Although TVs stole the show at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, there was still plenty for music lovers to sink their teeth into at the consumer tech show this year.
From glass speakers that look like lamps, to bookshelf speakers that combine old skool vinyl with modern Bluetooth wizardry, manufacturers were showing off high-spec speakers to suit all tastes.
So, whether you’re a hardcore audiophile or a casual listener, read on for our pick of the best speakers from CES 2019, and you’re bound to find something that ticks all your boxes:
Sony LSPX-S2 Glass Sound speaker
Perhaps the most unusual and stylish speaker to come out of CES 2019 was the Sony Glass Sound – the second generation of Sony’s speaker that doubles as an ambient light, designed to look like a flickering candle.
The main body of the speaker is made up of a glass tube, which houses the inbuilt lighting feature. Thanks to its cylindrical shape, the Glass Sound can distribute 360 degree sound for a room-filling listening experience, and it can be connected to up to 10 compatible Sony speakers over WiFi.
With 35mm drivers and an internal radiator, the Glass Sound should provide a well balanced sound. Sony says the speaker will be available from May for £550 ( (around $700 / AU$975).
House of Marley Get Together Mini with Google Assistant
House of Marley (which specializes in high-end audio kit made from sustainable materials, and was founded by the son of Bob Marley), announced its first smart speaker at CES 2019.
The Get Together Mini with Google Assistant is the latest addition to House of Marley’s line of Bluetooth speakers, and is crafted from bamboo, aluminum (easily recycled), and the company’s signature Rewind fabric (a combination of organic cotton, hemp and recycled plastics).
The speaker is equipped with Chromecast for multi-room playback, and even serves as a USB power bank for charging your phone. It’ll go on sale in August 2019, priced at $199.99 (about £150 / AU$280).
Klipsch The Three with Google Assistant
Klipsch is has expanded its lineup of Heritage Wireless speakers, having recently announced the integration of Google Assistant into The Three speaker.
The Three with Google Assistant now has a number of new styles to choose from, including smaller, more portable options. Pricing and availability information are vague, but we should see the new speaker styles launch later this year.
JBL Partybox 300
JBL released three new speakers in its PartyBox range at CES this year, including the PartyBox 300, which doubles up as a guitar or microphone amp.
With Bluetooth streaming and up to 18 hours of battery life, the PartyBox 300 could be a great portable solution for your next gathering.
It also comes with three built in light shows for every occasion, called Meter, Pulse, and Party, and you can even preprogram a party or event by plugging in a USB thumb drive.
You can connect two PartyBox speakers using Bluetooth, or a wired RCA connection if you prefer.
The JBL PartyBox 300 are available for purchase now for $449.95 / £399.99. This works out at around AU$710, but there’s so far no word on when it will be available in Australia.
Harman Kardon Citation range
We first saw Harman Kardon’s new smart multi-room speakers at IFA 2018 in Berlin, but the Citation range was also being shown off at this year’s CES show.
Coming in a multitude of shapes, sizes and colors, the Google Assistant powered speakers, the range starts with the $199 / £179.99 Citation One – pitched perfectly as an alternative to Sonos One, boasting Google Assistant and Chromecast support and able to handle 24bit/96kHz sources.
Home cinema options include the $1,000 / £899.99 Harman Kardon Bar – a three channel soundbar system that boasts 4K HDR support from its three HDMI inputs. It can also act as a single centre channel when paired with the Harman Kardon Citation Tower speakers, which come as a pair for $2,500 / £2199.99, each with a dedicated subwoofer and one with a touchscreen panel.
Prices and availability are still to be confirmed for other territories.
Kanto Audio debuted its new high-spec wireless TUK speaker at this year’s CES. Featuring Kanto’s newly-designed Air Motion Transformer tweeter for resolution and clarity, the TUK has an aluminum concave-cone woofer and a powerful 65W amplifier.
It supports high resolution Bluetooth streaming with Qualcomm AptX HD, and it can connect to your turntable thanks to a phono preamp connection.
Available in matte black and matte white, the Kanto TUK will begin shipping in early 2019 for US$799, with UK and Australian pricing still to be confirmed.
- Check out all of TechRadar’s CES 2019 coverage. We’re live in Las Vegas to bring you all the breaking tech news and launches, plus hands-on reviews of everything from 8K TVs and foldable displays to new phones, laptops and smart home gadgets.