As a someone who makes a living making records, a lot of people ask for recommendations for speakers and headphones. Not everyone had the pleasure of listening to $30,000 speakers in a studio setting, but it shouldn't deter them from investigating more affordable options. Music has always been a social focal point for gathering all walks of life together to enjoy sound. These three speakers options vary from $80 - $350, modest price points for a great quality sound.
Ultimate Ears: Mini Boom
The first speaker is the Ultimate Ears: Mini Boom. I have this speaker as a third reference monitor in my studio (between the Barefoot MM27s and Auratones) I was surprised on how much low end it could reproduce. Most speakers have a bass port to enhance the lower end of the frequencies. This one is compact, affordable and portable. It can be a speaker for beach trips, your outdoor patio or room. The bluetooth connection can be iffy sometimes at best, but other than that. It's a great little speaker.
Bose Soundlink Mini
Bose has a reputation that spans decades, and for good reason. Their products especially in the home entertainment field is well regarded. The Bose Soundlink Mini is a step up from the Mini Boom in terms of sound quality and design. The midrange is more focused, and you can hear clarity in certain instruments that are placed back of the mix. Even some famous engineers have used Bose Soundlinks as another reference. It's a top notch design with a stronger Bluetooth connectivity than the Mini Boom. If I didn't have the Mini Boom, this would be the second choice.
Sonos: Play 3
If you are using Spotify to stream your music, this is the speaker to buy! This one doesn't disappoint. The Sonos Play 3, in my opinion is the best of the three options to buy. The bass response is clear, the midrange isn't muffled, vocals are in the forefront. You'll need to purchase a Sonos Bridge which is a $50 additional purchase. The bridge sets up multiple Sonos speakers to be played. I wasn't aware of that until I tried to purchase the Play 3. That's the only issue with the Sonos products. You have to buy into the ecosystem, it isn't just a singular purchase. It's a great speaker for parties and other social events. It's loud, clear, and doesn't have a distortion quality when the volume is pushed. With the all other speakers, this Sonos Play 3 is a good investment towards high quality playback.
The amount of detail going into creating a record shouldn't be overlooked. These speakers will help the listener enjoy the subtle or not so subtle details that's hidden in the music. MP3s and cheaper speakers rob you of a better listening experience. It's like going to see Superman Vs. Batman on a bad rip on a 22 inch television. You won't get the impact as the artists, producers, and engineers intended you to have. These recommendations will get you back in the game!