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Greatest Good Audio system 2023

15 min read

Good audio system at the moment are extra fashionable than ever, however with so many choices obtainable it may be tough to know which of them are price your money.

Whereas Amazon initially paved the best way for the good speaker revolution with the standard Amazon Echo, launched method again in 2014, the corporate has since seen some stiff competitors from the likes of Google and Apple, and that’s with out mentioning third-party audio system that utilise Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

What this implies is that there’s now an abundance of selection on the subject of including a brand new good speaker to your good house ecosystem. As an illustration, in case you use an iPhone 14 or utilise Apple’s HomeKit ecosystem you then is perhaps higher paired with an Apple HomePod.

Alternatively, those that are planted firmly in camp Google with a Pixel 7 or Pixel 7 Professional, you’ll probably really feel proper at house with certainly one of Google’s many Nest audio system. Nonetheless, although there are some apparent pairings throughout completely different items of tech, there are nonetheless a number of intricacies to concentrate on which may sway your determination fully.

As an illustration, the ‘good’ facet of those audio system is just one aspect, because the sound high quality and design fluctuate significantly from one speaker to a different. There isn’t actually a one-size-fits-all choice, and there’s positive to be one thing on this record that speaks to you greater than some other.

In case you’re intrigued to know what different units can be found on this planet of audio, it’s also possible to take a look at our round-ups for one of the best Bluetooth audio system, greatest out of doors audio system and greatest multi-room audio system.

At a look

How we take a look at

Study extra about how we take a look at good audio system

We play loads of music, and we play it loud. We guarantee that the good options really work, as why else would you purchase it?

We take a look at performance with all of the listed good audio system, which suggests we recurrently have conversations with the likes of Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri. How responsive are they? And are the options wide-ranging or restricted in scope? We take all of this under consideration.

After all, it at all times comes again to the music. Audio system are examined by reviewers who’ve a love of music, a information of sound high quality, in addition to a context of the market. We’ll take heed to good audio system alongside equally priced rivals, so once we suggest a specific mannequin, it’s among the many greatest you should buy for the cash.

Clearly, we all know not everybody has the identical style in music, so we gained’t solely take a look at with the identical completely mastered album, however with quite a lot of genres and file qualities, from MP3 to Hello-Res FLAC.

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin

Greatest sounding good speaker


  • Exact sound
  • Loads of streaming choices
  • Placing design
  • Good app


  • Slightly massive to accommodate
  • No Chromecast
  • Stereo ambitions overstated

The Zeppelin vary of wi-fi audio system from Bowers & Wilkins goes again all the best way to the age of the iPod dock, and this newest iteration embraces music streaming and voice help.

The Zeppelin carries on the the airship seems, its contoured curves create a particular silhouette with the material protecting embellishing the speaker’s premium really feel. The FEA optimised enclosure affords rigidity and at a width of 650mm it isn’t what we’d name compact, a speaker that wants loads of area to function. For design followers there’s a selection of both midnight gray or pearl gray finishes, each of which look nice.

When it comes to connectivity there’s AirPlay 2 for iOS units, and within the B&W Music app there’s an array of streaming companies similar to Spotify, Deezer and Tidal to instantly play music to the speaker. We discovered it provided a satisfying quantity on comfort, collating music companies into one app, and there’s a easy EQ adjustment obtainable to tweak the sound. Alexa is the selection for voice help and we discovered her aware of requests, in a position to decide up our voice from throughout the room when music was taking part in.

The Zeppelin’s enclosure has a pair of 25mm double-dome tweeters, two 90mm FST drivers deal for the mid-range whereas low frequencies are dealt with by a 6-inch subwoofer. Throughout our time with the Zeppelin, we discovered it was a speaker that delivered a exact sound, with a crisp mid-range, punchy bass and a high finish that characteristic loads of readability that edges out the equally priced Braun LE02 in our view. Vocals are crisp and clear and there’s a great sense of dynamism on present, its sound can fill a medium sized room comfortably. Its claims of stereo imaging are overstated, with not a lot of a definite left or proper picture obvious throughout the Zeppelin’s soundstage.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full assessment: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin

Apple HomePod Mini

Greatest Apple good speaker


  • Sound unbelievable
  • Very small
  • Nice value
  • Respectable voice management


  • Captive cable
  • Very reliant on Apple companies (for now)

The unique HomePod was an ideal good speaker for these immersed throughout the iOS ecosystem, and the smaller HomePod Mini packs a lot of what we preferred with the larger HomePod at an reasonably priced value.

It builds on the nice seems by utilizing the identical material protecting as the unique, however swaps out the cylindrical form for one thing extra akin to a ball. Its general measurement makes it one of many smallest good audio system, tinier than the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Era). With a weight of simply 345g, we discovered it simple to position across the house, because the Mini doesn’t take up a lot area. We did discover it disappointing that Apple nonetheless ships the speaker with a captive cable. If it will get broken then the entire speaker must be despatched again.

Setup is straightforward so long as you may have an iOS system to get issues began. On the characteristic entrance there’s lots to unpack, Siri largely responded to us with clear solutions and higher phrasing than she has previously, whereas good house management has additionally develop into notably higher with iOS 15. That’s led to HomeKit integration being improved, even when the service continues to be lacking native assist from the likes of Nest and Ring (a HomeBridge is required to attach).

Throughout testing, the HomePod Mini’s audio was significantly better than we anticipated from such a small unit. Apple has crammed a full vary driver inside its tiny dimensions, together with two bass radiators and an acoustic waveguide that spreads audio into the room. We noticed loads of bass alongside a great element ranges that bucked our expectation of how smaller audio system usually sound. The scope by way of quantity is spectacular, and at full whack the Mini can nearly be too loud for some rooms.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full assessment: Apple HomePod Mini

Audio Professional G10

Greatest Google good speaker


  • Nice sound
  • Constructed-in smarts
  • Good-looking seems
  • Multi-room assist


  • Costlier than earlier mannequin
  • Chromecast downsamples Tidal Grasp tracks

In case you choose the Google good ecosystem however aren’t too within the Nest Audio vary of wi-fi audio system, then the Audio Professional G10 is the speaker we’d suggest because the better-sounding choice.

The A10 sports activities the identical driver setup because the A10, however Audio Professional have discovered efficiency beneficial properties, sounding fuller and extra expressive with vocals. Bass is extra assertively described with the G10 than it was on the A10, the mid-range is dealt with with readability and treble notes are outlined with confidence.

The place beforehand you could possibly connect with Audio Professional’s personal multi-room setup with the A10, the G10 ditches that for connectivity with Google. Meaning this speaker can’t connect with different Audio Professional fashions throughout the Audio Professional app. Google help does deliver Google Residence (for multi-room) and Chromecast (for casting to the speaker from streaming companies), all of which we discovered very simple to make use of. iOS customers get some love with AirPlay 2 and there’s Bluetooth 5 as properly. The three.5mm jack additionally permits for plugging in a conveyable music speaker, in case you so select.

The form of the speaker doesn’t lend itself to a large soundstage, however nothing sounds too cramped or congested and we discovered efficiency to be constant throughout AirPlay 2, Chromecast and Bluetooth inputs, with Chromecast providing one of the best efficiency. Casting nonetheless doesn’t assist MQA with Tidal Grasp tracks, so Hello-Res Audio is commonly downsampled to CD high quality.

The G10 seems just about equivalent to its predecessor with its trendy and minimalist seems that are available in a selection of two completely different shades of gray to go well with vivid or darker environments. Some modifications have been to onboard operation, with the 4 preset buttons changed with buttons for muting the microphone, Google Assistant and enter choice for a better quantity of management over the speaker.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full assessment: Audio Professional G10

Amazon Echo (4th Era)

Greatest reasonably priced Alexa good speaker


  • Improved sound
  • Similar value because the earlier mannequin
  • Zigbee hub
  • Seems to be incredible


  • Zigbee hub not appropriate with all units

The Amazon Echo (4th Era) represents top-of-the-line worth good audio system available on the market, not solely as a result of it hits the identical value because the earlier gen mannequin, but additionally since you’re getting some further options into the discount.

The 4th Gen Echo helps the Zigbee hub as normal, whereas the third Gen required an additional £50 for the Plus mannequin. A Zigbee hub offers the possibility to attach different good units similar to Philips Hue bulbs on to the Echo with out the necessity for a separate hub. In testing, the Zigbee hub labored properly for primary features, though some particular exploits weren’t obtainable. For almost all of individuals it’s a characteristic that’s good to have fairly than vital, but it surely’s good to see it included.

The 4th Gen Echo has had a redesign that embraces a extra spherical look and a funkier aesthetic to sit down higher alongside different furnishings within the house. All of the controls mix in to the design, which we thought seemed particularly modern, and the repositioning of the ring gentle to the underside makes getting notifications much less obtrusive.

The additional tweeter we discovered gave audio a lift in comparison with the earlier technology, unearthing extra element and readability, though at increased volumes it might probably sound just a little muddy. For basic listening, the 4th gen Echo will greater than suffice, though take a look on the Sonos One if you would like one of the best audio in a sensible speaker at an honest value.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Evaluate: Amazon Echo (4th Gen)

Apple HomePod 2

Greatest sounding Apple good speaker


  • Incredible sound and powerful Spatial Audio illustration
  • Detachable energy cable
  • Small and compact


  • Surprisingly gradual in some conditions
  • It is advisable be an Apple consumer to get probably the most out of it
  • Not overly completely different from the earlier model

After being discontinued simply when it was beginning to hit its stride, Apple has introduced again the full-size HomePod good speaker for one more go-around, retaining the identical design and equally excessive asking value at $299 / £299.

The design is near-identical to the unique mannequin with just a few helpful tweaks. A kind of modifications is the change from a captive cable to at least one that may be disconnected and swapped out, very helpful if it ever will get broken. The display screen on high is greater than earlier than as properly, though we discovered it doesn’t do a lot aside from pulse when taking part in music.

It’s a speaker that maybe seems larger than it really is, lined in a mushy mesh material that blends properly into softer environments. It’s a heavy speaker at 2.3kg, however until you’re shifting it about this isn’t prone to be an ideal situation.

As regular with Apple units, the HomePod 2 works greatest in an Apple ecosystem. There’s nonetheless no Bluetooth compatibility to connect with different units, although by way of good assist we discovered the HomePod 2 to be an enchancment with Matter compatibility that may hyperlink units from the likes of Apple, Amazon and Google collectively in a single ecosystem. Siri works properly to determine instructions, although frustratingly, Apple nonetheless restricts which music streaming service is about as default, so there’s no technique of including Spotify and controlling it through Siri.

On higher phrases is the precise sound high quality from the speaker. Although our reviewer discovered its frequency response to be bass heavy, it produces nice audio for its measurement, with clear and crisp vocals together with a pleasant heat to the way it handles low frequencies that hits tougher than the Sonos One. It’s with spatial and Dolby Atmos audio that we discovered the HomePod 2 very spectacular, creating a way of depth and separation between devices and vocals to supply an ideal sense of 3D immersion.

A purchase order of the Apple HomePod 2 comes down as to whether you’re an enormous Apple consumer or not, in our opinion. If you’re, then the HomePod 2 is one of the best good speaker for you.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full Evaluate: Apple HomePod 2

Sonos One (Gen 2)

Greatest multi-room good speaker


  • Nice sound
  • Small and handy
  • Correct Alexa integration
  • Helps Google Assistant


  • Alexa not absolutely appropriate with Spotify at launch

The Sonos One (Gen 2) is without doubt one of the greatest sounding good audio system beneath $200 / £200, with an audio efficiency we discovered provided a balanced presentation with stable mids and impactful bass that showcased good depth and extension. In comparison with the equally priced Denon Residence 150 and the Sonos doesn’t carry as a lot bass, however it’s a extra nuanced and detailed performer.

As well as, the soundstage it provided proved broad for a speaker of its measurement, with sufficient quantity to fill a room. For anybody who’s owned a Sonos Play:1, the audio signature will sound related, however this comes as no shock as each audio system characteristic the identical driver configuration.

The One is a succesful good speaker with hands-free management through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. We discovered the combination good, with simple management for media playback and answering questions. Each assistants provide the same characteristic set, similar to altering the amount of any music, or taking part in music from a most popular music streaming service.

Management will also be completed by way of the Sonos S2 app. The structure right here proved to be purposeful and clear, making it simple to search out our favorite tunes and there’s an enormous number of streaming apps to take pleasure in, an inventory that features Tidal, Amazon Music, TuneIn and Spotify, in addition to any music you’ve acquired saved in your system regionally. There’s additionally assist for AirPlay 2 for iOS units, in addition to the power to attach as much as different Sonos audio system such because the Transfer with Sonos multi-room connectivity.

In comparison with older Play:1, the 2nd gen One has a extra minimalist design, compact sufficient to in a cupboard or be positioned by a bedside desk; the swap from bodily buttons to responsive contact delicate buttons makes for a slicker interplay with the unit. There are a selection of excellent good audio system at this value, however the Sonos’ general efficiency means it edges out different contenders.

Reviewer: Ced Yuen
Full assessment: Sonos One Gen 2

Amazon Echo Dot (fifth technology)

Greatest funds good speaker


  • Improved audio
  • Seems to be nice
  • Improved faucet controls

Beforehand, Echo Dot good audio system have felt like low-cost methods to get Alexa management and replies round the home, however they’re weren’t significantly good for leisure. The Amazon Echo Dot (fifth Era) modifications that, and this mannequin homes a bigger 1.73-inch entrance firing speaker.

That’s considerably bigger than the 1.6-inch speaker on the earlier technology mannequin. The distinction is stark, with the fifth technology mannequin sounding way more imposing and spectacular. Bass is now rendered with a level of ability, and the speaker delivers extra poise. Certain, the excessive finish is usually a bit harsh, and extra refined element is misplaced, however the Echo Dot has gone from a no-frills speaker to an honest funds selection that may deal with music.

In any other case, it’s enterprise as regular. The Echo Dot apes the design of the bigger Echo, though right here the spherical speaker is smaller, across the measurement of a baseball. And, there’s a selection of three choices that every one use the identical base know-how: the Echo Dot (5h technology); Echo Dot with Clock (fifth technology), which provides a sensible LCD display screen for displaying the time and extra; and the Echo Dot Children (fifth technology), which has two animal designs and comes with a yr of Children+.

Different audio system on this record will ship a greater audio expertise, however if you would like a less expensive good speaker that may flip its hand to something, that is the one to purchase.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full Evaluate: Amazon Echo (fifth Gen)

B&O Beosound Stability

Greatest premium good speaker


  • Extravagant design
  • Large room-filling sound
  • Google Assistant smarts
  • Loads of app customisation


  • Extravagant value
  • Compromised Tidal Masters efficiency with Chromecast
  • Not probably the most dynamic efficiency

The B&O Beosound Stability is an ornate wanting good speaker that comes with a excessive price ticket to match.

As anticipated from a B&O product, the Stability has an immensely minimalist design, full with a pure wooden base and speaker housing wrapped in knitted material that feels pretty to the touch. Inside is area for seven drivers with two 2-inch full vary drivers, two opposing 5.25-inch bass drivers and one ¾ tweeter for prime frequencies within the entrance of the speaker, whereas across the again are two 3-inch full vary drivers that act as ‘sound enhancers’.

It’s a hefty speaker at 7.2kg, and one we discovered greatest to set down and go away as soon as a great place has been discovered as carting the speaker round could be fairly tiresome. There’s a selection of Pure Oak, Black Oak, Nordic Ice and White Marble to suit your décor.

The Stability is available in two model, one with Google Assistant and one with out (each, surprisingly, price the identical). Google assist brings built-in Chromecast, however the likes of AirPlay 2, Spotify Join and Bluetooth 5 can be found to extend the variety of methods to ship audio to the speaker. If in case you have deep sufficient pockets, a stereo pair of Stability audio system could be created in Google Residence for an even bigger audio efficiency.

The B&O app is one we discovered merely laid out and straightforward to function, providing the means to regulate the path of the speaker’s sound, management playback and alter EQ settings in a reasonably intuitive method.

It’s no actual shock the audio is nice, as we discovered the presentation to be clear, detailed and pure in tone. Whereas the soundstage is just not be the widest, predictable given its conical form, it a minimum of is constant from all angles when in its 360 mode.

We’d suggest putting the speaker in opposition to a wall to agency up the sound, however general it is a top quality speaker, that performs properly throughout a spread of music genres. The amount scaling may use some extra finesse, sliding from low to excessive can lead to sudden jumps in loudness that aren’t welcome.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full assessment: Bang & Olufsen Beosound Stability

We additionally thought-about…


Which voice assistants are supported by good audio system?

You’ll discover that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are probably the most generally supported digital assistants on audio system. In case you’re throughout the Apple ecosystem then Siri is the assistant of selection.

Can I flip digital assistants off?

You would disable digital assistants by way of the speaker’s companion app if that’s supported. Many permit for the microphone to be turned off to disable the assistant.







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