The New Term to Know: The BeoLab 17 and 19 are part of the first wireless system to use WiSA, a broadband channel reserved only for high-quality sound—think the audio equivalent of HDTV.
Most Bluetooth speakers and their less than stellar audio output can leave you longing for those bygone wooden towers you'd crank up in your parents' living room. But now it's easier than ever to get vinyl-era sound without untangling miles of cable, thanks to heavyweights like Bose and Samsung, along with lesser-known alternatives such as the handsome Wren and the hassle-free Phorus, that are using Wi-Fi to stream clean, crisp, high-fidelity sound straight from your smartphone, tablet, or computer. (They all join Sonos, the only Wi-Fi choice audiophiles have had for the past 10 years.)
But it's Bang & Olufsen that's making a high-end play into the market with its recently launched BeoLab series, which includes a pair of wedge-shaped bookshelf speakers (BeoLab 17; $3,990 per pair), a floor-based tower (BeoLab 18; $6,590), and a 12-sided subwoofer (BeoLab 19; $3,395), the first of its kind. Get one set or all three. And then seriously consider whether you'll ever leave the house for a movie theater or a concert again.
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