From Bedroom to Office, These Are the Best Speakers for Small Spaces
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The rise of affordable home theater equipment and soundbars has made it easy to find large speakers for your living room or den, but what about smaller spaces like your bedroom, dorm room, bathroom, or kitchen?
Smaller speakers get a bad reputation because the assumption is that their size automatically means poor audio quality but that’s no longer the case. While it’s true that larger speakers have bigger drivers (the part of the speaker responsible for creating sound), the best mini speakers can still pack a big punch.
If you’re looking for a speaker that’ll fill a small room with sound and hold its own against larger ones, our recommendations have you covered.
What Are the Best Small Speakers?
There are many factors to think about when shopping for the best speaker for small rooms; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.
Size: If you’re shopping for a small speaker, it’s likely because you don’t have the space for a large unit. All of our picks are under 11.5 inches tall (or wide, if oriented horizontally).
Portability: Small speakers are defined by their physical size, but our guide features a mix of battery-powered and A/C (outlet) powered options. Powered ones are typically a little larger, and may have additional features because they aren’t designed to optimize battery life. Small wireless speakers are better if you want to use a single speaker in multiple rooms of your home, or outdoors.
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Battery Life: The portable speakers we’re recommending all get 12 hours of battery life, which is more than enough to get you through a workday, a week’s worth of showers, or a small gathering with friends.
Durability: The durability of technology is measured on the IP (Ingress Protection) scale, which determines how well it can resist (or prevent) damage from dust and water. The wireless speakers we recommend have at least an IP67 rating, which means they’re completely dust-proof, and waterproof enough to be held under 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
Smart Features: Getting a speaker for a small room doesn’t mean settling for fewer features. Some of the speakers we recommend can be programmed to work with Alexa, Amazon’s smart home assistant. Once it’s set up, you can use the speaker for more than just listening to music, and control it by using your voice.
Multi-Speaker Pairing: Every speaker in our guide can be paired to another one, so you can play music in true stereo, or listen to the same track in multiple rooms simultaneously. Each speaker can also be paired to different devices, or used on its own.
1. Braven BRV-Mini
At 4.21 inches tall, Braven’s BRV-Mini is the smallest speaker in our guide by a fair margin, but don’t let its size fool you. I’ve been testing this speaker for over a month, and have really enjoyed my time with it.
The BRV-Mini is totally wireless, and supports Bluetooth 5.0, a new wireless standard that gives it better range and a more solid connection. In my tests, the BRV-Mini has never cut out or stuttered, even if the phone I paired it to was in my pocket, and I was walking around the room.
Braven says this speaker’s battery lasts for up to 12 hours per charge, and while I haven’t timed it out exactly, I’ve only needed to plug it in a couple of times after days of use. The BRV Mini has earned an IPX7 durability rating, which means it’s totally dust-proof, and can be fully submerged under 3.3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes.
You can pair two BRV-Mini speakers to create a stereo pair, which in my experience has worked really well. When placed several feet apart, and angled toward you, the stereo soundscape has a surprising amount of depth.
I’ve been impressed with this speaker’s audio performance in general — the bass is there, but not too overwhelming, and mid-range sounds are pretty accurate — but have detected sibilance (extra sharp sound each time a performer sings a word with the letter “S”). When listening to instrumental music, this isn’t a problem.
This speaker doesn’t have any smart features, so it isn’t the best choice if you want a good sounding speaker that can also be used to control your lightbulbs, but it covers all the other bases very well. If you want an ultra portable totally wireless speaker, this one gets my highest recommendation.
Buy:Braven BRV-Mini$28.46Buy it
2. Klipsch Heritage Go
Klipsch’s long heritage of making audiophile sound available to everybody continues with its Heritage Go portable speaker.
At 6 inches tall and 7.7 inches wide the speaker is on the bigger side, but it’s still easy to pick up and take with you, or stash in a bag. The battery powered speaker lasts up to eight hours per charge, and can be recharged with the included MicroUSB cable. It’s a shame the speaker doesn’t charge over USB-C, which has become the defacto standard for most tech, but this is ultimately a minor downside.
It should come as no surprise that Klipsch went above and beyond when it came to the audio hardware inside the Heritage Go, and its overall aesthetic. It has a custom digital signal processor connected to a three-inch driver and two side-firing bass radiators for additional low-end. The speaker cabinet is made out of a real wood veneer and fabric cover. Everything about the speaker screams class.
That said, this is a portable speaker you’ll want to use indoors, or contained area (think front porch or back patio). It’s not waterproof or dustproof, so you don’t want to get it wet. It doesn’t have any smart features or support for multi-speaker pairing, either. It’s a single Bluetooth speaker with an AUX port if you’d like to plug in an audio device, or connect it to a computer.
If you want an indoor portable speaker with premium sound, we can’t recommend Klipsch’s Heritage Go more highly.
Buy:Klipsch Heritage Go$99.95Buy it
4. Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6
YouTube / Harmon Kardon
Harmon Kardon’s Onxy Studio 6 is the latest portable Bluetooth speaker, and it checks all the right boxes
At 11.5 inches tall and 11.2 inches wide, this is the largest speaker in our guide. It’s also the heavies, weighing in at eight pounds. It has a handle, though, which makes it easier to carry with you. The Onyx Studio 6 gets up to eight hours of music playback per charge and charges via MicroUSB, which are the same specs as Klipsch’s Heritage Go.
The Onyx Studio 6 has a 4.72 inch woofer for the bass and midrange frequencies and a 1 inch tweeter for high frequencies. This two-driver arrangement will get you a better overall sound than a single-driver system, and you’ll be able to pick out different instruments more clearly. These larger audio components are the main reason this speaker is bigger, they wouldn’t fit any other way.
This speaker has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can be fully submerged under water without getting damaged. You can bring the Onyx Studio 6 poolside or to the beach with no reservations. It doesn’t support multi-speaker stereo sound, but you can connect two devices to the Onyx Studio 6 to share DJ duty. It doesn’t have any smart features, either, but you’re getting this speaker primarily for the sound.
If you don’t mind the extra heft, and want a portable speaker that’ll sound excellent without sacrificing durability, this is our top choice.
Buy:Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 $167.99Buy it
4. Libratone Zipp 2 Mini
Libratone’s Zipp Mini 2 is the most fully-featured small speaker in our guide, and it’s a good choice for audiophiles who also care about aesthetics.
The speaker is 8.1 inches tall, which makes it among the largest speakers in our guide. It’s totally portable, lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge, and can pair with up to 11 other Libratone speakers to create a totally wireless audio system. Unlike the other wireless speakers in our guide, it is not waterproof or dust-proof, so the Zipp Mini 2 should only be used in your home, and away from water.
It may not be the most durable speaker in our guide, but it is the smartest totally wireless option. The Zipp Mini 2 has Amazon’s Alexa built in, so you can bring a smart speaker around with you anywhere. It also supports Apple’s AirPlay 2 wireless standard, Bluetooth 4.1, and the ability to stream music to it over WiFi.
I’ve tested multiple speakers from Libratone, including the original Zipp Mini, and have always found their audio quality to be very solid. The Zipp Mini 2 has multiple drivers facing outward and upward to create “360 degree” sound, so you don’t have to position it in a certain way to find a “sweet spot.” If you keep your speaker on a dresser in the middle of your smaller room, 360 audio will have an even greater surround sound effect.
Finally, Libratone’s Zipp 2 Mini stands out because of its modern, minimalist design. Looks aren’t everything — especially when it comes to audio gear, which needs to sound good — but there’s no denying that the mesh-covered casing, and cream colored top and bottom look really nice. The top of the speaker is also a touch screen, which allows you to change the speaker’s volume, silence it completely, or play and pause music with a single tap.
Buy:Libratone Zipp Mini 2$229.00Buy it
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