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Best speaker 2021 • 6 speakers Reviews

If you’re here, we’re ready to bet that you’re looking for the best speakers currently on the market, and we can’t blame you. Whether you want to listen to music, enjoy movies or video games, or deafen passers-by in your car, we’ve got everything you need!

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Tested Products 6
Hours Spent
Hours Spent 65
Evaluated Studies
Evaluated Studies 170
Considered Reviews
Considered Reviews 655

What is a speaker and how does it work?

Whether you want the best portable model for your holidays or a powered speaker for your record player, this device is complex and influenced by countless factors. You can find whole articles dedicated to different speaker variants, which is why we will focus on answering more general questions in the following sections.

What are the different uses of speakers?

If you think you can enjoy Jimi Hendrix solos with a portable speaker, you’re not reaching sound-quality potential; nor if you’re planning to take bookshelf speakers to the pool—not only because of their size and manageability but also because they tend to be delicate models. This is why each speaker presents specific features. Use your good judgment to make the most of them.

Speakers for Audiophiles

In reality, any speaker with a high enough quality can fit into this category. However, options like portable models or mid-to-low range soundbars rarely do. This is because these speakers are designed with other needs in mind. Most audiophile speakers use wired technology, although you can now find high-quality Bluetooth alternatives that are ideal for enjoying music.

Bluetooth Speakers

Speakers with Bluetooth connection can be used in various situations: listening to music, watching movies, gaming, and more. While the codecs that manage the sound are getting better, certain users or professionals continue to see them as inferior to classic wired speakers. Their main advantages are comfort and portability.

Portable Speakers

Although these speakers are not the best to enjoy the multiple layers of a Beatles album, it doesn’t mean that they are a bad choice. That said, they do tailor to very specific needs. Are you going to a beach house to spend a week with friends? Portable speakers give you the opportunity to enjoy music anywhere. Additionally, many of them are now waterproof and specially designed to withstand shocks and other accidents that may happen when you’re on the move.

Powered Speakers

Once again, any speaker can fall into this category. However, we have chosen to classify them separately because many people are looking specifically for powered speakers. These models feature a built-in amplifier, with their main advantage being comfort since they consist of two elements instead of three. While they have their naysayers, medium-to-high range speakers have nothing to envy of classic models with a separate amplifier.

Gaming Speakers

Just about any speaker can also be considered for gaming. Without specifically focusing on this, some of the best models currently sold on the market are excellent options for those looking for a stereo sound while they play their favorite video games. What’s their main feature, you ask? They use surround sound that helps you dive more deeply into virtual worlds.

Car Speakers

This category is mostly self-explanatory. These speakers are designed specifically for your car. They are the ideal investment when your vehicle’s standard speakers simply aren’t enough. This is a very common issue if you’re looking for quality sound since cars are not meant to be nightclubs. If you want to party on the road, consider investing in better car speakers!

Soundbars and Home Theater Systems

This type of speaker has a very specific function: enhancing your movies and series experience. If you’re something of a dissolute person, you can even use them for video games or even music. Soundbars are the cheaper option but they are also less powerful. Home theater systems, on the other hand, can consist of up to ten speakers. They are ideal if you’re looking for detail-rich surround sound!

Shopping Criteria for Speakers

The speaker market is very broad. We hope that you now have a much better idea of the type of speaker you need. However, there are still some key factors that you should be familiar with in order to pick the right model. We’ve detailed these criteria in the section below.

  • Purpose
  • Connectivity
  • Brand
  • Equalizer modes

Purpose

Throughout this article, we have shown you that speakers can be very different from one model to the next. While many speakers will work just fine in various situations, you should try and buy the one that best meets your real, present needs rather than in anticipation of potential others. Remember that a $20 portable speaker might not be enough if you’re a progressive rock lover.

Connectivity

Connectivity is key, and many options are available when it comes to wired models. While the most commonly found connection is the RCA, it isn’t the only option. For this reason, be sure to check what kind of inputs the device you want to connect your speaker to offers. Otherwise, you can opt for a Bluetooth model as long as it is compatible with your device.

Did you know that in 1861, Johann Philipp Reis put a loudspeaker in his telephone; in 1876, Alexander Graham Bell gained a patent for a loudspeaker as part of his telephone; and Ernst Siemens patented an improved loudspeaker in 1877?

Brand

Portable Light Design

When it comes to speakers, the manufacturer matters. This doesn’t mean that you should only purchase from prestigious companies like Sony or LG, as you may find yourself paying for the brand name more than for the product itself. While these manufacturers offer options of exceptional quality, other lesser-known companies are experts in the field, such as Edifier or Pioneer.

Equalizer Modes

These different modes are extremely important if you want to configure your speakers for specific situations. You can even adapt the audio and its quality to your liking — not all discs are recorded the same way. We’re sure that you will find this option very useful for your speakers.

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FAQs

What are woofers exactly?

We’re sure you’ve read the terms woofers and tweeters if you’re looking to purchase the best budget-friendly or high-end speaker on the market. Related to subwoofers, they are additional speakers designed to play bass in home theater sound systems; the woofer is nothing more than the cone embedded in the speaker to manage low frequencies.

As such, it generally produces sounds from 20 to over 1000 Hz. Interestingly enough, the etymology of the word comes from the onomatopoeia for a dog's bark (woof). Its counterpart is the tweeter, which focuses on the reproduction of high frequencies. Note that this doesn’t mean that woofers cannot emit this type of frequency.

What is a tweeter?

As we just mentioned, tweeters are the opposite of woofers. They can be built into the speaker or be standalone elements, and dedicate themselves to emitting high frequencies (from 3000 to 20000 Hz). From a technical perspective, they are speakers capable of reproducing the last three octaves out of the eleven in the hearing range.

Oddly enough, only young, healthy ears can fully enjoy this type of component—or at least those that cover the full hearing range mentioned above. We lose our ability to perceive high frequencies as we age, which is why you may not be able to appreciate the last half or the full final octave.

What is the frequency response of a speaker?

This term refers to the ability of a speaker to reproduce frequencies (bass, mid-range, and treble) and is directly linked to woofers and tweeters. The human ear can generally perceive between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. As we explained earlier, we, unfortunately, lose some of this capacity as we age.

The better your speaker is, the wider its frequency range value will be. Don’t be fooled by the price: Not all cheap speakers have a limited range. On the contrary, certain so-called "high-range" models aren’t able to reproduce the whole hearing range, so be sure to check before purchasing a speaker.

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