So you want to buy the best speakers but don't know where to start?
From Bluetooth speakers like the Riva S to soundbars and from connected systems like Sonos to outdoor speakers there's definitely no shortage of options out there.
We've got Bowers & Wilkins' incredible Bluetooth speaker for those that want big sound on the go and we've even got Ultimate Ears' all-purpose Boom which boasts an absurd battery life and a waterproof body.
Of course if you're looking for something more suited to the living room then we've got those as well courtesy of Sonos, Naim, Bang & Olufsen and Sony.
The UE BOOM
is in every way the Land Rover Defender of Bluetooth speakers. Unique in its design, the BOOM is the capable of fitting just about any scenario. It produces a crisp, loud sound that still provides a room-filling amount of bass. A huge battery will keep it going for days while waterproofing makes it as worthy for the living room as it does the festival tent. We approve.Price:
Two things have become very clear in our time with the B&W T7
. First, it sounds incredible. Depending on where you place it, this is an extremely powerful, crisp Bluetooth speaker with great bass, no rattle and a tight overall sound. Secondly, it looks stunning. This isn't a cheap option, but if you want a design-led portable speaker that can follow you around the house the T7 is for you.Price:
Sonos remain one of our favourite speaker manufacturers for two reasons: simplicity and power. Six years in the making the Play:5
is the ultimate wireless speaker. No buttons are visible, instead touch-sensitive controls are embedded into the design. The Play:5's array of speakers are all perfectly controlled and managed by a dedicated processing unit to make sure that each note is as crisp and powerful as it can be. Sonos' multi-room speakers are expensive but what you get in return are products that feel more like investments than throwaway gadgets.Price:
Bang & Olufsen's B&O Play brand have gone from strength to strength. Their audio products are some of the best-looking we've ever seen and the BeoPlay A2
is no different. This a premium Bluetooth speaker and the price tag reflects that. In return though you get something that while small produces some of the best (and clearest) bass notes we've ever heard on a portable speaker. Then there's the design which blends modern minimalism with a hint of art deco lavishness.Price:
The Naim Mu-so
is £895. We'll get that out of the way now. For that big price you get a big speaker, with an even bigger sound. The Mu-so is a meticulously crafted aluminium block that looks like the spare part from a stealth fighter and sounds like one too. Six amplifiers pump out 450-watts of sound, more than enough for a house, let alone a living room. If a statement is what you're after then the Mu-so is for you.Price:
Pure's Jongo range of wireless multi-room speakers are an absolute triumph for the UK-based audio company. Easy to set up, great-sounding and half the price of most rivals the Jongo T6X
is the flagship of the range, punching out 100-watts of high-fidelity audio. With a huge range of sizes and prices the Jongo range is a great way to upgrade your home's sound systems without breaking the bank.Price:
OK so this is the absolute upper end of the spectrum. Panasonic has brought the iconic Technics brand back to life with this, the C700 Stereo System
. It is quite simply the pinnacle of hi-fi. It is the result of Panasonic's finest audio engineers feeling frustrated with the current loss of focus on music and so the Technics brand was reborn. Comprising of an amp, network player and speaker system the C700 has been designed with one aim in mind, to help us rediscover music. Don't take our word for it, head to the Technics site, find a retailer and give them a listen.Price:
The Libratone ZIPP continues the company's uniquely stylish approach of 'dressing' its products in a soft fabric coat. Not only does it stand out but it has the added benefit of giving the ZIPP an element of customisation allowing you to switch up the colours as you see fit. It's not just a pretty face though, ZIPP is a powerful wireless speaker that's more than capable of being the stand alone audio provider in the room. The touch sensitive controls on top are a nice flourish. It's not cheap, but then style that actually has substance never is.
If there's one thing Naim are really good at, it's cramming huge quantities of power into very small devices. While the original Mu-so weighs as much as a small jet engine it's actually relatively compact for a home system. The Qb goes one step further, it's a cube packed with a frankly absurd 300watts of power. The Qb isn't cheap, but what you get in return is an entire room's worth of audio packed into a block of art.
The Riva S is not, we'll be honest, the best-looking speaker on this list. It's not unattractive, it's just very functional. Thankfully once you turn it on and start playing you won't care what it looks like as you'll only be using your ears. This small Bluetooth speaker can pump out 30W of truly room-ecompassing sound that never reaches breaking point, even at high volumes. Throw in 13 hours of battery life and for this price, we're sold.