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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Aug 22, 2019 07:04
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alaScore
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#1
alaScore 100

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge

It will divide people with its looks, and it will exclude some people with its price, but the Formation Wedge is Bowers & Wilkins doing what it does best, delivering bold looks and bigger sound.

7 expert reviews

#2
alaScore 99

Sony SRS-XB32

There’s not a lot more to add to about the SRS-XB32. I have yet to hear another price- and size-comparable speaker that matches it for audio quality at reasonable volumes and it has all the fun features the party requires. Good stuff from Sony.

5 expert reviews | 14 user reviews

#3
alaScore 99

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...

12 expert reviews | 49 user reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

The Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is a near-perfect portable Bluetooth speaker. With a superb blend of audio performance and durability — plus spectacular battery life — you’ll throw the Megaboom in a tote bag or clip it onto a backpack for nearly every...

23 expert reviews | 2 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

JBL PartyBox 300

When I first saw the JBL PartyBox 300 Bluetooth speaker, I was very eager to try it. From the first time I saw the pictures, I kept looking at them over and over again. I did see it in my mind as a bit smaller than it is. I preferred a larger speaker,...

5 expert reviews | 6 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

Bose Home Speaker 500

The Bose Home Speaker 500 sounds great for its size, and the bass rattling can be forgiven because it only happened on one track and wasn't actually distortion. Regardless of how rich and crisp the drivers can sound, however, the wide stereo experience...

12 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#7
alaScore 98

Libratone Zipp 2

So, the Zipp Mini 2 is the more balanced speaker of the two Zipps, but if that matters less to you than a big bass sound, the Zipp 2 is the better option. While it has a powerful output, it lacks truly deep, subwoofer-style bass. This leads us another...

11 expert reviews

#8
alaScore 97

Samsung HW-Q70R Soundbar

Yes, it’s pricey, but the Samsung HW-Q70R soundbar lets you add rich, detailed, and immersive sound, complete with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X support, to your TV in a matter of minutes. The HW-Q70R’s remote takes getting used to, and it’s annoying that you...

2 expert reviews

#10
alaScore 97

Sony SRS-XB22

Nice bass with party booster feature.. loved it ..

3 expert reviews | 8 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

Creative Pebble

For anyone seeking a crisp, clean delivery with rich lows and decent balance, the Pebble Plus is a solid, exceptionally affordable speaker system. A little bright? Sure. Crawling with wires? Yes. But again, $30, which is a steal if the aforementioned...

3 expert reviews

#12
alaScore 97

Amazon Echo Sub

The Echo Sub is designed and outfitted to do one very specific thing and do it well enough. It succeeds at offering loud, respectably deep and robust bass to eligible Amazon Echo speakers, and does it with ease. That’s where its utility stops, though....

13 expert reviews

#13
alaScore 96

Q Acoustics Concept 300

While the highly efficient (90dB sensitivity) Concept 300 can put out prodigious amounts of sound with a minimum of just 25 watts of amplification, I jumped at an invitation to test the pair with Naim’s Uniti Nova, an all-in-one audio streamer with a...

3 expert reviews

#14
alaScore 96

Q Acoustics 3020i

The Q Acoustics 3020i bookshelf speakers combine cutting-edge design with excellent sonics and are suited to systems with tight space requirements.

5 expert reviews

#15
alaScore 96

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

While digital assistant speakers are all the rage today, having a great sounding portable speaker provides a better audio experience without having to worry about big companies listening to all of your conversations.

8 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#16
alaScore 96

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom

The Wonderboom’s features and design seem tooled for outdoor use, and with summer approaching, this is important. It’s durable, sounds good, and it floats. At $100, there’s a strong case to be made for Wonderboom as one of the best mini Bluetooth...

33 expert reviews | 411 user reviews

#17
alaScore 96

Marshall Kilburn II

You'll have to speak up, because we've been testing the Marshall Kilburn II Bluetooth speaker -- and it's shockingly loud. Designed not just for indoors use, this speaker has a battery inside that makes it ideal for outdoor use too. Aside from the...

27 expert reviews | 417 user reviews

#18
alaScore 96

Samsung HW-N850

The Samsung HW-N850 is a big soundbar that produces big sound and comes packed with the latest features, including Dolby Atmos.

6 expert reviews | 34 user reviews

#19
alaScore 96

JBL Xtreme 2

The JBL Xtreme 2 isn't cheap, but for the price, it delivers a solid feature set combined with high-quality audio performance. If you want some added thump in the bass department, the portable XTreme 2 delivers. When you throw in the waterproof build,...

14 expert reviews | 32 user reviews

#20
alaScore 96

Naim MU-SO 2ND GENERATION

Naim takes everything that was great about the Mu-so and makes it even better

3 expert reviews | 9 user reviews

#21
alaScore 96

JBL Flip 4

The Flip 4 doesn’t reinvent the wheel – or even reupholster it – but it’s a solid upgrade to an already-strong line of speakers from JBL. There are plenty of wireless speakers, gobs of affordable ones, and plenty of waterproof ones, too, but few...

28 expert reviews | 756 user reviews

#22
alaScore 96

Anker Soundcore Flare

So, let's rundown the list. Quality audio performance for the size and price? Check. LED light show? Check. Attractive, waterproof design? Check. Even the included app manages to be somewhat useful, rather than the bloatware we often see bundled with...

6 expert reviews

#23
alaScore 96

Polk Command Bar

The Polk Command Bar offers hands-free Alexa and very powerful bass for an attractive price. It's more powerful than our budget pick, the Polk Signa S1, but it's also $100 more expensive. If you want Alexa built into a soundbar, the Sonos Beam is our...

4 expert reviews

#24
alaScore 96

Netgear Orbi Voice

Netgear's new speaker lets you jam to Drake on Spotify, extend your Orbi mesh Wi-Fi network and connect a PlayStation 4 via ethernet.

5 expert reviews

#25
alaScore 96

Creative Stage sound bar review: Ridiculously cheap, but good for small TVs

The Creative Stage sound bar and subwoofer combo sets the standard for a desktop gaming system on a budget and can even work with small TVs.

2 expert 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 2774 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like Undefined, Jbl, Sony, Teufel, Logitech and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase