Know The Facts Before Choosing A Music Streaming Device
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Music streaming devices use music from your smartphone, tablet, or computer, as well as online music subscriptions, to bring high quality audio home. Finding the perfect gadget to handle a vast music library or your favorite Internet radio stations can be a little overwhelming. This guide provides some key points to consider to ensure you purchase the right device for you.

Audio Quality

Audio quality should be at the top of the list for anyone researching potential streaming devices. Many prospective buyers looking at the technical specifications of a speaker may feel discouraged by the complicated jargon: how does a driver, amplifier, mid woofer, or tweeter affect the way the music sounds? Luckily a background in sound engineering is not necessary to choose a device. A good rule of thumb is a device should be able to reproduce low frequencies without distortion at high volumes. It is also important to identify your needs. Someone looking to stream bass heavy high fidelity music or a service like Tidal may have different expectations than someone interested in streaming light jazz music and podcasts. Some systems allow for adjusting of the bass and treble, an option fans of customized sound will be happy to note.

Bluetooth or WiFi?

A Bluetooth speaker, though universally compatible with many devices, typically has a more limited range, anywhere from 15 to 30 feet from the device. Most cell phones, laptops, and tablets are already equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, simplifying the pairing process. Some Bluetooth devices require batteries, although that allows for greater portability. A speaker using wireless fidelity (WiFi) has greater range, up to 120 feet, and connects over a home’s wireless network. For device usage with little to no WiFi or hotspot service, a Bluetooth setup may be the best choice. For users looking for a richer sound, a WiFi device could suit your needs. An added bonus is music sharing for devices on the same WiFi network.


Having the flexibility and convenience of streaming popular services like Spotify, Pandora, and SiriusXM is often a priority for most buyers. To use a device, you must first download the device’s corresponding app. If the app is compatible with your preferred music service, you are well on your way to enjoying it wirelessly. Keep in mind that much like cell phone updates, device manufacturers roll out software and firmware updates periodically that may include new music service partnerships.

User Friendliness

Simplicity is one of the main draws for a music streaming device. Being able to instantly access your music at any time is only achieved if you feel comfortable setting up and using the technology. With that in mind, manufacturers have tried to make the transition from unboxing to streaming as smooth as possible for the consumer. Some are a matter of plugging in the device, downloading the app, and connecting to the music source, like Denon’s HEOS line. The app integrates with your existing music services and then acts as a remote to control the speaker. The more intuitive the interface, the easier it is for you to get the most out of your device.


Ranging anywhere from under $50 for small Bluetooth speakers to well over $600 for the latest premium model, purchasing a streaming device can be an impulse buy or a solid investment. Setting a budget first can help narrow down the list of devices.

Though intimidating at first glance, choosing a music streaming device really just boils down to a few key factors. We hope that this guide proves helpful so you may find the best music streaming device for you.

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