Wi-Fi speakers have many advantages over Bluetooth only units, but often times they are not affordable.
The $200 Sonos Play:1 ($225 at Amazon) is one example of a Wi-Fi speaker that is probably the most cost effective of its breed. We haven’t seen Wi-Fi speakers drop to Bluetooth speaker prices yet because they’re usually more expensive.
There are more deals on JBL speakers
Google’s $35 Chromecast Audio dongle may provide a plausible challenge to Sonos in the multi-room audio space. Unlike the Sonos system which requires paired speakers, Google’s Chromecast Audio is able to connect to any speaker through its own low-cost speaker dongle, and supports ‘casting’ from virtually any sound application on
2. What is the speaker?
3. Why you should buy it?
4. Design and Sound Quality
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JBL Playlist Speakers are on sale on Amazon
PRICE $198 Amazon. The JBL Speaker’s main benefit over the dongle is integration. With the dongle, you would need to make sure your hi-fi or speaker was on and set to the right input. With this speaker, all you have to do is press Play in your selected software and it just works!
The Playlist speaker is nearly identical to the JBL Boost TV, although slightly larger at 12.4 inches by 5.8 inches by 5.2 inches (316mm x 147mm x 131mm). It appears similar to a football-shaped black plastic mesh with an orange rubber base. At 120g, the speaker is easy to carry. However, it runs on electricity and will need an outlet to plug into at all times. Inside the cabinet, you’ll find 2.25-inch woofers and a passive bass radiator that work together to provide good quality sound at high volumes.
JBL Playlist capsule
Connecting devices to speakers is simpler when wireless networks are available and can be done in different ways: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or connecting with a 3.5mm audio cable. The most streamlined setup sequences out there, rivaling Sonos’s simplicity.
Chromecast has over a dozen apps, including Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. As soon as you tap the Cast button on your phone, it begins streaming music. You can also group the speakers with a Google Home to listen to hi-res audio throughout the house.
Given $150 price point, I didn’t expect a ton out of this speaker performance-wise. But it fared surprisingly well against my current benchmark – the $200 Sonos Play: 1
With Radiohead’s challenging, Ful Stop, the similarities between your two were immediately obvious. The track starts with a minimal ebbing and flowing bass line and the Sonos struggled to maintain the bass drum beats underneath that were triggering audible chuffing even at a moderate volume. and the Sonos lacked. The JBL seemed like a much bigger speaker than its diminutive dimensions suggest.
Both speakers handled the alt-J song well, but we found that the JBL had more space to introduce the arpeggios and Happy chants. The bass could have been a little more prominent, though. Even though the Sonos has a lot of bass power, Joe Newman’s already nasal voice was amplified to newly annoying heights.
When Gorillaz was sampled on the Sonos, it had clear vocals and heavy bass. The JBL speakers lacked clarity in both areas.
As the best open-sounding Wi-Fi speaker I’ve heard at this or nearly any price, the JBL is perfect for Arcade Fire at Madison Square Garden -sized music and acoustic performances. If you want orchestral, jazz or singer-songwriter tunes, it’s time to get this JBL. alternatively, processed styles like pop and dance can sound harsh and unpleasant when played at high volume.
At $150, the JBL Playlist is a steal that has a sound quality as good as other similarly priced Chromecast built-in speakers.