Scrolling through the Instagram feeds of the interiors world you’d be forgiven for thinking that the only tech to ever make an appearance in the most stylish modern homes is the occasional Apple MacBook and retro-looking radio or rotary dial telephone.
Take a closer look, though, and there are plenty of gadgets to be spotted even in the most aspirational of rooms – the just tends to be rather well disguised. The tech favoured by interiors-focused Instagrammers tends to be unobtrusively attractive designs that blend in with the rest of the room.
But are the most stylish-looking speakers also the best, sound-wise? The short answer is yes: some of the speakers from our top multi-room speakers picks as well as our list of the best smart speakers, by brands like Sonos, Naim, Google, and UE, are particularly popular with interiors Instagrammers.
We scoured Instagram for the best-looking speakers around – here are the brands that are getting the most love, as well as a healthy dose of inspiration for how to style them in your own home.
The Sonos One smart speaker is definitely #shelfie-worthy; with its clean, simple lines, its unassuming versatility is one of the things that makes it so aesthetically appealing. Choose the white model to blend in with a minimalistic, white-soaked interior like Instagrammer Alicia Drown, or the black version if you want it to stand out and tie in with a few other accessories artfully arranged on your gallery wall and box-shelving, as Amber Lewis has done.
Sonos Play 5
The rest of the Sonos Play line-up, which works with Alexa via an Echo, is just as sleek and well-designed as the Sonos One, with simple shapes and pleasingly rounded edges. Style these like photographer Chad Mellon has done with other clean lines and monochrome accents.
The original Google Home is another smart speaker that’s a favourite with the minimalist crowd; its sleek white and silver design funnily enough plays well with the Apple MacBook aesthetic, helping to create a stylish office space. The vase-like shape has a slightly more feminine feel than some of the other speakers we found; as interiors stylist Amy Kim proves, it blends in well with a collection of modern ceramics and desk accessories – so well, in fact, that you could almost miss it at first glance.
Google Home Mini
It’s not hard to see why the Google Home Mini portable smart speaker is a favourite with fashion and style bloggers, given that it’s handbag-sized, comes in three different colours (including the ultra feminine coral), and looks kind of like a cute macaron. Even though this model isn’t the best for playing music, it has a bunch of great features syncing with Google that make it a great little desk assistant – quite apart from looking pretty.
UE Boom 2 & Wonderboom
UE have really cornered the market on stylish, portable, waterproof, and aesthetically pleasing Bluetooth speakers, creating several models that are perfect for bath and pool time, BBQs, and picnics. While the Boom 2 makes a funky addition to a spontaneous outdoor party, the rounded edges of the Wonderboom make it look more like a fashion accessory than a piece of tech, if carrying speakers around with you is your thing.
Its price tag puts this speaker firmly in the aspirational bracket, but its distinctly retro design makes it a true statement piece in any room. Visually, the Mu-so provides a stylish nod to the 70s interior design trend that’s very on trend right now and it was named an “Object of Desire” by House & Garden magazine – a seal of style approval.
The Katch portable Bluetooth speaker by Danish brand Dali is also visually striking enough to collect hearts on Instagram, matching midcentury furniture rather nicely. With its attractive grill-design front that comes in three different colour-options (the neutral “cloud grey” or the bolder green and grey-blue variations), this is potentially the coolest small speaker of the bunch.
Dali Zensor 3s
These speakers aren’t trying to hide, and make the same kind of retro design statement as a Smeg fridge. High on the cool-factor, this is the speaker of choice for the hipster music lover; style them like musician and photographer Sangsouvanh Khounvichit has done in his loft space with plenty of exposed brick, oversized house plants, and a vinyl collection.