Finding them isn’t tough these days; they come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re pretty ubiquitous—just last weekend, I saw some for sale at the gas station where I was buying gum. The fact that they’re easy to come by, however, doesn’t mean they’re all of the same quality or style. In fact, many of the ones I’ve seen are a bit garish, and I’m quite certain that gas station model isn’t top in the sound department. Here are nine choices that you'll be proud to show off at home.
In the early days of the gramophone—a piece of audio equipment that was both visually and sonically stimulating—great sound and good looks were equal priorities, since the sheer size of it made it more like a piece of furniture than an accessory. Size is no longer a concern, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t lean toward a timeless, beautifully crafted piece that fits well with the rest of our decor, just as beautiful to look at as any objet we’d place on a coffee table. I went on a hunt for Bluetooth speakers that sounded great and would be a welcome addition to my bookcase or coffee table. Some are cost-prohibitive to be sure, but all are uncompromising in sound and design.
Vifa Helsinki, €399 (above)
With looks that more resemble It Bag than gadget, the Helsinki adds beautiful color and texture to your room—but grab that natural leather handle and it’s ready to take on the go. Colors like Sandstone Grey and Dusty Rose make it easy to choose one that matches your decor.
Oree Pebble, $160-$285
Edifier Spinnaker, $899
These Bluetooth stereo speakers will make your bookshelves look shark-infested and will allow for an optical connection to your multimedia system or video game console, bringing great sound to House of Cards or Mario Kart.
Fern & Roby Cube Speakers, $1,650/pair
Unexpected materials like 100-year-old salvaged pine and rose gold drivers make these small speakers by Fern & Roby a winning juxtaposition. The pine cases are tuned for audio perfection, and they can be left unfinished or treated with wax. Either way, each one is unique and aesthetically exquisite.
Two high-quality speakers are encased in this modern walnut case, wrapped in minimalist grey mesh. The design resembles a geometric log that’s both sculptural and functional, and its design offers great sound depth and volume.
B&O’s new Bluetooth speaker channels Frank Gehry's architecture… if his buildings wore sweaters. It’s curved yet angular, soft yet sculptural, and you can swap its dashing wool cover to suit your mood and decor. Plus, an intuitive touch interface means you tap it to mute or swipe it to turn up the volume—no app required.
LSTN Satellite, $99.99
These small speakers are crafted in gorgeous woods like cherry, walnut, and zebra. They boast 10 hours of battery life on a charge and pack a big punch for their three-inch stature. Plus, you can rock out for a good cause—for every pair sold, LSTN provides hearing aids to a person in need.
Maybe it's my days as a former rock groupie talking, but this speaker-disguised-as-a-guitar amplifier is sexy, especially in this retro brown. But don’t let its analog knobs fool you—it’s compatible with everything from your AppleTV to your smartphone, and its volume goes to 11.
Greetings! Carley Knobloch here, digital lifestyle expert. I am BEYOND thrilled to be writing for Apartment Therapy! When I'm not digitally-lifestyling it up, I'm tweaking something-or-other in my house, so I'm always trolling the ol' Apartment Therapy for home inspo.
I'm also a regular correspondent on the Today Show and the smart home expert for HGTV, where I help audiences understand the ever-evolving world of home technology in an easy, approachable way.
I’m on a mission to tackle those home tech headaches that make you want to rip your router out of the wall and go live in a yurt. Because, can be just… hard, to navigate all this tech stuff and to keep things up and running, you know? I’m here to help.