Bluetooth vs WiFi Speakers

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Updated July 25, 2022

If you are new to the world of high-fidelity audio, you may look to compare Bluetooth Vs WiFi speakers. The best speakers, after all, tend to include a wireless option of some kind, with Bluetooth and standard WiFi being two of the most popular configurations. So what are the differences between these two designs and which is right for you? Keep reading to find out the leading wireless speaker solutions.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Bluetooth and WiFi wireless speakers are two ways to achieve wireless audio from smartphones, computers, and other streaming devices.
  • WiFi wireless speakers have a longer range, at around 100 feet, but Bluetooth speakers are portable speakers, thanks to integrated batteries.
  • Wi-Fi speakers tend to boast a better audio quality, thanks to the stable connection offered by wireless routers.

Bluetooth Versus WiFi Speakers

The primary difference is how the speakers connect wirelessly to an audio source or related component, which is useful when shopping for high-end smart speakers. Bluetooth speakers connect via a Bluetooth receiver and transmitter and WiFi speakers connect to a traditional wireless router, even if you compare a Sonos One generation 1 vs generation 2.

Insider Tip

Make sure to download and update your audio drivers as indicated by the instructions that came with your speakers.

This initial difference balloons into more contrasts between the two popular speaker types.

Portability

Bluetooth speakers typically receive power from an integrated and rechargeable battery, making them ideal for portable ventures like listening to music while outside or during a road trip. After all, Bluetooth speakers are made to connect to phones, watches, tablets, and other gadgets you take with you on your travels. WiFi speakers, on the other hand, are intended primarily for home use, as they require a wireless router to stream music from an app, streaming service, or another device.

Range

WiFi speakers have the edge here by a fairly large margin, though this depends on your router and the speaker itself. Generally speaking, Bluetooth speakers max out at a close range of around 30 feet, making them great for playing music from a phone but not so great at playing music from a computer on the other side of the house. WiFi-enabled speakers, on the other hand, can reach a maximum range of 100 feet or so. Again, this goes back to the notion of portability. WiFi speakers are a better bet for the home and Bluetooth speakers are better for leaving the house.

Sound Quality

This largely depends on the make and model of your speakers, but WiFi speakers do have a slight edge here as the wireless signals created by a router are more stable than those created by a Bluetooth transmitter. Additionally, the sound quality of Bluetooth models will suffer as you get further away from this transmitter.

STAT: Both Bluetooth speakers and wi-fi speakers compress the data files differently to play music on the speaker. (source)

WiFi Vs Bluetooth FAQs

How do Bluetooth speakers work?

Bluetooth speakers use a stable signal to create a wireless connection between the speakers and a compatible device. Once connected, you can stream music on platforms like Amazon music without a Wi-Fi signal.

Why Wi-Fi speakers are priced higher than Bluetooth?

Wi-Fi speakers boast a higher sound quality, or audio quality, than Bluetooth speakers and ship with more bells and whistles than even wired speakers, such as compatibility with smart home devices.

Do you need a smart speaker?

Smart speakers are great, as long as you have a compatible device on a compatible Wi-Fi network. Once you do, you'll find many benefits to integrating with smart devices, such as changing audio quality settings and accessing surround sound with your voice.