Bluetooth speakers are everywhere – and for good reason. They eliminate wires and are compatible with virtually every device. While some audiophiles may bemoan the “compression” via Bluetooth, convenience reigns supreme. Yet, not every Bluetooth speaker looks great, and you may be looking for a speaker that fits your home décor. If you are tech-savvy but also care about the overall aesthetic of your home, this list of Bluetooth speakers will help you find the perfect match for your current décor.
Good to know: Bluetooth technology isn’t just for audio. Learn other uses of Bluetooth that may help you.
1. IKEA ENEBY
Can a Swedish furniture giant make a decent speaker? The answer, resoundingly, is yes. The ENEBY Bluetooth Speaker is a discrete, minimalist speaker that delivers clear acoustics and punchy bass. The ENEBY comes in black or white to fit your home’s color scheme and features a removable fabric cover. The controls are basic, in keeping with the minimalist design. A single knob turns the unit on and controls volume, bass, and treble. In addition, two ENEBY Bluetooth Speakers can be paired together for stereo sound.
- Doesn’t connect to the Internet, so it doesn’t “listen” to you
- Fabric cover can be replaced or removed completely
- Sits on a flat surface or hangs on a wall, thanks to the included handle
- AC only (rechargeable battery pack sold separately)
- Controls are basic (can’t fine-tune the sound)
2. Symphonized NXT
Crafted from a single piece of bamboo, the Symphonized NXT Portable Bluetooth Speaker looks good and sounds even better. Of course, wood is known to enhance the acoustic properties of sound. In addition, this tiny portable speaker has impressive battery life, clocking in at eight hours of playback time.
- 8-hour battery life
- Lightweight (less than 5 ounces)
- Great audio quality
- Pricey for a portable speaker
- Laser-etched Symphonized logos may ruin the aesthetics
Good to know: if you are having audio issues streaming from an Android device, try disabling Absolute Bluetooth.
3. LEXON TYKHO 3
Who said minimalism couldn’t be colorful? The LEXON TYKHO 3 looks like a toy, especially since it is available in over ten color variations that harken back to the days of Technicolor cinema. However, appearances can be deceiving. The TYKHO 3 boasts not only Bluetooth connectivity but an FM radio as well. In addition, the silicone exterior is splashproof and rated IPX4, making it perfect for poolside lounging or next to the kitchen sink.
- Many fun colors
- FM radio tuner
- IPX4 protects from water damage
- 20-hour playback
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- With only 3W of power, it isn’t very loud
4. IKEA SYMFONISK Picture Frame
This collaboration between IKEA and Sonos blends in so well that most people will have no idea it’s a speaker. The SYMFONISK is designed to look like a piece of canvas art. In addition, it is designed to be hung on the wall or placed on the floor, leaning against a wall. Either way, the SYMFONISK looks excellent. Available in a white or black frame, the SYMFONISK supports various interchangeable fronts to ensure that everyone can find a pattern that appeals to them and ties in to their existing home décor.
- Use as a single speaker or with existing SYMFONISK or Sonos products
- Supports all of the major music streaming subscription services
- Controlled only through the Sonos app
Also helpful: if you are playing music to your speaker from your computer, you can fix Bluetooth audio delays with Windows.
5. Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 7
The Harman Kardon Onyx Studio series is back with its seventh iteration. They have opted to keep the spherical design seen in past versions. However, they have added a sleek anodized aluminum ring that encompasses the unit’s body, which evokes the look of celestial bodies in the solar system, adding a bit of elegance to the speaker. The ring also functions as a handle, allowing users to pick it up and cart it with them, thanks to the built-in rechargeable battery.
- Minimalist style looks great against a variety of backdrops
- Powerful bass
- Muddy performance at higher volumes
6. Klipsch Heritage Wireless The One II
The Klipsch Heritage The One II looks like it was pulled from a Fallout game. The retro Mid-century modern style has much going for it, from the walnut frame to the fabric speaker cover, to the metal controls. As a tabletop speaker, there is no built-in rechargeable battery, so you won’t be taking this one out of the house. The sound quality is excellent and offers high fidelity across lows, mids, and highs. In addition to Bluetooth connectivity, it has a line input to use other audio sources, such as turntables.
- Real wood, fabric and metal
- Line input
- Excellent audio quality
- No built-in battery means it has to be plugged in
- At almost 9 pounds, it’s on the heavy side
Good to know: you can set up and manage Bluetooth speakers and other devices from your Windows PC.
7. Marshall Acton II
Don’t play guitar? That doesn’t mean you can’t rock out in style. For years, the Marshall brand has been synonymous with loud sound and guitar amps. Fortunately for non-musicians, Marshall has branched out into various consumer electronics, including headphones and speakers. The Acton II Bluetooth Speaker is one of their stylish, compact units that punches above its weight. Boasting two 15w tweeters and one 30w subwoofer, it’ll floor you like Pete Townshend from The Who with his Marshall speaker cabinet.
- Bluetooth 5.0 for stronger connections over longer distances
- Very loud
8. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin
The appropriately-named Zeppelin Speaker from Bowers & Wilkins is the speaker you opt for when you don’t want it to blend into the background. Instead, this is a piece that commands attention. The Zeppelin is striking in its design: an oblong speaker that looks like it belongs in a modern art museum. But it’s not simply a case of style over substance: the Zeppelin has two tweeters, two mid-range drivers and a six-inch subwoofer to ensure uncompromising sound in addition to striking looks.
- Sound quality is top notch
- All streaming services supported in 24-bit high-resolution audio fidelity
- Some may consider the design to be a bit ostentatious
- Very expensive
Also helpful: need a Bluetooth speaker for the pool? Check out these waterproof Bluetooth speakers.
9. Bang & Olufsen Beosound Emerge Bookshelf Speaker
If you have deep pockets but aren’t the flashy type, consider the Beosound Emerge Bookshelf Speaker from Bang & Olufsen. This Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speaker seamlessly slides onto your bookshelf amongst your hardback editions of Chaucer and Keats. The small footprint is perfect for those who want a speaker that truly blends into the background without having to compromise on sound. Even if you do manage to place it amongst your book collection, it will look great due to the real wood and laser-cut aluminum.
- Small footprint
- Quality materials
- Physical control buttons in addition to wireless control
- Lossless audio can only be achieved through streaming apps
Frequently Asked Questions
What is lossless audio?
Lossless audio refers to high-quality audio without any compression. The audio is streamed in its original form without any compromise in quality. This is in contrast to “lossy” audio formats like MP3, which compress audio files and remove some of the data, making them smaller and easier to stream at the expense of quality.
Which streaming services offer lossless audio?
Currently, several streaming services offer lossless audio streaming, including:
- Tidal: HiFi subscription tier provides access to CD-quality audio (16-bit/44.1 kHz). In addition, Tidal also offers Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) streaming, which delivers high-resolution audio up to 24-bit/96 kHz.
- Amazon Music HD: lossless audio streaming up to 24-bit/192 kHz.
- Deezer: HiFi subscription tier offers lossless audio streaming at 16-bit/44.1 kHz.
- Qobuz: offers lossless audio streaming up to 24-bit/192 kHz, making it one of the highest quality streaming services available.
- Apple Music: lossless audio at up to 24-bit/192 kHz. Apple Music also offers Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos, which provides an immersive 3D audio experience on compatible devices.
- Spotify: announced its long-awaited lossless audio tier, dubbed Spotify HiFi. Originally unveiled back in 2021, it has not yet been made available to the public, although Spotify claims it will be available soon.
Do I need an expensive Bluetooth speaker?
The answer to this question is largely subjective. Some people will swear that only high-end audio equipment can do your music justice. Others struggle to hear the difference. For example, if you listen to music via Spotify, you are listening at 128 kbit/s. For most people, this is fine. On the other hand, Spotify Premium streams at 256 kbit/s. This means that the audio stream is less compressed, and by that logic, sounds better.
Spotify is also planning on unveiling a lossless streaming tier, called Spotify HiFi. This will stream audio in an entirely uncompressed format, resulting in the best audio fidelity possible. If you can’t hear the difference between regular Spotify and Spotify Premium, it’s safe to say that you don’t need the most advanced speaker on the market.
It’s also important to remember that this list features a number of high-end options that command eye-watering sums of money. While they often boast high-res audio capabilities, remember that you are also paying for the design. Our recommendation is to simply do your research and consider your own personal taste.
Image credit: Unsplash
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