These are some of the best alternatives to Sonos’ multi-room music listening experience.
Sonos offers what is easily one of the best multi-room wireless speaker setups, letting you stream high-quality music in every room of your house (with enough Sonos speakers, anyway). But despite being what is arguably the best multi-room listening solution, it’s not the only one! Here’s a look at some other great options for rocking out to music throughout your entire house.
Libratone ZIPP WiFi + Bluetooth
The Libratone ZIPP is a sight to behold. Along with being an awesome option for multi-room listening, it’s a beautifully designed device that you’ll have no problem placing out in the open.
Most multi-room speakers use a direct connection to the internet over WiFi to stream music. The Libratone Zipp features both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, giving you the option to connect directly to the speaker from your device. On top of typical Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity (controlled via the app), the ZIPP features Spotify’s proprietary streaming technology, Spotify Connect. You can also connect to the speaker using DLNA with an Android Device and AirPlay with an iOS device.
The ZIPP will pair with up to five other ZIPPs to give you whole-home music streaming. Once you’ve connected more than one ZIPP speaker, you can start to do some pretty creative things. One Amazon reviewer set one of their speakers to an equalizer preset that focused on low and high range, while the other one was set to a preset that focused on vocal and mid-range — pretty clever!
Bose SoundTouch 10
The Bose SoundTouch 10 wireless speaker is a pretty popular multi-room option. With nearly 500 reviews on Amazon, the SoundTouch 10 maintains a 4.5-star rating.
Like the Libratone ZIPP, the Bose SoundTouch 10 sports both WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike the ZIPP, however, it seems the SoundTouch 10 doesn’t offer AirPlay streaming. Bose lists compatibility with Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and iHeart Radio to name a few music services. But again, with Bluetooth connectivity you can stream any sound over the speaker you’d like.
A unique feature of the SoundTouch 10 that really stands out is the preset functionality. There are six preset buttons atop the speaker that you can assign to a specific song, a radio station, a specific artist, a specific playlist, etc. It keeps you from having to fumble and fiddle with your phone in order to listen to music. You simply walk in, tap a button, and boom! you’re listening.
The SoundTouch 10 can pair with other SoundTouch speakers to provide a whole-home listening experience. Bose offers several Soundtouch speakers — not just the 10, so be sure to check out all its offerings if the 10 doesn’t seem to be doing it for you.
Amazon Echo & Echo Dot
With Bluetooth, WiFi, Spotify Connect, Amazon Music, and more, we couldn’t forget about the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot! Going with the Echo or Dot means not only getting a potential multi-room listening setup, but also a powerful voice assistant that can help you with any number of tasks.
The Amazon Echo is, itself, a speaker that you can plug in in any room and get to listening. Connect your music streaming service or listen to Amazon’s offerings to summon music with your voice. The Dot is a great, less expensive option for getting a whole-home listening experience without dropping too much money. See, the Dot features an auxiliary port so you can connect external speakers to it. That means you can listen to music on your fancy-shmancy speaker setup without having to go out and buy an integrated solution. In other words, the Dot essentially lets you augment Alexa’s smarts and music-streaming functionality onto any smarts-less speakers.
To be clear, the Dot doesn’t pair up with other Dots to offer true whole-house music listening. That said, depending on how you’ve got your current in-home speakers set up, it can serve as a central point of control for your various listening devices.
With Apple TV, you can use AirPlay to stream music throughout your entire home. In fact, I’m currently listening to Adele’s “Hello” play on the television sets in my living room and in my bedroom at the same time. It’s as simple as opening your iPhone, iPad, or Mac and changing your audio settings to output to the Apple TV devices in your home.
If you’ve got a set of nice speakers hooked up to your television set(s), AirPlay via Apple TV isn’t a bad option — especially if you’ve gone all-in on Apple technology. Plus, Apple TV comes with a whole host of other features: Siri, smart home control, the Apple TV App Store, etc.
How do you jam?
Do you have a whole-home music-listening setup? Do you prefer to rock out in one room at a time? What speaker(s) are you using to make that happen? Shoot me a tweet or let me know in the comments below!