by Jeremy Cleland

Your Wireless Speaker Buying Guide

It used to be that to create professional-level sound in your humble abode you had to buy a giant home stereo system with big speakers to play your records and, then later, a surround-sound system to spin your CDs.

Now, however, most people have digitized their music collections and play them from their tablets or smartphones. With the changes in music delivery, the speaker systems have changed, too.

“Advances in wireless streaming technology and a resurgence of interest in hi-resolution audio will stimulate consumer demand for Internet-connected audio devices,” said Brad Russell, a research analyst for Parks Associates, in a Parks Associate report entitled Digital Audio for the Connected Consumer. “Wireless speakers, multiroom audio systems, and soundbars [a wide, horizontal speaker] constitute a growing home audio segment, which is offsetting declining sales in home theater and traditional audio components.”

Here are the types of inexpensive wireless speakers on the market, and why you'll love them:

Harmon Kardon Aura

This speaker and subwoofer provides 360º sound, and lets you stream your music from a tablet and smartphone via built-in Bluetooth or WiFi for Apple AirPlay.

Cost: $399.95

What you’ll love

It’s easy to set up, and comes with a remote.


Available in multiple colors, this soundbar is only 10 inches long and 2.7 pounds, but it delivers big sound when you wirelessly connect it to your music-playing devices. You can also move it anywhere in your house, or even to your backyard.

Cost: $199.99

What you’ll love

It can hold a charge for up to 15 hours, so you can use it cordlessly.

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth III

With a range of about 30 feet, it can cordlessly hold a charge for up to 14 hours and comes in a low-profile, rounded-corner design to pipe our digital music.

Cost: $299.95

What you’ll love

Bose is a long-standing speaker leader, and this unit is known for its superior bass.

Jeremy Cleland has been a spokesperson for several Silicon Valley startups, like Tesla Motors, and spearheaded global stories about technology featured in media like Vice, Time magazine, Forbes and He’s also the dad to a 5-year-old who is already more tech-savvy than him.

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