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 25 different brands, and below are our recommendations for the best brands for speakers. 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 come with Alexa built-in. They're also designed to be used at home and tend to need to be plugged into a power outlet to work. 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, and you can control them using Alexa. With its default 'stereo spatial enhancement' feature enabled, it has a balanced and neutral sound profile, 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 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 normally offer excellent voice assistant support with Google Assistant built-in. They also tend to feature mute mic buttons when you no longer want the assistant to listen to you. They're mostly designed to be used at home and aren't very portable since they need to stay wired to a power outlet to work, making it difficult to take them outdoors with you.
The Google Nest Audio is the best Google speaker we've tested. It's a small, wired home speaker that can easily blend in with your home decor. Google Assistant is built into this speaker and can be activated with your voice. It does a decent job registering your voice in noisy rooms and is excellent at understanding you from far away. There's also a mic mute switch you can use when you no longer want it to hear you. It has a balanced mid-range out-of-the-box that ensures vocals and lead instruments are reproduced accurately and with detail in the mix, though higher-pitched voices and instruments sound dull and veiled at times. It also lacks a thumpy low-bass. Fortunately, the Google Home app has bass and treble adjustments to customize its sound profile 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 one of the best Bluetooth speaker brands if you're on the market for good, 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 we've tested is the Anker Soundcore Motion+. This portable speaker is small and lightweight. It's rated IPX7 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can take it outside with you without needing to worry about accidentally dropping it in a pool of water. It has a balanced mid-range, so vocals and lead instruments sound clear and present in the mix. You can also adjust its sound to your liking using the graphic EQ and presets featured in its companion app. However, like most speakers its size, it lacks low-bass, so you can't feel the thump and rumble in bass-heavy music like EDM. While its soundstage isn't as wide and spacious-sounding as that of the Anker Soundcore Flare 2, it can get louder and has a longer-lasting battery life of over 15 hours, making it better suited for longer listening sessions, though this varies depending on your chosen volume levels and settings.
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 toward 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 best Bose speaker we've tested is the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. Though it doesn't get as loud as the Bose Home Speaker 500 and has to downmix stereo content to mono, this speaker is battery-powered and comes with a built-in carrying handle making it more portable, so you can bring your favorite music along with you wherever you go. It comes with an IPX4 rating for water resistance that certifies it to withstand small splashes of water, so you can bring it outside with you without needing to worry about it getting a bit wet. You can also pair it with another compatible Bose speaker to create a stereo pair. It has a slightly boomy default sound profile with a balanced mid-range that ensures vocals and lead instruments reproduce clearly and accurately in the mix. That said, like most speakers its size, it lacks a thumpy low-bass. Fortunately, there are bass and treble adjustments in its companion app to tweak its sound to your liking. The speaker also offers fantastic voice assistant support with Google Assistant and Alexa built-in.
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 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 Sonos Move is the best Sonos speaker we've tested. While it isn't as small as the Sonos Roam, this battery-powered speaker is still incredibly portable and comes with a built-in carrying handle to help transport it. It's rated IP56 for dust and water resistance, meaning it withstands direct contact with water for up to three minutes and dust for around two to eight hours, so you don't have to worry about it getting a bit wet when bringing it outside with you. Alexa and Google Assistant are built into this speaker and can hear you from far away and in noisy rooms. With its room correction feature enabled, it has a very well-balanced sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. You can also tweak its sound to your liking using the bass and treble slider featured in its companion app. However, while it gets pretty loud, there are compression artifacts that degrade the quality of your audio as you bump up the volume. That said, this well-built smart speaker's versatility makes it 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 we've tested is the Sony XP700. Though it isn't as easily portable as the Sony XG500, this large party speaker features an extra mic input, meaning you can wire a microphone and an instrument like a guitar to the speaker at the same time. With its 'MEGA BASS' preset enabled, it has a boomy sound profile. However, it lacks the deep rumble in low-bass that's typically felt in bass-heavy music like hip-hop and EDM. Fortunately, you can customize its sound to better suit your preferences using the graphic EQ and presets featured in its Sony Music Center companion app. You can also access and customize this speaker's extra party features via the Fiestable app.
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 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 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, making JBL one of the best brands we've tested.
The best JBL speaker we've tested is the JBL PartyBox 310. While this large stereo party speaker isn't as small as JBL's more portable speaker models like the JBL Boombox 2 and the JBL Flip 6, it comes with extra features like customizable RGB lights, mic and guitar inputs, and a 12V DC In port you can use to charge the speaker from your car's lighter port. With its Bass Boost feature set to the first level, it has a slightly boomy sound profile that can produce quite an extended low-bass, so you can feel the deep thump and rumble typically present in bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. However, there isn't a graphic EQ, so you can't customize its sound to your liking. That said, it gets loud enough to fill large parties, and it's rated IPX4 for water resistance, meaning it can withstand small splashes of water. Unlike the JBL PartyBox 710, it's battery-powered and was also able to last over 17 hours from a single charge, making it great for long listening sessions, though this varies depending on your chosen settings and volume levels.
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. They generally produce well-built portable speakers with IP ratings for water resistance like the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, which is certified to be immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. While most Ultimate Ears speakers don't support voice assistants like the Ultimate Ears MEGABLAST, most of them are compatible with the Ultimate Ears app, which features a graphic EQ and presets to customize the speaker's sound. Their speakers' versatility and customizability make Ultimate Ears one of the best speaker brands we've tested.
The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is the best Ultimate Ears speaker we've tested. This large portable Bluetooth speaker comes with a built-in handle to help transport it. It's rated IPX4 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to withstand small splashes of water, so you can take it outdoors with you without needing to worry about it getting a bit wet. It has a long-lasting battery life of almost 24 hours, making it suitable for long listening sessions. It comes with a room correction feature Ultimate Ears calls 'Adaptive EQ' that optimizes the speaker's sound according to the room it's placed in. With this feature enabled, it has a balanced sound profile suitable for listening to different types of audio content, though it lacks a thumpy low-bass. Fortunately, there's a graphic EQ and presets you can use to adjust its sound to your liking. This speaker is also great if you like to blast your favorite music at loud volumes since it gets pretty loud with little compression at max volume, and the quality of your audio doesn't degrade much as you bump up the volume.
May 13, 2022: Made minor changes to the text for consistency and accuracy. No changes were made in product picks.
Apr 13, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
Mar 18, 2022: Minor changes to the text for accuracy. No changes in product picks.
Feb 16, 2022: Updated text for clarity; no changes to product picks.
Jan 21, 2022: Verified picks for availability and updated text for accuracy.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best brands for speakers available for most people in various price ranges, from over 25 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.