A back to school essential for those going to university is a decent sound system for the dorm room. The room is small so you don’t really need a huge system and for maximum flexibility a wireless system is by far the best way to go. It avoids unnecessary wires hanging around and can give you the ease of using it in the lounge or elsewhere. There are a lot of excellent wireless systems available, in a variety of price ranges depending on your budget. In order to help short-list the myriad of choices, I am providing my top 5 picks ideal for the dorm room.

I recognize that sound systems can be a very personal choice, depending on the type of music and sound you like, so not everyone will pick the same top 5. A few things to consider is portability (do you want to take it to the beach or ?), phone connectivity (do you want to use it as a speakerphone?), and flexibility (do you want to media stream directly with it?, etc.). Here are some of my picks in different price ranges and with different capabilities – starting from least to most expensive.

Sony Bluetooth Wireless Speaker (SRSBTS50B)

This Sony wireless speaker is a relatively inexpensive way to equip your dorm room with some sound, but it will also be great outside the dorm room because of how portable it is. It has a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery that provides up to 10 hours of play time. So there is no added expense of feeding it batteries all the time. It comes with a carrying pouch and even has a handy hook on the end to carry it with or hang it off of.

Wirelessly stream music from any Bluetooth enabled device like your Smartphone, tablet, or MP3 player. It is NFC enabled so you can instantly pair any NFC enabled device to it. It also has speakerphone capability so you can take hands-free calls off your Smartphone just by pushing a button. It even has an auxiliary input so you could connect other devices that might not be able to wirelessly stream music.

It has very good sound for its size and price, and some excellent features. It won’t sound as rich as bigger and more powerful units but it will do the trick nicely!

Rocketfish Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speaker (RF-WSP313)

This speaker is a step up from the Sony, partly because it is over twice as big and a lot more powerful. It has many of the same features with a few minor exceptions. The battery life is less (about 7 hours) and it doesn’t come with a carrying pouch.  It will wirelessly stream any Bluetooth device, but doesn’t have NFC one-touch pairing. This is not a big deal as it is always easy to pair Bluetooth devices, NFC is just a nice convenience feature.

This speaker will produce some very good bass if you tend to like that booming sound. This again is very good value, as it sounds good and has excellent portability.

Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker

This is probably the highest-rated wireless speaker you will find. Over 85 customer reviews it has a 4.8/5.0 rating with sound quality being a 5.0/5.0. Not surprising, because Bose is known for its engineering excellent sound out of small speakers. It is about the size of the Sony one above, but with a big step up in sound quality and power. This baby rocks!

It also has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gives about 7 hours of life. It comes with a charging cradle so when in the dorm room just place it in the cradle to keep it charged or play music. Like the others it is Bluetooth enabled only (not Airplay) but most devices you will use are Bluetooth anyway. The other thing you will notice is the build-quality is a step up from the other devices so far, as the housing is made of one piece of anodized aluminum. To colour coordinate your room, you can even get optional coloured speaker covers to suit your style.

Focal XS-Book 2.0 Channel Wireless Computer Speaker

These are on the list because they sound excellent, you can hook them up to your computer, TV, and wirelessly through your Smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth devices. Because they are a pair of speakers, you can also get true stereo sound by physically separating them in the dorm room. They are not as small as your typical computer speakers, since they are each almost a full foot high and weigh over 5lbs each. But that size is needed to deliver the powerful and dynamic sound that these will produce.

These are not portable like the others, but they are still excellent for the dorm room, because they can connect to everything you might have in there to provide a solid sound experience. And when you are finished school, these puppies can continue to perform as bookshelf speakers for your TV, computer, or other sound system needs.

Bose Soundtouch Portable WiFi Music System

It shouldn’t be a surprise to see Bose make the list again. This system is not only bigger than the Bose Soundlink above, but it also will connect to your WiFi in order to stream content directly off of the Internet. For all you Apple fans it is also equipped with Airplay to stream directly from all your Airplay enabled devices. It has a free app that you can use to select content and control the Soundtouch system directly from your Smartphone or tablet.

For more details, check out my . I think it is ideal for the dorm because it sounds fantastic, is portable, and streams directly from the Internet or your device. The build-quality is excellent and again once finished school, this unit will deliver where-ever you end up living.

Tom Brauser
I love to try new technologies and I have a practical approach to techie stuff - it has to be easy to use and make my life better. I have my house fully wired, with a surround sound system in my family room for music and TV viewing, but also drive music throughout the house as well as outdoors. I Internet stream content on all my devices at home, which provides a huge variety of entertainment to enjoy.