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Best Wireless Indoor & Outdoor Speakers Guide

Summer is upon us and you want to enjoy music outside of your living room. Wireless speakers are the easiest way to make that happen. Whether you want a pair that works well with your iPod or stereo, can be left outside in all weather conditions, or indoors because you don’t like wires, here are the best choices for indoor and outdoor wireless speakers. Based off AudioReview, Amazon, and the Apple Store’s most purchased products and best reviewed speakers, the following are the top 5 (6 actually) wireless speakers available today.

AudioReview’s Top Wireless Speakers:

  • Best overall sound – Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Air
  • Best sound with Bluetooth wireless – Audyssey South of Market
  • Best all weather outdoor sound (and good looking, too!) – Audiovox AW825
  • Best budget and iPod compatible – The Audio Unlimited SPK-VELO-003
  • More portable – JAMBOX by Jawbone
  • Great sound from short range system - JBL Control 2.4G On Air

Tips for Getting the Best Sound:

  • Make sure the speaker frequency is different than your wireless phone and baby monitors
  • A line of sight between the transmitter and speaker helps but isn’t 100% necessary
  • For better bass performance place speakers near a wall or corner
  • Have spare batteries on hand. Static from speakers could mean low batteries.
  • If you have the option to plug the speakers into an outlet – do it – better power means better sound

Typically I’d say at this point, “This is by no means a definitive list”. Unfortunately, the reality is there are very few ’decent’ sounding wireless speaker options on the market at this time.  In fact most of them sound pretty awful.  But not these.  This is pretty much the best of the best.  If you completely disagree or have one to suggest, we welcome your comments. Another thing to note is that suggested list price does not always match street price.  Typically one can find these speakers for nearly a quarter to half off their MSRP.

Editor’s note: some of the speakers require batteries while others can be left plugged into outside outlets.


Audio Unlimited SPK-VELO-003 ~ $140
Pros:

  • Wireless Mobility
  • Stylish and Fairly Solid Construction

Cons:

  • Sound like computer speakers – Very little bass or lower mid-range.
  • 900Mhz means interference from wireless phones and baby monitors
  • Not a true iPod dock
  • Mono-sound. Not Stereo

Not the strongest product in the Wireless speaker line up but it is budget friendly and it gets the job done. These will work outside in good weather but should be brought in for the rain and snow. They are small and easy to carry about but one can’t expect too much from them in the sonic department.

 

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Air ~ $599
The new Zeppelin Air retains an iPod dock but it will only work with newer iPod and iPhones. The new dock taps directly into the iPod’s digital audio output thus allows Bowers & Wilkins to use a high end Analog Devices’ AD1936 digital to analog (DAC). The new Zeppelin Air will up convert all audio to 24bit 96kHz. Which if done well, and it sounds like it has been in the Zeppelin Air, can really increase the micro dynamic and mid range clarity of the music you are listening to.Multiple Zeppelin’s can be used to stream music to multiple rooms in a home or office, but the interface and features aren’t very user friendly. The unit is very easy to set up, though some users have had a bit of issue with the Wireless feature. Remember, the Zeppelin Air allows only 802.11g clients to connect to it. Make sure your router has that.
Specifications

  • Superb, room-filling sound
  • AirPlay for high-resolution wireless audio streaming
  • Advanced DSP for high-quality sound
  • Five high-quality amplifiers
  • Tweeters derived from award-winning MM-1
  • Internal subwoofer for bass with power
  • Add more units for elegant multi-room system

 

Acoustic Research AW 845 ~ $450

Free your self of wires. Sounds like a dream. But with the 150ft range of the AW825 speakers, that work inside, outside, in the rain and wind, you’ll be able to live that reality. The base unit does have to be plugged into a wall outlet and a source via the 1/8th adapter, so your MacBook, your iPod, iPad, iPhone, laptop, or stereo, but the actual speakers run on AA batteries and can be moved anywhere.

Each speaker is sold separately, but you can add as many as you like. Users with 4 have experienced no issues. Each speaker can be set to mono, left channel, right channel. You can place them through out your home, garden, or pool area.

The speakers themselves run at 5W and are a two way design. A 2-inch tweeter and 3-inch woofer. With a 40Hz-15kHz frequencies range

Specifications

  • Innovative circuit design
  • Provide TWO sets of switchable audio inputs
  • Besides the normal audio output in the back panel
  • Compact design (mini-size & light weight)
  • All audiophile-graded parts and components

 

JBL Control 2.4G Bookshelf Speakers – $349

The JBL Control wireless speakers maybe in line for best sounding or at least top 5 in the wireless speaker game.  Very detailed sound and a spunky and active bass defy the common perception of wireless sound. These are more like conventional speakers in that they work best with in 15ft of the transmitter.  So these aren’t really hull them out side and listen to music on the deck speakers, unless the transmitter is near by.  Also if you find that your WiFi is slowing down and you have the ability, move the speakers away from your wireless router.

Specifications

  • Speakers Function Main / Stereo
  • Nominal Power 15 Watt RMS
  • Peak Power Handling 30 Watt
  • Connectivity Wireless
  • Construction 2-Way
  • Magnetic Shielding Magnetically Shielded
  • Frequency Reponse 50 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Woofer Size 4″
  • Tweeter Size 0.5″

 


Jawbone JamBox ~ $200
  • Wireless portable speaker connects to any Bluetooth device
  • Stream music, movies, games, phone, and conference calls
  • Proprietary acoustic drivers (stereo pair)
  • Proprietary passive bass radiator
  • Built-in Microphone
  • Output Level: 85dB at 0.5m
  • Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Up to 10 hours of power from internal rechargeable battery
  • Very good BlueTooth extension
The Jawbone JameBox isn’t one of the best rated wireless speakers on Amazon and at the Apple Store for no reason.  This little guy is extremely portable, sounds very good, and is stupid simple to use. The cherry part is that it actually sounds good too! No matter if you are on the go or just hate large and messy speakers at your desk. The JamBox is very office friendly – hold a conference call on your iPhone or add music to your presentations.  Fits in your purse or laptop bag no problems.

 

Audyssey South of Market ~ $399

Free yourself.  The new Audyssey takes your phone out of your pocket and puts it were it should be.  A good looking dock that display’s your most prized procession.

The Audyssey sounds very good, rivals the B&W Zeppelin and the Bose Sounddock.  But it is so much more functional.  With 2 directional microphones, remote, 3.5 cables for connecting your MacBook.

The sound from the Audyssey is stellar. With four separate amplifiers, probably class D digital amplifier, the sound is smooth and bass is robust.

And it works with Bluetooth devices also.  Andriod and other phones near by can stream music to it.

  • Two 4-inch long-throw woofers
  • Two .75-inch silk-dome tweeters
  • Audyssey Smart Speakerâ„¢ Technology
  • Two directional microphones
  • Bluetooth® (A2DP)
  • 3.5 mm line input

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