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There are lots of factors to consider when looking for the perfect speakers for your home media system. Whether you are looking for the best high definition sound or a stylish piece that looks like a piece of sculpture, there are so many options out there for your home.
Don't worry if you're on a budget—there are quite a few affordable speakers that can be just as good as their pricier competitors. Prepare to feel like you're watching movies in the theater while hanging out with your friends or invite them over for a party where you can show off your DJ (or Spotify) skills.
Here, the best home speakers.
Best Overall: Sonos One Gen 2
When the first generation of this speaker launched in 2017, it was massively popular—even if you’re not super techy, it’s easy to see why. It features loud, clear sound and voice control for an affordable price, which is a huge score in the speaker world.
The second generation, which just debuted this spring, is even better because it offers users lots of voice control versatility. You can pair their device with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Airplay 2 so you can get what you want, no matter where your smart tech allegiances lie. All of this, combined with its compact size, modern look, and Sonos sound credentials, make it one of the best deals out there.
Best Design: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A9 with Google Assistant
Anything made by Bang & Olufsen is a major status symbol—the Danish company is known for its luxe electronics focusing on high design, and the Beoplay A9 is no exception. It looks like a sculpture thanks to its striking circular shape and leg combo, both of which are customizable to fit your space. So, if you’re into making all your gadgets look totally at home in, well, your home, this company gets it.
They have standard black and white options, but we’re really feeling the bronze tone option with its major mid-century vibes. Frankly, it’s so stunning that we almost forgot to bring up the speaker part—which works with Google Assistant and has a powerful 480-watt amplifier. It’s a big investment but comes with a 30-day trial, so you can be certain before you shell out.
Best Budget: Amazon Echo Dot Smart Speaker
The sheer number of things you can listen to with the Echo is overwhelming. You can try Amazon Music, Pandora, and Spotify for music, but then it’s also compatible with Audible and radio and Fire TV, oh my. It even works with the Phillips Hue app to control lighting around the house, and we don’t know about you, but we’d do anything to avoid getting into bed only to realize you have to get back up to turn off the lights.
The speaker itself is small but plays loud, undistorted sound, and listeners can change bass and other sound settings by just asking Alexa. For everyday needs, it packs an amazing punch at a budget-friendly price.
Best In-Wall Speakers: Polk Audio 9" 3-Way in-Ceiling Speaker
Installing an in-wall speaker sounds daunting, but the RC85i makes the process as painless as possible. It’s only 12 x 10 inches with a depth of a little over 4 inches, so no need to take out a cavernous amount of wall to make it work. You won't need to worry about buying and installing a new one soon as the RC85i is made of quality materials (aluminum with rubber surrounds), so it's built to last.
The folks at Polk also thought to make the frame paintable so you can match it to the color of your walls, which is genius. The only thing cooler than an awesome sound system is a super stealthy one.
Best for Small Spaces: Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Basically everyone—from tech reviewers to regular people—rave about this speaker. The Bose Soundlink is the size of a tall drinking glass, and yet it's able to produce great sound at 360 degrees (and looks really cool). For us, one of the biggest bonuses is the way it accounts for human errors of all kinds. You left it near the sink, and it got splashed? No worries, it’s waterproof. Set it down a little hard? It’s OK!
The top and bottom of the speaker have rubber bumpers to protect the speaker from cracking or breaking. It even has a fail-safe for when you leave your phone in another room and don’t feel like getting up—hold down the multi-function button, and Siri or your Google Assistant will be there at the ready. We’re in love.
Best Classic: Marshall Stanmore II Wireless Wi-Fi Alexa Voice Smart Speaker
Behold, an icon. When people first hear the word "speaker," the classic Marshall one is what most of us conjure up. It’s the speaker of rock stars because most of the legends have jammed out with a set of these—Nirvana, Spinal Tap, Led Zeppelin, Guns N’ Roses—we could go on and on.
This new (read: high tech) version has the classic looks and clear sound of a Marshall but adds modern improvements like built-in Google Assistant and far-field voice control. For picky listeners, this one has analog controls, so playing with the bass and treble just takes a few twists. Rock on, people.
Best Combo Speaker: DiKaou Led Flame Table Lamp Bluetooth Speaker
If soft lighting is the name of the game when it comes to your home decor, this table lamp speaker will not disappoint. Flickering LED lights give off the illusion of a candle flame—and when paired with some chill, laid-back tunes, you'll have everything you need for a romantic date night or relaxing evening at home.
The speaker easily connects via Bluetooth to your tablet or smartphone and gives off a big sound effect for a small size device. Like a lantern, the small scale makes it especially portable—move it from room to room to create a warm ambiance wherever you go.
Best for Parties: JBL Party Box 200 High Power Portable Wireless Bluetooth Party Speaker
This speaker has the basic shape, lighting, and size you’d expect from any “high school” party in a television show, the major difference being that this speaker is way better. JBL is known for their amazing sound quality, and this portable (but large) Bluetooth option keeps up that reputation and gives listeners the ability to hook up their microphone and guitar, too (now that’s a party).
The light show feature might be the first thing anyone notices, though, and that’s because the speaker has different light modes to choose from like meter, pulse, and party. As the name says, this one really is a good time in a box.
Best Retro Style: Crosley Radio Bluetooth Speaker
You may recognize this brand because of its trendy and eternally cool record players. Crosley only started making their signature turntables in 1992, well into the CD age, but their affinity for retro style has paid off. Today, everything they produce from telephones to speakers has that same vintage vibe, like this speaker that looks just like a 70’s style amp.
While this speaker has a vintage look, nothing about its abilities is anything less than modern. It has Bluetooth and aux-in options so you can listen to your tunes from your mobile device or record player. It’s also the ideal item to take to a party thanks to its portability and USB port for emergency phone charging.
Best Reference Speakers: Klipsch RF-7 III Floorstanding Speaker
This will probably be the only time we’ll use “tall dark and handsome” when referring to an electronic, but alas, this speaker has earned that description. First off, it’s four feet tall and nearly 100 pounds, so this is a serious speaker for real sound geeks. There’s no hiding this one away. It’s a beast made in furniture-grade black ash, natural cherry, or walnut woods with spun copper woofers.
This tower-style speaker is highly praised in the audio community for its power and low distortion. To break it down, this is the kind of sound that comes from a professional-grade speaker you’d find on a tour bus but for much less...and in your home.
Best Waterproof: JBL Pulse Wireless Bluetooth IPX7 Waterproof Speaker
If you love to take your speaker to the beach or pool, then this one is for you. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 12 hours while you're relaxing under your umbrella and a rugged waterproof casing means that you won't have to worry if it gets splashed on or if you get caught in a sudden rainstorm.
Unlike other utilitarian-looking waterproof speakers, JBL Pulse features a changing color light that wraps around the body of the device (matching the 360-degree surround sound effect of the audio). You can even connect remotely to other JBL speakers to amplify the sound and really get the party going.
Best Surround Sound: Logitech Z906.1 Surroundsound Speaker System
Buying a full system for your home theater is a big purchase—and we don’t just mean because they come with tons of parts. It takes a lot of research to find a great one at an affordable price—lucky for you, we’ve done the legwork. The Logitech Z906.1 comes with a subwoofer, control console, and one central and four satellite speakers (the 5:1 channel layout is the classic combo for surround sound).
These speakers can reach up to 1,000 watts, which creates a thunderous, encapsulating sound that you can hear and feel, plus you can connect six devices at a time, which is pretty convenient. Another cool thing to note is that this system has received THX certification (given to quality home entertainment products), so you know it has some major street cred in the industry.