If you're looking to buy a new speaker, you may feel a bit overwhelmed at the start. There are many different speaker brands on the market, and it can be challenging to figure out which is the best for you. While some brands make speakers that cater to a variety of users, others focus on a particular market segment, like voice assistant speakers or speakers for listening to music. Even though some brands stand out from the rest, there's no easy answer when it comes to the best speaker brand for you. Depending on your unique listening habits, certain features may appeal to you more than others.
We’ve tested speakers from over 20 different brands, and below are our recommendations for the best speaker brands. The picks aren’t ordered by rank or position; the first brand listed isn’t necessarily our top pick overall, and the last brand isn’t the worst. Instead, we’ve listed the brands by use or specialty, keeping brands with similar audiences together to make it easier to find what best suits your needs. See our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers, the best home speakers, and the best cheap speakers.
Amazon is a major global technology company that produces various electronics, including speakers. Their speakers tend to be wired smart speakers designed for home use with Amazon Alexa built-in. However, their newer models are more like smart home hubs you can use to control Zigbee-compatible devices throughout your home using your voice.
The Amazon Echo Studio is the best Amazon speaker that we've tested. It's a wired smart speaker designed for home use with Alexa built-in and has no trouble understanding you even if you're far from the speaker. It also has a built-in Zigbee hub you can use to connect it to Zigbee-compatible home devices like thermostats and light bulbs, which you can control via Alexa. This speaker has a neutral sound profile making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content, and you can customize it to your liking thanks to the bass and treble sliders featured on its companion app. It can also get quite loud with little compression artifacts at max volume, so your audio should sound clean when listening at louder volumes. Unfortunately, Alexa may have trouble hearing you in noisy environments, and the speaker doesn't have a mute mic button you can use when you no longer want your assistant to hear yo
Apple is an American technology company known for selling phones, headphones, laptops, tablets, watches, and more. Their speakers offer great voice assistant support with Siri built-in, and if you're an iOS user, they make a great addition to your Apple ecosystem. Since they're designed for home use, these speakers aren't very portable due to their wired design and need to remain plugged into an outlet to work. Also, while the Apple HomePod can even operate as a soundbar for your Apple TV, the manufacturer recently discontinued this speaker and is emptying their stock of it.
The best Apple speaker that we've tested is the Apple HomePod Mini. This small spherical speaker has Siri built-in and has no trouble understanding your commands from far, though it may not perform as well in noisy environments. Its balanced mid-range ensures voices and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. However, like most speakers its size, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music. That said, it has outstanding directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as open and spacious. You can also use the Apple Home app to pair this speaker to multiple other HomePod speakers if you want to play your audio in multiple rooms across your house.
Google is an American technology company that produces a wide range of internet-related products. They sell phones, speakers, tablets, earbuds, and more. Their speakers come with excellent voice assistant capabilities and feature mute mic buttons you can use when you no longer want your assistant to hear you. They're mostly designed for home use, and they aren't very portable since they need to remain connected to a power source to work, making it difficult to take them outdoors with you.
The Google Nest Audio is the best Google speaker that we've tested. It offers outstanding voice assistant support with Google Assistant built-in and has no problem understanding you when you're far away or in noisy environments. There's even a mic mute button you can use when you no longer want your assistant to hear you. Its balanced mid-range ensures vocals and lead instruments are reproduced clearly in the mix. That said, the underemphasis in the treble range can make higher-pitched voices and instruments sound veiled. Fortunately, there are bass and treble adjustments featured on its companion app that you can use to adjust its sound to your liking.
Anker is a young company that produces lots of different audio equipment, as well as portable power banks and affordable charging cables. They're also one of the best Bluetooth speaker brands if you're on the market for good, more affordable speakers. Some of their newer models are compatible with the Soundcore app, which lets you customize their sound using the included graphic EQ and presets. They don't have any built-in voice assistant features, but some are compatible with the voice assistant on your paired smartphone.
The Anker Soundcore Motion+ is the best Anker speaker we've tested. This small speaker is outstandingly portable, and you can easily carry it in one hand. It's rated IPX7 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It has a fairly balanced mid-range with its BassUp feature turned on, so vocals and lead instruments are clearly reproduced in the mix. However, like most speakers its size, it struggles to reproduce the deep thump and rumble in low-bass that's typically present in bass-heavy music like hip-hop. Fortunately, it's compatible with the Soundcore app, so you can use the graphic EQ and presets on it to customize its sound to better suit your preferences. It can also last over 15 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage habits, and your experience may differ.
Bose is an American manufacturer that specializes in home electronics. While they're best known for making high-end noise-canceling headphones, they also make speakers and sound systems. They have different speaker lineups geared towards different audiences. Their 'SoundLink' speakers are smaller and more portable, whereas their 'Home Speaker' lineup has smart speakers with built-in voice assistants. Bose speakers are generally Bluetooth compatible, and the Bose Music companion app has bass and treble sliders that let you adjust your speaker's sound profile to your liking.
The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is the best Bose speaker that we've tested. It's small, lightweight, and comes with a built-in carrying handle, making it incredibly portable. It has a balanced, though slightly boomy sound profile out-of-the-box, and there are bass and treble adjustments in its companion app that you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. It's also well-built with an IPX4 rating for water resistance, so it's certified to be protected from small splashes of water. Unfortunately, it can't get very loud, and there are some compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean during louder listening sessions. That said, this versatile speaker also offers fantastic voice assistant support with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in and can understand your commands from far and in noisier settings.
Sonos is an American company that manufactures high-end audio products like smart speakers and soundbars. Many of their speakers have built-in support for Alexa and Google Assistant, which is helpful if you like issuing voice commands. They often have well-balanced sound profiles that are well-suited to playing music. The companion app, Sonos S2, has bass and treble sliders, which lets you adjust the speaker's sound profile to your liking. Many Sonos speakers are intended for home use, with wired-only designs. The Sonos One Gen 2 and Sonos One SL can even be used as satellite speakers in some Sonos soundbar setups, like the Sonos Arc.
The best Sonos speaker we've tested is the Sonos Move. This versatile Bluetooth speaker is battery-powered and has a built-in handle making it incredibly portable. It's very well-built with an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, so it's certified to be protected against direct contact with water for up to three minutes and dust for around two to eight hours. Also, it offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can understand your commands from far and in noisier environments. It has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. While it can get pretty loud, there's a lot of compression present at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean at louder volume levels. It also has to downmix stereo content to mono, which doesn't sound as immersive. That said, this versatile speaker is still one of the best Bluetooth speakers we've tested.
Sony is one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, and they produce products like headphones and a wide range of speaker models that can appeal to lots of different users. If you love listening to music, you may prefer one of their more premium models like the Sony SRS-RA3000 that are compatible with the Sony Music Center app, which gives you access to a graphic EQ and other sound settings. However, if you want a speaker you can bring on the go, their smaller, cheaper speakers still offer a pretty good value for their price. While some of their speakers are compatible with the voice assistant on your paired smartphone, they don't offer any built-in capabilities.
The Sony XP700 is the best Sony speaker we've tested. While this large party speaker isn't as portable as the Sony XG500, it has a boomy sound profile with its 'MEGA BASS' feature enabled, and it can get incredibly loud. Its companion app features a graphic EQ and presets you can use to customize its sound to better suit your preferences. Unfortunately, there are compression artifacts present at max volume that can affect the clarity of your audio at louder volume levels. It has customizable RGB lights and is compatible with the Fiestable app, which you can use to access extra party features of this speaker. It also comes with a mic input and a mic/guitar input which may please musicians.
JBL is an American company that manufactures a variety of audio equipment, including loudspeakers and headphones. They have a wide variety of speakers, though they're generally designed for outdoor use and casual listening. Many of their speakers have balanced sound profiles out-of-the-box, though they often don't have a lot of sound customization features like a graphic EQ. Some JBL speakers can get quite loud and come with RGB lights, making them suitable for parties. Many are designed for use on the go, like the JBL GO 3, which has a small, portable design and a built-in hook. Overall, JBL speakers are well built and have a range of designs and uses.
The JBL PartyBox 310 is the best JBL speaker we've tested. This large Bluetooth speaker has a unique design with circular RGB lights. It has a slightly boomy sound profile that can produce a fairly extended low-bass, which may please fans of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop or EDM. It can get very loud, making it suitable for playing music in large groups of people, though there's some compression present at max volume. Unfortunately, it isn't very portable due to its bulky design. That said, you can use it outside thanks to its 17-hour battery life and IPX4 rating for water resistance, which certifies it to be protected from small splashes of water. Like the JBL PartyBox 100, this speaker has Mic-in and Guitar-in ports, handy for musicians.
Ultimate Ears is an American manufacturer that's a subsidiary of Logitech. They produce a variety of audio products, including headphones, in-ear monitors, and wireless Bluetooth speakers. Their speakers are generally well-built and designed for outdoor use, with portable designs and durable builds. Many have IP ratings for water resistance, like the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, certified to be submersible in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. Although many Ultimate Ears speakers don't offer voice assistant support, they often have a 360-degree design, which results in an open and spacious soundstage.
The Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST is the best Ultimate Ears speaker we've tested. This versatile Bluetooth speaker is incredibly portable and offers outstanding voice assistant support with Alexa built-in. It's also amazingly well-built with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, so it's certified to be fully dust-tight as well as immersible in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It has a pretty neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It also has an incredibly wide and natural-sounding soundstage, thanks to its 360-degree design. However, this speaker may be hard to find in stock, though we'll update the article if it gets discontinued. It struggles to reproduce low-bass, so you can't feel the deep thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Fortunately, it comes with a graphic EQ and presets to customize its sound.
Oct 01, 2021: Minor updates to the text for accuracy; no changes were made in product picks.
Sep 02, 2021: Replaced the Sony SRS-XB43 with the Sony XP700 since it's a better speaker overall. Updated the text for consistency.
Jul 06, 2021: Added the Google Nest Audio as the best Google pick, and the Apple HomePod Mini as the best Apple pick, since the Google Home Max and the Apple HomePod have been discontinued.
May 07, 2021: Confirmed the picks are still the best recommendations for our users. Minor changes made to the text for consistency and accuracy.
Apr 16, 2021: Confirmed all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best speaker brands and the best speakers available to buy for most people in various price ranges, from over 20 different speaker manufacturers.
If you'd like to choose for yourself, here is the list of all our speaker reviews. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect speakers. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.