In 2020, the best speaker brands are extremely important for getting the best sound for your music studio, your home theater, your entertainment center, and more.
Speakers play an important role in many peoples’ lives, but sometimes it’s hard to determine whether or not you’re buying from one of the better brands or manufacturers because there are so many of them.
This article aims to clear this up and break down a list of companies that have the best speakers on the market in 2020 that span through a variety of different uses for the most important places in your life.
Here are the best speaker brands 2020:
The best-sounding speaker brand in the world
Typically when it comes to speakers, the best brands are the most expensive ones, and Focal has some crazy expensive speakers for multiple uses. Focal is a French brand that is easily one of the best speaker brands for the home, the music studio, and they may even be the best brand in the world.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Focal has been making drivers for car speakers and amplifiers, loudspeakers for home audio, and for monitoring music in the studio. They have recently started to make headphones which easily rival many top contenders like Sennheiser, Beats by Dre, and Audio-Technica.
Focal prides themselves in always creating products that are very innovative – within the past few years they have come out with some new technology that they’ve employed in a lot of their speakers. To guarantee high-quality products, the Focal team uses high-quality materials, and even have their own cabinet making facility in another city in France to ensure that their products really are top notch.
As for the sound quality of their products, it is unmatched. Focal’s speakers have a large frequency response range with a very accurately tuned, natural sound. Their speakers are incredibly powerful and tailored to sound stunning right out of the box, providing clear, bright audio with just enough punchy bass. With their car speakers you can even feel the sub frequencies.
Focal’s products range from being suited for music producers to audiophiles to the average consumer. Unfortunately, with all of this expert craftsmanship, extremely high-quality audio, and slick appearance, that means that any Focal products are automatically extremely expensive. This is the downside to many of the best speaker brands, but if you don’t like to sacrifice quality, then the high price tag will most likely be worth it to you.
- Excellent quality control especially for speaker cabinets.
- Different types of speakers with a large variety of size and appearance options.
- Great for professional musicians.
- Some of their products are outrageously expensive.
If you really care about having high-fidelity audio and don’t mind waiting to buy them until you’re crazy rich (and dropping all that money), I would definitely recommend Focal’s speakers for your car, entertainment center, or home theater. They are one of the best brands for loudspeakers, so any of their loudspeakers are sure to sound amazing. I highly recommend them.
The best brand for portable speakers
JBL is well known for providing some very nice, fairly affordable audio and speaker products for music production. However, they offer a wide variety of speakers, including those for the average consumer. I would go as far as saying that JBL is one of the best brands that carries wireless Bluetooth speakers.
JBL is an American speaker manufacturer that is based in Los Angeles, California. JBL goes back over 70 years, and even was the company that provided speakers and powerful sound for Woodstock in 1969. JBL has an award-winning sound that has been a favorite among athletes, musicians (The Grateful Dead, for example), and various venues.
Throughout the years, JBL’s engineering team has won several awards, most notably two Scientific and Technical awards from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2002. JBL’s engineers continue to excel and help push the company’s sound forward in new, innovative ways. JBL has some great options for pro audio speakers but really excels with portable speakers, which is why I would consider them to be one of the best brands for portable speakers.
The JBL sound is quite easily recognizable. There’s a running joke that the ‘JBL’ in the brand stands for ‘Just Big and Loud;’ this is not the case but it does describe their sound signature quite well. JBL’s sound can be described as having very punchy bass that you can feel in your chest, strong midrange, and slightly brightened treble frequencies that can sometimes get overpowering. JBL’s portable speakers are very loud and powerful for how small some of them are, but once you hear them you’ll be able to recognize one anywhere.
JBL has a wide variety of both completely wireless portable speakers as well as wired portable speakers and models that use Bluetooth. Connectivity is fast and quite a few of the products are also waterproof and very durable, making them a top choice for those who like to go camping, spend time outdoors exercising, or be with friends while playing music.
- Has a crisp sound without being overpowered by bass.
- Their portable speaker models have excellent battery life.
- More advanced technology than Beats by Dre, for example.
- More audiophile-grade sound than average.
JBL is an amazing speaker brand for Bluetooth and wireless speakers. I highly recommend any of their portable speaker options for use in the home, office, or outdoors.
One of the most well-known brands for home theater audio
Bose is easily one of the most well-known manufacturers on this list. Bose is an American manufacturer of speakers for home audio, the home theater, and more. Founded in Massachusetts in 1964 by Amar Bose, the company got its feet off the ground with the help of one of Amar Bose’s thesis advisors and professors, YW Lee, with angel investor funding. The Bose company focuses on bringing a pleasurable listening experience to you with innovative technology through speakers.
The first product ever made by Bose was a big failure, causing Amar Bose to go back and completely redesign his speaker system layout. From there on he focused more on the speaker system in relation to the listener’s perspective, and this aided him in achieving the invention of some great speakers for the home theater and casual listening.
In the audiophile community, Bose is actually pretty frowned upon. Yes, there is a consensus that Bose’s speakers do sound good to the average consumer, but they don’t have a flat frequency response, meaning they’re tailored more for a good-sounding listening experience rather than accurately reproducing the audio, even if the mix is bad.
Bose focuses on psychoacoustics, which is basically the science of how humans perceive certain sounds and the psychological responses that humans have to those sounds. Because of this, they tailor their audio to be suited more for the average consumer.
Their audio sounds pretty ‘artificial’ from an audiophile’s perspective, but this artificial sound signature helps audio to blend in with the background noise of your environment, making them ideal for parties or live events, but not exactly for the home theater unless you have a dedicated EQ module that is compatible with your Bose speakers. On top of all this, Bose is considered overpriced for their audio quality.
- Great for adding background ambience at parties.
- A trusted brand known and loved by many.
- Speakers are not ideal for audio you need to focus on, like home theater audio.
- Important frequencies are taken out of the response curve.
If you want speakers for subtle background music at events, get a Bose speaker system. For your home theater or casual audiophile listening, you’ll want to get something else, perhaps by Sony or Vizio. While Bose has been labeled as one of the best brands for home theater audio, everything is not always what it seems to be.
The best manufacturer of high-end speakers
Sony is yet another super popular name on this list, being one of the best high-end speaker brands. Founded in 1946 in Tokyo, Japan by Akio Morita and Masaru Ibuka, Tokyo Tsushin Kogyo K.K. (Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation) is what we have grown to know today as being Sony.
Sony is probably most well known for their PlayStation game consoles. You may find it amusing to know that the very first product from Sony was a transistor radio, and in the US it sold extremely well, mainly being a popular item among teenagers. Today, Sony’s arsenal of products grows ever larger.
Sony is a fantastic brand to get high-end speakers from. Unlike Bose speakers that have an EQ more suited for classical music, Sony’s high-fidelity speakers work best with more modern genres (namely hip-hop and EDM). A lot of Sony speakers have a sound signature that is a ‘V’ shape – this means that bass frequencies are raised and so are high frequencies. This creates an exciting frequency curve that sounds nice to listen to if you are a consumer, but audiophiles and producers may think otherwise.
However, Sony has a specific line of products for high-resolution audio. This line features plenty of speakers including some from their Signature Sound series. The Signature Sound series products feature Sony’s high-end speakers, headphones, and more. They offer clear, audiophile-quality audio that sounds great anywhere. Bass is deep yet punchy, highs are bright yet smooth, mids are full yet retain clarity.
Sony is easily one of the best brands for purchasing high-end speakers, as they have been in such business for an incredibly long time and implement new technology with each of their products.
- A trusted brand with high quality products all across the board (gaming, electronics, audio, etc).
- Sleekly designed speakers.
- High resolution audio series.
- Best speakers are easily thousands of dollars.
If you enjoy high-end home audio, Sony is a great choice. Their high-end speakers are quite expensive but very well worth it. If you’re in need of speakers that make you feel the punch of music but also sound great with a home theater setup, Sony is your brand. If you have the money to spend on Sony products, do a little more research into their various speaker collections and see which ones best fit your needs.
One of the most popular speaker brands
At some point you’ve probably at least seen the name ‘Yamaha’ in a store or online. Yamaha has been one of the top speaker brands for quite a long time. Yamaha (also Yamaha Corporation) was established in 1887 in Japan by Torakusu Yamaha, and became a corporation in 1897. Yamaha sells a variety of products, ranging anywhere from home goods to motorcycles to audio gear.
Yamaha is known for having a few great speakers, some good speakers, and a lot of average to mediocre speakers, so whether or not you pick a good product from them depends on your needs. Like most Japanese corporations, speakers that are affordable enough for someone on a low budget are usually the more mediocre-quality speakers. Having a low-cost option allows almost anyone to purchase speakers from Yamaha, but with the low price the quality suffers sometimes. However, the more expensive options are worth the money and clearly prove that.
Yamaha has a variety of powered and unpowered loudspeakers for sound systems, and speakers for home audio and home theaters. Yamaha is one of the better brands for sound system speakers if you’re on a budget, and I’ve used them personally for the majority of my live audio engineering career.
Yamaha’s speakers are quite reliable and have a flat sound signature, which means that the audio output is not colored by the speaker’s electrical circuit in any way, keeping it accurate in terms of audio reproduction. This is something that is great for performance environments like churches, schools, or clubs. A flat sound signature will stay true to the exact audio coming from the source (as long as you don’t modify it with an EQ yourself through hardware or otherwise).
- Reliable gear with options for many budgets.
- Great loudspeaker packages.
- Flat, accurate sound.
- Lower-priced speakers aren’t as high in quality as the more expensive options.
Whether you’re on a budget or want to splurge on the most expensive system, Yamaha has a reliable set of speakers for you. Their higher-end professional audio gear certainly does sound great, and if you don’t mind a bit of sound quality loss, the cheaper options aren’t bad if you’re on a budget. Owners of home theaters, sound engineers at churches, music producers, and audiophiles will love Yamaha’s flat, accurate sound. If you’re unsure where to start, try Yamaha first when buying new speakers.
The best manufacturers of computer speakers
Logitech is an office solutions company that sells products ranging from mice and keyboards to home security cameras and smart home devices. Founded in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1981, Logitech quickly captured the attention of consumers with their high-tech products, and soon after moved to Silicon Valley, California. In California, Logitech started coming up with new ways to add innovation and efficiency to computer products, and introduced the infrared cordless mouse, the laser mouse, and more, to the world.
Over the years, Logitech has become the manufacturer for a few different brands, most notably Blue Microphones, which is a popular microphone brand among producers and recording artists. In 2008, they acquired Ultimate Ears, a company that makes professional-quality in-ear monitors and consumer-level Bluetooth speakers.
Logitech is easily one of the best companies for computer speakers. They have a large variety of wireless and portable computer speakers, and ones that are more stationary. The sound signature of each of the computer speakers is a little bit different from the last one. Some models come with a dedicated subwoofer, others are just the left and right stereo speakers. For the most part, however, you will find that Logitech’s speakers are quite clear with a punchy, bold bass and rich midrange frequencies.
Logitech easily has some of the best-sounding computer speakers, which puts them as a big front runner in the home audio category. Many of their speaker models will fit nicely on a computer desk, mounted on a wall, or on a speaker stand. If you want a more surround sound, Logitech also offers surround sound systems for your home theater and Bluetooth speakers for portable listening. All of Logitech’s speakers are very sleek in design, with a more minimalistic approach to them and simple black color schemes.
- Very affordable computer speakers.
- Different audio signatures for different models.
- Sleek designs with sustainability in mind.
- Not especially high-quality audio for home theaters.
Logitech is a perfect brand if you are in the market for new computer speakers. They have different options based on the sound signature you want to focus on and their speakers are very affordable, so those on a budget will definitely find some speakers that work for them. As long as you’re not looking for high-fidelity, flat audio reproduction, you won’t be disappointed with what Logitech offers for computer and home audio.
7. Pioneer DJ
The best speaker brand for DJs
If you are a DJ, you either have some gear from Pioneer DJ, or you are at least familiar with the brand. Pioneer DJ is, without a doubt, one of the top DJ speaker brands. Founded in late 1994 by the AlphaTheta Corporation in Japan, 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of Pioneer DJ.
Pioneer DJ was originally part of Pioneer’s whole corporation but branched off into its own brand in 2014, separating their DJ products from other Pioneer products. Pioneer DJ is one of the more popular brands for DJ gear, another big competitor being Numark. If you are familiar with CDJs, Pioneer DJ was the company that brought the innovative player into the DJing world in 1994. Today, Pioneer still sells CDJs, but they also sell speakers – this includes studio monitors and loudspeakers or PA (public address) system speakers.
Pioneer DJ does have some pretty good speakers considering they’re a DJ product manufacturer. While I wouldn’t say they’re the absolute best studio monitor brand considering Focal and Yamaha are on this list, Pioneer DJ does have some pretty nice-sounding studio monitor speakers. They’re quite affordable and there are a couple different sized models to choose from.
Pioneer DJ’s studio monitors boast highly accurate sound reproduction and high-quality reference audio with a flat, neutral response. Audio outputted is free of speaker distortion and will allow you to have a clear representation of how your mix sounds.
Pioneer DJ’s loudspeakers are just as nice, being very compact and portable, yet powerful. The loudspeaker options they have are very natural-sounding and are considered full-range. You can push these loudspeakers pretty hard until you get even a little bit of distortion. This also depends on your stage setup, but the sound quality and power of the Pioneer DJ loudspeakers are surprisingly great for only having a few models to choose from.
- Speakers naturally sound great with DJ gear.
- Nice selection of studio reference monitors.
- PA speakers are pretty pricey.
If you’re already familiar with Pioneer DJ’s brand, enjoy their sound, and want to get speakers, sticking with them is definitely a feasible option if you don’t mind the price, as their speaker sound quality is quite nice and the technology behind them is intelligent and innovative. I’d definitely recommend Pioneer DJ speakers for mixing or performing live rather than for home audio and casual listening.
The best German manufacturer of home and TV audio equipment
Sennheiser is a very popular brand among music producers, singers, and musicians around the world. You may be familiar with the many different models of headphones they offer, however they also offer speakers for home audio and to use with your TV or entertainment center. Founded in 1945 in Germany by Professor Dr. Fritz Sennheiser, Sennheiser was originally called Lab W. The business has remained in the family since then and is now run by third generation relatives of Fritz Sennheiser.
The first product made by Sennheiser was a voltmeter, and was developing microphones by 1947. Slowly they moved into making other audio-related electronics including microphone transformers, headphones, and mixers. Sennheiser easily has one of the best selections of products for home and TV audio, with everything from soundbars to wireless Bluetooth receivers for connecting headphones to your TV, and a variety of wireless home audio headphones that have some excellent drivers.
While Sennheiser only has one soundbar option, the sound quality of it is incredible, and in my opinion, better than Sony and many other soundbar brands due to its immersive 3D audio experience in the home theater.
Sennheiser’s home audio products have a sound signature that is clear, balanced, and pleasurable to listen to while remaining pretty neutral. High-fidelity audio is something Sennheiser prides themselves on having, and their home audio and theater products make this evident due to the spectacular audio quality, innovative and modern designs, and high-quality build materials of their products.
As far as price goes, their home audio products are pretty affordable; the AMBEO soundbar is quite expensive compared to many other brands though, so I always recommend testing any products before purchasing if you can in case you like a cheaper option.
- Very high-quality audio that is balanced and pleasurable to listen to in the home.
- Many devices and products for listening with TV and theater.
- Fairly affordable products.
- Limited speaker options for home theater audio.
If you are more focused on sound quality than actual product selection when it comes to a speaker system for your home theater, Sennheiser is a good but limited choice. Considering they are primarily a headphone and microphone company, they definitely have an excellent-sounding set of speakers in every product that they offer. I recommend Sennheiser to those of you who are music producers and audiophiles.
One of the most aesthetically pleasing speaker brands
To some people, looks are just as important as the sound of audiophile speakers. Burmester Audiosystems keeps this in mind when designing their top-of-the-line speakers for home audio. Founded in Germany in 1977 by Dieter Burmester, timeless design and high-quality audio has always been of utmost importance to Burmester Audiosystems.
Burmester has always been focused on providing speakers that captivate the listener in every way, and they’ve developed a facility that handles their products with such care to achieve that high quality. All components are assembled by hand in Berlin by highly-trained technicians. Many of the components made by Burmester have set a benchmark for what is considered to be legendary in the high-end audio world.
You may even be surprised to know that Burmester even makes speakers for luxury European-made vehicles, with collaborations with Mercedes-Benz and most recently implementing their 3D High-End Surround Sound-System in a Porsche in 2016.
Burmester features Signature and Reference speaker lines which are their higher-end speakers, as well as Top, Classic, and Phase 3, which are more ‘essential’ and simple models. All of them look so beautiful and sound even better. Audiophile-quality, flat, neutral, and balanced audio is what you get from these speakers, with the utmost clarity.
Burmester’s speakers last a very long time, partially due to the high-quality build materials used and partially due to the cutting-edge technology and care used when hand assembling these speakers. Of course with the advantage of high-quality products, there is the downside of them having a very large price tag. If you can afford it, I definitely think Burmester’s speakers are worth the money.
- Gorgeous speakers with audiophile and reference quality sound good enough to be in luxury cars.
- Perfect for the home, for stationary indoor music performances, or to use with record players.
- Fits in nicely with various preexisting entertainment and home theater setups.
- Outrageously expensive due to high craftsmanship.
If you really want a luxury speaker system that looks as good as it sounds, I highly recommend anything from Burmester. The price tag is high, but the audio quality and the design durability will make up for the hole in your bank account after purchasing one of these speaker systems. Both your eyes and ears will thank you for choosing one of the best speaker brands.
One of the best home office speaker brands
Klipsch is very well known in the audiophile world and is a reliable brand that happens to be based in the US. Klipsch also has plenty of suitable products for average consumers. They have a large variety of speakers for the home, office, and even have speakers for outdoor use. Founded in Hope, Arkansas in 1946 by Paul W. Klipsch, Klipsch Audio Technologies was originally established under the name Klipsch & Associates.
You may be familiar with the Klipschorn speaker, which was designed and patented in 1945. The Klipschorn was the first speaker to kick off the high-fidelity audio era. The original factory where the high-fidelity Klipschorn speaker was made is now known as the Klipsch Museum of Audio History, where you will find plenty of Klipsch Audio’s milestone audio products as well as many artifacts predating the Klipsch Museum, including equipment from Bell Telephone & Western Electric, Thomas Edison, and more.
Klipsch almost exclusively sells speakers and devices with speakers in them, like headphones. Klipsch has been compared to Bose before, but quite frankly Klipsch seems to have better audio quality and a nicer sound signature than Bose. Klipsch focuses mainly on tonal characteristics of the audio while Bose focuses on speaker product design and durability.
Klipsch has a host of speakers for around the home, in the home theater, and even high-fidelity speakers for the home office. This includes bookshelf speakers, hanging speakers, floor standing speakers, and soundbars for TV. Durable, weatherproof outdoor speakers are another very interesting option they offer, and they even have some more discreet speaker systems, including one that looks like a big rock you’d put in your garden for decoration.
Klipsch has a sound signature that has a lot of boosted frequencies in the high frequency range. This makes for bright and clear audio but some people find it fatiguing.
- Large variety of indoor and outdoor speakers.
- Creator of the Klipschorn speaker, a standard in high-fidelity audio.
- Has enough affordable options for consumers.
- Bright sound signature can be fatiguing during long periods of listening.
Klipsch is a pioneer in the audio world and their products show it. While they have many hi-fi speakers, their selection of more affordable options is quite generous as well. If you like bright, crisp audio characteristics, I’d recommend Klipsch to you for the home or office.
These top 10 speaker brands have many products that are expensive but very well worth the money, there are also some surprisingly good affordable options for those on a low budget.
Regardless of whether you check out speakers that are from an American manufacturer, a German one, or made elsewhere, the ideal speakers for you are out there. With enough research and determination, you can find some of the world’s top speaker brands that fit your needs no matter where you would need to use them.
It may take a few tries to find something that fits for you, so be sure to try before you buy in order to find the best speakers and setup that works for you. For more information on the top audio equipment around, make sure to check back with Consordini regularly!