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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Sep 30, 2020 16:42
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
#1
alaScore 100

Sonos Arc

The impressive Sonos Arc takes the best parts of the company's other soundbars and combines them into one Dolby Atmos-compatible package.

20 expert reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

It might be small and rather pricey, but the second-gen Beosound A1 packs a big punch in the sound department. That, plus Alexa voice control and waterproofing, makes it worth every penny.

5 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Denon DHT-S716H

The DHT-S716H’s lack of Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or even DTS:VirtualX support does give us pause given the rapid rise of object-based 3D audio for both movies and music. That said, I’m blown away that a 3.0-channel soundbar without a subwoofer could sound...

3 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Naim Mu-so (2nd Gen, 2019)

The Naim Audio Mu-so 2 Generation is not an inexpensive bit of kit at $1,599. But its build quality, feature set, and performance are all top notch. If you were to buy separate components—loudspeakers, amplifier, streaming device, server client, and so...

22 expert reviews | 76 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Samsung HW-Q90R

While it’s missing such key features as a night mode and room correction, the Samsung HW-Q90R delivers the goods when it comes to killer 7.1.4 audio. The soundbar’s two HDMI inputs and easy-to-use remote are also a plus, as well as word that...

6 expert reviews | 44 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Amazon Echo Show 5 (2019)

Amazon's entry-level Echo Show 5 is a great smart display with an aggressively low price. Place it on your bedside, but don't call it a 'smart alarm clock.'

25 expert reviews | 12 user reviews

#7
alaScore 98

Marshall Emberton

The attractive Marshall Emberton speaker is on the small side for the price, but it delivers a bigger sound than its dimensions suggest.

3 expert reviews

#8
alaScore 98

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 offers an embarrassment of riches as far as virtual 3D audio engines are concerned; indeed, if you ever wanted the opportunity to stack the virtual 3D sound technology of Dolby, DTS, and Sony against each other, this versatile soundbar...

3 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 97

Samsung HW-Q70R

The Samsung HW-Q70R is a Dolby Atmos soundbar with wonderfully enveloping sound for movies, but music lovers should look elsewhere.

7 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

JBL Charge 4

The Charge 4 sounds excellent for a mono speaker at this price. Its solid build is waterproof and, for all of its output, not terribly big. There are other solid options in this price range—the EcoXGear EcoSlate, the Bose SoundLink Color II, and the...

15 expert reviews | 199 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

The Ultimate Ears UE Boom 3 is a solid outdoor-friendly speaker that doesn't quite stand out compared with a number of more affordable, more powerful, or more functional alternatives.

9 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#12
alaScore 97

Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay P6

Having used it for a little while and keeping the Katch on hand by way of comparison, I am forced to reach the conclusion that Bang & Olufsen feels that given the size, driver compliment and likely material being sent to the P6, it doesn’t need to have...

2 expert reviews

#13
alaScore 97

LG XboomGo PL7

It may not offer the level of audio detail or balance that the B&O A1 2nd Gen does, nor the water resistance of either the UE Megaboom 3 or JBL Charge 4, but the XBOOM Go PL7 is a great all-rounder capable of getting any socially-distanced party started.

2 expert reviews

#14
alaScore 97

Amazon Echo Show 8 (2019)

Sitting in between Amazon's two smart displays, the Echo Show 8 is looking to achieve that perfect balance of features, performance, and price.

14 expert reviews

#15
alaScore 97

JBL Bar 5.1

The JBL Bar 9.1 soundbar might be expensive, but it delivers powerful, thunderous audio with detachable rear channels for an immersive listening experience.

17 expert reviews | 26 user reviews

#16
alaScore 97

JBL Link Portable

The JBL Link Portable is a lovely, compact speaker that's a perfect size for delivering decent sound (from what we have heard so far), whilst also remaining portable. There's plenty of features too, including Google Assistant, along with AirPlay 2,...

7 expert reviews | 15 user reviews

#17
alaScore 97

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom

Ultimate Ears has announced the UE Hyperboom, a huge Bluetooth speaker designed to easily play music, and play it loud enough to be the foundation of any party

7 expert reviews

#18
alaScore 97

Klipsch The Fives

The Fives are obviously a high-quality product, derived from more than seven decades of speaker excellence. The sound is smooth, refined, and sophisticated, though it’s tipped slightly toward the bass and away from the mids and highs. And the bass can...

2 expert reviews

#19
alaScore 97

Yamaha YAS-209

The YAS-209’s biggest sonic draw (along with the cheaper, Alexa-less YAS-207) is its support for DTS Virtual:X, a virtual sound format designed to create immersive surround effects not just on the sides and behind you, but also from above. DTS...

5 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 97

Bang & Olufsen Beosound balance

The Beosound Balance is a smart speaker packed with ingenious tech, but is it worth the high price?

4 expert reviews

#21
alaScore 97

Bose Portable Home

The Bose Portable Home Speaker offers great sound and smarts in a totable design

10 expert reviews

#22
alaScore 96

Denon Home 350

This big and powerful wireless speaker produces an accomplished sonic performance. It’s not exactly discreet, but superior build quality, a host of useful features and a surprising amount of bass make it a great choice for music fans.

3 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#23
alaScore 96

Samsung HW-N950

The Samsung HW-N950 delivers a Dolby Atmos and DTS:X experience with maximum performance and minimum fuss. The package includes a soundbar, subwoofer and separate rear channels, all combined with two width drivers and four upward-firing speakers. The...

5 expert reviews

#24
alaScore 96

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

Yes. If you’re in the market for a Bluetooth speaker that you can consistently rely on for big volume, great battery life, and go-anywhere performance, the Megaboom is one of the best you’ll find.

27 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#25
alaScore 96

Ultimate Ears UE Wonderboom 2

I am entirely unimpressed with the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2. It sounds thin and closed in, and its bass is anemic. Linking two into a stereo pair provides good stereo separation, but that does nothing to improve the overall sound quality.

15 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

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    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.



    Contents

    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

    alaTest.com has collected and analyzed millions of reviews from 2504 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like To Be Defined, Jbl, Bang & Olufsen, Amazon, Samsung and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase