Bluetooth Speaker Reviews

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Bob Ankosko  |  Nov 07, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $289

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Elegant retro design
Excellent sound

Minus
No remote control
No internet radio or app
No multiroom capability

THE VERDICT
The One II is a smaller, streamlined follow-up to Klipsch’s excellent Three wireless speaker that sounds as good as it looks.

Speakers don’t sit idle at Klipsch. The company is always looking for ways to evolve its products. Case in point is the new One II wireless speaker, a scaled-down follow-up to the excellent Three wireless speaker we reviewed a couple years ago.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 29, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $399

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Fabulous sound quality
Replaceable battery
Supports Alexa and Google Assistant
Convenient charging base
Minus
Mono playback
Audio input limited to wireless
No phone capability

THE VERDICT
The waterproof/dustproof Move is one of the best-sounding and full-featured portables available. It may just be my new favorite speaker.

Sonos is no stranger to compact speakers that play without wires, but the new Move ($399) is the first truly portable, battery powered model to come from the company. The Move's connectivity options let you tote it around the house and even outside when using Wi-Fi; beyond that, as long as it's charged up, you can take it anywhere and stream music via Bluetooth. The Move comes with a dedicated (and dare we say, stylish) charging base that eliminates fumbling around with connecting cables, and it can also be charged via USB-C (cable not included).

Al Griffin  |  Oct 15, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $269

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Warm yet detailed sound
Ultra-compact form factor
Bluetooth streaming
Minus
No front panel volume control
USB input support maxes out at 24/48

THE VERDICT
The A2+ combines audiophile-friendly sound with the convenience of Bluetooth to create a broadly appealing compact speaker package.

Audioengine is well-known for making affordable powered and passive speakers that are compact enough for desktop use. Like several of the company's previous offerings, its most recent model, the A2+, is a petite powered speaker with multiple connectivity options, including wireless aptX Bluetooth streaming. What makes it stand out from other Audioengine speakers? The price: at $269, the A2+ is the least expensive powered Bluetooth model in the company's lineup.

Daniel Kumin  |  Sep 25, 2019  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $799/pair

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Remarkable bass extension and output
All-in-one solution including phono input
Noteworthy treble clarity and definition
Minus
Soundstage depth less dramatic than some designs
Tiny input labeling

THE VERDICT
With analog, digital, wireless Bluetooth, turntable, and USB computer connections, Kanto's great-sounding TUK powered bookshelf speaker is ready to rock right out of the box.

Kanto is a Canadian firm barely a decade old that specializes in powered loudspeakers. The company has established substantial cred for its active desktop and bookshelf speaker lines, both of which deliver high value and widely noted performance. Now, with a new model called TUK, the company is moving up-range in market-segment, size, and price. Also, utility: TUK is an all-in-one powered-speaker solution, with a phono-preamp, an asynchronous USB DAC, a headphone amp, preamp controls, a subwoofer crossover, and amplification all built right in.

Bob Ankosko  |  Sep 26, 2018  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $330

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent sound quality
Compact and well-built
Easy to set up and use
Great value
Minus
No Wi-Fi streaming
No visual feedback
No grille cover

THE VERDICT
Kanto’s SYD is a simple, high-performance Bluetooth speaker that will wow you with rich, powerful sound that belies its size.

I could tell SYD was a serious speaker the moment I heard Joni Mitchell singing “A Case of You” from 1971’s Blue. Her angelic voice was mesmerizing in a way I didn’t expect from a speaker this size, not to mention a 47-year-old recording — and I was streaming from my phone.

Bob Ankosko  |  Dec 27, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $799

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Solid build quality
Handsome fit and finish
Easy setup
Good overall sound quality with bountiful bass
Minus
No Wi-Fi streaming
No tone controls
Disappointing phono preamp

THE VERDICT
Klipsch’s beautifully crafted Sixes deliver fine sound with the bonus of onboard power, but vinyl playback is shortchanged by its pedestrian phono preamp.

I’ve been talking about pulling my old turntable out of mothballs since I moved to my current home, oh…20 years ago. Which is why I jumped at the chance when asked if I had any interest in auditioning The Sixes, the latest entry in Klipsch’s Heritage Wireless series and big brother to The Three, the superb all-in-one wireless music system we reviewed in May. I know what you’re thinking: What does reviewing speakers have to do with setting up a turntable? Bear with me.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Dec 22, 2017  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $480

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Phono, line, optical, Bluetooth inputs
Subwoofer output
Wide choice of colors
Minus
USB not PC-friendly

THE VERDICT
If you’re looking to plug your turntable directly into a good-looking and functional pair of speakers, the Kanto YU6 will make it work—and sound great.

Why shouldn’t life be simpler? If there’s one thing your studio apartment, dorm room, bedroom, or guest bedroom doesn’t need, it’s an audio rack with a tangle of cables. But going without music would be barbaric. So how simple do you need to get? If a bare-bones Bluetooth speaker isn’t enough, a pair of powered speakers might make more sense. You’d have a stereo soundstage without the fuss of an outboard amp and rack.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Dec 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Smart speakers are all the rage at the moment, and companies can’t afford to let customers slip away. I had a chance to check out the new Amazon Echo ($100, currently discounted to $80) complete with the updated software that improves audio performance.

Rob Sabin  |  Nov 21, 2017  |  0 comments

Arena Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value

Festival Wireless Speaker
Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE Festival, $499; Arena, $249

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Excellent build and sound quality
Chromecast, AirPlay, Bluetooth built-in
Away mode and optional battery for portability
Minus
Chromecast multiroom interface

THE VERDICT
Riva Audio continues a tradition of excellent sound quality with the WAND series, the company’s first wireless multiroom speakers.

I first met Riva Audio founder Rikki Farr and chief engineer (now also president) Don North in the fall of 2014 when they marched into Sound & Vision’s New York City conference room to demo their first product, a Bluetooth speaker called the Turbo X. North was a youthful, glasses-wearing geek who had just enough of the right credentials and tech swagger to suggest he really knew what he was doing.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 20, 2017  |  0 comments
A week ago, if you had asked me if I could love a $550 portable speaker, I would have laughed you out of my listening room. Yet here I am, just days later, completely smitten with the Oslo speaker from Vifa, a Danish speaker manufacturer. It’s uniquely stylish, massively overbuilt, and the sound is amazing. I am in love with the Oslo.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Nov 06, 2017  |  0 comments
Voice-activated speakers are hitting the market hot and heavy with everyone vying to be the only system you’ll invest in. Amazon is hoping you’ll pick Alexa, and Cortana is hoping to get some traction in the market. Once you’re a Google family, odds are you’ll stay there. To that end, JBL just released a new line of Google Assistant voice-activated speakers, and the LINK 20 is the perfect balance of features, sound quality, and portability. Yup — that’s right — a voice-assistant that’s not only portable, it’s waterproof too so it can go anywhere.

Leslie Shapiro  |  Oct 23, 2017  |  0 comments
When a company known for making very good speakers and receivers comes out with the first Cortana-based smart speaker, it better sound good. Did it? Nope — it sounded great!

Bob Ankosko  |  Oct 11, 2017  |  0 comments
Audio Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $200

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Multiple streaming options via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Chromecast built-in
Remote control
Minus
Lackluster sound quality

THE VERDICT
The Mondo+ is a versatile internet radio that offers easy access to a multitude of streaming sources, but we expected better sound quality for the price.

My first thought was “clock radio” as I lifted the Mondo+ out of its box. It’s tough to gauge the heft of a product from a picture, so I guess I was expecting something a bit more substantial. Even so, the plastic-encased Mondo+ is nice and compact—about the size of a loaf of bread—and attractive with a smooth gray finish and large color display that serves as a gateway to wireless streaming options and system settings, including—you guessed it—an alarm clock.

Mark Fleischmann  |  Jun 20, 2017  |  0 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Value
PRICE $399 pr

AT A GLANCE
Plus
For desktop or in-room listening
PC-friendly USB and line inputs
Class A/B analog amp
Minus
Limited (but adjustable) bass

THE VERDICT
Audioengine, always a champ in powered compact speakers, sweetens the deal on this one with a PC-friendly USB input and headphone jack.

Twelve-year-old Audioengine is best known for active compact speakers, though the company also makes passive compact speakers, a subwoofer, a small amplifier, a USB stick DAC, and a couple of streaming DACs. The HD3 loudspeaker is more or less an amalgamation of most of those products, infusing a sweet little speaker with a Class A/B amp, DAC, Bluetooth streaming, and a couple of less common features that just might make it irresistible to those in the market for a pair of small wireless speakers.

Rob Sabin  |  Jun 09, 2017  |  1 comments

Performance
Features
Ergonomics
Build Quality
Value
PRICE $800

AT A GLANCE
Plus
Superb sound quality
Impressive, weather-resistant build quality
Bluetooth stereo pairing
Minus
Pricey

THE VERDICT
Soundcast’s new flagship outdoor Bluetooth speaker carries a substantial price tag, but if you’re headed for the backyard or a tailgate party, you’ll get what you pay for in sound quality, ease of use, and reliable operation.

Ever since the introduction of the first battery-driven transistor pocket radio, we’ve been taking our music outside and on the go. (By the way, that was the Regency TR-1 in the fall of 1954; visit regencytr1.com for a retrospective maintained by Don Pies, son of Regency cofounder John Pies.) Of course, any conversation today about “outdoor audio” needs to be placed in modern context. We’ve gone from being grateful for a tinny AM broadcast of “The Roy Rogers Show” played back over a tiny, underpowered speaker to expecting potent, high-quality audio in our backyards, at the beach, or in the parking lot as we tailgate before the big game.

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