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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Jun 24, 2021 16:14
alaScore 100

Sonos Roam

The $169 Sonos Roam isn't the cheapest Sonos speaker, but it is easily the most versatile. We think it's an incredible portable speaker for the price.

27 expert reviews | 34 user reviews

alaScore 99

Sonos Arc

The $799 Arc is Sonos' first Dolby Atmos-capable soundbar, fulfilling years of customer requests. Now that it's here, does it deliver? Here's our full review.

42 expert reviews | 189 user reviews

alaScore 99

JBL Charge 5

Still, if you’re a fan of the JBL sound, want that power bank functionality or simply prefer its looks, the Charge 5 is a solid choice for a portable (and waterproof) Bluetooth speaker.

10 expert reviews | 13 user reviews

alaScore 99

JBL Bar 5.0 MultiBeam

“This single-speaker soundbar is the easiest way to add Dolby Atmos to your TV.”

9 expert reviews

alaScore 98

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

B&O’s classy compact speaker adds Alexa and upholds its strong sonic profile

8 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

alaScore 98

Sonos Move

The Sonos Move is a pricey portable, but it sure can power a pool party

45 expert reviews | 221 user reviews

alaScore 98

Amazon Echo (4th gen, 2020)

Amazon takes a gamble on the new Echo (4th Gen) by changing it up with a totally new design. It's daring, but will it be enough to make consumers take notice?

17 expert reviews

alaScore 98

Amazon Echo Dot (4th gen, 2020)

Amazon's smallest smart speaker has undergone a radical change, so will the Echo Dot's (4th Gen) new design be enough to garner attention over the competition?

18 expert reviews

alaScore 98

Vizio Elevate

Marrying a killer new design to audiophile controls and stellar sound, the Vizio is an excellent compliment to your high-end television.

10 expert reviews

alaScore 98

Apple HomePod Mini (2020)

“The HomePod mini is exactly what Apple needs to be a relevant player in the smart speaker world”

30 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Sonos Beam

If you've been tempted to get into Sonos, but weren't sure where to start, the Beam is for you. Not only is it a relatively affordable, solid speaker in its own right, it is a capable soundbar and Alexa assistant rolled into one. For serious movie...

58 expert reviews | 1264 user reviews

alaScore 97

Yamaha SR-C20A

The SR-C20A is the soundbar Yamaha designed it to be – a compact bar that can fit into tons of different nooks and crevices in the modern home – and it should be commended for that. At the same time, it comes at the expense of the low end needed to be...

6 expert reviews | 37 user reviews

alaScore 97

DALI Oberon 1

As I've said often on Simplifi , I love the convenience and flexibility offered by active wireless speakers such as DALI's Oberon 1 C. Put the speakers and transmitter in suitable places, plug them in, pair them, sit back, and listen—it's a pretty...

7 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Sony SRS-XB33

Sony's waterproof SRS-XB33 speaker delivers cool LED lighting and some surprising bass depth for its size.

6 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Devialet Phantom

The cut-down version of Devialet's high-end wireless speaker goes deep for about $1,000.

20 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Samsung HW-Q950T

The Samsung HW-Q950T is great for mixed use. Whether you're watching movies or listening to music, this bar has a balanced and neutral sound. If you want to tweak its sound, it has a graphic EQ as well as presets. There's a dialogue enhancement...

7 expert reviews | 20 user reviews

alaScore 97

Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20

The Bang & Olufsen Beolit 20 is a supremely stylish (and expensive) portable Bluetooth speaker that can deliver rich, crisp audio at high volume levels.

4 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Marshall Emberton

Marshall’s latest Bluetooth speaker, the Emberton, is its smallest. It’s also one of the few compact options to hit the market with great sound, long-lasting battery life, convenient USB-C charging, and IPX7 waterproofing.

9 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Huawei Sound

It looks great and does a lot right sonically, but the Huawei Sound lacks the portability and smart functionality of many of its competitors

4 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Polk Audio React Soundbar

Finding a soundbar that sounds great, doesn't break the bank, and yet can be expanded as your needs grow isn't easy. But the $250 Polk React is all three.

4 expert reviews

alaScore 97

Lenovo Smart Clock Essential

Alarm clocks may have faded due to the smartphone, but the Lenovo Smart Clock Essential is bringing back the nostalgia with the help of Google Assistant.

6 expert reviews

alaScore 96

SVS SB-3000

To bring this review to a close, I will say that the 3000 series subs are my favorite subs from SVS so far, and, in some ways, are their best subs yet. In a sense, they (mostly) put the performance of the 4000 subs in a package that is the size and...

5 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

alaScore 96

Sonos One SL

If you're looking for good sound that won't break the bank, and have an AirPlay compatible device or aren't fussed by the lack of a Bluetooth connection the will serve you well.

6 expert reviews | 323 user reviews

alaScore 96

Naim Mu-so (2nd Gen, 2019)

Today I'll be checking out Naim's Mu-so 2 and Mu-so Qb 2 Wireless Music Systems. They're elegantly styled wireless speakers with powerful...

23 expert reviews | 108 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 2526 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like Sonos, To Be Defined, Jbl, Amazon, Vizio and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase