The 5 Best Stereos for Small Spaces in 2019

Shop for the best-sounding and space-saving stereo systems

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System

Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System
Courtesy of Amazon.com
3.8

If you don’t have much room to work with in your apartment or house, but still want a well-rounded sound system, the Yamaha MCR-B020BL is the perfect stereo for you. The Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro-Component System has all the features and booming sound you’d want in a stereo, but it only measures 11 x 11.9 x 5.6 inches and weighs 6.9 pounds.

This unit offers incredible flexibility for however you want to enjoy your music, with a CD player, AM/FM radio, Bluetooth connectivity and an AUX input. And there’s even more flexibility, as the two speakers on the side of the console detach so you can position them elsewhere or create a surround-sound effect. Despite its compact size, it can still fill the room with sound and offers up deep bass, clear mids and splashy highs.

Best for Convenience & Sound Quality: Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV

Bose Wave SoundTouch Music System IV
Courtesy of Amazon.com

The Wave SoundTouch Music System IV pairs with your home Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth enabled devices allowing you to stream just about anything. You can send music from your smartphone or tablet through music applications like Pandora, your music library or YouTube. If you’re old school and not familiar with Bluetooth, the system includes both a CD player and AM/FM radio. This is the system that plays it all.

Included with this stereo are six station presets that you can access via on the unit itself or through its included remote control. Virtually any application that allows for Bluetooth connectivity can be streamed to the stereo as well. Bose has its own independent application you can download to your smartphone or tablet so you can organize and control all your music. This makes it easier for you to access your favorite stations, playlists or albums on standby. Like a traditional clock radio, the stereo comes with two alarms.

Since it’s a Bose, you can extend your audio channel outputs by pairing it wirelessly with one of the many other Bose Bluetooth speakers available. Included is an AC power cord, USB cable remote control, owner’s guide and demonstration CD. It comes with a one-year warranty.

Best Design: Bose SoundLink Revolve+

Somehow, Bose has become a go-to name not only for sound quality but for aesthetically pleasing design, as well. One of the most recent additions to the SoundLink line, the Revolve+ features a cylindrical, kettle-like design — available in Triple Black and Lux Gray — which looks sleek and at-home in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Plus, a flexible fabric handle on the top means that taking the three-pound speaker on the go is no issue.

Bose promises deep, striking sound, and because the speaker works a circular silhouette, it fires in all directions, giving you 360 degrees of coverage. The seamless aluminum body offers IPX4 water resistance, and the rechargeable battery offers up to 16 hours of straight play time. It works with a wireless range up to 30 feet, connects via Bluetooth, and even employs a built-in mic that allows it to sync up to Google Play and Siri. You can also control it using the Bose Connect app, and if you pair it with a second one, you can create stereo surround sound for larger settings.

Best Wireless: Sonos Play 5

Many tech companies have their own smart speakers. Apple, Amazon, and Google all have entries in the voice-controlled space, and they do, themselves, technically constitute a speaker system. But, if you want superb sound quality and voice-control support, Sonos is the brand to turn to. The Play 5 is their flagship stereo speaker, and it does a lot really well. At its core, it’s part of the Sonos Connect protocol, which means that if you have multiple Sonos speakers, you can control them all and play different music between them using the Sonos Connect app. If you have an Alexa, you can control the Sonos Play 5 seamlessly with your voice, too.

There are six dedicated speakers and six independent class D amps that run the system, so there’s plenty of depth, body, and volume. Three of those speakers are bass-optimized woofers, allowing for a truly impressive bass response given the unit's small size. And, because it’s an app-controlled system, you can access more than 30 streaming services, including Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, and more. Beyond this, there’s also an aux line in for more added control, and you can mount it on the wall should you choose.

Best Budget: Innovative Technology Retro Stereo

The bedroom stereos of the early 2000s have gone a bit by the wayside, mostly due to the popularization of connected wireless and smart speakers. As such, many of the best options at the entry level price point on Amazon are decidedly cheap, and usually specifically designed to look like something they’re not. This Innovative Technology system doesn’t provide the best sound quality you can get, but it does offer a surprising number of features, even considering its slightly gimmicky design.

First, the look hearkens back to 80s-era units, supported by the fact that there’s a built-in CD player ready to play any collections you've been holding onto for sentimentality's sake. Each of the included speakers is 50W, which should provide a good amount of oomph, and you can choose whether or not to use them with speaker grills. There are even backlit VU meters to show you your sound level and further solidify the retro vibe. There’s Bluetooth connectivity, a 3.5mm aux input, an FM radio tuner with 20 presets available, and you can even opt for a turntable added to the unit for true all-in-one functionality. This all comes at a price that’s under $70, which is pretty impressive when you consider the costs commanded by older Sony and Aiwa units.

Tested by

How We Tested

Our reviewers spent three hours testing one of the top-rated small stereos available. To get the most thorough results, our testers set it up at home, played all their favorite music, and experimented with its various features. We asked our reviewers to consider the most important factors when using this stereo — from its sound quality to its footprint — and we've outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.

What to Look for in a Stereo for a Small Space

Connectivity - When shopping for a stereo, think about how you’ll be listening to music. Do you love showing off your CD collection or are all your tunes on your smartphone? If they are, what kind of connectivity options do you have on your phone? Take a look at your music library and purchase a stereo that will play all the music you want it to — in all the formats you have.

Footprint - Because space is a major consideration for this purchase, pay attention to how much room the stereo takes up. While all the systems on our list are small, those without built-in CD players or AM/FM radios are by far the smallest. Translation: if you don’t need those features, you can likely buy a more compact stereo.

Sound quality - Sometimes, small speakers have incredibly poor sound quality. While that’s not a problem with any of the speakers we’ve selected, audiophiles may be more choosy. If getting the best sound quality is a top priority, you may want to opt for a model with a built-in subwoofer.

Test Results: Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System (Best Overall)

3.8

What We Like

  • Great sound quality

  • Easy connectivity

  • Plastic cover to protect cable port

What We Don't Like

  • Cumbersome wires

  • Bulky design

Yamaha MCR-B020BL Micro Component System
Yamaha MCR-B020BL
Yamaha Micro Component System
Yamaha MCR-B020BL System

This stereo impressed our testers with its “excellent” sound quality and easy connectivity. In terms of design, our reviewers liked that there was a plastic cover on the device’s cable port, but still thought its overall build was bulky and that there were too many wires. “For those who still use CDs and local radio, I would recommend this stereo,” concluded one tester.