Gone are the days when your only form of audio came from a huge pair of speakers near the TV or a beat up DAB digital radio in the kitchen. Over recent years the gulf between surround-sound cinema, massive hifi systems and portable bluetooth speakers has been filled by the home speaker.
Compact, big sound, a wide array of connectivity options and voice assistants make the new generation of home speakers the ideal audio companions for the rooms in your house. Here’s our pick of the best – and most stylish – ones on the market.
Sonos One (Gen 2)
In the same way that the Sony Walkman became a byword for portable music, it’s likely that in the future Sonos will be given the same iconic status for home speakers. If you know anyone with a Sonos you will have undoubtedly heard the hype. So much bass, so much volume, so much quality from a seemingly modest little box.
Leading the household charge is the Sonos One, with crystal clear audio and voice assistance, beating the likes of Google and Amazon at their own game.
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Edge
If opulence and style is what you look for in your technology, you’ll certainly be no stranger to Bang & Olufsen. Inspired by the simple design aesthetics of a coin, their Beosound Edge speaker stands upright or can be wall-mounted and, frankly, looks unlike any other speaker on the market.
Packed with classy tech, innovative touch functions control the volume and play functions. It comes as no surprise that the sound matches the visuals, providing a 360-degree audio experience.
Naim Mu-so QB 2nd Generation
This stylish cube packs a lot into a modest package. High-quality sound, with a punchy soundstage, robust bass and balanced overall performance make for a reliable output whatever you’re playing. Add to that seamless connectivity, a whole array of streaming options, from Spotify to Tidal, as well as multi-room options and you’ve got yourself great bang for your buck.
The stylish control dial at the top finishes off the perfect audio package.
Linn Series 3
Another handsome option comes in the form of Linn’s unique teardrop design. The Glasgow-based operation was one of the first hi-fi companies to release a music streamer in 2007 and they’ve waited quite some time to launch their first wireless speaker.
The price might come as a surprise but upon hearing the sound quality, it quickly makes sense. Audiophiles look no further – as far as wireless speakers go, this one is difficult to beat. HDMI TV connectivity, an array of streaming capabilities, multi-room options and a stylish control panel on top complete one of the most decadent speakers on the market.
Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge
Bowers & Wilkins’ latest wireless speaker follows on from their market-leading Zeppelin and, as expected, there’s been a number of dramatic updates. A similarly UFO-styled design has been used in this case, perfect for placing in the corner of a room, and thanks to a genuine wall of detailed sound output, the Wedge can accurately translate anything you play through it.
B&W’s playback apps make tinkering easy while full connectivity and streaming makes for a dynamic all-in-one speaker.
Audio Pro Addon C10
Although we’re open to the some of the more avant-garde designs on this list, we do love the simple matte boxiness of the Addon C10, with its trademark carry strap and Koala-esque speaker aesthetic on the front.
The nearest rival to the Sonos One on cost, Audio Pro’s latest wireless home speaker is the ideal set-up-and-play option. There’s tinkering to be done with the clean brass control panel on top but it offers all the connectivity you need as well as rich immersive sound. Few of its rivals offer such expansive sound at this price point.