The 7 Best Home Speakers - Winter 2021 Reviews

Updated
Best Home Speakers
43 Speakers Tested
  • Store-bought speakers; no cherry-picked units
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If you love listening to audio at home, you'll want a speaker that can fill up your space with your favorite music or podcasts. Nowadays, many speakers offer a sleek, stylish design that can blend in easily with your existing home decor without taking up a lot of space or requiring a lot of unsightly wires and cords. Many speakers come with built-in voice assistant capabilities that can help you with your day-to-day tasks, and some even support multi-room features that make it easy to bring your audio with you from one room to the next. If you plan on using your speaker around water, like in your kitchen or your bathroom, some speakers also come with waterproof designs, though we don't currently test for this.

We've tested over 25 speakers, and below you'll find out recommendations for the best home speakers. See also our recommendations for the best cheap speakers and the best Bluetooth speakers.


  1. Best Home Speaker: Sonos Move

    7.0
    Music
    6.5
    Videos/Movies
    8.2
    Podcasts
    8.6
    Voice Assistant
    7.7
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    Yes

    The Sonos Move is the best home speaker that we've tested. This well-built Bluetooth speaker has a fairly sleek design that can blend in with most decor, and it has a built-in battery that can last over 10 hours on a single charge. Both Alexa and Google Assistant are built-in, which can understand you easily, even if you're far away.

    It has a very balanced sound profile that makes it suitable for listening to many types of audio content. Although it has to downmix stereo content into mono, it has good directivity, so its soundstage is perceived as open and spacious. You can also tweak its sound using the bass and treble adjusts in its companion app, Sonos S2. The app also lets you pair multiple speakers to amplify the sound of your audio or play music across rooms in your home.

    Unfortunately, it lacks low-bass, which may disappoint fans of bass-heavy music like EDM or hip-hop. Also, though it can get quite loud, there's a lot of compression present at max volume. That being said, if you're looking for a versatile speaker that's well-suited to home use, this speaker offers a great overall performance.

    See our review

  2. Stereo Alternative: Google Home Max

    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    If you'd prefer a home speaker that can play stereo content, consider the Google Home Max. While it's not as portable as the Sonos Move due to its wired design, it still offers a versatile performance overall. When placed horizontally, it can use its left and right channels to play stereo content, resulting in a soundstage that feels immersive. It has a well-balanced sound profile that makes it suitable for listening to different types of audio content. There are also bass and treble adjustments available in its companion app, Google Home, and you can pair it with other Google speakers to create a stereo pair or to play audio across multiple rooms. It can also get quite loud on its own, making it suitable for playing in crowded rooms, though there are some compression artifacts present at max volume. Google Assistant is built-in, which can understand you easily when you're far away, though it may struggle to understand you in noisy environments.

    If you want a more portable speaker with a better-balanced sound profile, consider the Sonos. If you'd prefer a speaker that can get louder and is able to play stereo content, check out the Google.

    See our review

  3. Best Home Speaker For Music: Sonos Five

    7.5
    Music
    6.2
    Videos/Movies
    6.3
    Podcasts
    2.9
    Voice Assistant
    4.7
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    No
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    No
    Battery Powered
    No

    If you love listening to music, the best speaker for home that we've tested is the Sonos Five. This wired speaker has a sleek, rectangular design, and you can position it horizontally for stereo audio or vertically for mono audio. You can even pair it with other Sonos speakers to create a stereo pair or to amplify your music across a large room for a party.

    It comes with Sonos' Trueplay feature, which can automatically optimize its audio reproduction to meet the unique acoustic characteristics of your room. With this feature turned on, it has a pretty neutral sound profile suitable for lots of different music genres, though it can sound a bit bright. There are bass and treble adjustments available in the Sonos S2 app to help you customize its sound to your liking, which is nice.

    Unfortunately, it doesn't support voice assistants, and there's a lot of compressions when you play it at max volume. Also, it isn't rated for dust or water resistance, so you should be careful if you plan to use it near water. However, the manufacturer claims that it's safe to use in high-humidity environments like your bathroom, though we don't test for this.

    See our review

  4. More Customizable Alternative: Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM

    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    No
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    No
    Battery Powered
    Yes

    If you want a speaker for listening to music at home that comes with more sound customization features, consider the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM. Although it can't produce as much low-bass as the Sonos Five out-of-the-box, it has a full graphic EQ that lets you customize its sound to your liking. It can also get amazingly loud, without much compression present at max volume. Unlike the Sonos, it's battery-operated, and it can last almost 24 hours on a single charge, so you can move it around your house or even take it outside without having to plug it into a power source. It also has Bluetooth capabilities, although it's not Wi-Fi compatible. While its companion app lets you pair it to another HYPERBOOM speaker to create a stereo pair or amplify your audio in a crowded room, there's no Multi-Room feature to let you play music from multiple speakers across rooms in your home.

    If you want a wired-speaker with a more neutral sound profile that can produce more low-bass, go for the Sonos. If you're looking for a speaker that can get louder and lets you customize its sound to your liking, check out the Ultimate Ears.

    See our review

  5. Best Home Speaker For Voice Assistant: Apple HomePod

    7.4
    Music
    6.4
    Videos/Movies
    6.9
    Podcasts
    8.5
    Voice Assistant
    4.8
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    No
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The best home speaker with a voice assistant that we've tested is the Apple HomePod. This wired speaker has built-in Siri voice assistant, and it offers an excellent voice assistant performance. You can activate Siri with your voice, and it does an excellent job understanding you, even if you're far away or in a noisy place.

    It has a decently neutral, balanced sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different audio content. Also, thanks to its 360-degree design, it has an outstanding soundstage that can really immerse you in your music. You can also pair it with other Apple HomePods to create a stereo pair, amplify music across a crowded party, or even use the Multi-Room feature to bring your audio with you from one room to the next.

    Unfortunately, while you can turn Siri off using your voice, it doesn't have a physical mic mute button like the Amazon Echo Gen 4. Also, it doesn't come with any sound customization features, which some listeners may find disappointing. That said, if you want a voice assistant speaker to help you with your day-to-day activities, it's a solid choice.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Home Speaker: Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2

    6.8
    Music
    6.1
    Videos/Movies
    8.0
    Podcasts
    3.2
    Voice Assistant
    7.8
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    No
    Speakerphone
    No
    Voice Assistant
    No
    Battery Powered
    Yes

    The best speaker for home in the budget category that we've tested is the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. It comes in several different colors, so you can choose a style that best fits your design aesthetic. It's well-built and portable, and it even has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.

    It has neutral, balanced mid and treble ranges that can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly and with detail. It can play stereo content, and its 360-degree soundstage really immerses you in its open, large soundstage. It can also last for over twelve hours off of a single charge, so you can enjoy multiple long listening sessions without needing a recharge.

    Unfortunately, like most small speakers, it doesn't get very loud, so you may not be able to use it in large rooms. Also, it struggles to reproduce low-bass, which can be disappointing if you like bass-heavy genres like EDM. That said, it comes with an 'Outdoor Mode' EQ, and even though we don't test for it, it's advertised to help with bass reproduction.

    See our review

  7. Best Cheap Home Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4

    5.7
    Music
    5.2
    Videos/Movies
    6.3
    Podcasts
    8.8
    Voice Assistant
    4.9
    Outdoors
    Bluetooth
    Yes
    Wi-Fi
    Yes
    Speakerphone
    Yes
    Voice Assistant
    Yes
    Battery Powered
    No

    The Amazon Echo Dot Gen 4 is the best cheap home speaker that we've tested. This small, wired-only speaker has a distinct spherical design with a ring of light around its base. It has built-in Amazon Alexa support, and its voice assistant does an excellent job understanding you, even if you're far away or in a noisy environment.

    It offers a balanced mid-range that can reproduce vocals and lead instruments clearly, though they may also sound a bit dark or dull. Fortunately, there are bass and treble adjustments available in the Amazon Alexa app to help you customize its sound. You can even pair two of these speakers together to create a stereo pair or to boost your music across a large room or a crowded party.

    Unfortunately, this small speaker really struggles to reproduce the thumpy low-bass found in bass-heavy music or action-packed movie scenes. It doesn't get very loud, and it has to downmix stereo content into mono, which isn't very immersive-sounding. That said, if you're on a tight budget, this is still a solid choice.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Apple HomePod: The Apple HomePod is a versatile wired speaker with built-in Siri voice assistant. It has an outstanding 360-degree soundstage that can really immerse you in your audio, but unfortunately, it doesn't offer any sound customization features. See our review
  • Bose SoundLink Revolve: The Bose SoundLink Revolve is a stylish, portable Bluetooth speaker that's a solid option for listeners looking for a small speaker. However, like most small speakers, it struggles to reproduce low-bass and doesn't get very loud. See our review
  • Anker Soundcore Flare 2: The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a small, portable Bluetooth speaker in the budget range that comes with a graphic EQ for sound customization. It isn't as well-built as the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, and it doesn't get as loud. See our review
  • Amazon Echo Gen 4: The Amazon Echo Gen 4 is a small speaker with built-in Alexa capabilities that offers amazing performance for voice assistants; however, it isn't as versatile as the Apple HomePod. It's also a bit more expensive than the Echo Dot Gen 4, but it does have a better-balanced sound profile and can get louder. See our review
  • Sony SRS-XB43: The Sony SRS-XB43 is a small, portable speaker with customizable lighting. Its sound profile isn't very well-balanced, but it has a basic graphic EQ in its companion app. While it has a 15-hour battery life, it doesn't have a built-in voice assistant, so it uses the voice assistant from your paired smartphone. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Feb 24, 2021: Replaced the Sony SRS-XB43 with the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM as the 'More Customizable Alternative' in the 'Best Home Speakers for Music' category. Confirmed the rest of the picks are available and still the best recommendations for our users.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best speakers for home for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper speakers win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).

If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for speakers. 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.

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