The 12 Best Hi-Fi Bluetooth Speakers

Jul 17, 2019

Category: Tech

If you’re a soup-to-nuts audiophile, then you’re probably always on the hunt for gear that offers up the best high-fidelity sound. The problem: “hi-fi” isn’t exactly an easy thing to define. In fact, it’s not even something that the audiophile community has a consensus upon — just a broad agreement that it’s a “know it when you hear it” kind of thing. In case you’re unaware, “high-fidelity” broadly refers to the reproduction of recorded sound with as little distortion as possible. Essentially, the closer you can get to live sound, the better.

For a long time, people were forced to decide between convenient technologies and high-quality sound. This is because, early on in its development, wireless streaming had a pretty significant negative effect on the quality of the sound of music, podcasts, or any other types of audio recordings. Things, however, have changed exponentially since then. Today, it’s possible to get completely wireless standalone speakers that produce sound quality that was unheard of in years past. And that’s what we have for you today: a collection of Bluetooth-enabled speakers and speaker systems that offer hi-fi audio for your listening pleasure.

Photo: Klipsch The Three

High-Fidelity Defined

Our Parameters

One of the biggest drawbacks of modern technology is that convenience-based features — like wireless connectivity and streaming — tend to have a negative impact on the fidelity of the audio. This is because, especially when it comes to home audio, the best way to hi-fi sound (besides spending money on pinnacle-level equipment) is by eliminating as many barriers between the recording and your ear as possible. Every console, wire, wave, signal, etc. that the sound passes through has a negative impact on the overall quality of sound.

Thankfully, there are a lot of brands out there who are obsessively trying to figure out ways around those barriers. One way is by incorporating top-tier tech throughout the rest of the speakers and speaker systems. Incorporating premium materials with beneficial acoustic properties helps to balance any loss you might experience via a wireless system. Of course, there are also people working on the other end of things. Namely, Qualcomm has developed a technology called aptX — which is a digital audio data reduction technology based on a compression algorithm that allows for high-end sound via wireless signals. What that means in laymen’s terms is that aptX tech helps wirelessly-transferred music to sound remarkably good.

As mentioned, there’s no hard-and-fast rule of what makes a piece of gear capable of producing high-fidelity sound. But a combination of high-end materials, sound technologies, and the attention of obsessive engineers certainly helps matters. With that in mind, the following twelve Bluetooth speakers, in our opinion, certainly fit the bill — especially with a wide budgetary range in mind. Whether you’re a pauper with a taste for top-quality sound or an overly-obsessive audiophile with deep pockets, you’ll find a hi-fi Bluetooth speaker that suits you perfectly.

Marshall Bluetooth Speakers

Leave it to the folks at a legendary guitar amplifier brand to take their audio expertise and pair it into a series of some of the most beautiful, iconic home speakers we’ve ever come across. And kudos to them for offering a wide variety of sizes and styles that suit just about any budget and lifestyle. Whether you want a huge single-room speaker for your home, a series of multi-room wireless speakers that all work in concert, or a portable device you can bring with you on all your adventures, you’ll find it in Marshall’s lineup. The home speakers also come with the option for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice control — adding in another layer of convenience. If you want big, beautiful sound on a budget, you’re not going to do better than these.

Voice Control: Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant (Optional)
Wireless Power: Available
Compatibility: Bluetooth 5.0, aptX

Purchase: $179+

Cambridge Audio Yoyo (L) Bluetooth Speaker

Much to the chagrin of audiophiles, the Cambridge Yoyo (L) isn’t actually compatible with aptX codecs — which is a fairly major drawback for some. Still, it hits all the right spots elsewhere, so we’re giving it a pass because it is a stellar piece of audio equipment from a top-notch brand. Small enough to function as a desktop speaker and loaded with six powerful hi-fi speakers, this tiny-but-mighty device is also pre-loaded with Chromecast, Spotify, and even has ARC and optical inputs to hook your TV up to it. It even has onboard USB ports so you can charge up your phone when it’s low on juice. Expertly designed and styled in conjunction with the world-renowned Marton Mills weavers, this gorgeous wool-wrapped speaker is exceptional almost across the board.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Chromecast Built-In

Purchase: $400

Klipsch The Three Bluetooth Speaker

Klipsch is a legendary brand in the audio industry, both for the quality of their audio devices and their exceptional beauty. In this case, we’re talking about their gorgeous Bluetooth-enabled ‘The Three’ hi-fi speaker. Available with your choice of walnut or ebony wood panels, this absolutely stunning, modern contemporary standalone stereo pumps out room-filling acoustics — courtesy of its professionally-tuned built-in system — and also boasts aptX-compatible Bluetooth connectivity. On top of that, it’s got superb bass response, Wi-Fi connectivity, and even USB audio capabilities alongside an RCA line level/phono pre-amp input. If you want something that looks as good as it sounds, this is a safe bet.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, aptX, Wi-Fi

Purchase: $499

Sonos Play:5 Wireless Speaker

Bear with us here: the Sonos Play:5 wireless speaker technically doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity — but there’s an extremely good reason for that. You see, the audio brand opted to leave the technology out in favor of Wi-Fi-only wireless connectivity. And that reason for this is pretty simple: it’s well-known that Bluetooth has a directly negative impact on the quality of sound, whereas Wi-Fi streaming is far cleaner. And while we’re obviously fudging the numbers on this one, it definitely still deserves recognition for its outstanding sound quality, versatility (it can be easily paired with a second speaker simply by standing it upright), and compatibility with technologies like Apple’s AirPlay 2. Plus, it can be transformed into a Bluetooth device with a simple peripheral addition that will only cost you around $15. Did we mention that it was tuned by legendary producer Giles Martin — who has worked with Jeff Beck, Elvis Costello, and INXS? Because it most certainly was.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: aptX, Apple AirPlay 2

Purchase: $499

Porsche Design 911 Speaker

Though clearly most well known for their legendary lineup of sports cars, Porsche also has an in-house design-focused sub-brand that makes everything from eyewear to furniture. As you might have guessed, they also make speakers — with the 911-inspired one you see here being one of the absolute best. Built with the original exhaust-pipe from the 911 GT3, this aluminum-housed speaker boasts Bluetooth 4.0 technology, aptX codec compatibility, a 60-watt dual speaker system, and more. What might just be the best part of this one, however, is that — on top of wireless streaming capabilities — this is also the only one on our list that has true wireless power, capable of functioning on battery power alone for up to 24 hours straight.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: 24 Hours
Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.0, CSR aptX

Purchase: $659

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless Speaker

With a name that appropriately matches its oblong shape, the Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin is certainly an eye-catching audio device. But it’s not just a looker — it has plenty of performance to back up its design. Equipped with a suite of state-of-the-art technology, the Zeppelin is compatible with AirPlay, aptX, and Spotify. It’s also accompanied by an easy-to-use app, has reinforced glass fiber ribs to reduce vibrations, and has a beefy 150mm subwoofer for growling bass. For a mid-range option that’s far beneath at $1k price point, this Bluetooth speaker is a veritable steal.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, aptX, Spotify Connect

Purchase: $700

KEF LSX Wireless Music System

Whereas most of these Bluetooth speakers are single, standalone options, KEF’s LSX is actually a two-piece duo that offers a much better soundstage when compared to its single-speaker counterparts. On top of that, this desktop speaker set is a beautiful and compact showpiece that will look great on any desk, has built-in AirPlay 2, Spotify, and Tidal compatibility, and comes with its own accompanying smartphone app. Designed to offer exceedingly crisp hi-fi sound, superbly reduced distortion, transparent bass, and equipped with a stupendous Uni-Q driver array, this might just be the best audio setup you can get at this price.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, aptX, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Wi-Fi

Purchase: $1,100

Devialet Phantom Bluetooth Speaker

Unquestionably the oddest-looking Bluetooth speaker on our list, the Devialet Phantom (and all its iterations) is also an abundantly-impressive piece of tech, even in its basest form. The standard edition, the Classic, runs off 1,200 watts of power, produces up to 101 decibels, and has a 16Hz-25kHz frequency response range — which ranks it amongst the best in its class. The rest of the range has similar specs, but they’re also available with more-exclusive finishes, like silver, gold, and there’s even an ultra-elite Phantom of the Opera version. Boasting claims that these speakers offer zero distortion, saturation, or background noise, it’s no wonder these wireless speakers are so highly revered.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, aptX, Spotify Connect, Apple AirPlay, Tidal, Wi-Fi

Purchase: $1,790+

Master And Dynamic MA770 Wireless Speaker

If you’re a fan of audio equipment on even a base level, there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with the name Master & Dynamic. Besides their industry-topping prowess, this Bluetooth hi-fi speaker of theirs also offers a unique exclusive construction. You see, this handsome audio device is actually built using an acoustically-sound and specially-developed concrete composite as its primary material. While that might sound odd, there are some major benefits to the material — like a near-complete reduction of vibrations. This speaker also houses a pair of 4″ woven long throw woofers and a 1.5″ titanium tweeter to offer superb sound across a wide range of tones. You can even easily remove the stainless steel grille if you prefer the industrial look of the exposed speaker components and concrete.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.1, aptX, Chromecast Built-In, Wi-Fi

Purchase: $1,800

McIntosh RS200 Wireless Loudspeaker System

While this particular device might look more like an audio receiver than a speaker, it’s most certainly the latter — and an exceptional all-in-one offering, at that. The slim profile looks great on any shelf and the tech inside is as wide-ranging as it is handy — including compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa for simple voice-controlled listening. The 650-watt system feeds audio to a total of six drivers — two woofers, two mid-range, and two tweeters — for an absurdly wide soundstage for such a compact device. Better still, if you want to really beef up your sound system, this device also functions as a central hub and is compatible with the brand’s RS100 wireless speakers for a surround sound experience.

Voice Control: Amazon Alexa
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth, aptX, Apple AirPlay 2, DTS Play-Fi, DLNA

Purchase: $3,000

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 Wireless Speaker

Most speakers, wireless and Bluetooth-enabled or not, look like speakers. And there’s nothing wrong with that for most folks. However, if you’ve worked to cultivate a particular style in your home — especially one that hinges on high-end design — you might want something that’s a little more attractive than a black rectangle. In that case, there’s the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9. Available in four different finishes, this absolutely gorgeous piece of equipment is as fun to look at as it is to listen to — which is bolstered by its whopping seven drivers (a woofer and two mid-range, two full-range, and two tweeters). On top of that, it’s also compatible with AirPlay and Chromecast — making it as versatile an audio device as just about any.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: Bluetooth 4.1, aptX, Apple AirPlay 2, Chromecast Built-In, DLNA -DMR, QPlay 2.0

Purchase: $3,000

iXOOST ESAVOX Bluetooth Speaker

Admittedly, based on its absurd price point and incredibly-aggressive Lamborghini Aventador-inspired styling, the iXOOST ESAVOX is definitely not for everyone. But if it strikes your fancy, it might just be the most exclusive and impressive Bluetooth standalone speaker on the market. Weighing in at a hefty 116.8 pounds and spanning nearly 50 inches at its widest point, this beefy wireless speaker is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0 technology, has a 6.1 surround sound complement of drivers, and was made in Italy — just like its inspiration — with a monocoque carbon fiber chassis, a passive shock absorber system, and adjustable ceramic supports. As opulent as it is impressive, this beautiful work of audio art is a pinnacle Bluetooth speaker, to be certain.

Voice Control: N/A
Wireless Power: N/A
Compatibility: AudioB Plus Bluetooth 4.0, aptX

Purchase: $22,400

How To Buy A Vintage Turntable

If you’re a seasoned audiophile or you’re just getting your sound system together, you’ll probably want to add a solid record player to the mix. Figure out exactly what to look for on our ultimate guide to buying a vintage turntable.

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