The top 3 apps for learning music

Image credit: Soundtrap

If you’re learning a new instrument and want some guidance then you absolutely must download these apps.

The modern age has allowed learning music to be incredibly accessible, thanks to the internet we now have a variety of apps and media channels to head too, to learn an instrument. It’s safe to say that it has never been easier to learn to make music, which is a fantastic thing. 

Here are some of our favorite apps to use when learning music, a new instrument, or just fine-tuning your skills. 

Fender Play 

Web, iOS, Android 

Fender has been leading the way when it comes to musical learning apps thanks to the impressive, easy-to-use, and super helpful Fender Play app. It’s a great place for beginners and those looking to fine-tune their guitar, bass, acoustic guitar, or ukulele skills. The app is full of well-produced video lessons created by experts to guide you through the steps. The app has a free trial for new users and after that, it is $10 a month. 

Soundbrenner

iOS, Android

Ask any professional musician and they will say they practice with a metronome, mostly to help them keep time. If you’re not sure what a metronome is, it’s the clack device that goes left to right. You’ve no doubt seen one in your grandparent’s house or hidden somewhere in an old music room at school. Thankfully, in today’s frightfully brilliant modern age you can get them digitally on your mobile device, thanks to the mobile app Soundbrenner. Thankfully, Soundbrenner is a totally free app and has various accents, sounds, and time signatures for users to play with. A paid version is available called Soundbrenner Core, which allows you to pair the app with your smartwatch. 

Yousican 

macOS/Windows, iOS, Android 

Yousican is an incredibly impressive app that uses the built-in microphone on your mobile, tablet, or laptop to give you instant feedback. It has a similar UI to Guitar Hero, meaning it is user-friendly as well as visually entertaining. The app comes with specific lessons for guitar, piano, bass, ukulele, or vocals. There are also weekly challenges that reward you for learning new music, which is great motivation. 

New free GarageBand Sound Pack from Lady Gaga and top producers

Image Credit: Apple

Learn to remix for free and get new artist sound packs including Producer Packs from Mark Ronson and Tom Misch with the latest update for GarageBand.

With the latest GarageBand iOS and iPadOS update Apple has debuted new Sound Packs from top producers in the music industry, all available to download for free. GarageBand offers a route into music production that’s easy and accessible for beginners, and with this update users can learn to remix and create songs with exclusive new beats, loops and instruments.

The seven new Producer Packs on offer include hundreds of royalty-free sounds and instruments created by the likes of Tom Misch, TRAKGIRL and Ariana Grande producer Oak Felder.

Image Credit: Apple

Andra Day producer TRAKGIRL said: “It’s been an important mission of mine to help young women break into music making, and GarageBand is a powerful creative tool that everyone has access to. I hope my Producer Pack will inspire people globally to embrace their creativity and show that anyone can follow their dreams and get involved in music production.”

A separate Pack acts as a companion to producer Mark Ronson’s docuseries Watch the Sound With Mark Ronson, available on Apple TV+. Users can play around with sampling, drum machines, synths and effects inspired by the music on the Apple Original show.

Also included in the update are two new Remix Sessions, aimed at letting users have a go at remixing songs through a fun, easy platform. Following the video instructions, GarageBand app users can remix Lady Gaga’s “Free Woman” and “Break My Heart” by Dua Lipa using the stems of the songs – the beats, vocals and instruments – to take the tracks in a whole new direction.

Image Credit: Apple

Dua Lipa said: “It’s amazing to see Apple bringing my music to life in GarageBand, so now anyone can experience how I made ‘Break My Heart’ no matter where they are. Music has the power to bring people together, and this is doing that in such an exciting way. I personally can’t wait for people to have a lot of fun experimenting and coming up with different versions of my song.”

The GarageBand app is a great gateway DAW for Apple users. The new Producer Packs and Remix Sessions can be downloaded from GarageBand’s Sound Library for free.

Best DAWs for Hip-hop

What’s the best DAW for beat making? Check out these six examples of the best hip-hop producer software available in 2021.

To get started making hip-hop beats, you need a Digital Audio Workstation for creating backing tracks and recording rap verses. The problem is, there’s lots of DAWs for hip-hop producers to choose from, all promising different things. Which DAW is best for creating and recording rap music?

When inspiration strikes, you want a smooth workflow so you can get your bars down before they disappear from your mind. Which DAW is best for hip-hip for you as a producer will depend on your workflow and budget. Here are six DAWs to consider to get you started.


Reason
Image Credit: Reason

Reason Studios has an analog feel that connects you to the beatmaking process. It’s got a big sound bank and great drum designer, loop editing and mixing capabilities. Drop samples right into audio tracks for super-fast manipulation.

Reason can be used as a plugin in other DAWs, to bring its sound packs and effects to a workflow you prefer. Available for a $19.99 a month subscription, it’s an affordable option for beginner hip-hop producers.


BandLab
bandlab free DAW
Image Credit: BandLab

Brilliant for beginners, BandLab has a super-simple interface but also a huge library of royalty-free sounds and a great easy sampler. The cloud-based setup means there’s nothing to download – and everything is completely free. Share your beats instantly to the platform for feedback and encouragement from the community, as well as collaboration opportunities.

BandLab also make CakeWalk, a DAW with really impressive capabilities considering it’s also available for free.


Ableton Live
Image Credit: Ableton Live

Designed for electronic music, Ableton Live’s clip view means you can get ideas and loops down fast and swap ideas around. Due to its origins as an instrument, Ableton is highly intuitive for performing at live shows. Its powerful features let you flip samples and make drum racks quickly.

Accessing full features will set you back $449, although you can grab the stripped back Intro version for $99.


FL Studio
FL Studio 20
Image Credit: Image-Line

Once you’re up to speed with the layout and keyboard shortcuts of FL Studio, beats can be assembled in a flash. The step sequencer channel rack allows you to get stuck in stacking up beats right away. The vocal recording takes a little getting used to, but the FL Studio piano roll is one of the best, so even if you have no music theory background you can get to work editing and arranging virtual instrumental parts by clicking in MIDI notes with your mouse.

FL was built for electronic music, affordable at $99 for the light version, and its popularity means there’s hundreds – if not thousands – of tutorials out there.


Bitwig Studio
Image Credit: Bitwig Studio

An intuitive visually pleasing DAW with easy drag-and-drop abilities and easy to move between arranging, editing and mixing your project. Quick sampling abilities and renowned audio editing capabilities make for a streamlined experience.

Bitwig starts at $99 for the entry version – and you can try in Demo mode without a time limit.


Logic Pro
Mac mini Logic Pro
Image Credit: Apple

Logic’s Live Loops let you arrange loops and samples in an accessible grid for swift beatmaking. The Apple-only DAW also makes vocal comping easy, and the step sequencer lets you build beats and bassline patterns in an intuitive way.

At $199, Logic is the grown-up version of GarageBand. On that note – there’s nothing wrong with GarageBand if you’re an Apple user who wants to practice recording your flow and have a go at making your own rap beats.


Most modern DAWs can be used to make hip-hop music – so it comes down to which you feel most at home working in. Happily, you can download all the DAWs on this list for a free trial before you commit to any music software.

There’s more out there to discover, too. Do you want to buy and master a professional DAW like Pro Tools, or explore a free DAW like Tracktion Waveform first?

Which DAW do you recommend for making beats? Let us know what you use in the comments.


Already recorded your first hip-hop track, and proud of it? Have you thought about releasing your song to Spotify? Using RouteNote’s free distribution you can upload your track to all the big streaming services for FREE. You keep all the rights to your music, and make money every time your track gets played. Find out more and sign up today here.

How much mobile data does Spotify use?

Image credit: Fixelgraphy

Depending on your streaming quality and content Spotify can use a fair bit of mobile data, here’s some settings to check to avoid you going over your allotted amount.

When you listen to Spotify on your mobile device without a wifi connection it will use your mobile data, some contracts will only have a limited amount. Although streaming music via Spotify doesn’t use as much as video streaming it can still rack up usage, especially you have it set at the highest quality, not to mention podcasts. Spotify offers five different sound quality settings in the app which will either lower or raise how much data it consumes.

You can access these options by going to ‘Settings’ and scrolling to ‘Music Quality’, here you will find five different options that include: 

  • Low (24kbps) 
  • Normal (96kbps)
  • High (160kbps)
  • Very High (320kbps)
  • Automatic 

Automatic will choose a sound quality option based on your network connection, which can be risky if you have limited data. However, it is important to remember that you can download your music to listen to in offline mode if you have Spotify Premium. 

How much data does Spotify use? 

So, depending on the quality of the stream the app can use anything between 0.5 MB to 8 MB for a song. A full hour of streaming music can use upwards of 150 MB of data, meaning that a single hour of streaming per day can add up to over 6 GB of data usage. Which if you have unlimited is not an issue, but those without less so. 

Low (24kbps) – 0.18 MB per minute 

Normal (96kbps) – 0.72 MB per minute 

High (160kbps) 1.2 MB per minute 

Very High (320kbps) (Premium only) – 2.4 MB per minute 

If you are on a limited data plan with your mobile phone contract then you can avoid going over by downloading your music on your wifi before going out to listen in offline mode (premium subscription only). Or you can turn on Spotify’s ‘Data Saver’ option which keeps audio streams at 24kbps and disables Spotify’s canvas feature. According to Spotify, this option can reduce Spotify data use by up to 85%. 

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $1300 (per pair)

If you’re after seriously competitive hi-fi sound, we’ve compiled some of our favourite bookshelf speakers between $900 and $1300.

Whether you’re listening to downloaded FLAC files, streaming hi-fi music or plugging directly into a record player, these speakers will fill the room with crystal clear audio that can’t be beaten at the price.

For more bookshelf speakers, find our top picks under $100, $200, $300, $400, $600 and $800.


1. KEF LSX – $1125.70 (sale price)
  • Multiroom compatible speakers: Play music in multiple rooms at once.
  • Bluetooth music streaming: Makes it easy to enjoy tracks stored on a compatible Bluetooth-enabled device (not included).
  • 2-way speaker system: Sends the right frequencies to the right speakers for outstanding audio.
  • Rich, powerful sound: Includes a mid/woofer and a tweeter.
  • aptX codec: Offers superior signal-to-noise performance, maximizing audio fidelity, so you can enjoy music playback with near CD-quality sound.
  • Plays high-resolution digital music files: For high-resolution sound.
  • More ways to connect with the music you love: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability for pairing wireless devices, plus 3.5mm stereo mini input for wide-ranging compatibility.

2. ELAC Carina BS243.4 – $1299.98
  • JET Air-Motion Transformer: Delivering true high-definition sound, ELAC’s JET tweeters enthrall with its lightning-fast response and wide dynamic range, offering minimal distortion, lots of headroom and a wider frequency range. The ELAC JET tweeter is legendary in the industry.
  • Dual 5 ¼” Compound Curvature Aluminum Woofers: To match the capabilities of the JET tweeter and guarantee a seamless transition from the woofer to the JET tweeter, the compound curvature cone has been developed to control the cone breakup mode providing rich powerful performance
  • Downward Firing Port: For a more flexible speaker placement and to minimize ventilation noise, the bass reflex port on the Carina series is directed to the floor, exiting the bottom of the speaker cabinet in a down-firing configuration
  • 46Hz – 30kHz Frequency response: Ensures faithful reproduction of audio for both standard and high-resolution content
  • Easy to Drive 6-Ohm Impedance: Ensures compatibility with virtually all AV receivers

3. Wharfedale Linton – $1198
  • Real Wood Veneer Cabinets: Solid constuction with a furniture grade finish
  • 8-inch woven Kevlar® bass driver: Powerful bass from dedicated driver
  • 1-inch soft-dome tweeter & 5-inch midrange: Clear and smooth highs with midrange clarity
  • 35Hz Bass Extension: Deep bass response for accurate reproduction
  • 85th Anniversary Edition: Celebrate England’s Most Famous Speaker Brand

4. Definitive Technology D11 – $999
  • High-Performance Bookshelf Speakers: Feature a proprietary 6.5″ BDSS woofer, a 1” Aluminum Dome Tweeter with 20/20 Wave Alignment Lens & Laterally Offset Tweeter Assembly for a smoother high-frequency reproduction, articulate midrange and punchy bass
  • Futuristic Design for an Outstanding Performance: The 6 x 10-inch Oval Passive Bass Radiator drives a deep and clean bass response with crystal clear audio, while the elegant & timeless look blends perfectly with your home décor. These speakers truly deliver a premium listening experience
  • Multiple Speaker Setup Options: Use as standalone speakers in a 2.0 channel system, a 2.1 channel system with a sub, or setup a sophisticated and complex home theater system with your choice of amplifier, receiver or Definitive Speakers
  • A Class Apart: One of the most trusted names in audio speakers and premium home entertainment, Definitive brings to you the best audio quality crafted with 25 years of constant innovation, relentless engineering, latest audio technology and iconic intelligent designs
  • Optional Demand ST1 Speaker Stands: Elevate your sound with the Demand ST1 speaker stands (sold separately) to raise the height of these speakers by 32″ and to keep them in place on a carpet or a solid floor surface. The stands also come with threaded inserts

5. DALI OBERON 3 – $899
  • Contemporary design: The rounded edges and rustic fabric of these new DALI front grilles add a lighter and more contemporary visual look to the OBERON series. This look is enhanced by the elegantly shaped aluminium base mounted on the two floor-standing models.
  • Patented SMC: The iron pole piece of the OBERON woofer magnet is crowned by a patented SMC disk – minimizing the negative effects of the iron. The use of the SMC disk greatly reduces mechanical distortion, which lowers third order distortion.
  • Wood fibre cone: The OBERON woofer features a wood fibre cone with a blend of fine grain paper pulp, reinforced with wood fibres, which creates a stiff, light-weight and well-behaving structure. Creating unfiltered sound with high accuracy.
  • Easy to position: The OBERON series has been selected to achieve a wide dispersion pattern. This ensures a well-integrated sound, even when listening at a significant off-axis angle. An added benefit is seriously reduced harmonic distortion and diffractions causing frequency distortion.

BandLab update brings powerful new tools for all music creators

Image Credit: BandLab

A fresh look and new Sampler and Mastering tools make the BandLab update an even more tempting prospect for beginner music producers looking for free music software.

Social music making platform BandLab has just had an upgrade, aiming to give emerging producers everything they need in one free platform. BandLab 10.0 adds more music tools and social elements, including direct uploads to TikTok.

BandLab is a massively popular and ever-growing place to make music online, now boasting over 37 million users around the world. Its appeal stems from its unpretentious easy-to-master music production tools, its cloud-based software, and also the social nature of the platform which means users can share their creations instantly and collaborate with other people on BandLab online. And, crucially, the platform is completely free to use.

BandLab 10.0 update
Image Credit: BandLab

The update, BandLab 10.0, gives the platform a fresh look with a dark mode option, bringing with it a brand new Sampler and upgrades to the automated Mastering tool.

The sampler is an add-on to its Mix Editor, letting users create their own samples. Creators can now import up to a minute of their own audio or video to make beats from, or choose from the library of royalty free BandLab Sounds.

The updated Mastering feature meanwhile can now render tracks ten times as fast as its competitors. Developed by GRAMMY Award-winning engineers, the tool gives a professional final touch to songs.

Online Mastering is touted by BandLab as a serious tool, not a gimmick, and the update gives it a powerful upgrade. In keeping with BandLab’s mission to level the playing field for all artists, the tool can be used by all users including those on smartphones and tablets.

BandLab update 10.0 free music software
Image Credit: BandLab

BandLab CEO Meng Ru Kuok said: “This is a major milestone release. We envision BandLab evolving beyond helping creators make music, to helping them earn a living and grow their audience. We are the best cross-platform, accessible place to make music, and we want to keep pushing the boundaries of music creation to the next level.

“The new sampler and other functions, the new look and social features, are designed to take their creativity to another place. It’s part of what we see as a continuing investment in the broader music creation ecosystem.”

Kuok said BandLab’s aim reaches beyond making “cool tools,” ultimately hoping to help music creators overlooked by the professional world of music production to thrive. The social tools are a big element of this, letting users share their creative process with other creators and fans. As part of the update, users can now directly upload their sounds to TikTok so songs can be discovered outside of the app.

As BandLab continues to streamline and add more features, whilst still retaining its accessibility, the platform is only going to see a continued rise in popularity. We’re watching with interest.

How to download Apple Music songs to your Apple Watch for offline listening

Image credit: Alvaro Reyes

Downloading your Apple Music library to your Apple Watch for offline playback is incredibly easy, here’s how!

As with all Apple products, Apple Music is designed to work seamlessly with other Apple products – including the Apple Watch. The user-friendly app allows users access to stream radio stations, podcasts, and download songs for offline listening. The last point we will be showing you how to do today. 

It’s no secret that Apple Watch users can download Apple Music tracks onto the device, but why should you use this feature? Well, phones are getting larger, and having a thousand-pound computer shaking around in your pocket whilst exercising is anxiety-inducing, to say the least. This is where the Apple Watch comes in to use, you can upload your music to the watch, connect your Bluetooth headphones and listen to your favorite music, without needing your phone. 

So, to begin you will need to open the Apple Watch app on the paired iPhone, scroll down and tap music. At the top of this page, there will be an option called ‘Recent Music’. If this is enabled, your phone will automatically add music you’ve listened to recently on Apple Music. 

How to download specific songs & albums to my Apple Watch?

However, if you want specific music you can also do that by tapping ‘Add Music’ (positioned below ‘Recent Music’.) This will bring up your Apple Music library, offering instant access to your playlists, albums, singles, artists, etc. You will also have a search bar to seek out specific artists to download to your Apple Watch. Once you have selected the intended item to download tap the ‘+’ icon at the top right of the screen. This will add it to the download queue, with the download starting once the Apple Watch is charging near the paired iPhone. 

Can I remove downloaded songs from my Apple Watch? 

Thankfully removing music is as easy as adding music to your Apple Watch. On the same ‘Music’ page in the Apple Watch app, swipe left on a downloaded album/track and tap delete. To delete multiple items at once, tap ‘Edit’ at the top-right of the screen and tap ‘-‘ icon next to all the ones you want to be removed. 

Top 10 new music books in 2021 – so far

Need a beach read? Look no further – we’ve gathered the best new books about music released in the first half of 2021.

Looking for a new book about music to read this summer? We’ve found ten must-read music books, newly released in 2021.

There’s collections of practical advice to help you manage your music career, autobiographies of musical icons to inspire you to create, and fact-packed books for music scholars.

Whether you’re headed to the beach to enjoy the sunshine or curled up inside out of the cold, here are ten of the best new music books to lose yourself in wherever you are in the world.


The Musical Human by Michael Spitzer

How has music evolved over the past 165 million years?

Spitzer’s book explores what we have in common musically with birds, insects and animals, from the first notes on paper to modern music on Spotify.

Slightly skewed towards classical music than popular music, this is nevertheless an engaging read for anyone interested in why humans are drawn to music.


Sound Advice by Rhian Jones and Lucy Heyman

An accessible guide to keeping yourself healthy as you set out on a career in music, both mentally and physically.

Offering practical advice about issues like money management, there’s facts about the structure of the industry and advice from the likes of Taylor Swift and Loyle Carner.

Backed by leading figures in the industry, Sound Advice is a fantastic treasure trove of information for all musicians and producers.


Billie Eilish by Billie Eilish

Fans of Billie Eilish need this glimpse inside the singer’s life, exploring her touring experiences and childhood with exclusive photos.

It’s easy to forget how young Eilish is – already one of the biggest musical icons of the 21st century, aged 19.


Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen by David Boucher and Lucy Boucher

Celebrate Bob Dylan’s 80th birthday year by taking a deep dive into his link to Leonard Cohen.

How does the music of both artists link to poetry, and how did they manage to escape early portrayals of themselves as “the angry young protest singer, and the godfather of gloom?”

As you would expect from work of academia, it’s thoughtful and heavily researched – but at the same time accessible, and wry rather than dry.

Not a linear biography, Deaths and Entrances instead explores Dylan and Cohen’s personalities, the context of their influences, and delves into the relationship between poetry and song.


Two Beats Ahead by Panos A. Panay and R. Michael Hendrix

Why is silence so important in EDM? What’s the key to great music collaboration?

With the tagline What Great Musical Minds Teach Us About Creativity and Innovation, Panay and Hendrix’s inspiring book brings together case studies and interviews with the likes of Beyoncé and Hank Shocklee.

Explore how creativity and art can lead to entrepreneurial triumph.


Bessie Smith by Jackie Kay

Much-loved Scottish poet Kay mixes poetry, fiction, prose and biography to tell the astonishing story of blues singer Bessie Smith in this reissued book.

As a girl Kay idolised Smith, a queer Black woman who drank bathtub gin by the pint-load, once fought off a group of the Ku Klux Klan alone, and whose first recording for Columbia Records sold 780,000.

If fiction is more your cup of tea, seek out Kay’s novel Trumpet.


Tarzan Economics by Will Page

An engaging and easy-to-digest read exploring the economics of the modern music industry by Spotify’s ex-Chief Economist.

With case studies from Radiohead to Starbucks, this call to disruption is for anyone interested in the economics of streaming, or wondering how to make a success of their own business.


Beeswing by Richard Thompson

A humorous, delightful memoir from one of the UK’s most brilliant songwriters and guitarists.

The book tells the story of the dramas, relationships and his search for meaning through Sufism, focusing on the early parts of Thompson’s folk-rock career.


Long Players edited by Tom Gatti

Literature meets music again in this anthology of 50 writers discussing their favourite albums.

Writers from Marlon James to Ian Rankin offer a cross-genre selection ranging from Duke Ellington to Lizzo, across genres and decades.

Each chapter offers entertaining and poignant glimpses into the private lives of the authors, as well as an insight into how writers tend to zone in on the lyrics and structure of songs.


Rememberings by Sinéad O’Connor

No regrets or apologies in this riveting memoir.

Sinéad O’Connor’s casual, chatty style carries you along through stories from her turbulent childhood, tales from the music industry at the height of her success, and the disorderly past few decades.

Above all, O’Connor’s provocative and sparkling voice shines clearly throughout.


Feeling inspired? If you’re making great music and want the world to hear it, check out RouteNote’s digital music distribution. We release tracks by independent musicians and producers to Spotify, Apple Music and all the top streaming services. Head here to find out more.

99 Drum Samples I and II are currently free from 99Sounds

Image Credit: 99Sounds

Both premium-quality sample pack libraries are currently on a pay-what-you-want basis with no minimum payment.

Indie sound design label 99Sounds have released their follow-up to 99 Drum Samples and dropped their minimum $9.99 requirement for both collections of drum samples. 99 Drum Samples I and 99 Drum Samples II are multi-genre, royalty-free drum libraries containing 99 and 110 individual samples respectively. In Drum Samples I you’ll find 6 claps, 1 cowbell, 4 crash cymbals, 11 closed hi-hats, 26 kick drum samples, 5 open hi-hats,10 percussions, 2 ride cymbals, 3 shakers, 22 snare drums and 9 toms. Drum Samples II is packed with 11 claps, 13 hi-hats, 37 kicks, 13 percussions and 36 snares.

With over 450,000 downloads, 99 Drum Samples I is the most popular 99Sounds library to date. Five years later, 99Sounds are releasing their sequel, 99 Drum Samples II. 99 Drum Samples II is the must-have unique drum collection for all producers. As with the previous pack, 99 Drum Samples II is suitable for various music styles such as hip-hop, trap, dubstep, electronic, synthwave, lo-fi, pop and much more.

99Sounds says their sample packs are crafted using various analogue and digital synthesizers, acoustic drums, classic drum machines and field recordings, then processed and cleaned using multiple onboard effects and studio gear. 99Sounds “used analog distortion, high-end preamps, cheap tape recorders, field recorders, guitar amps, a spring reverb, an old Tascam PortaStudio 4-track, a vinyl deck, and a vintage tape delay unit.” They even used a Game Boy to resample some of the sounds from the retro console.

“The samples have been carefully edited, trimmed, and normalized to -0.3 dB (except for some of the cymbal hits, which are peaking around -3 dB).” All individual samples are in 24-bit WAV format, ready to be dropped into your next big track. Download both packs for $0 or make a donation to support their future work and cover hosting costs. Simply head here, click Part 1 and Part 2, enter your price and an email address to access the download.


Being royalty-free means you can use the samples in your next commercial music project without fear of getting a copyright strike. Head to RouteNote, to upload your track to all major stores, streaming services and social platforms for free with just a few clicks.

Top 5 bookshelf speakers under $800 (per pair)

Got some spare cash to spend on upgrading your speaker system? What are best pairs of bookshelf speakers money can buy under $800?

We’ve had a look at the best bookshelf speakers between $600 and $800 so you can give your computer, record player, CD player or TV the much needed hi-fi upgrade it’s been after.

If your budget can’t stretch this high, fear not. We’ve rounded up the best pairs under $100, $200, $300, $400 and $600.

1. Klipsch RP-600M – $629
  • 400W peak power handling: Helps ensure rich, dynamic sound.
  • One 1″ titanium LTS (Linear Travel Suspension) vented tweeter and one 6.5″ cerametallic cone woofer: Provide clear-sounding highs and lows.
  • 90° x 90° Tractrix horn technology: Delivers the power, detail and emotion of a live music experience with clean and natural sound.
  • Two-way speaker system: Sounds like one source rather than several separate sources.
  • MDF cabinet with textured wood grain vinyl: Combines stylish aesthetic with absolute durability, which results in a seamless integration into any decor.
  • Robust input terminals: Single five-way input terminals accept banana plugs or bare wire up to 12 gauge for flexible, lasting connections, while the vibrant color coding provides easy setup.
  • Dramatic details: Copper anodized trim rings, cast aluminum feet, satin painted baffles and a laser-etched logo give the Reference Premiere series a modern, premium look.
  • 45Hz – 25kHz frequency response: Provides faithful sound reproduction.
  • 96dB sensitivity: Ensures crisp, robust audio.
  • 8 ohms impedance: Conducts power through the speaker.

2. Definitive Technology D9 – $749
  • High-Performance Bookshelf Speakers: Feature a proprietary 5.25″ BDSS woofer, a 1” Aluminum Dome Tweeter with 20/20 Wave Alignment Lens & Laterally Offset Tweeter Assembly for a smoother high-frequency reproduction, articulate midrange and punchy bass
  • Futuristic Design for an Outstanding Performance: The 5 x 9-inch Oval Passive Bass Radiator drives a deep and clean bass response with crystal clear audio, while the elegant & timeless look blends perfectly with your home décor. These speakers truly deliver a premium listening experience
  • Multiple Speaker Setup Options: Use as standalone speakers in a 2.0 channel system, a 2.1 channel system with a sub, or setup a sophisticated and complex home theater system with your choice of amplifier, receiver or Definitive Speakers
  • A Class Apart: One of the most trusted names in audio speakers and premium home entertainment, Definitive brings to you the best audio quality crafted with 25 years of constant innovation, relentless engineering, latest audio technology and iconic intelligent designs
  • Optional Demand ST1 Speaker Stands: Elevate your sound with the Demand ST1 speaker stands (sold separately) to raise the height of these speakers by 32″ and to keep them in place on a carpet or a solid floor surface. The stands also come with threaded inserts

3. KEF Q350 – $699.98
  • 6-1/2″ aluminum woofer: Along with 1″ aluminum tweeter for a complete range of sounds.
  • 2-way speaker system: Sounds like 1 source rather than several separate sources.
  • Bass reflex enclosure: With a rear-firing port promotes optimal performance.
  • Removable black grille: Remains acoustically transparent while protecting the speaker’s components. (Sold separately).
  • 63Hz – 28kHz frequency response: Ensures a wide range of accurately reproduced sound.
  • 87dB sensitivity: Ensures crisp, robust audio.
  • 8 ohms nominal impedance: Ensures efficient conduction of power through the speaker.

4. Edifier S3000 Pro – $799.99
  • Refined, elegant design: The matte black finish with dark wood paneling creates a look that combines high-tech modern sensibilities with rustic, old-world design.
  • Wireless left and right speakers: Enjoy true freedom when placing your speakers, and open up a variety of new options for creating your ideal home audio setup.
  • High-resolution audio: Certified Hi-Res, these speakers offer a better response at a wider range of frequencies and will help you discover new sensations when you play your favorite songs or movies.
  • 38Hz – 40kHz frequency response: Ensures accurate sound reproduction.
  • 6.5″ aluminum-alloy diaphragm bass unit: Enjoy better lows and mids, as the rigid, lightweight 6.5″ driver delivers a clearer, more precise sound.
  • Planar diaphragm tweeters: Planar ribbon tweeters provide an excellent transient sound response for more detailed, delicate sounding highs.
  • Bluetooth V5.0 with Qualcomm aptX HD decoding: Designed to deliver 24-bit wireless HD audio wirelessly over Bluetooth so you can enjoy music with hardly any interference.
  • KleerNet wireless technology: Enjoy lower latency, lower bandwidth use, resistance to interference, and ultralow battery consumption compared to traditional digital speakers.
  • More ways to connect with music you love: Connect your speakers to a wide range of different audio devices through Coaxial, optical, RCA, USB, and balanced inputs.
  • Wireless remote control: Take control of your audio from anywhere in the room using a convenient wireless IR remote.

5. Polk Reserve R200 – $699
  • Solid, Versatile Bookshelf Loudspeaker: Featuring the new 1″ Pinnacle Ring Radiator Tweeter & a 6.5″ Turbine Cone Woofer, the technologically advanced Polk Reserve R100 Small Bookshelf Speaker ensures ultra-clear, crisp highs, smooth, detailed midrange & rich, effortless bass
  • Unmatchable Audio Performance: With Hi-Res Audio Certification, Dolby Atmos and IMAX Enhanced, the R200 offers an unparalleled audio experience by delivering clear and dynamic high-frequency response with exceptional audio clarity. It supports hi-res audio formats like DSD, FLAC, WAV, ALAC and MQA
  • Impactful Bass for All Your Entertainment: Features Polk’s Patented X-Port Technology with Eigentone Filter (ETF) inside a bass reflex cabinet with a rear-firing port that eliminates unwanted noise, offering tight, distortion-free bass for your music, movies, and video games
  • Pairs Perfectly with Any Home Theater System: This compact bookshelf speaker can be used as the front stage or as side and/or rear surrounds for any multi-channel home theater setup. The premium, large 5-way binding posts ensure easy & efficient setup with loss-less connection
  • Acoustically Designed Cabinet: Build to minimize diffraction and create an open sound stage, the Reserve Series cabinets are carefully cross-braced, while the acoustically inert anti-diffraction magnetic grilles offer a clean, modern aesthetic without sacrificing sound quality
  • Multiple Placement Options: Place this loudspeaker on a stand (sold separately), shelf, tabletop, or any flat surface, or mount it on the wall – it delivers the same extraordinary performance either way. The integrated rubber feet allows stable placement and protects the mounting surface
  • Create a 5.0 Channel Home Theater Setup: Add another R200 speaker and pair with two R500 towers and a R300 center channel, or pair with three R350 LCR Speakers as L/R surrounds and center channel to build a surround sound system. Add R900 height module for more depth. (All Sold Separately)