EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

It’s nearly November, which means the Pocket-lint Gadget Awards are weeks away. The Awards are turning 15 this year and there will be 18 categories ranging from best smartphone and best tablet to best speaker and best smart home device. Each category has six shortlisted nominations, all of which have been reviewed by us in full at some point over the last 12 months.

There are some excellent contenders across the board and as you might have discovered, we have been diving a little deeper into each category over the last couple of weeks through a series of features. Each feature presents the nominations for a specific category in more detail and explains what we loved about each device when we reviewed it. So far, we have looked at the best tablet / 2-in-1 category, best smartphone, best laptop, best game, best home entertainment device and best streaming service, among others.

Today, it is time to look at the best speaker category. There are some brilliant nominees, from multi-room speakers to Bluetooth speakers, but only one can be king of sound.


Apple HomePod

Vote for the Apple HomePod | Read the full review

If we were grading the HomePod on its sound performance alone it would be a slam dunk. Apple has produced a small speaker that produces a sound way above its stature, in a way that is enjoyable to listen to whatever you music you’re in to.

It is a natural sound that’s nicely balanced rather than one that is too tinny or too bass heavy, and the more we listen to it, the more we realise just how good it sounds given its size. The HomePod is just not smart enough when pitched against the likes of the cheap little Amazon Echo or Google Home. We know that this will change and we know that Apple is great at creating and refining user experiences, but for now, the HomePod is just a speaker that sounds great without being all that smart.

Pocket-lintEE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

Denon Envaya DSB-250

Vote for Denon Envaya DSB-250 | Read the full review

The Denon Envaya is a satisfying, semi rugged and great-sounding speaker that balances fidelity and power like a pro.

It’s one of the very best you can buy at this size. It may not have every flash new feature currently getting wallets to open, but while phones continue to have speakers that can barely compete with the sound of a boiling kettle, gadgets like this earn their place in our home line-up.

Pocket-lintEE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

Google Home Max

Vote for Google Home Max | Read the full review

Google Home Max offers maximum sound, but it also has a maxed-out size and price tag. If you’re tied to Google’s ecosystem and want premium sound then it’s a potentially perfect fit.

But can Google really demand Sonos-level pricing on its first large-scale outing? It sounds good, sure, but we think it would need to undercut on the price front to be a true rush-out-and-buy-it-now speaker.

EE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

Ruark Audio MRx

Vote for Ruark Audio MRx | Read the full review

We’re very impressed with the Ruark Audio MRx. It delivers great sound, lots of connectivity and a pleasing design.

The placement of the RotoDial may be divisive and split opinion, but we like how the MRx looks in both vertical and horizonal placement. It’s certainly versatile. Where the Ruark will win over prospective buyers is with its sound quality.

The dynamism of the sound profile is great, bass isn’t overpowering, while volume is massive and the soundscape wonderfully wide. It’s all expertly done and easy to recommend.

Pocket-lintEE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

Sonos One

Vote for the Sonos One | Read the full review

The Sonos One is a small but mighty little speaker. It delivers a premium, solid design, just as you would expect from a Sonos device, but it couples its good looks with smarts too, living up to that “smart speaker for music lovers” tagline.

For Sonos fans and music fans seeking a smart speaker that delivers excellent sound quality for its size, the One is unrivalled. This is a speaker designed for music lovers, which gives it that edge over Amazon’s own Echo. Plus there’ll be Google Assistant and more in the future.

The Sonos One doesn’t disappoint. It truly is the smart speaker we’ve been waiting for.

Pocket-lintEE Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2018 nominees: Best Wireless Speaker

Ultimate Ears UE Megaboom 3

Vote for Ultimate Ears UE Megaboom 3 | Read the full review

There might be a significant number of Bluetooth devices on the market these days but the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 continues to hold its ground as one of the best. This speaker offers fantastic design (it even floats!), while sounding brilliant, remaining easy to use, and enhancing bass deliver compared to the original model.

With a starting price that’s GBP80 lower than its predecessor, it’s quite simply a booming brilliant Bluetooth speaker.

Voting in the 15th annual EE Pocket-lint Awards is now open so you can let us know which one of these great devices you think should win the Best Speaker award for this year and give us your verdict on all, or some, of the other tech across the 17 categories.

Winners will be announced at the exclusive event in London on 13 November in association with EE.

Voting closes on 2 November.

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