FAQ: How Do You Find The Best Deal On Speakers? (And Other Audio Gear)

Last updated on: 9-21-18
Answer: price fluctuations are always random to a degree, but generally you’ll get the best value with an older generation speaker because, while speakers don’t depreciate like most other electronics do, they’ll still often get discounted from the MSRP. Also try to use a retailer that offers free shipping, the cost of which can otherwise be significant with large speakers.

When it comes to loudspeakers, there are a lot of choices. How do you figure out which one is the best for you? Picking the proverbial diamond in the ruff can certainly feel overwhelming, especially if you’re admittedly not an experienced audiophile.

We have a simple but effective strategy to help narrow things down enough so that making a final decision that you feel good about is totally doable. That’s what we’ll be covering in this article.

After reviewing hundreds of the best and most popular pieces of audio equipment, we’ve found that one thing has always remained true: the best choice will be, almost always, simply what’s selling for the best price at the time.

When we look for the best products by type and price tier, what usually happens is there are anywhere from 5-10 choices that emphatically stand above the rest, and while each of those might have strengths and weaknesses, overall they’ll often be essentially equal. What’s more, though, is that audio market prices fluctuate, and quite significantly. Especially so with older products getting discounted. But the thing about speakers is that the technology hasn’t honestly changed all that much in the last few decades, so they don’t depreciate like most consumer goods do. A 10 year old computer or cell phone will almost always be worthless, but a 10 year old speaker can still be just as good its newer competitors, and it will often be a lot cheaper simply because it isn’t the shiny new kid on the block, so to speak.

Here’s how to find these discounts: use the Amazon best sellers list – it’s less prominent feature that many don’t even know about, but it’s very useful because it’s updated hourly, and what happens is that speakers that are getting discounted will almost always lurch to the top while the gettin’s good. You can filter it by product type (here’s the bookshelf speakers list to get you started).

From there, keep your eyes peeled for products that are discounted from the MSRP, which Amazon will actually show on the product page. What you’re looking for is something like this:

Beyond that, Amazon offers free shipping on many audio products, which can otherwise be significantly expensive.

To summarize, if you find something that:

  • has a positive review on our site (or any other reputable site)
  • is produced by a reputable manufacturer
  • is at least a few years old
  • is currently topping the best sellers list for its respective category
  • is currently ~25 or more percent discounted
  • has free shipping

Then chances are that’s going to be your best pick. Even if you merely narrow it down to at least five or so choices this way, there will probably be one among them that focuses on the features you’re prioritizing and be the pretty clear winner for you.

One quick word of caution: be sure that the warranty still applies, which it might not if the product is coming from a third party seller. You can still buy that way if the deal is too good to pass up, but then you’re taking a risk, so, caveat emptor.