Choosing a wireless music system

Wireless music systems make it easy to enjoy your digitally stored music collection, or streamed music direct from the Internet, in any room of your home. Options include all-in-one speakers or tabletop devices that need no other electronics, and interfaces that bring streaming music to existing setups like a home theater. The best wireless music systems don't lock you into one type of solution, which allows you to mix and match devices depending on what you need in a specific room. Here are some other things to consider when shopping for a wireless music system.

  • Accessories add up. Using a wireless music system is easier if you have an Apple iOS or Google Android device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Many -- including Sonos and Logitech -- offer remote-control apps for those platforms. Otherwise, you'll need to pay a visit to your computer (Sonos) or use front-panel controls (Logitech) to select music and sources. Dedicated remotes are also available, but might be extra-cost options.
  • How strong is your Wi-Fi signal? The reach of your wireless music system is limited by the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. If there are spots in your home that don't get good Wi-Fi signals, the performance of your wireless music system could be spotty.
  • Is your Internet connection reliable? If you plan to stream music from the Internet, keep in mind that your experience -- and sound quality -- will be greatly influenced by what your network connection can handle. Broadband users and even those on DSL should be fine, but things might not sound as nice or as stutter-free if you use dial-up.
  • Better audio files equal better sound quality. According to reviews, most wireless music systems are capable of producing outstanding sound. However, they can't do so with lossy compressed music files or low bit rate streaming music. Most wireless music systems include support for several uncompressed or lossless compressed file formats.

Choosing a wireless music system

Wireless music systems make it easy to enjoy your digitally stored music collection, or streamed music direct from the Internet, in any room of your home. Options include all-in-one speakers or tabletop devices that need no other electronics, and interfaces that bring streaming music to existing setups like a home theater. The best wireless music systems don't lock you into one type of solution, which allows you to mix and match devices depending on what you need in a specific room. Here are some other things to consider when shopping for a wireless music system.

  • Accessories add up. Using a wireless music system is easier if you have an Apple iOS or Google Android device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Many -- including Sonos and Logitech -- offer remote-control apps for those platforms. Otherwise, you'll need to pay a visit to your computer (Sonos) or use front-panel controls (Logitech) to select music and sources. Dedicated remotes are also available, but might be extra-cost options.
  • How strong is your Wi-Fi signal? The reach of your wireless music system is limited by the strength of your Wi-Fi signal. If there are spots in your home that don't get good Wi-Fi signals, the performance of your wireless music system could be spotty.
  • Is your Internet connection reliable? If you plan to stream music from the Internet, keep in mind that your experience -- and sound quality -- will be greatly influenced by what your network connection can handle. Broadband users and even those on DSL should be fine, but things might not sound as nice or as stutter-free if you use dial-up.
  • Better audio files equal better sound quality. According to reviews, most wireless music systems are capable of producing outstanding sound. However, they can't do so with lossy compressed music files or low bit rate streaming music. Most wireless music systems include support for several uncompressed or lossless compressed file formats.

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