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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Nov 28, 2015 00:56
alaScore 100

Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless

You'll be hard pressed to find a better AirPlay speaker than the latest Zeppelin Air. And now there's Bluetooth support, too!

9 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

alaScore 99

Logitech UE Megaboom

There’s only one thing we don’t like about the UE Megaboom: the price tag. $300 is a serious tax to pay for the kind of weatherproofing that’s really only necessary for the perpetual outdoor adventurer — or the terribly careless. If you’re not so sure...

25 expert reviews | 848 user reviews

alaScore 99

Denon HEOS 1

The Denon HEOS 1 offers a rugged design and a great feature set to users who want the flexibility of both multiroom music and optional Bluetooth portability.

10 expert reviews | 19 user reviews

alaScore 98

Marshall Kilburn

The Marshall lineup of headphones and speakers, all modeled to varying degrees after the guitar amps made famous in the 60s and 70s, have a definitively retro look that won't appeal to everyone. But if you like that motif, the good news is that beauty...

3 expert reviews | 62 user reviews

alaScore 98

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.

62 expert reviews | 5835 user reviews

alaScore 98

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...

4 expert reviews | 43 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.

9 expert reviews | 53 user reviews

alaScore 98

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...

9 expert reviews | 241 user reviews

alaScore 97

ELAC Debut B6

The ELAC Debut B6 bookshelf speakers offer stellar, best-in-class sound quality that no other speakers can match at this low price.

2 expert reviews

alaScore 97

ELAC Debut F5

The ELAC Debut F5 tower speaker delivers astonishing performance for the price.

2 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Sonos Playbar

At $699, the Sonos PLAYBAR is a very good, somewhat expensive, sound bar. If the price was lower, it would certainly be a very easy recommendation (“no brainer” would comer to mind). But since it’s not, I would urge you to look at your actual needs.

75 expert reviews | 2747 user reviews

alaScore 97

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...

50 expert reviews | 5514 user reviews

alaScore 97

Bose SoundLink Colour / Color

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

15 expert reviews | 7903 user reviews

alaScore 97

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...

10 expert reviews | 252 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...

6 expert reviews | 46 user reviews

alaScore 97

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...

14 expert reviews | 34 user reviews

alaScore 97

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...

8 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

alaScore 97

Yamaha YSP-1600

The Yamaha YSP-1600 is well equipped, stylish and produces a wide soundstage, but overall sound quality isn't impressive enough for the price.

4 expert reviews

alaScore 96

Klipsch RP-280F

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Klipsch Reference Premiere system, and the RP-280FA towers specifically. I think a lot of audiophiles will dig the way the RP-280FA's subtly, slightly elevated treble brings out the details in movie soundtracks and...

4 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 96

Wharfedale Diamond 220

They succeeded as stereo standmounters, and now they’ve succeeded as a surround package. Is there anything the Wharfedale Diamond 220s can’t do? Maybe, but this package is an excellent way into the world of surround sound and at budget price too. Read...

4 expert reviews | 45 user reviews

alaScore 96

Sony HT-XT3

The HT-XT3 is a soundbase that not only boosts audio from your TV but can also be used as part of Sony's multiroom music system. That means you can play tunes on the HT-XT3 while simultaneously sending them to other Sony speakers like the SRS-X88 and...

3 expert reviews | 47 user reviews

alaScore 96

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...

10 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

alaScore 96

Raumfeld Stereo L

German brand Raumfeld specialises in Wi-Fi speaker systems that stream music in high resolution (up to 192kHz/24-bit). It isn't a household name in the UK but after hearing the company's Stereo Cubes in action we think it deserves to be – with slick...

3 expert reviews

alaScore 96

Creative Sound Blaster X7

The gold-plated kitchen sink of soundcards

11 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 96

Philips Fidelio XS1

Read our guide to the

4 expert reviews | 8 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 2997 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like Denon, Logitech, Sonos, Elac, Yamaha and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase

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