10 Best Speakers For Music 2024

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If you love listening to music, then you know there’s nothing quite like high-quality speakers.

Whether you’re just starting to think about purchasing a better-quality system, or you’ve been an audiophile for a long time, there are speakers matched to just about any type of music listening experience or application.

In this guide, we explore the best speakers for music.

KEF R3 Meta – Best Overall

KEF R3 Meta – Best Overall

The KEF R3 Meta speakers shine brightly. From expressive dynamics to incredible transparency, in practically every regard, these speakers deliver a premium listening experience you won’t soon forget.

The R3 comes with some of the best features KEF offers in any of their speaker products – a true three-way design, a 12th generation Uni-Q driver array with MAT, a 6.5” hybrid aluminum bass driver, and a frequency response of (±3dB) 58Hz – 28kHz.

These noisemakers also come in four finishes – black, blue, walnut, and white. For classic elegance, black is ideal. If you want to catch the eyes of your friends visiting you, though, then blue will do the trick.

But I would personally be torn between walnut or white, which both offer a sleek, modern flare.

The sound quality is no joke – and there simply aren’t words enough to express how amazing the R3 Meta speakers are. They offer a very detailed, transparent, dynamic, and nuanced sound you will rarely if ever hear with speakers of the same size.

The passive speakers are perfectly paired with a transparent amplifier.

The only downside? Well, the KEF R3 Meta speakers will cost you a pretty penny, and the price of entry does not include an amplifier.

KEF LS50 Wireless II – Premium Option

KEF LS50 Wireless II – Premium Option

The KEF LS50 Wireless II is the upgraded version of a product KEF was proud to put its stamp on. And unlike some companies, they know how to take something already good and make it noticeably better.

To be fair, the LS50 speakers weren’t perfect out of the box. The speakers had to be connected using a cable, and the control app wasn’t always a reliable piece of software. KEF knew to tackle these issues with their latest upgrade and address them they did.

If that was the only thing they changed, though, we’re not sure we’d have chosen these as our premium selection. The LS50 Wireless IIs come with Uni-Q with MAT to absorb unwanted / unneeded frequencies, a 100W class A/B amplifier, support for DSD256, an HDMI eARC socket, and more.

Physically, the KEF LS50s Wireless II speakers look a lot like their predecessors. And unless you were to look at the underside, you might not be able to tell them apart. The speakers come in grey and red, but you should be able to find them with other finishes depending on where you’re shopping.

The LS50 Wireless IIs are a step forward (if not multiple steps forward) in every conceivable way. And if you’ve been waiting on bated breath for their launch, we don’t think you will be disappointed with the result.

Just don’t expect to get such epic speakers for a pittance. This is our premium selection, and the speakers aren’t cheap!

Wharfedale – Diamond 225 – Best Budget Option

Wharfedale – Diamond 225 – Best Budget Option

The Wharfedale – Diamond 225 is a quality speaker in a surprisingly affordable price range. They feature 6.5-inch woven Kevlar cone bass drivers, giving these babies a substantial extension in the bottom end, compared to their predecessor, the Diamond 220s.

The Diamond 225 also features a 45 Hz to 20 kHz range, fine-tuned crossovers, a slot-loaded port, and a one-inch soft-dome tweeter.

While the bass response is a tad muddy, the Diamond 225 speakers still tend to outperform most bookshelf alternatives. At this price point, that’s an accomplishment.

Reviewers loved the clear, warm, uncolored sound delivered by these speakers.

This is our best budget selection, but if you’re not convinced, don’t worry – you will find a couple of competing products a little later in this guide.

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Standmount Loudspeaker

Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Standmount Loudspeaker

The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2 Standmount Loudspeaker looks phenomenal. But that’s not all. Thanks to the tweeter housing’s position, treble diffraction has been greatly reduced, offering extra energy, compared to its predecessor.

The kit has also been graced with a carbon-reinforced aluminum tweeter dome that’s more ridged and reaches further. Additionally, the breakup mode is now at 47 kHz as opposed to 38 kHz where it sat previously.

Those familiar with previous incarnations of the product will notice several other advanced engineering upgrades to drool over.

In terms of placement, the 705 S2s aren’t picky. It would still be in your best interest to place them a meter or more from the wall, though.

Their sound is impressive, especially the bass frequencies, which will likely be the first thing you’ll notice when you turn them on. Fortunately, the bass does not overpower other nuances of the sound. If anything, it bestows some added richness to the mid-range as well.

The Bowers & Wilkins 705 S2s were designed to thrill, delight, and impress. There’s no denying they’re high-performing speakers, but in this price range, you can find options that are subtler and more flexible.

Could they still be right for you? Absolutely. That’s why they’re here. The 705 S2s are exceptional and are worth a look.

KEF LS50 Meta

KEF LS50 Meta

The KEF LS50 Meta features Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), KEF’s 12th-gen Uni-Q driver, and THD 0.07% driver performance optimization. The speakers have a frequency range of (-6 dB): 47 Hz – 45 kHz.

Earlier renditions of the KEF LS50 speakers had some minor flaws, but KEF has had plenty of time to work out the kinks. The Uni-Q driver, for instance, has been rebuilt from the ground up, allowing for cleaner, less distorted highs.

The result is a pair of speakers that offer plenty of punch while delivering much clearer high frequencies.

It’s not recommended that you place these speakers against a wall or even on a bookshelf, despite their smaller stature (unless you don’t care about how they sound). You may also require a proper power amplifier and speaker stands to make the most of these noisemakers.

Overall, customers have been quite impressed with these speakers, but some say they have a long break-in period, which we can’t confirm or deny.

KEF LSX II Wireless HiFi Speaker System

KEF LSX II Wireless HiFi Speaker System

The KEF LSX II Wireless HiFi Speaker System is the latest entry in KEF’s LSX range. LSX products were originally launched in 2018 and were met with critical praise. In the meantime, the rest of their ranges kept evolving, so it’s only natural that they’d offer an upgrade to the LSX line with LSX II.

No design changes were made to the LSX II speakers. KEF felt that was something they nailed the first time around. The good news is the lack of aesthetic upgrades keeps the cost down for the consumer.

And speaking of aesthetics, these KEF speakers come in five great-looking finishes – carbon black, cobalt blue, lava red, mineral white, olive green, and soundwave beige.

While it does use the Uni-Q driver, there was no room left for KEF’s proprietary Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), and it simply would have cost them (and maybe the consumer) a little too much to employ.

But this is after all an upgrade, and KEF wouldn’t be satisfied launching a new product without some significant enhancements. Notably, the LSX II speakers come with new connectivity options (HDMI ARC, USB-C, Ethernet), redesigned DSP software, and W2 wireless streaming.

Thanks to the W2 platform, you can easily connect to your speakers using your Android or iOS device by downloading the KEF Control app. You can control playback, streaming services, and even internet radio, all from the comfort and convenience of your smartphone.

Audiophiles will appreciate the onboard EQ settings, which will probably be one of the first things to tweak.

Ultimately, with the LSX II speakers, KEF took an established formula and improved upon it, both in terms of usability and functionality. If you’re comparison shopping, know that it’s unlikely you will find anything that comes close in this price range.

SVS Prime Tower Speakers

SVS Prime Tower Speakers

The SVS Prime Tower Speakers are among SVS’s most affordable Hi-Fi floorstanding speakers. But they should not be underestimated.

Physically, the speakers come in premium black ash and piano gloss. This is kind of like asking which black you like better (“Could these be any more black?”) but I suppose we can liken it to choosing between a matte and glossy finish.

The speakers feature a solid build, complete with a 4.5-inch polypropylene midrange driver, a dual poly 6.5-inch woofer, and a 3.5-way crossover with capacitors and inductors.

Depending on your setup, the Prime Tower Speakers could pump out a heavy low end, but this can be tamed with the right amp selection.

The speakers allow you to hear all the nuances in your music while also offering impressive dynamics.

All in all, the SVS Prime Towers feature high-quality components, a heavy-duty build, and exceptional sound quality across the spectrum. It is worth noting, though, that the speakers are best matched up with a tamer amplifier rather than a more aggressive one, for the best sound possible.

Q Acoustics 3030i Bookshelf Speakers

Q Acoustics 3030i Bookshelf Speakers

The Q Acoustics 3030i Bookshelf Speakers are an outgrowth of Q Acoustics’ 3000i speaker range, initially launched in 2018. The 3030i are the latest, and they popped up out of nowhere. Fortunately, critics and consumers alike were pleasantly surprised by the entry.

Following in the footsteps of their successful product deployments, the 3030is do not deviate too far from their proven design. The main difference is a larger mid/bass driver unit and a bigger cabinet.

If you don’t like spending hours finding the perfect placement for your speakers, you should like the 3030is. Ideally, they should be placed about 40cm into the room, though they preserve good balance even at closer distances.

With a surprisingly muscular and balanced sound, the 3030i speakers deliver quite a bit of low-end weight.

In this price range, you can’t go wrong with the Q Acoustics 3030i Bookshelf Speakers. Check them out for yourself.

triangle Borea BR08 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Speaker

triangle Borea BR08 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Speaker

The triangle Borea BR08 Hi-Fi Floor Standing Speaker is an impressive piece of kit, even in a market rife with plenty of competing products.

First, the cabinets. They are very durable, and while the speakers may appear to have a very simple finish, it’s much better than you might assume.

Much of the engineering budget, however, was invested into the drive array, which features a three-way design with fiberglass-coned bass units, a silk dome tweeter, and a front-firing reflex port.

The midrange driver is the same as what can be found on the higher-end Esprit EZ range.

One thing that may not be immediately apparent from the product description is that this speaker requires a larger room to sound its best. That means some attention will be required in placing these speakers for optimal performance.

As well, the tweeter is already quite crisp. That means it would be best to avoid using this speaker alongside gear that encourages aggressive highs.

Once you figure out speaker placement and complementary gear, you should be very impressed with the Borea BR08. If you’re considering floor standers in this price range, give these a try first. You won’t regret it.

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers

Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers

The Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 Bookshelf Speakers have a reputation for being excellent, unfussy, affordable speakers. They come with Aramid cones, woven Aramid-fiber woofers, MDF cabinets, and a removable fabric grill.

The speakers sound great out of the box. But impressively, they sound even better when connected to a high-end sound system.

They may be lacking the warmth of premium vintage speakers, but they make up for it with a very balanced tone.

Best of all, you almost can’t go wrong with placement. Put the speakers on stands, on a bookshelf, or even on end tables. You probably won’t find a configuration that doesn’t work.

Most customers were very impressed with the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 speakers, but some felt they needed the help of a proper amp and speaker stands for them to sound their very best.

What To Look For In Speakers For Music

If you’re still reading, there’s one thing we know for sure – you love listening to music! Which is a great thing, because it’s something we have in common.

But choosing the right set of speakers usually comes down to the individual. This is because there are several factors – from sound quality to budget – that will tend to affect one’s purchase.

And let’s be honest – sound is individual. What works for another isn’t guaranteed to thrill you in the same way. But your desire to listen to music in its purest form is well-gotten.

So, let’s look at the main factors you should be considering when shopping for speakers. They are as follows:

  • Sound quality
  • Speaker type
  • Active or passive speakers
  • Frequency response
  • Connectivity
  • Aesthetics
  • Portability
  • Budget

If you’re ready, let’s dive into each factor.

Sound Quality

Sound quality is determined by an array of factors – drivers, enclosure, frequency response, and other technologies designed to tame certain frequencies or cut down on reflections. It would even be fair to say that everything to do with a speaker’s construction will play a part in how it sounds.

Speaker placement can also play a part in how they sound. Some speakers are fussy. Others are less so. But it would be in your best interest to study any materials (i.e., user manual) the product ships with to optimize your setup.

Then comes your room. Some speakers work nicely in smaller environments. Others don’t. Choosing speakers that are matched to your room is in your best interest.

You may also need to pair passive speakers with an amplifier, especially if you don’t have one already. Note that amplifiers will also play a part in how sound comes across. Some amps add some hardness or harshness to the sound. Others are warm, or more transparent.

Speaking of which, active and passive speakers can also sound a little different (more on this later), although there isn’t as big of a gap between the two technologies as there once was.

Some speakers will also require the use of stands, or at the very least, sound best with the use of stands. Keep in mind that not all speakers come with stands.

There are plenty of other factors that could potentially affect sound, and we can’t necessarily cover them all here. But the above covers most of the major factors.

The only way to know for sure whether you’ll be happy with a pair of speakers is to try them out for yourself. If you pay a visit to the local electronics store, and they happen to have the speakers you’re looking for in stock, they might be willing to let you take them for a test run.

This still does not guarantee that how they sounded at the store is how they will sound in your home, however, for reasons already covered.

Either way, if listening to speakers at the store is not an option, then the best you can do is read reviews, check out videos, or ask for personal recommendations. This is still better than having no way of learning more about a pair of speakers, of course.

Speaker Type

There are different speakers suited to different scenarios.

The main types that you’ll be choosing from include bookshelf speakers, monitors, tower speakers / or floorstanding speakers.

Bookshelf speakers are convenient and flexible thanks to their overall size and weight (though they aren’t necessarily light). They fit into smaller spaces and can sit comfortably on desks, shelves, tables, and so on.

This isn’t to suggest you will get the best results by setting them up haphazardly. Either check the manual or find tutorials online for optimal speaker placement.

Either way, it’s nice to know that bookshelf speakers are flexible and aren’t usually a burden to move.

Monitors are what music producers use. They’re usually designed with a very accurate, detailed response, but can also be very transparent and “flat,” which is intentional. It makes the process of mixing and mastering less of a guessing game.

If you’re producing music, making podcasts, or even editing audio intended for radio, monitors are ideal. Most would not say they offer the best music listening experience.

Floorstanding speakers are usually heavier but are also thought to offer a better sound overall. For dedicated listening rooms and larger media rooms, floorstanding speakers can be very effective. These types of speakers usually sit at the sides of your TV, but even if you don’t have one, they are meant to stand apart.

Although more portable options were not covered in this guide, you can find portable Bluetooth speakers for listening on the go. Many of them sound great (though not as good as bookshelf or floorstanding speakers) and they are small enough to take with you anywhere you go.

Active Or Passive Speakers

Active speakers are powered. That makes them great standalone solutions, as they have a built-in amplifier. So, there is no need to purchase an external amplifier to be able to use them (more or in this in the Budget section below).

An active setup can be more affordable. The main trade-off is that active speakers usually have a higher noise floor given the proximity of the amp.

Another potential downside of active setups is that there are fewer options for tonal customization. With active speakers, you get what you get, within a small margin of error.

Passive speakers, of course, do require an amplifier to power them. Neither quality speakers nor quality amplifiers are especially affordable, so of course this will drive up the cost of a passive system.

Passive setups are sometimes thought to offer better sound quality, however, and they are more customizable given that you can swap out amps depending on what works best for the speakers in question.

Passive speakers also have less noise interference because the amp is not sitting in the same housing as the drivers.

And as already implied, passive setups usually allow for more control over the tone. Too much bass? Roll off the low end a little. Not enough clarity? Give the higher frequencies a little boost.

Nowadays, active and passive setups are quite competitive, so purchasing on this factor alone is unwise. But it is well worth thinking about.

Frequency Response

Some people like to obsess over wattage, and while it’s not insignificant, it’s basically a measurement of power available and doesn’t necessarily have a direct impact on sound quality.

A much more important consideration is frequency response. This is a measurement of the frequency spectrum that can be produced by the speakers and the balance between the frequencies.

The ideal is to purchase speakers that cover the entire spectrum and are accurate without adjustment. Speakers like this do exist, it’s just that they’re generally the furthest thing from budget-friendly.

Speakers that have a wider frequency range will tend to sound more realistic with more bass and more detail.

You can’t ignore frequency balance, however, as some speakers have a boosted frequency range (highs, mids, bass, a combination thereof, or otherwise). Some listeners do enjoy the coloration, but purists appreciate a flatter response.

Details related to a product’s frequency range and balance can often be found in their product description, and if not, in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website.

It can take time to gain a better understanding of frequencies, and if you find yourself in this boat, then don’t be afraid to google articles or videos and study up on the topic a bit.

Connectivity

Connectivity, in this case, refers to inputs, outputs, ports, and apps that allow you to control your speakers from your mobile devices.

Speakers come with an array of connectivity options, and most are not created equal. If there is something specific, you’re looking for, whether HDMI or Ethernet, it would be well worth looking into what a speaker model offers before rushing out and purchasing it.

Compatibility with certain amplifiers and other audio equipment can also sometimes be an issue, so if you’re planning to use the speakers with the gear you have at home, investigate what the speakers can handle before buying them.

Aesthetics

There may have been a time when Hi-Fi solutions were synonymous with ugly, vintage gear. Although let’s face it, that was one of the charms of classic premium systems. They looked warm, and they sounded warm too.

Nowadays, though, there is no shortage of sleek, modern-looking speakers that will draw the attention of anyone who walks into your media room.

Not to mention, some speakers (KEF speakers especially) tend to come in many finishes. Whether you’re looking for black, white, grey, blue, or red, you can probably find a product matched to your tastes.

Aesthetics don’t matter to everyone. Some buyers are only interested in how a set of speakers sound, and we can appreciate that philosophy also.

But if aesthetics do matter to you, and you want to match your speakers to your environment, it’s nice to know there are plenty of finishes to choose from.

Portability

Portability is not much of a factor with the various options we’ve explored in this guide, but it’s fair to say some speakers are heavier than others and are not designed to be moved frequently.

If you think you might be rearranging your media room or changing your setup periodically, then you might consider purchasing a pair of speakers that offer some flexibility in this regard (e.g., bookshelf speakers). Otherwise, it’s not much of a concern.

And if you happen to be looking for more portable solutions generally, return to Music Industry How To often for additional guides covering relevant products.

Budget

If you’re looking for a pair of high-quality speakers, you should expect to spend anywhere from $350 to $4,000. This is inevitable, but hopefully, you agree – it’s worth the cost if you can enjoy your favorite music in Hi-Fi.

But we need to be realistic. If you need additional gear, like an amplifier, or other accessories, you should expect to add another $1,000 to $5,000 to your purchase.

For better or for worse, buying a set of speakers isn’t always just buying a set of speakers – you sometimes do need other equipment for optimal performance.

That’s what can ultimately make this a very costly purchase indeed. So, do keep in mind that you may not just be buying speakers, you may be buying other gear to go with them.

Finally, and most importantly, we advise against going into debt for any purchase. Thank you for spending responsibly. We hope you enjoy your new speakers.

Best Speakers For Music Brands

You might expect there to be a ton of brands competing in the audiophile, Hi-Fi, and music appreciation market. You’d be partly right. There are many companies, but there are only a few that stand out and continue to remain relevant year after year.

Here we look at the best brands producing speakers for music.

KEF

KEF was established in 1961 in the UK, and they’ve been developing cutting-edge, innovative speaker technologies ever since. Music has always been at the heart of their operations.

Named after Kent Engineering and Foundry, the company was founded by Raymond Cooke.

In addition to Hi-Fi speakers and wireless Hi-Fi speakers, KEF also manufactures headphones, subwoofers, and architectural speakers.

Their Hi-Fi speakers include the Muon, Blade, The Reference, R Series, Q Series, LS50 Meta, and T Series ranges, while their wireless line includes LS60 Wireless, LS60 Wireless Lotus Edition, LS50 Wireless II, and LSX II.

Elac

Elac claims to offer the best audiophile speakers. True or not, there’s one thing we know for sure – they’re well-known for creating great-quality speakers at a manageable price point (though they do offer more premium-grade products at a higher price too).

Elac manufactures various speakers, electronics, and accessories, and their products are widely available both online and in stores.

They offer a wide range of speaker solutions, including bookshelf, floorstanding, subwoofers, Dolby Atmos, on-wall, sound bars, powered speakers, in-ceiling, in-wall, wireless speakers, center, and home theater bundles.

Wharfedale

Wharfedale was founded on the back of Gilbert Briggs and his first loudspeaker, which he built himself, in 1932 in Ilkley, Yorkshire. Briggs’ love of music would drive him to keep innovating in pursuit of better sound.

Today, Wharfedale owns a 1.5 million square foot manufacturing facility where they build their products from the ground up instead of using off-the-shelf components as many companies do.

Wharfedale has several lines of speakers, including Heritage, Elysian, Aura, EVO4, and Diamond 12.

Bowers & Wilkins

Bowers & Wilkins was founded by John Bowers over 50 years ago. His vision was to create the perfect loudspeaker that would deliver a musical recording exactly as it had originally been intended by the artist.

Today, Bowers & Wilkins manufactures speakers, wireless speakers, and headphones. Their range of speakers includes loudspeakers, sound bars, home theater, and integrated solutions, while their wireless speaker lines include Zeppelin, Formation, soundbars, and collections.

SVS

SVS is led by President and CEO Gary Yacoubian and is based in Youngstown, Ohio. Their passion is for creating quality audio equipment that’s worth the price tag attached to it. This is just one of the factors that made them a go-to subwoofer brand.

A forward-thinking company, SVS communicates with customers and fans via chat, email, social media, and even events.

From passionate hobbyists to audiophiles, SVS prides itself on offering products matched to every need.

SVS manufactures subwoofers, speakers, wireless solutions, and accessories. Their speaker lines include the Prime Series, Prime Systems, Ultra Series, Ultra Systems, and Prime Wireless Pro.

TRIANGLE

The Soissons-based and award-winning TRIANGLE prides itself on delivering modern, innovative, and unconventional audio products like the 1180, ZENITH 1, and ANTAL TZX.

TRIANGLE creates high-fidelity speakers, wireless speakers, and accessories. They also offer custom installations.

Their Hi-Fi lines include Magellan 40th, Signature, Esprit 40th, Esprit EZ, Borea, and subwoofers. Meanwhile, their wireless lines include AIO, Active Series, and Borea Active.

Q Acoustics

The award-winning Q Acoustics was established in 2006. That makes them a relative newcomer to the audio game. But they made a name for themselves by making the best quality affordable loudspeakers available anywhere.

Their 1000 stereo and home cinema loudspeaker series, launched in 2006, became a massive success. Q Acoustics has dovetailed this success into new, innovative products.

Q Acoustics manufactures a mix of wireless and powered speakers, 5000 series, 3000i series, bookshelf, floorstanding, home theater speakers, and accessories.

Top Speakers For Music, Final Thoughts

Speaker technology is better than it’s ever been, and that is just as it should be. But it is also possible to enjoy music without all the fuss. You don’t need to know all the technical details of speakers to end up with a sound you’ll be very pleased with. And that’s one of the best things about today’s market – the best speakers truly are the best speakers!

P.S. Remember though, none of what you've learned will matter if you don't know how to get your music out there and earn from it. Want to learn how to do that? Then get our free ‘5 Steps To Profitable Youtube Music Career' ebook emailed directly to you!

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