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A home speaker is one of those items that may slip through the cracks when you’re building your wedding registry. But you’ll certainly realize your mistake the first time you and your partner want to blast your favorite tunes in your new home. When you’re stuck playing Spotify through your phone, you’ll suddenly wish you added a home speaker system to your gift wish list!
When it comes to selecting a speaker for your space, there’s plenty to consider. Do you want a wireless model with Bluetooth pairing capabilities? Are you searching for the speaker with the best high definition surround sound? There are also portable and waterproof speakers you can throw in your bag and bring to a picnic (or bachelorette party!) and those that are more affordable but still don’t skimp on style or sound.
Ready to throw a post-wedding dance party for two? Read on for the best home speakers below.
Best Overall: Bose Home Speaker 500
Smart and stylish, if we were to sing the praises of a single speaker, this would be the one we’d write songs about—and where we would play them, too! With a compact design, an anodized aluminum body that weighs just 4.75 pounds, and two finishes (a deep black or minimalist silver), the Bose Home Speaker 500 will seamlessly fit in with any home’s aesthetic. The full-color LED screen—which displays album art, track and artist names, and the time—is what stands out here, as well as the audio quality. Two custom drivers bounce sound off the walls, producing natural midrange frequencies and stereo separation.
As for your playback options, you can connect to your Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and more via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Airplay, or a line-in input, and voice control is built right in. The voice pickup technology is top-notch so your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant can pause and play music, answer phone calls, and generally do its thing even if you’re calling from across the room. You won’t know how you’ve ever lived without it.
Best Budget: IKEA Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker
Ikea is often the go-to for inexpensive homewares and furniture, so why should speakers be any different? As it turns out, among Ikea’s countless budget-friendly wares, there’s a special speaker deserving of a shoutout.
The Symfonisk’s price tag is certainly wallet-friendly, but when you plug the model in and give it a listen, you’ll learn that it certainly doesn’t sound like it. A collaboration between Ikea and the audio expert at Sonos, this speaker produces a vibrant sound that can fill a room with ease. It also supports all major music streaming subscription services and AirPlay, allowing you to play music, podcasts, radio, and more directly from your wireless device via Wi-Fi. And you can control the speaker itself with the Sonos app.
We also love the versatility set-up provides: You can place the speaker vertically or horizontally, or mount it on a wall and have it pull double duty as a shelf—whatever you think looks best!
Best for Small Spaces: Sonos One
For the ultimate listening experience, look to the Sonos One. This baby packs tons of sound quality in a relatively small package and for a pretty affordable price. (Yeah, it impressed us, too.) This speaker’s petite size makes it fit just about any space—can even set it on a shelf in your bathroom thanks to its humidity resistance.
This model is also a smart speaker that boasts Apple support (included AirPlay), Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa capabilities, as well as Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and SiriusXM connectivity. Your virtual assistant of choice can be controlled via the built-in far-field microphone, so it can capture your commands even from a distance.
As for that sound quality we teased, here’s the deal: The Sonos One features a tweeter for a crisp high-frequency sound, a woofer for vocal vibrancy, and two digital amplifiers for strong and dynamic bass. All three components work together to deliver incredible sound quality that remains full and clear even at high volumes. Who’s ready to play DJ?
Best Indoor/Outdoor: Bose SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth Speaker
You know that saying about how good things come in small packages? Here’s all the proof you need: This speaker packs a whole lot of power in one cute and petite package. Measuring in at just 7.23” tall and weighing only two pounds, this speaker is the perfect size for tossing in your bag and toting around town. Bring it to the beach, on a picnic, or to your Airbnb—it even has a flexible fabric handle attached for easy carrying. Plus, it’s water and impact -resistant, so you don’t need to worry about it getting splashed at the pool or getting knocked around in your tote bag.
Also important in a portable speaker is battery life. (You don’t want this thing dying while you’re on-the-go and nowhere near a charging outlet, right?) Well, we’re pleased to report that this one toutes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can handle up to 16 hours of tunes on a single charge.
Of course as we mentioned before, despite its small size this speaker delivers stellar sound, thanks to its 360 degree audio design that results in deep, lifelike surround sound.
Best Retro: Crosley UO Exclusive Cream + Rose Gold Cruiser Bluetooth Record Player
If you love the retro look and retro sound, meet the speaker system made for you. This vintage-inspired turntable, courtesy of Urban Outfitters and the modern vinyl experts at Crosley, is an aesthetically stunning piece—the system is housed in an old-world suitcase with cream-colored faux leather and beautiful rose gold hardware. And the technology inside is just as impressive, featuring both an entry-level record player as well as Bluetooth capability for streaming music wirelessly. (Pay special attention to that belt-driven turntable mechanism, the three-speed vinyl settings, headphone jack, and built-in stereo speakers.) It’s also portable, weighing in at 16 pounds with the option to close it like a suitcase and take your music to go.
Take note that, since it enables you to play both vintage and digital tunes, this also makes just as great a gift for grandparents as it does for audiophiles: They’ll love being able to play their vinyl collection on it, while younger guests (ahem, you and your fam) can stream their music when they visit.
Best Design: Transparent Sounds Small Transparent Speaker
If you’ve carefully and thoughtfully chosen each piece of your home decor, from your bedding to the furniture to the artwork, why should your speaker system be any different? Don’t think for a second that the big and bulky sound systems you may be familiar with or the plain black portable speaker you took to all your college parties are your only options. Speakers can be just as stylish as the rest of your home—but few are as chic as this beauty from Transparent Sound.
We love the clean and modern aesthetic of this see-through speaker that features a stripped-down white aluminum frame and crystal clear tempered glass panels. Because of this minimalist exterior, this speaker will complement a wide range of decor.
But this speaker isn't just about looks. It also delivers killer sound with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi dual speaker streaming, Amazon Alexa and Sonos Connect compatibility, and two full-range drivers for optimum music quality.
Best Sound System: Sonos Sound System With Sound Bar
We’ve already sung the praises of Sonos speakers. So with their exceptional audio quality, Sonos makes for a no-brainer select if you’re in the market for an entire home sound system. In particular, we recommend this four-piece Sonos set. Each individual piece offers voice activation through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant as well as streaming capabilities and works together to completely outfit your home in voice-controlled surround sound. Let’s break each one down, shall we?
First up are the two Sonos One models. We’ve mentioned Sonos One before and its tweeter, woofer, and two amplifiers that produce a clear and rich sound quality. But with two of them included here, you have the option of setting them in separate rooms for music that follows you wherever you go. Alternatively, you can place them in the same room and pair them together for stereo separation and more detailed sound. The choice is up to you!
Also included is the Sonos Beam soundbar. With four full-range woofers, it’s perfect for a home theater experience. It easily connects with your TV via an included HDMI cable and uses a five-speaker design to project even the quietest whisper on your favorite Netflix drama. Finally, there is the Sonos Sub Wireless Subwoofer. This baby produces rich, vibration-free bass sounds and clear playback and can be paired with the rest of the speaker system for the ultimate listening experience. Phew!
Best For Multitasking: iHome Hollywood Vanity Mirror Bluetooth Speaker
You’ll probably learn how to multitask better than ever before when planning a wedding. So why shouldn’t your home speaker also be a multitasking pro? If you want a speaker that has all the bells, whistles, and then a whole other function too, look to this iHome speaker and vanity mirror hybrid. Yes, hidden inside this standing mirror is a speaker, so you can blast your getting ready playlist right from where you’re actually getting ready.
Let’s chat about that mirror first: The large reflective surface is surrounded by bulbs that deliver three color light modes that include soft yellow, warm white, and bright white, so you’ll always have the perfect primping lighting. There’s also a removable magnifying mirror attached to help you see every last detail.
Now about this mirror’s built-in tech… It boasts a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that allows you to seamlessly connect with your phone to play audio and even answer calls. The mirror’s surface also features volume and speakerphone controls, as well as a voice control button compatible with Siri and Google Assistant. Talk about a multitasker!
Best Rugged Outdoor: Ultimate Ears Boom 3
A speaker you can bring into the great outdoors needs to be durable beyond compare, as well as produce a booming sound that can be appreciated even in an expansive space. The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 checks all those boxes and then some.
First and foremost, it’s virtually indestructible, having passed more than 25 durability tests, including multiple drop tests. Don’t worry if this speaker takes a tumble on the concrete—it’ll keep on playing! Plus, it’s completely waterproof. Sure, it can handle a sudden rain shower if you’ve taken it out hiking, but it’s also designed to survive being fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. It even floats on the surface, so you won’t lose it to the watery depths if you happen to drop it over a pool or off the side of a boat.
Its balanced sound is as equally as impressive as its durability, by the way. With an innovative cylindrical design, the audio is immersive and evenly emits in every direction. Plus, the bass rings through deep, rich, and distortion free at every volume level.
Best Wireless: KEF LS50 Wireless II
The sound pouring from the KEF LS50 Wireless II speakers is just as luxurious as their appearance. This pair of bookshelf speakers can sit pretty on a shelf and fill an entire room with music, your favorite podcast, and more. Each comes equipped with two built-in amplifiers for a big, booming sound that boasts both superior clarity and definition, as well as great stereo separation. This is thanks to KEF’s revolutionary Metamaterial Absorption Technology, which eliminates unwanted sound through the devices’ rear for purer output audio.
The KEF LS50 Wireless II speakers can be controlled via a smartphone app and can also connect wirelessly to your device’s library to stream Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, AirPlay, Chromecast, and more via Bluetooth. Plus, these speakers are super stunning to boot. They’re available in four color options (our favorite of which is the matte mineral white) and with a curved design that’s eye-catching and modern. With plenty to rave about, they’re worth the price tag. Really, what’s there not to love?
For a speaker that’ll satisfy any and all listening needs, go for the Bose Home Speaker 500. With a compact size that’ll fit in anywhere, a full-color LED screen, superior audio quality, and tons of playback options, it’ll have you covered (and singing along). If you’re working with a budget, consider the Ikea Symfonisk WiFi Bookshelf Speaker. A collaborative effort with the audio experts at Sonos, it produces clear sound and supports all major music streaming subscription services and AirPlay. And for beachfront parties or campground tunes, you can't go wrong with the tried-and-true Ultimate Ears Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker.
What to look for when buying speakers
After settling on a budget, consider the size of the space your speakers will sit in and what you’ll use them for. Are you looking to fill a larger, lofty home with sound? Do you wish to also stream audio from television and movies, in addition to music? Then, consider floor-standing speakers for realistic surround sound, or coupling your speakers with subwoofers (an additional speaker device that adds depth) or a soundbar to enhance that multisensory experience.
If you’re working with a smaller space or want to be able to take your speaker along to picnics and parties, consider bookshelf speakers for their compact design or a lightweight, wireless device for its portability. Although they may not offer as much depth as some larger models, many smaller speakers can also provide a stellar audio experience, especially when you purchase one that boasts a wide frequency (measured in Hertz or Hz) range.
Finally, you should also consider the speaker’s connectivity ability. If you want to play tunes wirelessly, be sure the model totes Bluetooth, streaming, or Airplay capabilities before you hit ‘add to cart.’
How to set up speakers around your home
To better distribute the sound, take care when choosing a home for your speakers. Setting up your speakers in your living room—or the place where you spend the most amount of time—is the obvious choice. (You can always add a smaller, less expensive device to your bedroom for added sound.) As for where to place your speakers, avoid setting them directly against walls or placing other items in front of them—otherwise, the sound may bounce off of the wall or objects and become distorted. And if you’ve opted for smaller, bookshelf speakers, select a space that allows them to sit at ear height for the best listening experience.
Why trust Brides?
Brides contributor Jamie Cuccinelli has several years of experience in the wedding and lifestyle industries, first as an editor of Brides.com and then as a writer for home and lifestyle websites like MyDomaine. Her time at Brides made her a pro in the art of party planning—and what’s a party without music? Of course, the tunes are often only as good as the speakers they’re played on, making a solid set a must-have for both celebrations and everyday listening.