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When I think about the biggest changes in the world of technology over the past 10 years, one that stands out is the global transition to wireless gadgets. We’ve ditched landlines for smartphones, cable boxes for media streamers, and desktops for laptops.
Our speakers and headphones play music that’s streamed over Wi-Fi or a cellular network from a phone via Bluetooth, which is good because it probably doesn’t have a headphone jack anymore. We don’t need to plug our smartphones to a power source with a cable anymore, nor do we have to plug our gaming consoles into a router over ethernet to play games with our friends online.
This future is great for a lot of reasons, but my favorite is having a nice, clean desk that’s free of cords that are slowly fraying despite me trying to keep them in good shape. It also means fewer cables in trash cans, landfills, and junk drawers.
If you’re trying to embrace this cord-free world, the Insider Picks team can help. We’ve rounded up all of the wireless technology we use on a regular basis to help you get started. Whether you’re looking to get your first pair of Bluetooth headphones, want a rock-solid Wi-Fi system, or need a subtle way to integrate wireless chargers into your home, you’ll find what you’re looking for below.
A Sonos wireless speaker
I absolutely love the Sonos PLAY:1 speaker, which sits in the living room of my apartment. It’s small, but powerful enough to fill the room with rich sound, particularly the bass. Sonos’ app, which controls the speaker, is easy to use, and it works with of all the popular music streaming services. — Connie Chen, Insider Picks reporter
A small, waterproof Bluetooth speaker
JBL’s palm-sized Clip 2 speaker is lightweight and comes with a handy carabiner. While it’s not exactly a boombox, the speaker plays loudly and crisply enough for my ears. I take it out on the water and, frankly, abuse the hell out of it. It regularly gets wet with mucky, brackish saltwater, and has been dropped and scraped across my fiberglass deck on more than one occasion. It holds a good charge all day (at least 12 hours, though probably a good bit longer), and automatically pairs with my iPhone when I turn it on. — Owen Burke, Insider Picks buying guides writer
On-ear Bluetooth headphones
Business Insider/Jeff Dunn
The benefit of wearing wireless headphones doesn’t typically outweigh the headache of constantly charging and pairing them. But the Beats Solo3s are different. They’re my favorite Bluetooth headphones because of how easy they are to use and how good they sound.
The Solo3s also have a 40-hour battery life, so I can go days without charging them, and they automatically pair to my iPhone without me having to manually search through my Bluetooth devices. Although I haven’t needed to use it yet the included auxiliary cable, it’s a solid fail-safe in case their battery dies, or if I decide to use them with a non-Bluetooth device. — Amir Ismael, Insider Picks reporter
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