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Speaker Reviews

Updated: Jan 18, 2021 16:14
Brand
alaScore
Price
Type
#1
alaScore 100

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?

12 expert reviews

#2
alaScore 99

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.

24 expert reviews

#3
alaScore 99

Apple HomePod Mini (2020)

Apple failed to make an impression with the original HomePod, but the HomePod mini is poised to change that.

14 expert reviews

#4
alaScore 98

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)

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

7 expert reviews | 1 user reviews

#5
alaScore 98

Sonos Move

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

32 expert reviews | 190 user reviews

#6
alaScore 98

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

#7
alaScore 98

Sony HT-G700

The Sony HT-G700 is a value for its price, offering great sound for both music and movies while doing so in a minimalist package. While its technology commendably compensates for its lack of true surround sound, it doesn’t totally make up for the...

14 expert reviews | 24 user reviews

#8
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?

13 expert reviews

#9
alaScore 97

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 | 95 user reviews

#10
alaScore 97

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.

6 expert reviews | 10 user reviews

#11
alaScore 97

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 | 42 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

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

#14
alaScore 97

Klipsch Cinema 600

Klipsch delivers a lively and loud 3.1 home theater soundbar in the Cinema 600, which boasts a good set of connections and a well-designed remote. Though not as immersive as some soundbars, the Cinema 600 deserves a spot on your short list for its...

2 expert reviews | 3 user reviews

#15
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.

17 expert reviews

#16
alaScore 97

Vizio V21

Yes. The price alone makes the V21 a no-brainer, but its sound quality and extra features mean you get a whole lotta bang for the buck.

3 expert reviews

#17
alaScore 97

Marshall Emberton

The Marshall Emberton is easy to recommend if you’re looking for a small Bluetooth speaker with powerful sound, long-lasting battery, and USB-C charging — the latter of which is currently a rarity in the market. But $150 for this speaker seems just a...

7 expert reviews

#18
alaScore 97

Anker Soundcore Motion+

You can’t expect perfect sound from a $100 Bluetooth speaker, but Anker wisely chose a solid middle ground when it came to the Soundcore Motion+, a compact, waterproof speaker that eschews goosed, flashy sound (the too-boomy BassUp mode...

4 expert reviews

#19
alaScore 97

Huawei Sound X

For all this speaker does right on the wall of sound front, its sonic adeptness doesn't quite seal the deal at this price point - and we'd expected more eloquence from a Devialet collaboration. It's also not smart and too expensive considering the...

9 expert reviews

#20
alaScore 96

Dali Menuet

The DALI Menuet SE Speakers maintain their composure when pushed to the limit better than most other same-sized models. With their premium finish and easy placement, they are a terrific value.

4 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#21
alaScore 96

Q Acoustics 3030i

An affordable, compact speaker gives a robust, open-hearted performance.

3 expert reviews | 5 user reviews

#22
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

#23
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

#24
alaScore 96

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

#25
alaScore 96

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 | 267 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 2505 sources to help you choose the best Speaker from top brands like To Be Defined, Amazon, Bang & Olufsen, Marshall Electronics, Naim Audio and more.

    Buying Tips Read our Buying Guide
    before you make your purchase