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Great Sound Bar Speakers at Every Price

As we head into the key TV buying season, sound quality may be an afterthought for many of us—but it shouldn’t be. Among the 200-plus sets in Consumer Reports’ TV ratings, most earn no more than a decent score for sound. That’s probably fine for routine sitcoms, talk shows, and the like. But for movies and TV dramas, you might want a bit more sonic oomph.

To buy a TV with a top score for sound quality, you may have to pay more, and perhaps invest in a TV that’s larger than you really want.

An easy fix is to add a sound bar to the TV of your choice. Below, we’ve listed several great options from our sound bar ratings, which are available to CR digital members.

Most sound bars tuck several speakers into a thin enclosure that can be mounted on a wall or placed on a shelf above or below the TV. Pedestal-style sound bases can support the set.

Here are a few tips to consider when you’re shopping.

• Make sure you can return or exchange the sound bar, even if you get to listen to it in a store before buying it. Speakers may sound very different in your home than they do during an in-store demo.

• Determine how many channels of sound you want. To simply enhance your TV sound, 2.1 channels (two front channels and a separate subwoofer) will do nicely. But if you want true surround sound, choose a 5.1-channel system with rear speakers.

• Decide whether to spring for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X. These newer immersive surround-sound technologies can give movies with specially encoded soundtracks a more dramatic, lifelike effect. This is usually accomplished by using speakers that include upfiring drivers to add a sense of height to the sound.

“When done well, especially with models that have front and rear height-enabled speakers, listeners can really get a three-dimensional sound experience,” says Rich Fisco, who leads electronics testing at CR. Some sounds, such as a helicopter flying overhead, can appear to be coming from above the listener.

Here are a few top picks for sound bar speakers at various prices. Members can get detailed test results for all of the 48 tested models in our sound bar ratings.

It’s hard to find a decent-sounding sound bar speaker for less than $100, but you have at least one solid option: the Creative Stage 2.1.

This budget 2.1-channel system delivers good overall sound, so more casual listeners should find that it works well for both music and movie soundtrack playback. It lacks some features usually found in pricier models, however. It’s not compatible with voice-enabled digital assistants, and you can’t use it to stream tunes directly from online music services.

But this sound bar does have built-in Bluetooth for streaming music from a portable device, as well as a wired subwoofer.

Alternative Pick
The Onn Roku Smart Soundbar is a low-priced model with good overall sound quality. It’s a bit more expensive than the Creative Stage, but it has a few more features, such as a built-in 4K HDR Roku streaming media player so that you can access streaming services right from the sound bar. You can also add an optional Onn Roku wireless-powered subwoofer for extra bass.

Despite its relatively small size, the Sonos Beam delivers very good sound quality.

The model has a lot of features at a price several hundred dollars below the company’s Arc and Playbase sound bars, both of which are also highly recommended. (See below for info on the Arc.) The Beam has both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, so you can control it, other Sonos speakers, and additional Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered devices using voice commands. It also supports Apple AirPlay 2 for streaming from Apple devices. It comes in a choice of black or white color schemes.

Alternative Picks
The Polk Audio Command Bar, a 2.1-channel system, also has very good sound, and for a bit less money. It has Amazon Alexa built in, so you can control volume and switch between inputs using voice commands. For about the same price as the Sonos Beam, the Samsung HW-Q65T/ZA is a complete 5.1-channel system that comes with two wireless rear surround speakers and a wireless subwoofer. It, too, has very good overall sound.

The Sonos Arc is our top-rated sound bar, an all-in-one Dolby Atmos model that has a built-in subwoofer. It delivers very good overall sound quality, and with the addition of optional rear speakers, it expands into a full-blown surround-sound system.

The main enclosure has 11 drivers, including side-firing and upfiring speakers, which creates a sense of height when you’re playing content with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X soundtracks.

Like the Beam, the Sonos Arc has both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant built in, and it supports AirPlay 2 for streaming audio from Apple devices. The speaker has built-in WiFi for music streaming from several services, as well as Bluetooth for beaming music from smartphones and other compatible devices.

Alternative Picks
Two other great choices can do justice to both music and movie soundtracks: the Bose Soundbar 700 and the Vizio Elevate P514a-H6.

Like the Sonos Arc, the Bose Soundbar 700 is an all-in-one model that can be expanded into a surround-sound system when paired with optional Bose rear speakers and a wireless subwoofer. The sound bar has Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant built in, and comes with a universal remote control that can be set to operate a TV, a cable box, and other audio/video devices.

The Vizio Elevate P514a-H6 is a pricier 5.1.4-channel sound bar system that comes with rear satellite speakers and a large wireless subwoofer. Among its unique features are motorized speakers at either end of the enclosure that rotate upward as height channels when the system detects a Dolby Atmos or DTS:X signal.

Do you know the difference between good speakers and excellent speakers? On the "Consumer 101" TV show, Consumer Reports' expert Elias Arias explains to host Jack Rico the art of identifying quality devices.


James K. Willcox

I've been a tech journalist for more years than I'm willing to admit. My specialties at CR are TVs, streaming media, audio, and TV and broadband services. In my spare time I build and play guitars and bass, ride motorcycles, and like to sail—hobbies I've not yet figured out how to safely combine.

Sours: https://www.consumerreports.org/sound-bar/great-sound-bar-speakers-at-every-price-a1655356094/

If you’ve used a Sonos speaker before, you know how great they are. Not only are Sonos speakers well-designed, but they also sound awesome, plus they’re available for all kinds of listening situations. Just want multi-room audio? Or perhaps you’re looking for a soundbar? Or speakers you can take around the house? Sonos has you covered in all of those situations.

Black Friday, this year, falls on November 26 — so it will be a while before we actually get Black Friday deals. As the event approaches, however, we’re expecting a range of deals from all kinds of retailers, including the likes of Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and more.

There are plenty of things to think about before you buy a new speaker. Notably, you’ll want to think about where you want to put the speaker and how you want to use it. Sonos offers speakers for all kinds of different settings, so whether you’re looking for a soundbar, standalone speaker, portable speaker, or anything else, there should be something for you. You’ll also want to think about budget, as the company offers some speakers at different price points for the same setting. For example, the Sonos Beam and Sonos Arc are both soundbars, but at pretty different price points.

We’ll be updating this guide regularly as we get closer and closer to Black Friday. And, in case you can’t wait until Black Friday, we’ll ensure that the best deals are listed below.

Looking for something else? Check out our guides on the best Black Friday TV deals, Apple deals, and gaming deals. And, check out our full Black Friday and Cyber Monday coverage.

How to get the best Black Friday Sonos deals

Sonos Beam Gen 2 Main

It can be a little scary to buy new speakers for your home — but when you’re buying from a well-known and reputable brand, the process is a little easier. We’ll only be including deals below that we actually think are high-quality.

If you see a solid deal on a Sonos speaker on Black Friday, it’s worth simply checking other retailers for the same product, and then buying.

Where are the best Black Friday Sonos deals

Sonos speakers will likely get steep discounts from a range of retailers, and we might even get discounts on Sonos’ own website.

Frankly, it can be difficult to tell exactly where the best deals will be. Generally speaking, the deals will likely be similar or the same across all retailers. If you find a great deal from a retailer like Amazon, it’ll likely be the same from Best Buy, Walmart, and so on.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the different retailers to find only the best deals.

Should I wait until Black Friday to buy a Sonos speaker?

Image source: Sonos

Yes. If you’re in the market for new speakers and can wait until Black Friday, it’s worth waiting until Black Friday. It’s entirely possible that the speaker you’re looking for won’t be discounted at all — but if it is, you won’t want to miss out on the deals.

Black Friday vs Cyber Monday Sonos deals

The deals are likely to be similar across Black Friday and Cyber Monday. That doesn’t mean that you should wait until Cyber Monday to buy though. If you see a great deal for a Sonos speaker on Black Friday, then we recommend pulling the trigger. It’s entirely possible that the deal will be gone altogether by Cyber Monday, and you will have missed out.

Last year’s Black Friday Sonos deals

In 2020, we saw a number of excellent Sonos deals. Deals ranged from discounts on the Sonos Beam soundbar, which was available at $100 off its normal price, to the 5.1 Surround Set, which included the Sonos Beam, a subwoofer, and two Sonos One SL speakers for surround sound. The company also offered discounts on speakers like the Sonos One.

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Sours: https://bgr.com/deals/best-black-friday-sonos-deals/
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Best speakers 2021: budget to premium stereo speakers

Best Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best speakers you can buy in 2021.

The best possible stereo sound quality still comes from a pair of hi-fi speakers – no matter how good one-box wireless speakers might have become. Our round-up of the best stereo speakers you can buy below will ensure your home audio system is treated to the best possible audio performance for your budget.

Whether you're on a tight budget or ready to splash the cash, take your pick from our selection of the best stereo speakers, no matter what genre of music you plan to play. We have both floorstanding speakers and bookshelf speakers to recommend, as well as desktop, active, and a number of all-in-one wireless stereo speakers, as also featured in our best systems guide.

So whether you're looking for your first pair of speakers as you build a home music system, upgrading an old pair of budget speakers or going for broke with the best speakers your system, room and finances can accommodate, we're here to help. Read on for our round-up of the best hi-fi speakers on the market right now.

How we choose the best speakers

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, including no small amount of speakers of all shapes, sizes and types. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers, trying them with different electronics, in different positions and with different music. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.

From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can rest assured you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.

1. KEF LS50 Meta

These standmounters set new standards at the price

Specifications

Max power: 106dB

Sensitivity: 85dB

Frequency response: 79Hz - 28kHz

Impedance: 8ohms

Dimensions: 30.2 x 20 x 27.8cm


Weight: 7.2kg

Reasons to buy

+Exceptional sonic transparency+Subtle and precise presentation+Innovative technology

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

The original LS50 speakers had little wrong with them but after eight years, KEF figured they deserved a fresh look. And with the LS50 Meta they have delivered a worthy 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 for cleaner, less distorted highs.

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 loved the originals and the LS50 Meta takes the performance to a notably higher level. 

Read the full review: KEF LS50 Meta

2. Elac Debut B5.2

Arguably the most capable standmounters we’ve heard at the money.

Specifications

Speaker terminals: Single

Mid/bass driver: 5.25in

Tweeter: 25mm

Sensitivity: 86dB/W/m

Dimensions: 34 x 18 x 23cm (HxWxD)

:

Reasons to buy

+Detailed and organised sound+Solid build+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Tough competition

Elac's affordable standmounters 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 fibres 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 (below), but they’re admirably balanced and capable of making the best of any recording – even those of poor quality.

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. For this sort of money, they're exceptional.

Read the full review:Elac Debut B5.2

3. B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition

B&W hones its 606 speakers to great effect

Specifications

Type: 2-way bookshelf speakers

Impedance: 8ohm

Sensitivity: 88dB

Frequency response: 52Hz to 28kHz

Dimensions (hwd): 35 x 19 x 30cm

Weight: 6.9kg

Reasons to buy

+Excellent clarity+Agile and articulate bass+Impressive dynamic punch

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

The original Bowers & Wilkins 606 speakers walked off with What Hi-Fi?’s top speaker award in 2019 but it seems there's always room for improvement. To mark the 25-year 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, there's not much new, but 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 Editions prove significantly more capable than their 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.

Don't be fooled by the apparent minor upgrades, the B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers deliver an impressive step up in performance.

Read the full review: B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition

4. Fyne Audio F302

Fyne Audio has done a sterling job with these mouth-watering floorstanders.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 90dB/w/m

Impedance: 8ohms

Type: Two-way, rear ported

Max power handling: 120W

Mid/bass driver: 15cm

Tweeter: 25mm

Dimensions: 93 x 19 x 27cm (HXWXD)

Reasons to buy

+Full-bodied, entertaining sound+Fantastic timing and dynamic range+Plenty of low-end presence

Reasons to avoid

-Need some care in system-matching

Although in its infancy as a brand, Fyne’s seven-strong management team represents a kind of supergroup of industry minds. It has more than 200 years of experience - and delivers results that total the sum of its parts, 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 floorstanders able to compete in every respect with the wealth of quality standmount speakers available at the same price, but the F302s manage to tick all the boxes and more.

Superb all-rounders, they feature a two-way, rear-ported design that houses a 25mm polyester dome tweeter and 15cm multi-fibre mid/bass driver in each cabinets. 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 sterling job of balancing sound quality with affordability. If you want a pair of floorstanders that won't break the bank, look no further.

Read the full review: Fyne Audio F302

5. Dali Oberon 1 C

An engaging and adaptable active speaker package.

Specifications

Bluetooth: aptX HD

Power: 4 x 50W Class D amps

Finishes : 4

Dimensions: 27 x 16 x 23cm

Weight: 4.4kg

Reasons to buy

+Detailed, musical sound+Superb midrange clarity+Wireless options

Reasons to avoid

-Not the last word in authority-Slight lack of bass depth

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 passive Oberon 1, which are small and nicely made, with a mahogany coloured 13cm wood fibre mid/bass cone that's used in conjunction with Dali’s Soft Magnet Compound (SMC) technology and sits below the 29mm soft dome tweeter in the familiar Dali arrangement. These are active speakers, though, so each unit here is fed by a dedicated 50W Class D amplifier.

Sonically, as we've come to expect from Dali, we're treated to a clean, precise and detailed sound. Instruments are rendered faithfully, there's a good sense of scale and dynamics are impressive. Their size means you can only expect so much power and drive but for small speakers, and in small to medium-sized rooms, they're more than capable.

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. 

Read the full Dali Oberon 1 C review

6. Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2

Fantastic desktop speakers blessed with a gorgeous design and superb audio.

Specifications

aptX Bluetooth: Yes

Inputs: Optical, line in

Output: Subwoofer

Dimensions: 17 × 13 × 13.5cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to buy

+Stunningly musical sound+Subtle dynamics+Stylish, compact design

Reasons to avoid

-No USB input

We loved the first Ruark Audio MR1 wireless desktop speakers when they emerged in 2013. The retro looks, the intuitive design, the superb Bluetooth sound – it was a winning combination that earned two successive What Hi-Fi? Awards.

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 Mk2. And sure enough, Ruark Audio is back with a vengeance, having regained its crown for the last couple of years.

These compact bookshelf speakers are packed with features and hugely versatile. Bluetooth apt-X active  allows you to stream music to the speakers in CD-like sound quality, an optical inpt means they're easily connected to a TV. Prefer analogue?  You can always use the AUX input to partner them with a turntable or plug in some headphones.

The step up in performance in impressive, and the Ruark MR1 Mk2s manage to be even more appealing than their predecessors. Quite simply, these are superb speakers if you're short of space.

Read the full Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 review

7. Dali Spektor 2

An excellent pair of entry-level speakers.

Specifications

Impedance: 6ohms

Sensitivity: 85dB/w/m

Speaker terminals: Single wire

Dimensions: 29 x 17 x 24cm (HxWcD)

Tweeter: 25mm soft dome

Woofer: 13cm wood fibre

Reasons to buy

+Agile, articulate and expressive sound+Good detail resolution+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing of note

On paper, there’s little to differentiate Dali’s new Spektor 2s from any of their main rivals: the speakers stick to the classic budget standmounter formula like Superglue sticks to fingers. They offer everything we would expect from a typical £200/$200 box here, from two-way driver configuration and ported bass tuning right the way through to the 25mm dome tweeter and 13cm mid/bass driver. 

But these Dalis are much more than simply the sum of their parts: they ooze sophistication and offer a degree of entertainment that even their most talented rivals struggle to match. Powerful vocals are delivered with nuance and passion, grabbing the listener's attention, and dynamics are handled with subtlety and class. They're particularly composed at high volume, too, which is always an encouraging sign. 

Mission and Q Acoustics offer similarly-good options, and both have their relative strengths and flaws. But if Spektor 2s match your budget, these affordable standmounters deserve an audition.

Read the full Dali Spektor 2 review

8. Triangle Borea BR08

Superb performers capable of thrilling results

Specifications

Impedance: 8ohms

Sensitivity: 92 dB/W/m

Speaker terminals: Single

Dimensions: 102 x 20.6 x 31.4cm

Tweeter: 25mm silk dome

Midrange: 16cm paper cone

Bass: 2 x 16cm fibreglass cones

Reasons to buy

+Excellent dynamics and punch+Impressive rhythmic drive+Terrific punch and agility

Reasons to avoid

-Requires care in partnering-Needs a larger room to shine

There’s no shortage of talented rivals at this size and price, yet having spent some time in the company of the Triangle BR08 speakers, we feel they offer something special.

They may look fairly simple but they're also neatly finished, well made and available in a choice of four finishes. Inside is on the predictable side, too, with classic speaker design but for some high-density EVA foam behind the driver for extra stability. However, a three-way design with a front-firing reflex port indicates there's been no scrimping when it comes to the all-important aspects of the speaker.

A relatively high sensitivity means some care is needed when choosing your amplifier, while they also work best given plenty of room. Triangle suggests they work best in rooms between 20-40m squared in size, and the manual recommends placing them at least 40cm from a rear wall.

Sonically, they punch hard, deliver detail aplenty, and produce a musical and cohesive sound. Bass is deep but agile, helping deliver impressive scale and powerful dynamics. These are exciting speakers, which really come alive when turned up loud. 

These Triangle speakers challenge the very best at this price – we advise listening to them before buying any other floorstanders.

Read the full Triangle Borea BR08 review

9. Dynaudio Contour 20i

The 20is build on the solid foundations of the previous version and remain one of the best at the price

Specifications

Impedance: 4ohms

Sensitivity: 86dB

Speaker terminals: Single wire

Dimensions: 44 x 21.5 x 36cm

Tweeter: Esotar 28mm fabric dome

Woofer: 18cm MSP (Magnesium Silicon Polypropylene) mid/bass

Reasons to buy

+Composed and muscular sound+Excellent detail resolution+Pleasing rhythm and dynamics

Reasons to avoid

-Needs care in positioning-Amp must have some grunt

We’ve long been fans of Dynaudio’s Contour 20 range and the Contour 20i speaker successfully raise the bar. On the surface, little seems to have changed, but start to look closer and the improvements emerge.

There's a revised 28mm Esotar tweeter, which aims to reduce distortion and give the tweeter a smoother, flatter frequency response, and a new suspension for the 18cm mid/bass driver. Dynaudio has also been able to deliver a simpler crossover network. 

Now these speakers aren't cheap and you should only be considering them if you have a system with components of similar quality (and, as a result, similar price). But if you do have such a hi-fi set-up, then you can enjoy what the Contour 20i speakers have to offer. 

Perhaps what you'll notice first, is impressively powerful bass, with a sense of weight and punch that seems out of keeping with a box of this size. Yet, despite this rich and full-bodied approach to lows, these boxes still have enough in the way of agility and tunefulness to satisfy. There's authority, scale and class-leading insight, whether dealing with subtle, delicate moments or songs requiring soaring dynamics.

It's a competitive price-point, with a number of supremely capable contenders, but when it comes to delivering music that sounds rhythmical and cohesive, these Dynaudio speakers are very hard to beat.

Read the full Dynaudio Contour 20i review

10. Wharfedale Evo 4.4

Wharfedale shows it can mix with the best premium speakers

Specifications

Sensitivity: 90 dB/w/m

Driver: 3-way bass reflex, AMT tweeter, Kevlar bass drivers

Impedance: 4ohms

Max power handling: 200W

Speaker terminals: single

Dimensions: 105.9 x 25.7 x 35.6cm (hwd)

Reasons to buy

+Natural, easy-going presentation+Excitement and rhythmic drive+Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Need a large room to shine

These are the biggest and priciest offerings in the Wharfedale's Evo range and are packed full of so much technology that we had to double-check the price. The Air Motion Transformer tweeter is normally reserved for much more expensive speakers, while the dome midrange and twin Kevlar bass drivers also set these floorstanders apart from the crowd.

It won’t come as a surprise that these relatively big speakers produce a large-scale sound with plenty of authority that's capable of going nice and loud. But they also deliver transparency and subtlety, helping to ensure a natural, easy-going presentation.

There are three finish options – black, white and walnut. Build quality is good for the price, and the elegant curves of the cabinet add a touch of class. Some clever bracing and damping minimise resonance.

Rivals such as the excellent Fyne Audio F501s might sound a little more exciting, but over a longer listen the Evo 4.4’s easier-going presentation is more natural and convincing. A superb pair of premium floorstanders that get better with every listen. 

Read the full review: Wharfedale Evo 4.4

11. Dali Oberon 5

Superb Award-winning floorstanders, right up there with the best.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 88 dB/w/wm

Impedance: 6ohms

Biwire: No

Max power handling: 150W

Dimensions: 83 x 16 x 28cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to buy

+Entertaining and informative+Expressive dynamics+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Tough competition

For much of the last decade our default choice for the best sub-thousand pound floorstander was a Q Acoustics model, which in the company’s current range, is the 3050i speakers. But no more.

In the Oberon 5, Dali has delivered a brilliant alternative, one that is an even better buy – despite a £50 price premium and substantial size deficit.

There are no magic ingredients here, no bleeding-edge technology to explain the Oberon 5s’ talented performance – just skilful engineering and steady refinements over the course of many years. Standing a mere 83cm high, they manage to sound notably larger than they are, offering a great sense of fun, dynamic subtlety and rhythmic precision. 

These well-constructed speakers are brilliantly musical and will fit into most rooms with ease.If you have a large room, the Q Acoustics 3050is would be worth auditioning, but in most other circumstances the Dalis’ greater sense of fun gets our vote. You won't be disappointed.

Read the full review: Dali Oberon 5

Sours: https://www.whathifi.com/best-buys/hi-fi/best-hi-fi-speakers

The best Bluetooth speakers 2021: the top portable speakers for any budget

The best Bluetooth speakers in 2021 all tick three key boxes: they’re portable, durable and they offer superb audio quality in all kinds of environments. Sure, a few have some cool one-of-a-kind features, but if you want to score a place on our list, you at least have to stand out and provide solid performance in each of the three categories we’ve listed above.

But why do you need a Bluetooth speaker in the first place? Well, portable speakers that stream music from your devices via Bluetooth are a great idea if you want high quality audio at home. 

They're also a solid option if you like to listen to music outside, whether that’s while you're entertaining outdoors or working out, as well as if you like to be able to take a speaker to social events – like a party in your local park or down at the beach. Although if you're planning on paying a visit to the beach, you may want to check out our guide to thebest waterproof speakers, too.

Many of the best portable speakers you can buy today are multi-functional and may also feature voice assistant integration alongside audio playback. Assistants like Alexa, Google Assistant and more often come built into Bluetooth speakers, which enhances their value even more. Because this means yourwireless speaker can double as asmart speaker, which can then be used to control yoursmart home devices, or you can ask it to play your music using voice commands.

In fact, our latest addition to this list, and our new pick for the very best portable speaker you can buy in 2021, is theSonos Roam. This device can seamlessly switch from Wi-Fi to Bluetooth, integrate into a Sonos system, and it comes with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant onboard.

That said, you don't have to buy a smart speaker if you don't want one – they’re not for everyone, after all. JBL makes a number of non-smart speakers – like the newly announcedJBL Flip 6 – that won't listen to you when you don't want them to.

There’s a huge range of portable Bluetooth speakers out there to pick from, which means you might not know where to begin or what to look for. Luckily for you, we’ve done the research and the testing, which means we’re in a prime position to select the very best Bluetooth speakers you can buy in 2021.

Our top picks

The best Bluetooth speakers you can buy

1. Sonos Roam

The best Bluetooth speaker you can buy

Specifications

Weight: 0.95 pounds (0.43 kg)

Battery life: 10 hours

Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5

Drivers: One tweeter, one mid-woofer

NFC: Yes

Aux-in: No

USB charging: Yes (USB-C)

Reasons to buy

+Powerful audio performance+Easily portable design

Reasons to avoid

-Pricey compared to the competition-Bass can be overwhelming

The Sonos Roam is our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker on the planet, with a powerful sound, rugged design, excellent connectivity features, and smart home control. A bass-heavy audio performance makes it ideal for use outdoors, while a clever Automatic Switching feature means it's easily used indoors, too – though audiophiles may dislike the overwhelming low frequencies and rhythmic handling.

Following in the footsteps of the Sonos Move, the Sonos Roam comes with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, which means it can work as a portable speaker as well as part of your wider multi-room Sonos system – and with Google Assistant and Alexa onboard, it doubles up a smart speaker too. 

In spite of its (relatively) low price you’re getting a lot for your money here. Its slick design means the Sonos Roam won’t look out of place in your home, while a rugged, waterproof and dustproof build and a decent battery life make it ideal for listening to music outdoors.

Read more:Sonos Roam review

2. Sonos Move

The best-sounding Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Weight: 6.61 pounds (3kg)

Battery life: 10 hours

Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz, and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2

Drivers: One down-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class-D digital amplifiers

NFC: No

Aux-in: No

USB charging: Yes (USB-C, and comes with charging dock)

Reasons to buy

+Integrates with a home Sonos speaker network+Great for on-the-go tunes

Reasons to avoid

-Not as feature-rich when using Bluetooth-Cant be used as rear cinema speakers

Here’s the thing about the Sonos Move – it’s so good, you might want to consider it not only as your on-the-go party station, but also as your main in-the-home wireless speaker too.

With two quality drivers, a solid app that unlocks playback from hundreds of wireless sources, multi-room capabilities and smart audio-tuning tech which tweaks the output based on the speaker's immediate surroundings, the Sonos Move is engineered well beyond your average Bluetooth speaker. It's a versatile speaker, one that stands solidly alongside the built-for-home Sonos speakers that the company made its name on.

It’s not perfect – it’s heavy as a byproduct of its incredible sound, it’s expensive due to its rich feature set, and it sadly can’t be used as rear channels for a home cinema set-up. But if you’ve got the money, it’s hard to fault the Sonos Move when it comes to hunting down the very best Bluetooth speaker in the world.

Read the full review: Sonos Move review

Sours: https://www.techradar.com/news/audio/portable-audio/10-best-portable-speakers-1069079

Best buy speakers

Best speakers 2021: the best hi-fi speakers for every budget

Best Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?'s round-up of the best speakers you can buy in 2021.

Whether you're looking for your first pair of speakers as you build a music system, upgrading an old pair of budget speakers or splashing the cash on a premium pair, we're here to help. 

One-box wireless speakers might take up less space and mean less clutter, but for the best possible sound there's no substitute for a quality pair of stereo speakers. 

That's why we've created a comprehensive list of the best speakers below. All of these pairs will help get the best possible sound quality from your source kit.

We've got all kinds of speakers in the mix: floorstanding, bookshelf, desktop, active and even all-in-one stereo speaker systems all vie for supremacy. Read on for our round-up of the best hi-fi speakers on the market right now.

How we choose the best speakers

Here at What Hi-Fi? we review hundreds of products every year, including plenty of speakers of all shapes, sizes and types. So how do we come to our review verdicts? And why can you trust them?

The What Hi-Fi? team has more than 100 years experience of reviewing, testing and writing about consumer electronics. We have state-of-the-art testing facilities in London and Bath, where our team of expert reviewers do all our in-house testing. This gives us complete control over the testing process, ensuring consistency. We always ensure we spend plenty of time with the speakers, trying them with different electronics, in different positions and with different music. 

All products are tested in comparison with rival products in the same category, and all review verdicts are agreed upon by the team as a whole rather than a single reviewer, helping to ensure consistency and avoid individual subjectivity.

From all of our reviews, we choose the top products to feature in our Best Buys, such as this one. That's why if you take the plunge and buy one of the products recommended below, or on any of our other Best Buy pages, you can be confident you're getting a What Hi-Fi?-approved product.

1. KEF LS50 Meta

These standmounters set new standards at the price

Specifications

Max power: 106dB

Sensitivity: 85dB

Frequency response: 79Hz - 28kHz

Impedance: 8ohms

Dimensions: 30.2 x 20 x 27.8cm


Weight: 7.2kg

Reasons to buy

+Exceptional sonic transparency+Subtle and precise presentation+Innovative technology

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

The original LS50 speakers had little wrong with them but after eight years, KEF figured they deserved a fresh look. And with the LS50 Meta they have delivered a worthy 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 for cleaner, less distorted highs.

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 loved the originals and the LS50 Meta takes the performance to a notably higher level. 

Read the full review: KEF LS50 Meta

2. Elac Debut B5.2

Arguably the most capable standmounters we’ve heard at the money.

Specifications

Speaker terminals: Single

Mid/bass driver: 5.25cm

Tweeter: 25mm

Sensitivity: 86dB/W/m

Dimensions: 34 x 18 x 23cm (HxWxD)

:

Reasons to buy

+Detailed and organised sound+Solid build+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Tough competition

If it's standmounted speakers you want, Elac's affordable B5.2s perform superbly for the money. They have the dynamic expression, detail and tonal sophistication to handle anything you can throw at them. Plus they sound wicked good whether they're hooked up to a standard or high-end system. 

They're not too precious when it comes to placement either. So unlike some speakers, you won't have to build your room around them.

Inside is a 5.25cm mid/bass unit which uses a new blend of aramid fibres for the cone. And it uses a different shape to improve stiffness and damping, reducing resonance. With a top-end response of 35kHz, the tweeter should do justice to those soaring highs.

In the midrange, they're a little lacking in warmth, but on the flip side, they're very well balanced and can make the best of any recording, regardless of audio quality.

Elac has been making speakers since the 1980s, with a fine heritage of products to its name. These are some of its finest, and for this money, they're nothing short of exceptional.

Read the full review:Elac Debut B5.2

3. B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition

B&W hones its 606 speakers to great effect

Specifications

Type: 2-way bookshelf speakers

Impedance: 8ohm

Sensitivity: 88dB

Frequency response: 52Hz to 28kHz

Dimensions (hwd): 35 x 19 x 30cm

Weight: 6.9kg

Reasons to buy

+Excellent clarity+Agile and articulate bass+Impressive dynamic punch

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

The original Bowers & Wilkins 606 speakers walked off with What Hi-Fi?’s top speaker award in 2019 but it seems there's always room for improvement. To mark the 25-year anniversary of the 600 range (in 2020), B&W decided to upgrade the 606 (and the rest of the range) – and it proved to be a wise move.

Cosmetically, there's not much new, but 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 Editions prove significantly more capable than their 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.

Don't be fooled by the apparent minor upgrades, the B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition speakers deliver an impressive step up in performance.

Read the full review: B&W 606 S2 Anniversary Edition

4. Dali Spektor 2

An excellent pair of entry-level speakers.

Specifications

Impedance: 6ohms

Sensitivity: 85dB/w/m

Speaker terminals: Single wire

Dimensions: 29 x 17 x 24cm (HxWcD)

Tweeter: 25mm soft dome

Woofer: 13cm wood fibre

Reasons to buy

+Agile, articulate and expressive sound+Good detail resolution+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing of note

On paper, there’s little to differentiate Dali’s new Spektor 2s from any of their main rivals: the speakers stick to the classic budget standmounter formula like Superglue sticks to fingers. They offer everything we would expect from a typical budget speaker here, from two-way driver configuration and ported bass tuning right the way through to the 25mm dome tweeter and 13cm mid/bass driver. 

But these Dalis are much more than simply the sum of their parts: they ooze sophistication and offer a degree of entertainment that even their most talented rivals struggle to match. Powerful vocals are delivered with nuance and passion, grabbing the listener's attention, and dynamics are handled with subtlety and class. They're particularly composed at high volume, too, which is always an encouraging sign. 

Mission and Q Acoustics offer similarly good options, and both have their relative strengths and flaws. But if the Spektor 2 match your budget, these affordable standmounters deserve an audition.

Read the full review: Dali Spektor 2

5. Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

A mature and understated pair of stereo speakers.

Specifications

Speaker terminals: Single

Mid/bass driver: 16.5cm

Tweeter: 2.5cm

Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m

Dimensions: 37.4 x 19.5 x 26.8cm (HWD)

Reasons to buy

+Hugely transparent+Don’t force their own character+Rhythmic and dynamic

Reasons to avoid

-Unforgiving of poor sources

These speakers' smaller siblings (in the number one slot in this list) won a What Hi-Fi? Award at the end of 2019. As you can imagine, we were pumped to hear what their bigger brothers could do. And we're glad to say we weren't disappointed.

So what's the difference between the two models? These have a larger driver, as well as some changes to the tweeter design and port placement. The cabinet has more bracing for increased rigidity, aiming to reduce resonance, making for less distortion. While they might look similar to their smaller siblings, they do feel more solidly put together.

Sonically speaking, they're mature, transparent performers that tell you exactly what the rest of your system is doing. It's hi-fi mentality at a price that only just nudges into the midrange.

Suffice to say, we’re big fans of this new Debut series. The B6.2 speakers take what we loved about their Award-winning siblings and build on it with an even fuller-bodied and more mature presentation. Elac has hit it out of the park.

Read the full review: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

6. Dali Oberon 5

Superb Award-winning floorstanders, right up there with the best.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 88 dB/w/wm

Impedance: 6ohms

Biwire: No

Max power handling: 150W

Dimensions: 83 x 16 x 28cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to buy

+Entertaining and informative+Expressive dynamics+Unfussy nature

Reasons to avoid

-Tough competition

For much of the last decade, our go-to "affordable" floorstander was a Q Acoustics model, which in the company’s current range, is the 3050i speakers. But not anymore.

Because the Dali Oberon 5 blows it out of the water. What makes these speakers all the more impressive is that they're still the better buy, despite being a little pricier and noticeably smaller.

How has Dali done it? Not with any trickery or hi-fi voodoo. It's not even come up with any notable technological breakthroughs to change the game. Instead, it's focused on what it does best: skilful engineering, with granular refinements in each new instalment over the course of many years.

The result is breathtaking. They sound a lot bigger than their 83cm height would suggest, and they showcase lots of dynamic subtlety and rhythmic precision. They're musical, fun, and small enough to fit most rooms with ease. If your space is on the larger side you might want to consider bigger speakers, but for most living areas the Dalis will do the job.

Read the full review: Dali Oberon 5

7. Wharfedale Evo 4.4

Wharfedale shows it can mix with the best premium speakers.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 90 dB/w/m

Driver: 3-way bass reflex, AMT tweeter, Kevlar bass drivers

Impedance: 4ohms

Max power handling: 200W

Speaker terminals: single

Dimensions: 105.9 x 25.7 x 35.6cm (hwd)

Reasons to buy

+Natural, easy-going presentation+Excitement and rhythmic drive+Fine build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Need a large room to shine

The biggest, most premium models in Wharfedale's Evo range are packed with a lot of tech. So much so, we did a double take on the price.

It's impressive stuff, too. The Air Motion Transformer tweeter is normally reserved for more expensive speakers, while the dome midrange and twin Kevlar bass drivers set these floorstanders apart from the crowd.

They're big, so it's hardly surprising that they produce a loud sound with plenty of authority. But they're not all about the grunt. There's also plenty of transparency and subtlety on show, aided by their natural, easy-going presentation.

Three finishes – black, white and walnut – mean they'll fit into most interiors, while their build quality impresses, especially for the price. Inside, there's no shortage of bracing and damping to minimise resonance.

Rivals like the excellent Fyne Audio F501 might sound a little more exciting, but over a longer listen the Evo 4.4’s easier-going presentation is more natural and convincing. A superb pair of premium floorstanders that get better with every listen. 

Read the full review: Wharfedale Evo 4.4

8. Q Acoustics 3030i

Excellent all-rounders that don't cost the earth.

Specifications

Bi-wire: No

Driver: 16.5cm mid/bass, 22mm tweeter

Sensitivity: 88dB/w/m

Impedance: 6ohms

Dimensions: 32.5 x 20 x 33cm

Reasons to buy

+Insightful and expressive+Impressive, well-integrated bass+Fine build

Reasons to avoid

-Tough competition

The largest of the three standmounters in the 3000i range, the Q Acoustics 3030is produce a sound that's familiar to anyone who's dabbled with Q Acoustics speakers before. Though you might not be expecting this level of muscle on show.

This strength translates into an impressive weight at the low-end, but it never threatens to dominate proceedings. Instead, the bass remains well-integrated, like it's kept on a tight leash.

Power aside, they boast an impressive level of cohesion, with an even tonal balance and easy-going nature. Much like other speakers in Q Acoustics' 3000 range. And impressively, the dynamics stay composed even when working hard at high volumes. 

In all, they're detailed, rhythmic and ultimately very rewarding. A great option for anyone wanting more from their sound system.

Read the full review: Q Acoustics 3030i

9. Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

A mature and understated pair of speakers

Specifications

Speaker terminals: Single

Mid/bass driver: 16.5cm

Tweeter: 2.5cm

Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m

Dimensions: 37.4 x 19.5 x 26.8cm (HWD)

:

Reasons to buy

+Hugely transparent+Don’t force their own character+Rhythmic and dynamic

Reasons to avoid

-Unforgiving of poor sources

Having given these speakers’ smaller siblings a What Hi-Fi? Award at the end of 2019 (you'll see those nearer the top of this page), we were eager to hear the bigger brothers. And we weren't disappointed. 

There's a larger driver here, as well as some changes to the tweeter design and port placement. Inside the cabinet has been further braced for a more rigid structure - reduced resonance and distortion is the aim. They do feel solid as a result, though the style remains simple.

While their looks are understated, and even sonically they refuse to beg for your affection, the Elac B6.2s are mature, transparent performers that confidently outline just what the rest of your system is doing. It is hi-fi mentality at a price that only just nudges into the midrange.

We’re big fans of this new Debut series. The B6.2 speakers take what we loved about their Award-winning siblings and build on it with an even fuller-bodied and more mature presentation.

Read the full review: Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2

10. Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

Fantastic stereo speakers with amplification built-in.

Specifications

Power: 2 x 50W

Tweeter: 27mm

Mid/bass driver: 12.5cm

Sensitivity: 104dB

Dimensions: 30 x 18.5 x 25cm (HxWxD)

Inputs: RCA & balanced XLR

Reasons to buy

+Clear, balanced and detailed+Rhythmically exciting+Impressive dynamic range

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing of note

It’s difficult to think of an amplifier/passive speakers combo that could better these Acoustic Energys for the money – they do everything with a flourish.

And that's not only by the standards of directly competing active speaker alternatives, but also by what we've been able to achieve in any price-comparable amp/speakers combination.

Each drive unit is driven by a dedicated 50W class A/B power amplifier module, while dials at the back of each cabinet allow for treble adjustment and bass cut up or down by 2dB. 

Unlike some rivals, there's no built-in Bluetooth. If you want to stream music to them wirelessly, you'll need to attach a separate module – such as a pre-amp or streamer with wireless capability – post-purchase.

It’s rare to find a pair of active speakers at this price that leave us struggling to come up with alternative separates that can match their talents. You owe it to yourself to track down a pair to discover that for yourself.

Read the full review: Acoustic Energy AE1 Active

11. KEF R3

These superb standmounters set the standard at this price.

Specifications

Sensitivity: 87 dB/w/m

Impedance: 8ohms

Max power handling: 180W

Biwire: Yes

Dimensions: 42 x 20 x 34cm (HXWXD)

Reasons to buy

+Exceptional insight and resolution+Balanced and entertaining sound+Excellent build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

Part of the company’s premium R series, the R3s offer a large chunk of the pricier Reference 1’s engineering content and sonic performance at a fraction of the cost.

It's a winning combination. The R3s are brilliant all-rounders and arguably the most complete standmounters available at this price. 

That's partly down to KEF’s Uni-Q driver array, which sits at the heart of the speakers. It might look like a single drive unit, but it's actually a two-way arrangement with the tweeter set into the midrange driver, to improve dispersion and integration.

Combined with the high degree of detail and insight these speakers provide – not to mention their even-handed delivery with excellent balance – it makes for a great audio experience.

Build quality is second to none, and they work with a wide range of systems, from budget to blow-the-budget. Hook them up to a premium feed though, and they'll pump out a sound to worry much pricier rivals. One to buy with confidence.

Read the full review: KEF R3

12. B&W 607

A stunning pair of stereo speakers.

Specifications

Speaker terminals: Bi-wire

Driver: Continuum 13cm mid/bass, 25mm tweeter

Sensitivity: 84dB/w/m

Impedance: 8ohms

Dimensions: 30 x 16.5 x 23cm

Reasons to buy

+Dynamic and punchy+Well detailed, with fine balance+Versatile with positioning

Reasons to avoid

-Nothing at this price

These are the smaller, more affordable siblings to the 606s higher up in this list. They're still part of the same affordable 600 Series, but, standing just 30cm tall, these are the shortest and most wallet-friendly stereo pair in the range. 

That's not to say they're lacking in quality. Far from it. They're energetic, brimming with insight and riotously entertaining – like a frontman let loose in Vegas.

Like others in the 600 Series, the 607s feature B&W's Continuum drivers first seen in the high-end 800 Series. This translates to spot-on timing, a powerful punch and lots of detail and textural insight. They're not short of bass either, which is surprising, given their diminutive dimensions. 

The larger 606s (above) sound predictably bolder and richer, but for those on a tighter budget, the 607s offer many of the same positives at a more accessible price. Add them to your shortlist now.

Read the full review: B&W 607

13. Wharfedale Elysian 4

Proof that Wharfedale can design great high-end speakers too.

Specifications

Tweeter: 27 x 90mm

Mid/bass driver: 15cm; 22cm

Impedance: 8ohm compatible

Sensitivity: 92dB/w/m

Dimensions: 119 x 40 x 43cm (HxWxD)

Reasons to buy

+Huge sonic scale+Impressive bass reach and agility+Excellent build and finish

Reasons to avoid

-Floor spikes can’t be adjusted-Need a larger room to shine

Wharfedale may have won plaudits for its Diamond range of speakers, but it has plenty to offer at the higher-end, too. Like the Elysian 4.

These speakers are big, and unusually broad by current standards. But they're beautiful to behold, with a wonderfully deep and luxurious gloss that's unmatched at this price. The enclosure sits on widely spaced floor spikes, giving the Elysian 4 a solid and stable stance on a level surface, though oddly they can’t be adjusted and locked into position – something to note if you have uneven hard floors.

These floorstanders deliver a combination of scale, authority and dynamic punch that most (invariably smaller) price rivals can’t match. Large-scale crescendos are dispatched with confidence, the Elysians punching out sound with real venom. They can play at high volume levels without stress too, but also have the less common attribute of still sounding interesting at whisper levels. This is something to take note of if you listen late at night and don’t want to disturb the neighbours.

So if you're starting a party, or just want to enjoy your vinyl on the quiet, the Elysian 4 are a great option for those with slightly deeper pockets.

Read the full Wharfedale Elysian 4 review

Sours: https://www.whathifi.com/us/best-buys/hi-fi/best-hi-fi-speakers
TOP 5: Best Bluetooth Speaker 2020

Perhaps not as impressive as some of the cutting-edge OLED TVs, it's tough to argue with a deal this good. The 55-inch Insignia F50 4K TV is currently available at Best Buy for $450, nearly its lowest price ever. This sizeable QLED panel features a 60Hz refresh rate and is powered by the Fire TV OS allowing for built-in Alexa voice controls. This gives the TV native access to most major streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu, and Disney Plus. The picture can be enhanced with Dolby Vision and HDR for increased depth of color, and a narrow bezel provides the TV with a sleek aesthetic.

Insignia F50 55-inch 4K TV

This 55-inch QLED TV from Insignia features 4K resolution and a 60Hz refresh rate. This model uses the Fire TV OS, which gives it access to an impressive library of apps as well as native built-in Alexa voice controls.

The ever-increasing size of game updates has become something of a meme by now. If you’re tired of constantly freeing up space on your PC or console, we recommend investing in the slim Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD. This 2TB is currently enjoying a deep discount on Newegg and is available for $250. The M.2 form-factor of this SSD makes it a cinch to install in whatever platform needs a little extra storage space. Besides providing more room for saves and local installations, the faster transfer speeds offered by M.2 SSDs can help improve the load times of anything installed on them. Just don’t expect them to improve your framerates, or your kill-death-ratio for that matter.

Samsung 970 Evo Plus SSD (2TB)

This M.2 SSD from Samsung boasts a whopping 2TB of storage space and blazing fast transfer speeds. This slim drive features read/write speeds of up to 3,500 MB/s and is remarkably easy to install in your PlayStation 5 or any motherboard with a free M.2 port.

If you’re looking for ways to beef up the sound of your home theatre, this six-piece surround sound system from Klipsch is available for $289, its lowest price ever at Newegg. This massive system comes with a pair of front and rear speakers, as well as a center channel and wireless subwoofer. Each speaker is capable of standing on its own, but they also feature built-in mounts if you’d rather anchor them to the wall. The one potential drawback to this otherwise outstanding deal is that you’ll need a standalone 5.1 receiver to take advantage of everything this system has to offer. However, surround receivers typically fall in the $300-$400 range, making them relatively affordable, and will still result in a net discount on this usually pricey set of speakers.

You know what they say, “pics or it didn’t happen”, now with the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+, nobody will ever have reason to doubt your speed run of ever Metroid: Dread ever again. This slim capture card is available at Best Buy for $164, its lowest price ever. While the utility of this device is somewhat lost on your typical gamer, this gadget is a must for any streamer or content creator that wants high-fidelity video from a console or external PC. Capable of capturing output from any 4K HDMI source at 60Hz the capture card plugs into your console and operates as a throughput to a nearby PC with streaming software.

A device like this is going to be more useful for someone that does their gaming on consoles, as anyone with a PC can typically stream their gameplay directly to their preferred platform. However, for consoles with no built-in streaming capabilities, like the Nintendo Switch, this is the best way to piece together highlights of your gameplay.

Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+

This handy device from Elgato is a must-have for any streamer. The Elgato Game Capture HD60 S+ allows you to record the audio and video output of any device with an HDMI port at 4K resolution. And as the name implies, is capable of recording at 60 FPS.

An excellent, flat-panel gaming monitor, the Acer Nitro VG270U is available for just $340 at Newegg, which is a reasonable discount. This 27-inch monitor offers some specs that are perfect for gaming, including a 144Hz refresh rate and AMD Freesync compatibility for super-smooth performance. The 1440p resolution offers a sharp picture and the panel has inputs for HDMI 1.4, 2.0, and DisplayPort for a variety of connectivity options. The stand has limited adjustment options, with only a small tilt range available, can be attached to a wall or monitor arm with the integrated 100x100mm VESA mount. While the monitor does come with built-in 2W speakers, they can be a bit underpowered, for the best gaming experience we’d recommend investing in some headphones or a standalone speaker system.

Acer Nitro VG270U

The Acer Nitro VG270U is a 27-inch flat-panel monitor with 1440p resolution. This Freesync compatible model also features a pair of built-in 2W speakers and a 144Hz refresh rate.

We’ve got one last deal to fill you in on today. The Verge is celebrating its 10th birthday on the 22nd and 23rd of October with a massive party in New York City dubbed On The Verge, and you’re invited. The party is going to be an eclectic exhibition of immersive art, musical performance, and appearances by The Verge talent. Normally $250, we’re currently offering tickets for $99, just enter the promo code $99NOW at checkout. These tickets include admission for both days and include four complimentary drink tickets. If you find yourself in NYC that weekend, we’d love to see you there.

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Sours: https://www.theverge.com/good-deals/2021/10/9/22716348/55-inch-4k-qled-tv-samsung-ssd-acer-gaming-monitor-deal-sale

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Best Buy wireless and Bluetooth speakers

Speaker reviews you can trust

Models from the biggest speaker brands on the market, such as Sony and Bose, go head to head with specialist audio brands, including JBL and Sonos, in the Which? test lab. We've found that even the most popular brands slip up every now and again.

Which? is independent – we work for you, the consumer, so you can be sure that our product recommendations are influenced only by our test results. We're not influenced by third parties and we don't accept freebies from product manufacturers or retailers. We buy all the products that we test ourselves, so our advice helps you to make the right choice first time and avoid costly mistakes.

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Sours: https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/wireless-and-bluetooth-speakers/article/recommendations/which-best-buy-wireless-and-bluetooth-speakers


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