Best speakers for 2020: Bose, Sonos, Yamaha, Vizio and Elac

Speakers can take many forms — from a personal Bluetooth speaker, to a smart speaker with Amazon Alexa to a full Dolby Atmos system — but no matter what we all want the best performance for our money. In this list we cover a multitude of different speakers from $50 all the way up to $2,500, all of them the best in their category, and including budget products such as the excellent Vizio SB3621n-E8 soundbar. Most of these systems are powered, but the list also includes passive loudspeakers like the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 — just add a great AV receiver.

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The Vizio SB3621n-E8 is the best budget soundbar we’ve ever heard, and it’s super easy to set up. It may not have cutting edge features — no voice assistant or HDMI here — but it does offer excellent value. 

Read more.

With great sound, a compact size and the option of either Google Assistant or Alexa, the Sonos One reaffirms its place as the best smart speaker for the money.

Read our Sonos One review.

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The Yamaha YAS-209 is one of the most fully featured soundbars the company has ever offered — especially at the price. With Amazon Alexa, HDMI connectivity and a wireless subwoofer this soundbar isn’t wanting for anything. It sounds great too.

Read our Yamaha YAS-209 review.

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If you’re looking to set up a dedicated hi-fi or home cinema setup on a budget, the Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 bookshelf is where I’d start. Build quality and sonic performance this fine shouldn’t be as affordable as this. 

Read our Elac Debut 2.0 B6.2 review.

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There are plenty of cheaper Bluetooth speakers, but none of them sound as good as the Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus. It offers a portable, sturdy design and sonics which will reach every corner of your next cookout.

Read our Bose SoundLink Revolve+ review.

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While it’s since been replaced by the Wonderboom 2, you can still find the original on sale. It offers a compact build, waterproof casing and a bass-rich frequency response.

Read CNET’s Wonderboom review.

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If you’re looking at a full surround set it usually costs a lot for full-size speakers, but not so for the Pioneer SP-PK52FS. With proper floorstanding speakers at the front and a dedicated subwoofer, the Pioneer system offers home theater power that the smaller systems just can’t match.

Read CNET’s review.

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