Published: Monday, 27 September 2021 23:55
Whether you're looking for a wireless Bluetooth speaker, a soundbar or loudspeakers for your home theater, these are the best products for the money. Ty Pendlebury Sept. 27, 2021 7:00 a.m. PT
- Best budget Bluetooth speaker Tribit Stormbox Micro Jump to details $50 at Amazon
- Best budget soundbar Vizio V21 Jump to details $188 at Walmart
- Best sounding smart speaker Sonos One Jump to details $219 at Sonos
- Best bookshelf speakers for the money Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Jump to details $400 at Walmart
- Best tower speakers for the money Fluance XL8F Jump to details $600 at Amazon
- Best computer speakers Edifier R1280DB Jump to details $140 at Amazon
- Best smart soundbar Yamaha YAS-209 Jump to details $350 at Amazon
- Best high-end soundbar Vizio Elevate Jump to details $895 at Amazon
If you're thinking about taking your home theater or desktop system to the next level, our picks for the best speakers right now should help. Whether you're in the market for bookshelf speakers, computer speakers, outdoor speakers, a small Bluetooth speaker, smart speakers with Amazon Alexa or a full sound system, you'll want to make sure you get the best performance for the money.
We've highlighted speakers that cost between $50 and around $1,000, including budget TV upgrades such as the Vizio V21. While most of the included systems are powered, you'll also find passive loudspeakers, such as the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2, that just need to be paired with a great AV receiver.
Each product highlighted has great sound and can be considered the best speaker in its particular category. We'll update this list periodically as we review new products.
Read more: Best soundbar for 2021
Best budget Bluetooth speaker
Tribit Stormbox MicroDavid Carnoy/CNET ED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Dec 2020
Budget Bluetooth speakers are seemingly a dime a dozen, but among the countless options there do lie some gems. The $50 Tribit Stormbox Micro is a compact, portable speaker that offers both waterproofing and excellent bass for its size.
Read our Tribit StormBox Micro review.
$50 at Amazon $50 at Walmart $46 at Best Buy
Best budget soundbar
Vizio V21Ty Pendlebury/CNET
Vizio has a reputation for making great budget equipment and the Vizio V21 is an excellent example. It sounds really good and it's super easy to set up. It offers Bluetooth, HDMI connectivity and a separate sub, making for exceptional value.
Read our Vizio V21 review.
$188 at Walmart $190 at Best Buy $190 at Target
Best sounding smart speaker
Sonos OneED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Nov 2017
With great sound, a compact size and the option of either Google Assistant or Alexa, the Sonos One reaffirms its place as the best smart speaker for the money and packs a lot of punch for a little speaker.
Read our Sonos One review.
$219 at Sonos
Best bookshelf speakers for the money
Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2Sarah Tew/CNET ED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Jun 2021
Elac has been belting out classic, affordable designs ever since its, er, debut in 2015. The Debut 2.0 exemplifies the brand's appeal to both the budget-conscious and audiophiles. It offers a lively, insightful sound and attractive looks for well under $400.
Read our Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review.
$400 at Walmart $400 at Crutchfield $290 at Adorama
Best tower speakers for the money
Fluance XL8FTy Pendlebury/CNET
Want the biggest sound? You'll need big speakers. The size of the Fluance XL8 towers, and their fit and finish, is unmatched by other speakers at its price. The sound of the XL8F is open and thrilling, but never shrill, and when fed a movie soundtrack these speakers simply zing. They're no slouch with music either. If you truly want the maximum speaker for your money, the huge Fluance XL8F has no equal.
Read our Fluance XL8F review.
$600 at Amazon $600 at Walmart
Best computer speakers
The Edifier R1280DB offers almost everything you could want in a PC speaker -- excellent sound, a range of connections including Bluetooth and a compact footprint -- and all for a reasonable $130. It doesn't offer USB, though, so connect the headphone/line out of your PC to it instead.$140 at Amazon
Best smart soundbar
Yamaha YAS-209Sarah Tew/CNET ED I T O R S ’ C H O I C E Dec 2020
The Yamaha YAS-209 is one of the most fully featured soundbars the company has ever offered -- especially at the price. With Alexa, HDMI connectivity and a wireless subwoofer, this soundbar doesn't want for anything. The sound quality is great too.
Read our Yamaha YAS-209 review.
$350 at Amazon $400 at Walmart $350 at Crutchfield
Best high-end soundbar
Vizio ElevateTy Pendlebury/CNET
The Vizio Elevate may have one big gimmick at the core of it, that revolving height speaker, but it also offers sound quality to back up the gee-whizzery. This is a 5.1.4 Dolby Atmos soundbar, with a hefty subwoofer, and its performance is equally thrilling in both movies and music. Add in a bunch of streaming features and you have the best surround system under a grand.
Read our Vizio Elevate P514A-H6 review.
$895 at Amazon $1,098 at Walmart $1,100 at Best Buy CNET TVs, Streaming and Audio
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