Loudspeakers come in many shapes and colours. Some are best suited for the pool, others for the computer in the study. In the following article, you will find an overview of the topic of speakers, important points for your purchase decision and the most frequently asked questions on the topic in our guide.
With our loudspeaker test 2021, we aim to give you a complete picture of the available loudspeakers so that you can find the right one for you. We also present all the products that we have examined in detail. To support your decision, you will also find videos and tables that clearly summarise the relevant information for you.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 Summary
- 3 The Best Loudspeaker: Our Picks
- 4 Buying and evaluation criteria for loudspeakers
- 5 Guide: Frequently asked questions about loudspeakers answered in detail
- When it comes to loudspeakers, a rough distinction can be made between stationary and portable devices. Stationary loudspeakers usually need a power source to function or they cannot access the full power from the battery.
- Especially with portable speakers, you should pay attention to how robust they are. If you want to use your speaker near water, it should be waterproof. Look for the "IPX" rating from the manufacturer.
- Defective speakers must not be disposed of in household waste. It is best to take your defective device to a shop that sells speakers or to your local recycling centre.
The Best Loudspeaker: Our Picks
Buying and evaluation criteria for loudspeakers
Before buying a new loudspeaker, you should give some thought to what requirements it should meet. There are many different manufacturers, all offering different devices.
With the following criteria, you can compare the different speakers with each other and have help with the large selection so that you do not regret the purchase.
- Size L x W x H
- Need for an additional power supply
- Power in watts
- Environmental influences
- Wired or wireless connection
In the following section, we will explain the individual criteria in more detail and tell you what is important.
A lot has changed in recent years, especially when it comes to loudspeakers. Before you buy a new unit, you should ask yourself what role weight plays. Do you always leave the speaker in the same place, or do you want to be able to listen to music on the go?
The weight differences of the various models are relatively large: the lightest portable devices are in the range of 150 grams and the heaviest stationary speakers go up to 34 kilograms.
When buying a speaker, make sure you get the right specification. Manufacturers often quote both the weight including packaging and the weight of the speaker alone.
Size L x W x H
In addition to the weight, the dimensions of a loudspeaker also play an important role. The rule of thumb is that smaller devices tend to be quieter, while larger devices are capable of more power. However, caution is advised here, because you should always pay attention to the stated power in watts. You can find information on power in the corresponding paragraph.
It is good to have the flexibility to choose the place where you want to listen to music. But it's annoying if you find out after you've bought your speaker that it won't fit in your travel bag. So always look for the specified dimensions in the products on offer. These are usually given in centimetres (cm) and indicate length, width and height in that order. Exceptions are usually marked.
Need for an additional power supply
Some units have built-in rechargeable batteries, others do not. This depends in each case on whether or not the unit needs to be connected directly to the power socket with a cable. A distinction can be made between three types:
- Speakers on battery only: Some speakers are designed to be charged so that you can take them with you and use them wherever you want. Such a product will indicate the battery life, which tells you how long you can use the speaker without having to charge the battery.
- Speakers only via external power supply: On the other hand, there are speakers that need to be connected to a power source with a cable in order to work. No battery life is specified for these devices because they do not have an integrated battery, but they can be used indefinitely as long as they are powered.
- Speaker Hybrid: The third category is a mixture of the first two. These devices have a battery that allows the owner to use the device flexibly. But they also have a cable that can be connected to a power source. This way, the device can be used like a stationary one.
Most available loudspeakers can be used hybrid, but most are a little better suited for one type at a time
Power in watts
The power of a loudspeaker is expressed in watts. The more power a speaker can produce, the louder you can play music on it.
Watts indicate the amount of energy consumed per period of time. This unit is abbreviated with a "W". To illustrate: 1 watt is equivalent to heating 1 gram of water from 15 °C to about 29.3 °C in one minute.
Larger appliances are often able to produce more power than smaller ones. As a result, they need more electricity and therefore often have to be connected to a power source.
If you want to listen to music in an environment that is dusty, sandy or that does not necessarily stay dry, be sure to check whether or not your speaker is waterproof and dustproof.
Some products are labelled "waterproof", "shockproof" and "dustproof". These labels indicate which environments should not harm your speaker. Sometimes, however, you will find specifications such as "IPX5". What you can do with these IPX specifications is explained in the following table with the common abbreviations:
|IPX1||Protection against dripping water|
|IPX2||Protection against falling dripping water when the enclosure is tilted up to 15°|
|IPX3||Protection against water spray up to 60° from vertical|
|IPX4||Protection against splashing water from all sides|
|IPX5||Protection against water jets|
|IPX6||Protection against strong water jets|
|IPX7||Protection against brief submersion|
|IPX8||Protection against permanent submersion|
The IP stands for "international protection codes" for loudspeakers. It's best to make sure your device always meets the standards you need. For example, if you only listen to music indoors, your speaker does not need to be protected against permanent submersion.
Wired or wireless connection
This category describes whether your speaker can be used via Bluetooth or whether you need to connect your phone with a cable, for example.
However, you should look at speakers for your PC to see if they can be connected wirelessly or not. As a rule, these are still the only devices that can only be connected via cable.
Most devices produced today have a Bluetooth function. This means that you can play your favourite music wirelessly.
Guide: Frequently asked questions about loudspeakers answered in detail
In the following guide, we answer the most important questions about loudspeakers. We have selected the most frequently asked questions for you and try to convey the most important information as concisely as possible. After reading the guide, you should have the basic knowledge to find the best product for you.
For whom is a loudspeaker suitable?
Speakers are also suitable for people who want to speak to a larger group of people. With the help of a microphone and speakers, the voice can be reproduced louder.
What types of speakers are there and which one is right for me?
|Portable||Can be used flexibly in different places, usually cheaper, independent of power sources, lighter than stationary speakers||Limited runtime, tends to have less power, risk of damage is higher|
|Stationary||Unlimited runtime, tends to have higher power, risk of damage is low||Needs a power outlet for power supply, usually heavier, usually more expensive|
Read also the following part if you want to know more about the different types of speakers.
What does a loudspeaker cost?
|Portable||Around 15 to 250 euros|
|Stationary||Around 150 to 4,500 euros|
Prices vary between 15 euros and around 4,500 euros. However, this range includes all types of speakers. Depending on the type of loudspeaker, the prices are in a narrower range.
What is a loudspeaker chassis?
A "loudspeaker chassis" includes all immovable parts of the actual sound transducer, but not the cabinet itself.
Translated from French, "chassis" means nothing more than "frame"
For better comprehensibility, one could say that a sound transducer corresponds to a window, the chassis to the window frame. The whole cabinet in this example would then be the house wall with the windows.
What is a subwoofer?
Where can I dispose of a loudspeaker?
Small electrical appliances can be handed in at shops where they can also be bought. Usually you don't have to buy anything or show a receipt for it, because you always pay the recycling fees when you buy an electrical appliance. Larger appliances can be handed in at a recycling centre.
If possible, always remove batteries and rechargeable batteries from the appliances and dispose of them separately in the designated places. However, with many speakers, you cannot remove the batteries without special tools. You should not try to do this in this case, because it can be dangerous.
Which speaker is suitable for which room size?
With large devices with a lot of power, it is a little more complicated to get an ideal sound result. For one thing, you should consider that the walls reflect sound waves back, making loud music all the more intense. You should also make sure that the loudspeaker is not too close to a wall, otherwise bass overlaps can occur. This is noticeable by an unpleasant booming sound when the sound waves overlap and amplify.
The best way to test your speaker's position in the room is to move it around gradually. Also make sure that the speakers are not too close to each other and not too far apart.
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