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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Oct 2, 2015 10:12
alaScore 100

Sony SRS-X11

Portable Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes now, but few are quite as travel-friendly as Sony's SRS-X11. The SRS-X11 is a tiny 2-inch cube that can be tossed in a bag or carried by the included strap. For $69.99, however, the speaker is...

8 expert reviews | 182 user reviews

alaScore 99

Sonos PLAY:1

The Sonos Play:1 is the most affordable, functional wireless multi-room speaker we've seen yet, and Sonos' legacy makes it a breeze to set up.

61 expert reviews | 5497 user reviews

alaScore 99

Logitech UE Boom

The UE Boom earns our highest marks. It's super-portable, the battery lasts seemingly forever, and It sounds downright fantastic — especially for a small speaker priced...

48 expert reviews | 5444 user reviews

alaScore 98

Bose SoundLink Colour / Color

The Bose SoundLink Color delivers solid Bluetooth sound in an attractive, portable package.

13 expert reviews | 7505 user reviews

alaScore 98

JBL Flip3

Enhanced with better battery life and splashproof design, the Flip 3 is one of the best mini portable Bluetooth speakers available.

6 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

alaScore 98

Denon Envaya Mini DSB-100

The eye-catching Denon Envaya Mini is a mighty portable speaker capable of delivering big, burbling bass and quality audio over the airwaves. Genuinely portable, with its own carry case included, we can't think of a more desirable sub-£100 small-scale...

7 expert reviews | 219 user reviews

alaScore 98

Denon HEOS 7

With app inconsistencies, a lack of Mac compatibility, and audio performance that fails to rise above the crowd, Denon’s Heos multi-room speaker system was at best underwhelming, and at worst, downright annoying. Even if big bass is your pleasure, the...

13 expert reviews | 32 user reviews

alaScore 97

Dali Kubik ONE

Dali is well known for its quality loudspeakers and the Kubik One soundbar fits perfectly in among such prestige. It's an extremely well built, eye-catching soundbar with perfectly balanced audio - whether you're using it for TV audio enhancement or...

7 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

alaScore 97

Focal Dimension

To put it succinctly, the Focal Dimension is an elegant product with some inelegant design elements. Does this mean I don't recommend it? Not at all--I'm simply trying to make it clear that it's designed for a specific type of setup; and, if you're...

8 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

alaScore 97

Ultimate Ears UE Boom 2

Ultimate Ears proved it can put out capable Bluetooth speakers with the UE Boom a couple of years ago, and its output has gotten steadily better with the larger UE Megaboom and the tiny UE Roll. Now the original Boom is getting a refresh, and it's the...

2 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

alaScore 97

Razer Leviathan

If you were to tell us three years ago that Razer was going to make a Bluetooth speaker, we would have been interested, but now that we're inundated with Bluetooth speakers everywhere, it's pretty hard to get excited. But while Razer's Leviathan sound...

10 expert reviews | 124 user reviews

alaScore 97

Samsung HW-J7500

Plenty of non-curved sound bars sound better, and for less money, so you'll be paying a pretty penny for the privilege of the Samsung HW-JS7500's curved design.

4 expert reviews | 75 user reviews

alaScore 97

Denon HEOS 5

I really have a love/hate relationship with the HEOS system. We started by buying a HEOS speaker and a SONOS speaker and trying them next to each other. The HEOS sound was WAY better IMHO, and the HEOS offers the ability to use the 5ghz wifi band...

4 expert reviews | 43 user reviews

alaScore 97

Klipsch Reference

Klipsch likely had noble intentions when it decided to adopt “Reference” as the moniker for its top-tier product line, and indeed, the line represents some of Klipsch’s finest work yet. But if you’re looking for transparency and even-keeled balance in...

6 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 97

JBL Clip+ / Clip Plus

JBL's Clip+ takes an already well-designed, travel-friendly and affordable Bluetooth speaker and adds water resistance.

4 expert reviews | 233 user reviews

alaScore 96

Cambridge Audio TV2

While the soundbar/speaker-base space is maddeningly crowded and difficult to navigate, I like what Cambridge has done in terms of performance, design, and pricing. As stated earlier, the task of this type of product is to move you away from the...

3 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

alaScore 96

Creative Sound Blaster X7

The gold-plated kitchen sink of soundcards

8 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

alaScore 96

Creative MUVO Mini

The Creative Muvo Mini contains every desirable feature you seek out in a Bluetooth speaker: full sound, attractive design, long battery life – and the cherry on top, weatherproofing. For under 100 bucks, that's an unbeatable deal.

3 expert reviews | 220 user reviews

alaScore 96

Samsung HW-J8500

Whether gimmick or game-changer, curved TVs are here to stay – but sadly so is the typically inadequate sound quality. Soundbars provide the solution, but a straight one looks odd in front of a curved TV. That's why Samsung has conjured up a range of...

2 expert reviews | 11 user reviews

alaScore 96

Creative Sound Blaster ROAR SR20

The DT Accessory Pack Up your game and the get the most out of your gear with the following extras, hand-picked by our editors:

16 expert reviews | 1648 user reviews

alaScore 96

Libratone DIVA

The Libratone Diva sells itself on being different from other soundbars out there. How many other products in the tech world are encased in wool? Yep, keep on thinking.

9 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

alaScore 96

Cambridge Audio TV5

Cambridge Audio is joining the sound slab craze with its own flat, one-piece home theater sound system, the TV 5. It's a large black base for your HDTV, like most other sound slabs, and it packs a lot of power in its squat frame. At $399.99, it's...

6 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

alaScore 95

Klipsch RP-280F

All I was expecting and the seller was awesome.

3 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 95

Klipsch Reference R-115SW

I was starting to think that mainstream speaker companies had no business in today's subwoofer business because they can't deliver the kind of value and performance that some of the Internet-only guys can. The R-115SW proves that notion wrong. It's...

2 expert reviews | 11 user reviews


    Buying Guide

    Buying Guide - Speakers

    Speakers determine the overall sound quality of your system, so it's worth the time to listen to several models before making a decision. There are a number of reasons why speakers are a popular purchase when people are looking to upgrade their home entertainment or computer systems. For home entertainment purposes, good speakers can make all the difference in creating a compelling and immersive viewing experience. For computer gaming, good speakers can add an entirely new component to gameplay. If you have been looking for a way to inject some new life into your entertainment options, see what a new speaker system can do for you.


    What to Look for in a Speaker System

    Sound Quality – Sound quality is a very personal judgment, like music, food or wine. Everyone’s tastes are different. There is no “best” speaker, only the one that is best for you. When you shop for speakers, listen to several models with favorite music and different type of music. Your experience in listening to live music is a good gauge to evaluate speakers. The speaker should sound natural to your ears, have balanced tone quality and should be easy to listen to for long periods. Don't feel rushed, listen to a speaker several times before making a final decision.

    Configuration – The shorthand for a speaker system's configuration appears as two numbers separated by a period, i.e. 2.0, 4.1, 6.1, etc. The first number is the number of speakers that are included in the set, and the second number is the number of subwoofers. Two speakers are plenty for most needs; if you are building a home entertainment system and want a surround sound experience, you will want additional speakers. Subwoofers are important for playing the deep bass frequencies that most ordinary speakers cannot reproduce.

    Sensitivity – Measured in decibels (dB), sensitivity determines whether the speakers can produce high-volume sound with no distortion. Speakers with sensitivity above 92dB will be fine by themselves; speakers with less than 88dB will generally require an amplifier.

    Frequency Response – Measured in Hertz and kiloHertz, frequency response is a measure of a speaker's ability to reproduce various frequencies of sound. Most speakers do not cover the full range of frequencies that can be detected by the human ear (20Hz at the low end, and 20kHz at the high end), but dedicated music enthusiasts and professionals will want speakers that come as close as possible to reproducing the entire range.

    Watts – Many novices talk of speaker wattage and the danger of 'blowing' speakers from an overload, but the reality is that it is difficult to blow out your speakers simply with an amplifier that is too big. Keep the wattage within the limit recommended for your amp, and especially keep an ear out for any volume-based distortion, and you should never have a problem with your speakers.

    Additional Speaker Features

    Connectivity – This differs between brands, and particularly at different price points. Some speakers are versatile enough to be connected directly to your television or computer, others will need to go through a receiver or amplifier. Make sure you know which kind you are getting.

    Size – High-performance speakers may be large and require special installation. Smaller speakers can be placed anywhere. Make sure you know which you are looking for.

    Wireless – Some speaker systems offer the convenience of wireless set-up, eliminating the clutter of speaker cables. This is a great feature particularly for surround sound systems with numerous speakers.

    Popular Speaker Brands

    Bose is an industry leader – for a little extra money, you get the confidence of knowing you have a quality product. Definitive Technology and Klipsch offer speakers across a range of styles, and have been well-reviewed by consumers. Bargain brand Insignia offers decent performance at outstanding prices, as do Polk Audio speakers.

    Popular Speaker products

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    Speakers on alaTest has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2996 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like Denon, Samsung, Creative Technology, Jbl, Cambridge Audio and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase

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