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Last updated: 02 February 2017

Play music in a single room or have a favourite track waft through the halls of a home; that is the power of networked speakers, which make it possible to playback tracks across multiple speakers from a single device. To help you decide if networked or simple wireless speakers are best for you, we've also created a buying guide.

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Our panel of experts have reviewed 18 speakers, priced at $270 to $899, from brands such as Bose, LG, Panasonic, Samsung and more.

This review will help you identify which speakers:

  • produce the best quality audio
  • are the easiest to set up and use
  • work with Apple AirPlay or open standards
  • support the most popular music streaming services.
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List of brands we tested in this review.

Price

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In $AUD as supplied by manufacturers.

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Wall mountable

Airplay

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Apple AirPlay connects directly to the speaker

DLNA

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DLNA allows a connection to your home network via a DLNA server to stream audio and video.

Remote control

Features

Near field communication

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Also called NFC. Connects directly with the speaker.

Stereo speaker

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The speaker has more than one driver and can produce a stereo effect.

Bluetooth

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Connects directly to the speaker.

Audible

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File format - claimed to play

Spotify

JB Hi-fi NOW

Test results

Listening score

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Performance tests are based on our listening panel's appraisal of three pieces of music (classical, rock/pop and electronic). The speaker is positioned about two metres away from the listener, with the panel assessing overall quality. This makes up 75% of the overall score.

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Ease of use score

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Our tester looks at initial set-up, how the phone deals with an incoming phone call while the music is playing and any physical controls on the speaker. Ease of use makes up 25% of the overall score.

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Status

Included in this review

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  • Overall score
  • Recommended
  • Listening score
  • Ease of use score
  • Annual standby energy cost
  • Weight
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Price
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Status
  • Dimensions
  • Carry handle
  • Remote control
  • Stereo speaker
  • Airplay
  • Bluetooth
  • Near field communication
  • Wi-fi protocol
  • AAC
  • AIFF
  • ALAC
  • Audible
  • FLAC
  • iTunes Plus
  • MP2
  • MP3
  • OGG
  • WAV
  • WMA
  • 8tracks
  • Allplay radio
  • Amazon
  • iHeart
  • JB Hi-fi NOW
  • Juke
  • KK box
  • Lastfm
  • MOG
  • Murfie
  • Napster
  • Pandora
  • QQ music
  • Rdio
  • Rhapsody
  • Sirius XM
  • Slacker
  • Songza
  • Spotify
  • Stitcher
  • Tunein
  • Wimp
  • Wolfgangs vault
  • DLNA
  • Made for iPhone
  • Wall mountable
  • Claimed power output
  • AUX input
  • Ethernet
  • Power switch
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