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 best Amazon Speaker we've tested is the Amazon Echo Studio. This wired smart speaker comes with Alexa built-in and can easily register your commands from far away. It has a Zigbee hub built-in which you can use to connect it to other compatible smart home devices like light bulbs and thermostats. It can also use Alexa to control them. With its default 'stereo spatial enhancement' feature enabled, it has a balanced and neutral sound profile overall, making it suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. It's also advertised to support Dolby Atmos and Sony's 360 Reality Audio content. It gets decently loud with little compression present at max volume, so your audio sounds clean and clear during louder listening sessions. Unfortunately, Alexa isn't as good at registering your commands in noisier settings as the Amazon Echo Gen 4.
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. Unfortunately, while the Apple HomePod can even operate as a soundbar for your Apple TV, the manufacturer discontinued this speaker.
The Apple HomePod mini is a small spherical home speaker with Siri built-in. It has a balanced mid-range out-of-the-box, so voices and lead instruments reproduce clearly and with detail, though they may sound dark at times. Unfortunately, it lacks sound customization features like a graphic EQ and presets, so you can't customize its sound to better suit your preferences. That said, its directivity is outstanding thanks to its 360-degree design, so its soundstage is perceived as open and spacious. Also, the speaker can be paired to another HomePod speaker when you want to create a stereo pair or to multiple other speakers when you want to play different audio in different rooms of your home at the same time.
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 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 best Google speaker that we've tested is the Google Nest Audio. This small home speaker offers fantastic voice assistant support. It comes with Google Assistant built-in, does a decent job understanding your commands in noisy environments, and is excellent at understanding you from far away. It also comes with a switch you can use to mute its mic when you no longer want it to listen to you. It has a balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix, though higher-pitched vocals and instruments may sound a bit dark. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound to your liking, thanks to the bass and treble adjustments featured in its companion app.
Anker is a young company that produces lots of different audio equipment, as well as portable power banks and affordable charging cables. They're 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 best Anker Speaker that we've tested is the Anker Soundcore Motion+. This speaker is small, lightweight, and incredibly portable, so you can easily take it with you when you're on the move. It's also well-built with an IPX7 rating for water resistance, certifying it to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. With BassUp enabled, its mid-range is balanced, so vocals and lead instruments reproduce accurately and with detail. That said, like most small speakers, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. Fortunately, you can tweak its sound to your liking using the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. It also has a long-lasting battery life of up to 15 hours, making it suitable for long listening sessions. However, battery life can vary depending on your usage, and your real-world experience may vary.
Bose is an American manufacturer that specializes in home electronics. While they're best known for making high-end noise cancelling 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, while 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 we've tested. It comes with a built-in carrying handle so you can easily move it from room to room. It comes with Alexa and Google Assistant built-in and can easily understand your commands from far away and in noisy settings. Its sound profile is slightly boomy, though it's balanced overall, making it suitable for a wide variety of audio content. There are also bass and treble adjustments you can use to tweak its sound to your liking. Unfortunately, it doesn't get very loud, and there are compression artifacts present at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean at louder volumes. That said, it can be paired with other compatible Bose speakers when you want to amplify your audio across a large space without bumping up the volume on the speaker.
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, which is compatible with the Sony Music Center app and 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 best Sony Speaker that we've tested is the Sony XP700. This speaker isn't as portable as the Sony XG500. However, with its 'MEGA BASS' feature enabled, this large party speaker has a boomy sound profile. You can tweak its sound to your liking, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets in its companion app. It can also get outstandingly loud, though there's some compression present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean during louder listening sessions. That said, it comes with customizable RGB lights, mic and guitar inputs, and carrying handles to help with transporting it. It's also compatible with the Fiestable app that's advertised to allow you to access and control extra party features of this speaker.
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 lack sound customization features like a graphic EQ. Some JBL speakers can get 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, that's 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 HYPERBOOM is the best Ultimate Ears speaker we've tested. It's a large portable speaker that comes with a built-in carrying handle for transportation and is rated IPX4 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be able to withstand small splashes of water. Its Adaptive EQ room correction feature adjusts the speaker's sound according to the unique acoustics of the room it's placed in. With this feature turned on, it has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to many different types of audio content. However, it lacks thump and rumble in the low-bass range. Fortunately, there's a graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app, which you can use to customize the speaker's sound profile to your liking. I can also get very loud, with little compression present at max volume, resulting in clean audio during louder listening sessions.
Dec 24, 2021: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Nov 25, 2021: No changes were made to product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Oct 27, 2021: Replaced the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST with the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM since the MEGABLAST is currently difficult to find in stock.
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.
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.