This article is all about what are the best home speakers for music listening, we talk about types of home speakers, what is a quality home speaker. We encourage you to read to the end of this post to get all the full details.
First things first, consider the following tips when trying to buy new speakers for your home.
Table of Contents
- 1 Types Of Home Speakers Out There?
- 2 Fancy Some Surround Sound?
- 3 What Is A Quality Speaker?
- 4 WHAT ARE THE BEST HOME SPEAKERS FOR MUSIC
- 5 The KEF LS50 Meta speaker
- 6 The ELAC Debut Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
- 7 Bowers & Wilkins 606 Standmount Speakers
- 8 Fyne Audio F302 Floorstanding Speakers
- 9 Dali Oberon 1 C Bookshelf Speaker
- 10 The Ruark Audio Bluetooth Active Speakers
Types Of Home Speakers Out There?
Sound Bars: These are usually placed flat just under your Television set and are mainly meant to boost TV sounds only. They are a more affordable option. That is if you can’t afford to deck out a full sound system.
Floor Speakers: These are designed to be freestanding. And they are usually more expensive and even look the part. They generally offer better quality sound.
Bookshelf Speakers: These have a smaller footprint than floor speakers. If you have less space to work with, then these are your choice. They can sit on tables and shelves. And asides from emitting lesser bass sounds, they’re a great choice for small spaces.
Subwoofers: These shine best when it comes to games or action flicks. They are typically bass speakers by design and function. And they are usually placed in front of your audio set-up.
Portable Speakers: As the name suggests, these speakers can be carried on the go from room to room or better yet outdoors. They are usually lightweight and rechargeable battery operated. Also, they require wireless connectivity to your smart device to do their work.
Docking Stations: These work with a dedicated port whereas the name suggests you physically dock your phone in them. And the speaker programming does the rest. They are usually small or compact speakers.
Fancy Some Surround Sound?
Surround sound describes a set-up of multiple speakers around your room to achieve a more immersive media experience. You can place as many speakers as you want to depend on your needs (but not too much).
You might find that most experts will advise a surround sound system with at least five speakers: a center channel speaker and two more pairs in front and on either side of your sitting area.
What Is A Quality Speaker?
The quality of any speaker is simply its sound reproducing ability. And that is mostly determined by:
Size: It may seem that bigger speakers generally contain better quality components as per a larger housing.
Frequency: Frequency is the range of sounds a speaker can emit. A good loudspeaker will cover the entire range of what a human ear can hear, from 20 to 20,000Hz.
Sensitivity: This has to do with how much power a speaker draws to emit a standard level of sound. As such, the more sensitive a speaker is, the less energy it uses to get to higher volumes. A good benchmark is 100 decibels per watt of power.
Power Handling: Unlike speaker sensitivity, this has to do with a speaker’s power input. In other words, the bigger its power rating, the better the speaker overall.
Now straight to business. The following is a list of six of the best home speakers you can find. So happy shopping.
WHAT ARE THE BEST HOME SPEAKERS FOR MUSIC
The KEF LS50 Meta speaker
The original LS50 speakers were good enough as they were. But KEF figured they deserved a fresh look not least after eight years. And the result is the LS50 Meta which represents that aforementioned upgrade.
The LS50’s Uni-Q driver array, where the tweeter sits in the throat of the mid/bass unit, has been thoroughly reworked, taking in all the refinements that KEF has developed over the past eight years and adding something new in the form of Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT).
MAT is KEF’s way of coping with the sound that comes off the back of the tweeter dome; a plastic circular maze of tubes on the back promising greater absorption.
While the basic sonic character is instantly familiar, the Meta speakers have gained a level of clarity and finesse the originals only hinted at, sounding clean while still offering muscle and dynamics.
We’ve always loved the originals but the LS50 Meta takes the performance to a notably higher level.
The ELAC Debut Bookshelf Speakers (Pair)
Elac’s affordable stand mounters are brilliant performers for the money. Solid and unfussy about placement, the Debut B5.2s have the dynamic expression, detail, and tonal sophistication to handle anything you throw at them – not to mention enough stretch in their abilities to improve even further when hooked up to a high-end system.
The revised 5.25cm mid/bass unit uses a new blend of aramid fibers for the cone, combined with a different shape to improve stiffness and damping, while the tweeter claims a top-end response of 35kHz, adding plenty of sparkle to proceedings.
Tonally, they don’t have the luscious midrange warmth of the comparable Dalis (cited below), but they’re admirably balanced and capable of making the best of any recording.
Elac has been in the speaker business since the 1980s and has made many fine products in that time. It’s fair to say that these new Debut B5.2 speakers should be considered one of the company’s finest efforts. And for your money, they’re exceptional.
Bowers & Wilkins 606 Standmount Speakers
The original Bowers & Wilkins 606 speakers walked off with our top speaker award in 2019 but it seems there’s always room for improvement.
To mark the 25th anniversary of the 600 range (in 2020), B&W decided to upgrade the 606s (and the rest of the range) – and it proved to be a wise move.
Cosmetically speaking, there’s not very much that is new. Except for an inscription on the tweeter surround and a new oak finish option. On the inside, there’s an upgraded crossover that now features better-quality capacitors.
While retaining a broadly similar sonic character, the 606 S2 Anniversary Edition proves significantly more capable than its predecessors. The biggest differences are heard in the bass.
The new version is so much more precise and controlled. There are improvements in clarity too, with voices offering extra subtlety. While the overall presentation is more natural and transparent. Ultimately, the B&W 606 delivers an impressive step in performance.
Fyne Audio F302 Floorstanding Speakers
Although in its infancy as a brand, Fyne’s seven-strong management team represents a kind of supergroup of industry minds. The result is a combined experience of more than 200 years.
More so it delivers results that total the sum of its parts. That is if the first of its loudspeakers to arrive in our test rooms are anything to go by.
It’s rare to find a pair of sub-£ 500-floor standers able to compete in every respect with the wealth of quality stand mount speakers available at the same price, but the F302s manage to tick all the boxes and more.
Superb all-rounders feature a two-way, rear-ported design with a 25mm polyester dome tweeter and a 15cm multi-fiber mid/bass driver in each cabinet.
Build quality is impressive for the money, with a choice of understated wood-effect finishes – described by Fyne as ‘superior vinyl’.
Overall, the company has done a great job of balancing sound quality with affordability. And they have achieved this the first time out.
Dali Oberon 1 C Bookshelf Speaker
The Dali Oberon 1 C speakers are an impressively flexible proposition. Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean they’re not well put together, it means you can have them pretty much any which way you like (in terms of stereo speakers, at least).
The Oberon C active speakers ship with Dali’s Sound Hub Compact which gives you access to aptX HD Bluetooth for wireless streaming, an HDMI ARC socket for connecting to your TV/AV system, plus RCA and subwoofer connections.
If you want multi-room, courtesy of BluOS and DLNA playback, you’ll need to pay a small premium for the original, and larger, Sound Hub.
The speakers are largely unchanged from the more passive Oberon 1, which is small and nicely made. Rather, what you get with the 1 C are active speakers, so each unit here is fed by a dedicated 50W Class D amplifier.
As we’ve come to expect from Dali in terms of sonics; we’re treated to a clean, precise, and detailed sound. Instruments are rendered faithfully, there’s a good sense of scale and the dynamics are impressive.
Their size means you can only expect so much power and drive, but they’re more than capable for small speakers, and in small to medium-sized rooms.
Active streaming systems are becoming increasingly common in this convenience-craving world, and the Dali Oberon 1 C are among the best examples we’ve seen at this level.
The Ruark Audio Bluetooth Active Speakers
We loved the first Ruark Audio MR1 wireless desktop speakers when they emerged in 2013. The retro looks, intuitive design, and superb Bluetooth sound were a winning combination that earned two of our Awards successively.
For a while, the MR1s were toppled from their perch by the gorgeous KEF Eggs. But it was only a matter of time before Ruark Audio unveiled the MR1 Mark2. And sure enough, Ruark Audio is back with a vengeance, having regained its crown for the last couple of years.
These compact bookshelf speakers were made to be versatile. Bluetooth apt-X active allows you to stream music to the speakers in CD-like sound quality.
And an optical input means they’re easily connected to a TV. But if you prefer analog? You can always use the AUX input.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to what are the best home speakers for music listening, but in the end, the right speakers are the ones that sound good to you.
No matter what your home audio needs, you can find speakers that match your hallowed space as well as your budget. And we surely have you covered in that regard.