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The 9 Best Speaker Brands - Winter 2024 Reviews

Best Speaker Brands

If you're looking for the best Bluetooth speaker brands to buy a new speaker from, you may feel 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, there's no easy answer regarding the best brand for you. Certain features may appeal to you more than others, depending on your unique listening habits.

We've tested speakers from over 30 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, 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.

  1. Sonos

    Sonos is an American company that manufactures high-end audio products designed mainly for home use, like smart speakers and soundbars. Their speakers stand out from other brands thanks to their connectivity-focused designs— you can create a whole ecosystem of Sonos soundbars and speakers through the app, which allows you to spread audio throughout multiple rooms in your home. Generally, their speakers have sleek and premium designs to blend into your decor, with built-in voice assistant support for hands-free control. These premium, high-end products boast great sound, but you'll probably want to look elsewhere if you want a simpler speaker.

    The Sonos Era 300 is the best speaker we've tested from the manufacturer. It's emblematic of the manufacturer's connectivity-oriented designs since you can use it on its own or pair it up with a Sonos soundbar to create a home theater setup right in the comfort of your living room. It boasts many premium features like built-in Alexa, Dolby Atmos support, and a room correction tool to optimize its sound based on your room's unique acoustics. The Sonos Roam/Roam SL and the Sonos Move 2 are good alternatives if you prefer a more portable model. Again, they boast a great sound, but their premium price point isn't ideal for everyone.

    See our review

  2. Bose

    Bose is another American manufacturer that's one of the main competitors to Sonos. Both manufacturers are known for their premium smart speakers designed for home use. However, Bose's lineup is more wide-ranging and versatile than their competition, so you have a lot more options to choose from. You can find more budget-friendly and portable options for use outside of the home, as well as wireless PA systems like the Bose S1 Pro+ for musicians. Depending on your tastes, the company's signature sound is either a benefit or a drawback.

    The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is the best of both worlds, and that's why it's ranked among the best Bose speakers we've tested. It integrates built-in voice assistant capabilities into a portable device to take your favorite tunes with you on the go. Unlike more home-oriented models like the aptly named Bose Home Speaker 500, you can use it on battery power, so you don't have to worry about plugging it into an outlet when you're out and about. It has a premium design that shows in its price. If you want a more simple, rugged speaker for outdoor use, something like the Bose SoundLink Flex may be a better alternative for you.

    See our review

  3. JBL

    JBL is another well-known name in the speaker space. This brand is notable due to their wide selection of speakers geared towards lots of different market segments, from their party-oriented PartyBox lineup to the more home-oriented Authentics lineup. JBL's speakers are more rugged, too, and their sturdy build is part of their appeal, especially if you plan to use them on the go. Compared with Sonos and Bose speakers, for example, these models aren't quite as stylish but boast other features like IP ratings for dust and water resistance.

    The JBL Boombox 3 is one of the manufacturer's more premium offerings, and its versatile performance is designed to please many different listeners. As its name implies, this speaker has a boombox-like design with a built-in handle to take your tunes on the go. It's a mighty speaker with great sound quality, so you enjoy a deep and thumpy bass with EDM and hip-hop tracks and clear and accurate vocals and instruments in the mids. Customization is easy thanks to the graphic EQ in the JBL Portable app. This Bluetooth speaker gets loud, too, and with a battery life of over 29 hours, it's a great way to take the party late into the night. If you prefer a more style-conscious home speaker, the JBL Authentics 500 is worth a look, while the JBL Clip 4 is more suited for budget-friendly outdoor listeners.

    See our review

  4. Sony

    Like JBL, Sony's speaker lineup is versatile enough to address lots of different potential use cases in the market. They produce everything from wired home speakers like the Sony SRS-RA3000 to booming party speakers like the Sony SRS-XP700. Their portable Bluetooth speakers are a great way to get good sound quality at an affordable price, and you'll find models available at a wide array of price points, so even budget-conscious shoppers can get good sound quality. While their speakers don't tend to be voice-enabled, some of them are compatible with the voice assistant on your paired smartphone.

    The Sony SRS-XG500 is a versatile pick that's ideal for different listeners. It's a premium device with a boombox-like design, and its IP66 rating for dust and water resistance helps to protect it when you listen to your favorite songs outside. This speaker is customizable, too. You can set its built-in RGB lights to the colors and patterns you like in the Sony Music Center app. Plus, thanks to the graphic EQ and presets also found in the app, you can customize the speaker's sound. Even without these tools, you still enjoy great sound out-of-the-box, thanks to Sony's ClearAudio+ feature that corrects the audio based on your room's acoustics. It also lasts over 25 hours off a single charge, which is impressive.

    See our review

  5. Ultimate Ears

    Ultimate Ears is an American manufacturer that's a subsidiary of Logitech. They produce wireless Bluetooth speakers at a wide array of different price points, so you can find high-quality premium models in addition to more wallet-friendly selections. Their budget-friendly models rank among the best we've tested in the lower price range, thanks to their quality sound and wide array of customization tools. These speakers aren't quite as sleek or stylish as what you get with home-oriented manufacturers like Sonos and Bose, though, and you aren't likely to find integrated voice assistant support for hands-free control.

    The Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM is the best speaker we've tested from the manufacturer, and it expertly bridges the gap between style and sound. Its non-descript look sets it apart from speakers like the Ultimate Ears EPICBOOM, as it fits in more easily with your home decor. Still, it's battery-powered, so you can bring it on the go. It also has many premium sound enhancement features, like room correction and a graphic EQ. It's rated IPX4 for water resistance, but if you're looking for a more rugged speaker to take outside, the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3 is a good alternative. It's cheaper with fewer features, but it can float in water, which is cool.

    See our review

  6. Anker

    Anker is another one of the best Bluetooth speaker brands on the market. Similar to Ultimate Ears, they have some higher-end products on the market, but they really shine with portable, wallet-friendly models. With rugged designs, many of their speakers are meant to withstand some exposure to the elements, so you can take them outside to listen to your favorite tunes in the backyard. They offer a good amount of features for the price, including graphic EQ and presets to customize their sound. Built-in voice assistant support is rare, though, and they don't look as premium as speakers from Bose and Sonos.

    The Anker Soundcore Motion X600 is the best Anker speaker we've tested. This portable Bluetooth speaker has a boombox-style design with a sturdy feel for the price. It's rated IPX7 for water resistance, and its built-in handle makes it easy to carry wherever you go. It has great sound quality, with the standard graphic EQ and presets available with more budget-friendly offerings like the Anker Soundcore Flare 2. However, this more premium model stands out from the crowd thanks to its Spatial Audio feature, which is designed to bring a more immersive feel to your audio. You can even pair it to your smartphone to use its voice assistant.

    See our review

  7. Apple

    Apple is an American technology company that almost needs no introduction. Along with Amazon and Google, they're leaders in the smart technology space, with speakers that use integrated voice assistant technology to bring hands-free control right into the comfort of your home. If you own other Apple products, you can easily pair them up to the speaker using Apple AirPlay. Wired-only designs mean they're meant to be used at home, but their stylish designs are great for design-conscious shoppers. However, you won't find the same diversity in their lineup as larger manufacturers like JBL or Sony, and there aren't any sound customization features to manually adjust their performance.

    Released in 2023, the Apple HomePod (2nd generation) is a great way to bring Siri into your home. It's a voice-enabled speaker that easily picks up on your commands, even if you're far from the speaker. Compared to the first generation, this version brings an improved sound thanks to its bass-EQ microphone, which is designed to enhance lower frequencies in the mix, even when you listen at low volumes. Like other premium speakers, there's a built-in room calibration tool to get the best possible sound for your space. Privacy-conscious users can even mute Siri's microphone, which is a nice touch. It's not cheap, and its higher-end price point won't be ideal for everyone.

    See our review

  8. Amazon

    Amazon also ranks among the best speaker brands we've tested for smart home speakers. Like Apple, its current lineup is limited to only a few devices, but they're each designed to make the most of your Amazon ecosystem. For example, their more premium models come with Zigbee support, which lets you connect many different smart home devices to the speaker. Through Alexa, you can control all your home devices in one.

    The Amazon Echo Studio supports all these smart features like Zigbee and built-in Alexa support. It comes in a sleek and stylish package that fits with your living room decor, though its wired-only design limits its portability. Compared to the Apple HomePod (2nd generation), you won't find a room correction tool, though it allows for some customization thanks to its bass and treble adjustments. It doesn't reproduce quite as much low-bass as the Apple speaker, which is disappointing if you love bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop. Still, it has a good sound, and if you prefer Amazon products, it's worth a look.

    See our review

  9. Google

    Google is an American technology company that produces a wide range of internet-related products. They sell phones, smart speakers, tablets, earbuds, and more. They currently have two speakers on the market: the Google Nest Audio and the smaller Google Nest Mini, which offer excellent voice assistant support via Google Assistant. It's easy to check the weather or get a status update on traffic, for example, using only your voice. Plus, you can mute the voice assistant's microphones for more private moments. These speakers are ideal for those who already own Google products, but again, the lineup isn't very diverse, so you'll only find wired home speakers with this manufacturer.

    The best from Google is the Google Nest Audio. It's a home speaker with a sleek design that's meant to fit in with your home decor, and it's even available in a couple of different color options. Of course, Google Assistant is built right into the device, along with Chromecast support for easy streaming from compatible devices. The Google Home app is designed to pair this speaker with compatible Google models to spread audio throughout your home or create a stereo pair. You'll also find bass and treble adjustments to switch up its sound in the app. Like most smart speakers, the sound quality is decent, and it gets loud enough for average-sized living rooms. It isn't meant for outdoor use, though, and it isn't the most portable. If you love Google products and want a simple voice-assistant device, though, it's a great pick.

    See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Jan 08, 2024: Product picks remain the same, with some text edits for clarity.

  2. Nov 01, 2023: Product picks confirmed. Some text edits for clarity.

  3. Sep 08, 2023: No changes in product picks. Text updates for clarity.

  4. Jul 13, 2023: Replaced the Anker Soundcore Motion+ with the Anker Soundcore Motion X600 as 'Best Anker'.

  5. May 17, 2023: Updated the scope of the article to include more versatile speaker picks. Replaced the Sony SRS-XP700 with the Sony SRS-XG500, and the JBL PartyBox 310 with the JBL Boombox 3. The newly-tested Sonos Era 300 replaces the Sonos Move, too.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best brands for speakers available for most people in various price ranges from over 30 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.