Best Bluetooth Speakers for Office Stereo System
For the last few years, I’ve been on a quest to find the very best wireless Bluetooth speaker for the offices that I’ve worked in.
Having done extensive travel and worked out of a lot of co-working spaces as well as remote offices, and now the office that I’m more permanently based in, it’s always been really important to me that one of the most beneficial things you can have in an open office workspace is a good speaker set up.
As an audio file, it’s clear to me that the office managers who are responsible for the hardware and IT elements of an office workspace aren’t always very concerned about the quality of music that’s produced.
A recent comment from a teacher at a school said he had placed a very high-quality speaker system in his classroom. And since doing so, the overall productivity, happiness, and work output of his class improved when he was able to play music at appropriate times during the learning workday.
I’m convinced there is clear science behind this.
And while I haven’t performed any extensive surveys or scientific analysis, I do believe that the quality of music you play in a space is almost as important as the music you play.
This is not only from feedback that I have heard and read across various forms of media but also from personal experience and observation as I’ve traveled between offices.
I believe that if the sound that is being produced is thin, lacks full dynamic range, and doesn’t generally represent the music well, then the benefit of music is lost in that workspace.
There have been many studies done on the health benefits of music. And I do believe that while an open office environment can be challenging and some people don’t like working to music, on the whole, there is a benefit to it.
To try and create a picture for you to better understand what I’m saying, next time you go on a road trip, and this will depend on the car you drive, in part, and the quality of the stereo, try playing music at a decent volume.
The problem with road trips at speed is that a lot of the noise around the car and ambient wind noise removes a lot of the benefit of the music itself. I have a very quiet car with a 7-speaker Infinity high-end sound system. But even at high speeds, I find that a lot of the beauty and nuance of the music is lost.
One way to combat this is to turn it up quite loud, but this is neither pleasant for passengers nor good for my environmental awareness.
So, when you’re driving on these road trips, it really is a little bit lackluster, unless you, again, have the volume turned up.
Another example is when you perhaps dine in a restaurant or cafe and there is music playing, but it lacks that full dynamic range, especially the bottom end to make you feel it.
This results in really just a lot of mids and trebles clanging around in the background, which through what is already probably a noisy environment.
A more extreme example I can give is to imagine putting your iPhone in your lounge and turning up the music on your iPhone and trying to listen to it, and then comparing that to a full home theater system or a very nice set of stereo speakers Bluetooth or floor standing, which produce a full dynamic range.
You’ll generally find that the home theater or Hi-Fi system can be operated at lower volumes with richer, fuller sound as opposed to your iPhone, which you tend to have to turn up louder resulting in just a whole lot of mids and trebles and no bottom end.
This is the effect of poor, or good audio for your office and the need for a decent office sound system.
It’s super important that people understand that it does affect them, whether they are fully aware of it or not.
So, as I’ve said, over the years, I’ve been through the full gamut of available Bluetooth speakers that I could get my hands on. These may be powered, but are all Bluetooth, including the UE Boom range, Sonos, Bose, Alexa, and a few other brands.
In all of my testing, I’ve definitely landed on what I believe is the best office Bluetooth speaker for an office stereo system, without a doubt.
And while I appreciate that, audio is a subjective experience some people like a sound signature more than others, an example, being I’m not a huge fan of the Sony sound signature, especially in the WH-1000XM4 and WH-1000XM5 headphones, as opposed to the Bose QC35 and QC45 headphones. I do think that these speakers are the very best.
So, here is the list, and I will start with what I think is the cream of the crop.
My first pick is Sonos
1: Sonos Move Speaker
A powerful compact speaker that can be placed anywhere around the office, or any room. There are wall mounting brackets to put it higher up. The Sonos One is a great speaker if you can live with Airplay 2 as it doesn’t use Bluetooth, sadly.
It’s popular for a reason, but there has never been an office I’ve walked into that had them that didn’t feel alive, full, rich, and high-end.
The bonus of it being battery-powered is even cooler.
It feels pretty awesome to just pick this thing up and walk out with it in your hand and the awesome sound goes with you.
The sound stage, even coming out of a single speaker without pairing to multiple units is really rich and full.
What I like most about the Sonos Move is that the bottom end isn’t over-inflated and doesn’t fill the room with a lot of wooly bottom end but it does fill the room.
It’s tight, it’s crisp, and the mids are fresh.
The highs manage to make it out over all of the other clutter in the office, and they just have the very best music output for any open work environment, or even if you have a closed office.
The best thing about the Sonos app and set up is that anyone in the office who has Spotify or the Sonos app can choose to stream their music to the Sonos Move.
It also has Alexa built-in so if you connect it to an amazon account then anyone in the office can just say ‘Alexa, play the best rock song in the world’ and delight the office.
Not to mention the ability to ask for the weather, get a joke or add something to the office shopping list…
My second brand pick is Bose
2: Bose Home 500 Speaker
A speaker has a strong and durable construction and look with dual connectivity options with Bluetooth and WiFi
Either the SoundLink II Mini, the SoundLink II, or the Bose Home 500 are all great choices for an office.
But I do find that the bottom end on them is a little bit too full and a little bit too round for an office environment in comparison to the Sonos.
If you like the Bose signature, then it would be an easy pick. And they certainly do produce a really nice Bluetooth speaker.
My third pick would be the UE Boom range
3: Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3
Portable wireless Bluetooth speaker, with convenient one-touch play, pause and skip tracks directly on the speaker.
And whatever UE Boom you choose, they’re all pretty impressive.
I find for an office environment, though, the sound stage gets a little bit confused and you get peaks of different frequencies coming out through the office.
The bass is nice and tight, but the mids seem to get that compressed feel, which lacks that openness that you can get from what I believe the Sonos producers.
Again, that’s not to say that the UE Boom is not an excellent speaker because it is. And these really are the pick of the crop in this list that I think are competing against each other and there isn’t a lot in it.
Although I would still pick the Sonos every time… 🙂
From here, the list starts to water down a little bit.
At the moment, our office has an Echo Dot Mini, which is absolutely capable of playing music in the office, and lets everyone in the office just shout out what they wanna listen to on Amazon Music or Spotify.
But the sound stage, dynamic range, and general music impact on the office are pretty awful.
There’s something so nice about feeling the music in the office, a little bit of bottom end, mids, and trebles.
With that bottom end, you can almost tangibly feel it through the office. And it makes you feel like everything’s gonna be awesome.
It elevates the mood in the office. Everybody wants to party harder on a Friday.
Certainly, makes Friday wins worth celebrating.
I’m sure I’ve missed what a lot of people would pick as their favorite Bluetooth speaker for their office stereo system, and I’m always open to hearing what you guys think in the comments below.
And when I say office, heck the restaurant near to our office uses a bunch of Sonos One also and they sound awesome. You don’t need more than 1 or 2 to fill a room.
I’m always happy to update the list as I experience new speakers, and am happy to buy those and try those to see what they’re like.
But as I’ve said, I think I’ve landed on my pick, which is the Sonos. Stay safe. Have a great day.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.
This post was last updated on 2022-11-27 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.