B&O Beoplay M5 review

£530.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

86%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Multi-room
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Which? verdict: Great room-filling sound

You’ll need to dip into deep pockets, but the Best Buy Beoplay M5 does all it can to justify the price. Within the minimalist design is sound that can rival the best wireless speakers we’ve seen in the Which? test lab.

Pros
  • Fantastic sound quality
  • Great build quality
  • Highly capable speaker
Cons
  • Expensive
  • App isn’t as good as rivals

Naim Audio Mu-so Qb (2nd Gen) review

Test scoreShow Context

85%

Key features

  • Home speaker

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Which? verdict: Excellent, but not the easiest to use

The Naim Audio Mu-so Qb (2nd Generation) does sound even better than its exceptional, easy-to-use predecessor, but we’ve actually scored it slightly lower than the original overall. It’s certainly a Best Buy with top-notch sound quality, but Naim Audio seems to have lost track of targeting the mainstream consumer market. All the bells and whistles the company has added have made it fiddly and more difficult to use. For those looking for the very best audio it’ll be worth putting up with these niggles, but more mainstream users might want to look elsewhere at our other superb top-scoring Best Buys.

Pros
  • Sound quality
  • Build quality
  • High maximum volume
  • Great range of wireless and wired connectivity options
Cons
  • Ease of use niggles
  • Heavy
  • Expensive

Polk Audio Assist review

£130.00Typical price

Test scoreShow Context

85%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Google Assistant
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Superior quality sound

It certainly delivers in spades. This is one of the very best wireless speakers we’ve seen, and is proof that you don’t need big brands and deep pockets to get great sound quality. It easily makes the grade to be a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Very strong sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Chromecast multi-room support
  • Google Assistant voice control works well
Cons
  • No physical wired connections to connect to other devices

Sonos One SL review

Test scoreShow Context

82%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Top-quality sound at a great price

It certainly does. The Sonos One SL is an exceptional-sounding wireless speaker. It takes a while to set up, but from then on it’s easy to use. The Sonos One SL is one of the best-sounding wireless speakers around, easily making the grade as a Which? Best Buy.

Pros
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Easy to use
  • Well built
Cons
  • Time-consuming to set up
  • Sonos Controller app takes some learning
  • Top of speaker shows fingerprints
  • No Bluetooth

Anker SoundCore Flare review

Test scoreShow Context

82%

Key features

  • Portable speaker

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Which? verdict: Great sound at a great price

Anker has played a blinder with the SoundCore Flare. In one fell swoop it has steamrolled through the long-established audio brands to net our highest-scoring portable speaker score since 2015. It may have a fun lightshow and useful waterproofing, but at its heart it’s a sensational-sounding speaker that’s a dream to use. It’s well-deserved – Anker’s first-ever Best Buy speaker.

Pros
  • Exceptional sound
  • Strong battery life
  • Fun light show
  • Easy to use
  • Excellent app
Cons
  • A bit plastic
  • Sound distorts close to its high maximum volume

Google Nest Audio review

Test scoreShow Context

82%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Google Assistant
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Google has a winner

The flagship Nest Audio is an outstanding smart speaker with top-tier sound quality that’s a level above almost all its rivals – remarkable considering its conveniently small size and price. It’s easily a Best Buy. You can also combine two Nest Audios for stereo sound much more cheaply than Sonos speakers, plus connect it to any Chromecast-supporting speakers without restriction to any particular brand. The minimalist design will blend well into any home as well. It’s well worth buying and a real triumph.

Pros
  • Top-tier sound
  • Great voice control
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Well built
Cons
  • Limitations for those with personal music collections
  • No physical wired connections to connect to other devices

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom review

Test scoreShow Context

78%

Key features

  • Portable speaker

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Which? verdict: Superb choice if you’re looking for a powerful portable speaker

This is an excellent, large, portable wireless speaker. Despite its ‘outdoor party’ credentials, its subdued styling means it wouldn’t look out of place in a home environment. The sound is very well balanced too, and it sounds exceptional across a wide range of genres. It’s easily good enough to be a Which? Best Buy, but it is certainly expensive.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Great sound
  • Looks quite discreet
  • Good for parties
  • Fantastic 27-hour battery life
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Large and heavy despite the carry handle
  • Sound spreads best in larger rooms rather than smaller ones

Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i review

Test scoreShow Context

77%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Alexa, Siri
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Sensational sound and easy to use

The Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i is the best of both worlds – it sounds exceptional and is easy to set up and use. On top of all that, it’s superbly built. Just don’t expect much from the claimed voice assistant support. This is an extraordinary speaker for a wide variety of uses – easily worthy of a Best Buy.

Pros
  • Excellent sound
  • Easy to set up and use with great accompanying app
Cons
  • Extremely limited voice assistant support

JBL Charge 5 review

Test scoreShow Context

77%

Key features

  • Portable speaker

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Which? verdict: Entertainment in a dependable package

The JBL Charge 5 delivers where it really counts with great sound in an easy-to-use package. Its size and weight mean it’s not as portable as smaller models, but if you’re looking for a wireless speaker with some real oomph you can turn up pretty loud then this Best Buy model has all that you need.

Pros
  • Great sound
  • Good 11.5-hour battery life
  • Sturdy build quality
  • Waterproof
  • Can charge your portable devices
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Awkward to carry
  • While battery life is good it’s well below JBL’s 20 hour claims

Apple HomePod Mini review

Test scoreShow Context

76%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Siri
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Convenient size with excellent sound, but lacks many third-party services

For its size, the Apple HomePod Mini sounds remarkable. It’s similar in size to the Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen), yet it rivals larger smart speakers for sound quality. Apple has improved its Siri voice assistant, too, but it’s still missing lots of key services at launch including BBC radio and Spotify. It comes at a price, but if you’re looking for Best Buy sound in a tiny package, this is it – and it’ll work nicely with other Apple devices and services you use.

Pros
  • Superb sound for its size
  • Tiny shot-put-like dimensions
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Good maximum volume
  • Responsive Siri voice control
  • Apple Music integration
  • High build quality
Cons
  • For Apple device owners only
  • Lacks services including BBC radio station Siri support at launch
  • Omission of Spotify and YouTube Music Siri support
  • No Bluetooth or wired audio options (you connect with wi-fi)
  • Expensive compared with rivals

Sonos Five review

Test scoreShow Context

75%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Works with Alexa
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Setting the standard for multi-room audio

The Sonos Five re-establishes Sonos’s position as a leader in multi-room audio. The sound quality is exceptional, basic functions are easy to set up and use, and Sonos offers the complete package for those looking to build a home-audio system. Sonos now has serious rivals, including Chromecast speakers, but if you’re willing to invest and explore all Sonos has to offer, these speakers will offer an exceptional package.

Pros
  • Superb well-balanced sound
  • Easy to set up
  • Huge range of features
  • Full multi-room and surround sound system support
Cons
  • Will be too complex for some
  • Advanced app functions can be fiddly
  • Very heavy
  • No Bluetooth
  • Collects fingerprints

Sony SRS-XB43 review

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Portable speaker
  • Works with Siri, Works with Google Assistant

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Which? verdict: Heavy, but a great all-round package

This is the largest, best-scoring model in Sony’s refreshed range of popular Extra Bass Bluetooth speakers. It’s one of few portable speakers on the market to truly have powerful sound, and while certainly bassy it isn’t overly so at the expense of the rest of the sound. This powerful sound does make it very heavy though (3kg), and it’s also a foot long, so while it’s suitable to take down the garden and lug in your bag to a party or campsite, it’s certainly not one to carry about regularly. If that’s fine with you, it’s a great, fun model to choose.

Pros
  • Big and powerful sound
  • Very high maximum volume
  • Strong bass
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Flashing light effects
  • Easy to use
  • USB socket can charge your devices
  • 3.5mm socket
  • Robust build (waterproof
  • Dustproof
  • Shock-resistant and washable)
Cons
  • Not truly portable as very heavy and unwieldy to carry

Amazon Echo (4th Gen) review

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Alexa
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: One of the best Alexa speakers available

This is a great-sounding speaker with fast and responsive Alexa voice controls. While it doesn’t sound quite as good as the rival Google Nest Audio, it’s a worthy Best Buy, and actually sounds better than the Amazon Echo Studio that’s supposed to top Amazon’s range. It’s a more capable smart speaker than its predecessors, adding a Zigbee smart hub built-in for direct control of smart lights and other home devices. The Amazon Echo (4th Gen) is a highly desirable choice for great sound and Alexa control at a very competitive price.

Pros
  • Very good sound and high maximum volume
  • Responsive Alexa voice control
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Well built
  • 3.5mm audio-in and audio-out socket
  • Competitively priced
  • Built-in Zigbee smart hub for efficient control of smart home devices
Cons
  • Can’t play your own music collection over wi-fi
  • Works best with Amazon services to access all features (may require subscriptions)

Sonos Roam review

Test scoreShow Context

74%

Key features

  • Portable speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Alexa, Google Assistant
  • Multi-room

Compare

Which? verdict: Conveniently-sized and feature-packed

The Sonos Roam is a superb all-round package: offering the full Sonos experience and great sound quality in a conveniently compact and lightweight design. It’s even a smart speaker too, with Alexa and Google Assistant voice control. Connect it up in a multi-room setup with other Sonos speakers when at home, or switch to a Bluetooth connection to your phone when you’re out on your travels. It’s overkill to choose the Roam if you’re just looking for a simple Bluetooth speaker, but for those looking for a feature-packed travel-friendly model, it’s well worth buying.

Pros
  • Exceptional sound quality
  • Responsive voice control
  • Conveniently portable
  • Full feature-packed Sonos app support (including audio streaming and multi-room)
  • Waterproof
  • Excellent build quality
Cons
  • Battery only lasted for five hours and 40 minutes in our tests
  • More complicated to use than simple Bluetooth speakers

Yamaha MusicCast 50 review

Test scoreShow Context

73%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Works with Alexa
  • Multi-room

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Which? verdict: Highly flexible all-rounder

While many wireless speaker brands keep cutting back traditional features from their speakers in favour of the latest tech, Yamaha has resolutely resisted this with the MusicCast 50. It offers the best of worlds: wired connections to connect to TVs, turntables and similar devices, as well as the latest wireless music streaming and voice-control support via separate Alexa devices (such as an Amazon Echo). The sound quality is excellent – it’s a well-deserved Best Buy. We highly recommend it.

Pros
  • Strong
  • Powerful sound
  • Great range of connectivity
  • Home theatre compatible
Cons
  • App could be simpler
  • Sound could be spread more evenly round room

Audio Pro A10 review

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Voice control (smart speakers)
  • Alexa
  • Multi-room

Compare

Which? verdict: Superb sound at a great price

Don’t be afraid to consider lesser-known audio brands. The Audio Pro A10 speaker can beat many of the biggest brands. It has exceptional sound, is really easy to set up with an excellent accompanying app that puts many top brand speakers to shame. Just don’t bother with the claimed Alexa support. It’s a well-deserved Best Buy.

Pros
  • Good sound quality
  • Very user friendly app
Cons
  • Poor Alexa voice assistant integration

JBL Boombox 2 review

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Portable speaker

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Which? verdict: Gets the party started

The JBL Boombox 2 is a very powerful portable speaker – and a worthy Best Buy. It’s expensive, though. And if you’re not a party goer, it’s well worth considering cheaper Best Buys – with many offering plenty of bang for your buck.

Pros
  • Very powerful speaker
  • Incredibly long battery life
  • Easy to use
  • Water resistant.
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Sound is very bass-heavy
  • Not very portable

Sony SRS-XB01 review

Test scoreShow Context

71%

Key features

  • Portable speaker

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Which? verdict: Fantastic sound and a breeze to use

It’s very rare for a portable speaker of this size to excel in our testing, but the Sony SRS-XB01 has done it. Superb sound defies the odds for a speaker of this size, and it’s so simple to use. It’s well worth your money.

Pros
  • Small and compact with good sound
  • Impressive battery life
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Not much

 

Denon Home 150 review

Test scoreShow Context

70%

Key features

  • Home speaker
  • Works with Alexa, Works with Google Assistant
  • Multi-room

Compare

Which? verdict: Powerful and feature-packed

There’s much to like here, particularly for those who are looking for extra features, including physical connections and multi-room capability. The build quality is exceptional, too. If you’re a fan of a powerful bass, this is an excellent model to choose – it’s a Best Buy.

Pros
  • Sound quality
  • Build quality
  • Plenty of features
  • Lots of connection options
Cons
  • Top is a fingerprint magnet
  • Bass will be too strong for some