If you’re unsure what to buy the music fan in your life, participate in this quick thought exercise for a minute. Think back to a time you were at their place recently. More specifically, reminisce about a time that you were there and listening to music. Were you playing Spotify through a phone or another similarly unsatisfactory experience? If so, one: Maybe your friend shouldn’t invite people over to listen to music on their phone. Two: maybe you could help out by giving them an upgrade to their home audio experience as a gift for the holidays.
There are a bona fide ton of options when it comes to buying speakers, and deciding what you should buy isn’t so cut and dry. Different folks have different needs depending on their lifestyles and audio preferences, so while I can’t tell you what speakers will be the best gift, what I can do is give you a solid place to start. Below, I’ve gathered a ton of viable speaker gift options, so think about what it is you’re looking for and let the list below guide you on your gift-giving journey.
What if the person you’re shopping for actually already has a great home audio set-up that sounds terrific, but it’s a bit outdated and it’s cumbersome to connect a phone to it? What if their speakers are just the way they like them, but all they need is some Bluetooth connectivity to make them a viable modern solution? That’s an easy fix that would make a great stocking-stuffer: Just get a Bluetooth adapter and breathe new life into vintage speakers.
Price point: $22
This one from Logitech is compatible with RCA inputs and 3.5 mm jacks, meaning that it should work just fine with virtually every set-up and allow you to stream your Spotify playlists on old-school speakers in no time.
While this may not be what the audiophile in your life, but if you’ve ever been in a home with one of the premiere smart speakers, you know that they sound just fine for listening to music while you’re cooking. Of course, you can also talk to your Google Home, Amazon Echo, or even your Apple HomePod, and you can easily change songs, get updates on the weather, and otherwise take advantage of the ever-growing list of features these platforms have to offer. The smaller of these smart speakers are so inexpensive that you can even get a few to pepper around the house, so you’ll never be out of voice command range. Either that, or you can get a larger one with better sound to keep in a primary room of your home. However you decide to float your boat, a smart speaker should be a fine present option for a ton of people on your gift list.
Price point: $49
Alexa is the clear leader in this space, but this might be a better option for those who use a lot of Google services.
Price point: $30
Because these are so inexpensive, you can get multiple units and put them around the house and never be out of Alexa’s reach.
Price point: $70
Like the Echo Dot but want a beefier speaker? Boom, here you go.
Price point: $129
Much like the Echo, this is the more substantial version of the Google Home Mini, offering similar features but with stronger sound.
Price point: $349
Apple isn’t a go-to in the home speaker market, but like the Google Home, this might be a good option if you’re well established in the Apple device framework.
Price point: $399
Of all the smart speakers, this one appears to have the largest speaker, and therefore, one would assume, the best sound.
Smart speakers are small, but they’re not really portable. That’s where, well, portable speakers come in. They usually have batteries that last for hours and allow you to bring a pretty solid level of sound quality to the park, on a road trip, or just around the house without having mobility issues. Another thing working in their favor is that you can spend basically however much you’d like and get some solid bang for your buck. There are plenty of different speaker options here in terms of both price and quality, so no matter your budget, you ought to do just fine.
Price point: $28
Anker is renowned for their high quality products in a variety of areas, so you can’t go wrong with their Soundcore portable speaker for under $30.
Price point: $28
If you’re looking for something that will stand out visually, few portable speakers have a triangle shape quite like this one.
Price point: $33
This one is waterproof and has a near-5-star rating on Amazon based on thousands of customer feedback scores, so this seems like a winner.
Price point: $45
This is another customer favorite, and the light on the front is a slick look.
Price point: $50
This might be the most portable one on the list: Clip it onto a belt loop or whatever else you can think of and improve upon your phone’s built-in speaker wherever you go.
Price point: $38
Like the previous speaker, this one also boasts supreme portability, and like JBL, Sony is a brand you can trust.
Price point: $79
If you like JBL but want to go more substantial than the Clip, change that “C” to an “F” and try out the Flip.
Price point: $93
The UE Roll 2 has an interesting low-profile design, making it a great candidate for low-space environments.
Price point: $129
If you have a brightly colored room (or just a brightly-colored personality), the SoundLink lets you express yourself with Bose sound.
Price point: $126
Beats is a trendy name in headphones and speakers, so this improvement on the original Pill ought to serve you well.
Price point: $179
This model boasts 360-degree sound, and if you get two of them, you can use them together for greater volume.
Home And Computer Speakers
All of the options above are fine for casual listening or bringing your music with you on the go, but if you’re looking for something more stationary and/or serious, you have to really consider your home audio set-up. If you’re just trying to find a simple upgrade over your laptop or phone’s built-in speakers, you can find something rock-solid for under $50. This might not be the best option if you’re looking to bring full-bodied sound to your living room, though. For that, you can try some bookshelf speakers, which will make themselves a functional part of your home decor. Like the previous category, there are plenty of ways to go here price-wise, so assess your available funds and then proceed to do you.
Price point: $23
If you’re just looking for a simple and cheap upgrade over your phone or laptop speakers, this sounds like a good option.
Price point: $40
I’ve personally used these Cyber Acoustics speakers at my home office desk for a few years now, and I have no complaints about the experience.
Price point: $70
Bookshelf speakers like these can blend in as a natural part of your home’s decor and bring a high quality of sound to your living room.
Price point: $89
If you’re looking to spend a bit more on laptop speakers, you can’t go wrong with Bose, a trusted leader in the industry.
Price point: $99
If you’re trying to find for a simple-looking pair of bookshelf speakers that offer great sound, give these a whirl
Price point: $200
If you’re looking for an upgrade over something like the Cyber Acoustics speakers above, this appears to be just that.
Price point: $399
If you use your home computer for audio production or have other high-demand audio needs, these are some beefy desktop speakers.
Price point: $499
This is one of the pricier options here, but spending nearly a grand on a pair of Sonos Play:5 speakers ought to make for a strong stereo experience that will really fill a room.
Price point: $550
These high-end bookshelf speakers have a 5-star rating on Amazon, so if you’re worried about the price tag, you can buy knowing that these have met expectations time and time again.
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