser speakers simply can’t compete with. It’s detailed and refined, but also insanely punchy with plenty of attack that only a speaker with such a high wattage could provide. It isn’t all about power, as we found during testing it was able to produce a broad and well-defined soundstage that nicely fills a room. Moreover, the stereo imaging is remarkable from such a small cube better than what you’d find on bigger speakers than the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin.

Connectivity here is vast with Ethernet, optical and 3.5mm analogue on the physical side, and Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, UPnP, built-in Chromecast and Roon Ready support for wireless inputs, granting a multitude of ways to funnel music to the speaker. Multi-room connectivity proved easy to set up, as the Qb 2 plays well with Google, Apple, and Naim’s own speakers.

The Naim app that goes with the Qb 2 offers more stability than the previous efforts, although in our experience (and at the time of review) it still had a small tendency to crash with some services. That said, we found the Qb 2’s remote to be wholly reliable and functional, with all the major controls within easy reach.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full review: Naim Mu-so Qb 2

Ruark MRx

Best sounding multi-room speaker under £500
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Pros

  • Lovely design and build
  • Excellent sound
  • Wealth of connections
  • Flexible placement

Cons

  • The app can be a little sluggish

Ruark make some excellent retro-inspired speakers and the MRx is an outstanding wireless speaker.

The retro styling here isn’t tacky, sitting as a benchmark for how to blend modern features with a retro aesthetic. We particularly its wooden outer shell, combined with a fabric speaker grille that overall looks incredibly smart. Its Rotodial control method may look a little unusual being placed in what looks like the middle of the speaker, but this means you can place it flat or standing up, giving you an extra level of flexibility. There’s an input to switch sound modes, and the provided stand can be attached in either orientation.

We found the connectivity here to be pretty good, with both 3.5mm and optical output represented round the back, as is USB for playing music from thumb drives, and a power socket. In addition, the MRx also has aptX Bluetooth along with Wi-Fi, the latter allows it to work with Spotify Connect and DLNA support for playing music off network storage devices

The only niggle here is that the only method of control is through the Ruark Link app. It’s here where the MRx can be turned into a fully fledged multi-room speaker, as anything you play can also be outputted on another networked Ruark speaker, be it another MRx, or a Ruark R2 Mk3 or Ruark R7 Mk3.

During testing we found the audio to be both convincing and precise, backed by plenty of power. It’s a substantial and big-sounding speaker sounds coherent across the frequency range, with rich bass, clear mids and sweet treble. We also found the sound here to be room-filling, which is impressive from such a small unit.

At £400 the MRx is an expensive speaker, but if you’ve got the budget, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better candidate.

Reviewer: Ced Yuen
Full review: Ruark MRx

Sonos One (Gen 2)

Best smart multi-room speaker
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Pros

  • Great sound
  • Small and convenient
  • Proper Alexa integration
  • Supports Google Assistant

Cons

  • Alexa not fully compatible with Spotify at launch

Sonos has long been a major proponent of wireless, multi-room speakers, and the Sonos One (Gen 2) is a key component as to why this is.

As a wireless smart speaker there’s hands-free control from Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. We found the integration offered easy control, although for our money, using Google Assistant provided some handy quality of life features, such as lowering the volume of the music so the assistant can hear what you’re saying.

There is also the Sonos S2 app, the layout of which we found to be clean and functional, making finding tunes a doddle. The breadth of music streaming apps supported in the app is huge, with Spotify, Qobuz, Tidal, Amazon Music, TuneIn and much more available. Support for AirPlay 2 allows the speaker to be paired with other compatible speakers, while you group the One with other Sonos speakers such as the Move or Beam Gen 2, plus there’s Spotify Connect and Tidal Connect, which adds more multi-room possibilities if you’re subscribed to those services.

As for its audio, the One produces an excellent sound. It’s balanced across the frequency range with deep and impactful bass, solid mid-range and a slightly soft treble response. The soundstage is wide and spacious, especially from such a small unit as we found no issues with it filling a room. It provides an audio experience that’s remarkably similar to the older Play:1, which should come as little surprise given both speakers are identical in their configuration.

The Gen 2 One solidifies itself as an upgrade over the Play:1 with a slightly sleeker and minimalist look and responsive touch sensitive buttons. With a total height of 16cm, the One should be compact enough to sit in a cabinet or put on your bedside table.

Reviewer: Ced Yuen
Full review: Sonos One Gen 2

Audio Pro C10 MkII

Best stylish multi-room speaker
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Pros

  • Fun, energetic, dynamic sound
  • Great looks
  • Supports Apple, Google multi-room

Cons

  • A little short on overall clarity and definition
  • Struggles to describe with more complex tracks

The Audio Pro C10 MkII is a great representation of how upgrading a speaker with a meaningful sequel can work out in a brand’s favour.

The C10 MkII brings with it some notable smart features in the addition both Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Cast streaming to an already packed set when it comes to connectivity. Alongside this, the speaker also has the power to work via Bluetooth, Audio Pro’s own multi-room system, and also RCA-in or a 3.5mm jack that you can a plug a turntable into and via the multi-room support, blast your vinyl music to other connected speakers. We found this vast connectivity to work in the C10 MkII’s favour, offering oodles of versatility for whatever ecosystem you’re in.

On the point of connectivity, the Audio Pro app here offers loads of options and is one of the most functional out there today. With it, you get access to good range of streaming services (Tidal, Qobuz, Amazon Music, Deezer) and internet radio, as well as EQ presets, for instance. The C10 MkII also plays well with other Audio Pro speakers for multi-room listening, as well as working with Apple and Google systems. Connection to other speakers is simple whether it’s pairing to another speaker in the Audio Pro app or grouping speakers together in Google Home or AirPlay.

In addition, the design has been slightly tweaked to offer a fabric front panel that can be removed magnetically, so you have the choice of either looking at this, or ogling at the exposed drivers. We found the C10 MkII to look stylish in both configurations, alongside feeling immensely sturdy build thanks. This is quite a big speaker, so we’d suggest you make sure you’ve got a decent amount of space to put it.

During testing, we found the audio on offer here to be particularly big and meaty with solid bass tones and a detailed and crisp top end to boot. The audio experience here is also subtle, with transitions from loud to quiet in orchestral soundtracks feeling nicely nuanced. As for soundstage, we found it didn’t extend above the four corners of the speaker but nevertheless its sense of timing and energetic flow of its delivery makes for a fun-sounding speaker.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Audio Pro C10 MkII

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FAQs

What is multi-room audio?

Multi-room refers to the act of grouping wireless audio systems together to play/control music throughout a home. For example, Multi-room systems can allow for the same piece of music to be played on all connected systems, or different music played on each individual speaker.

What’s Apple AirPlay 2?

AirPlay 2 is the second generation of Apple’s proprietary wireless streaming tech, which is built into all of its hardware products (and supported by many others). It’s designed to pass content from your Apple device – music, video and photos – to a compatible receiver over your Wi-Fi network such as a TV, wireless speaker, AV receiver etc.

FAQs

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