Building a Sound System for Your Wireless Home

In a world with a glut of options for data transmission, this guide will help you pick the best format to fill your home music, sans speaker wire or vacuum tubes.

For all but the purist vinyl-owning audiophiles, speakers have become wireless extensions of our phones, tablets, and laptops. A few swipes of a glowing screen are typically all you need to link your music library to a speaker. Right now, playing music loudly is cheaper and simpler than ever, but it takes some know-how to identify the best way to spend those hundreds of dollars. 

There are several options for wireless formats, and, unfortunately, committing to one generally means eschewing the others. We have witnessed format battles before such as Blu-ray vs. HD DVD or VHS vs. Betamax, in which one emerges dominant. But for years now, wireless audio has yet to present a victor whose ubiquity will please shareholders and relieve confused consumers. Until that happens, it pays to understand the differences between formats such as Bluetooth, AirPlay, and Sonos. All of them have specific benefits and drawbacks that will determine which one is best for rigging your house for wireless music. 
  • Bluetooth: Reliable and Idiot-Proof
  • AirPlay: Bring Patience and High Fidelity Files
  • Sonos: Build It

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