Bluetooth speakers are a must-have for all music lovers due to their fantastic audio quality, portability, and durability. They’re the perfect go-to solution for music fans who want to take their tunes with them wherever they go – even if that’s just to the garage, garden, or down to the beach.
There is a huge range of portable speakers to choose from. This is great news since more products means you’ll be able to choose the one that fulfills all your needs. However, it can also be quite challenging to choose just one speaker among so many of them.
That is why we prepared this Bluetooth speaker guide! We examine the benefits of owning a Bluetooth speaker, features to look out for, and, of course, the best Bluetooth speakers currently available on the market. Keep scrolling to find the perfect one for you!
Table of Contents
- Best Selling Bluetooth Speakers on the Market in 2021
- Our Top 5 Bluetooth Speakers Reviewed
- Best Bluetooth Speakers Reviewed
- 1. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- 2. Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Microphone
- 3. Tronsmart Force 40W Portable Speaker With 3D Stereo
- 4. Sony SRS-XB12 Compact and Portable Waterproof Wireless Speaker with Extra Bass
- 5. JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Benefits of Bluetooth Speakers
- How to Choose the Best Bluetooth Speakers for Your Needs?
Best Selling Bluetooth Speakers on the Market in 2021
|1||Bluetooth Speakers, Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker with Loud...||20,556 Reviews||£29.99||Buy on Amazon|
|2||Anker Soundcore mini, Super-Portable Bluetooth Speaker with...||65,924 Reviews||£18.99||Buy on Amazon|
|3||Sony Compact & Portable Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth® speaker...||17,548 Reviews||£36.97||Buy on Amazon|
|4||[Upgraded] Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker with 12W...||62,244 Reviews||£39.99||Buy on Amazon|
|5||JBL Flip Essential Portable Bluetooth Speaker with Rechargeable...||9,875 Reviews||£59.99||Buy on Amazon|
|6||JBL Charge 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker and Power Bank with...||21,685 Reviews||£99.99||Buy on Amazon|
Our Top 5 Bluetooth Speakers Reviewed
- Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Microphone
- Tronsmart Force 40W Portable Speaker With 3D Stereo
- Sony SRS-XB12 Compact and Portable Waterproof Wireless Speaker with Extra Bass
- JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Best Bluetooth Speakers Reviewed
1. Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
- MEGABOOM features powerfully loud, clear, and immersive 360° sound...
- MAGIC BUTTON: play, pause, skip tracks on the speaker. Push for...
- Charge MEGABOOM 3 wirelessly with POWER UP charging dock–sold...
Looking for a speaker you can take anywhere with you and never worry that you might break it? MEGABOOM 3 is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can get. It features powerfully loud, clear, and immersive 360° sound with deep thundering bass you can both hear and feel. You won’t find a better party starter than this speaker! If any of your friends owns another Ultimate Ears Bluetooth speaker, you can pair them for an even better musical experience.
When it comes to the durability, MEGABOOM 3 is one of the most rugged speakers you can get. Unlike many other speakers that are marked as waterproof, but are only water-resistant, MEGABOOM 3 is designed to get seriously wet and keep on booming. Featuring an insane IP67 water and dustproof rating, it can be totally submerged in water for up to 30-minutes. Also, the speaker floats, so you can take in the pool with you.
The manufacturer describes MEGABOOM 3 as “virtually indestructible.” The speaker underwent more than 25 rigorous durability tests including thousands of button pushes, tumbles, and drop tests before it was launched. This way, you’ll get to enjoy your music without worrying that something will happen to your speaker.
Last but not least, this Bluetooth speaker can last you for 20 hours after a single charge. You can also get a wireless charging dock that is sold separately, to keep your speaker’s battery always full.
What we like:
- A high-quality Bluetooth speaker that is virtually indestructible;
- MEGABOOM 3 can be paired with other Ultimate Ear speakers;
- The speaker is not only waterproof, but it can also float on water and be submerged for up to 30 minutes;
- The battery life is 20 hours on a single, full charge;
What we don’t like:
- The accompanying app for the speaker is not well optimized.
2. Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker with Microphone
- POWERFUL SOUND: Enjoy Bang & Olufsen Signature Sound when you’re on...
- WATERPROOF SPEAKER: Share your soundtrack on the go, with a durable...
- LISTEN LONGER: Improved battery power so you can enjoy music and...
Bang & Olufsend Beosund A1 is one of the most high-tech Bluetooth speakers that delivers stunning audio quality. The company is known for making high-quality products that are far from ordinary and that are not pitched at the majority of the population. For that reason, this Bluetooth speaker is pricier than others you’ll come across.
The Beosound A1’s design resembles an oversized hockey puck. The speaker features a waterproof leather base and drilled holes in an aluminum top surface that make up for an elegantly designed speaker that feels substantial in your hand.
What makes this model one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can get? Well, The Beosound A1 is the world’s first Bluetooth-only voice assistant speaker. You can take it on your travels and access Alexa as it relies on your smartphone’s data connection. The speaker also has extraordinary battery life. At a typical listening volume of 70dB, the battery can last up to 18 hours. However, if you listen music at more moderate levels (55 dB), this speaker can last for up to 48 hours.
Last but not least, with IP67 this product is fully dust resistant and waterproof.
What we like:
- A high-quality speaker with a stunning design;
- The product is fully dust resistant and waterproof;
- The speaker is compatible with Alexa;
- Battery life is extraordinary – from 18 to 48 hours, based on listening volume.
What we don’t like:
- The speaker is very pricey.
3. Tronsmart Force 40W Portable Speaker With 3D Stereo
- 【40W Powerful Output】 40W dual-driver system is capable to reach...
- 【Equalizer Sound Effect】 Tronsmart FORCE 3 equalizer audio modes...
- 【IPX7 Waterproof】 Wanna bring your portable speaker outside? Enjoy...
Tronsmart Force 40W is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can get at an affordable price. At around £50 you’ll be getting a rugged and waterproof portable Bluetooth speaker with the latest USB-C charging and Bluetooth 5.0. Besides the Bluetooth connectivity, this speaker lets you play music off a microSD card. Also, if you have a device with NFC support, you can quickly pair it to the speaker using its NFC sensor.
The speaker has three EQ modes – default Extra Bass with no LED lit, 3D Sound with blue LED lit and Standard mode with white LED lit. You can easily cycle between the modes and the speaker remembers your chosen mode even after it’s turned off. When you turn Extra Bass on, the speaker has a surprising amount of bass considering its small size and it’s also much louder.
Tronsmart Force 40W features two built-in batteries that take about three hours to fully charge. After that, they can provide about 15 hours of music time at medium volume. The speaker also has a feature called True Wireless Stereo (TWS) that allows you to link two speakers to form a stereo pair.
What we like:
- A quality, rugged Bluetooth speaker that comes at an affordable price;
- It takes the speaker 3 hours to fully charge; the run time is about 15 hours;
- In addition to Bluetooth, the speaker has NFC support and can play music off a microSD card;
- There are three EQ modes; the Extra Bass mode packs a surprising amount of bass.
What we don’t like:
- 3D Stereo and Standard EQ presets sound thin and weak with no stereo spread.
4. Sony SRS-XB12 Compact and Portable Waterproof Wireless Speaker with Extra Bass
- EXTRA BASS technology for powerful sound
- Bluetooth compatible
- Waterproof, dustproof, sandproof and mudproof (IP67 rated)
When searching for the best Bluetooth speakers, you will come across many small models that deliver high-quality sound in a waterproof design. However, the Sony SRS-XB12 is one of the few models that actually live up to its claims. The speaker features a small and lightweight design, and it comes at an affordable price. But, it really packs a wallop for a speaker its size. And with IP67 rating, the speaker is fully waterproof.
If you’re looking for bass power, unfortunately, you won’t be able to get it from any speaker this size. But, the audio quality of Sony SRS-XB12 will surprise you. Sometimes, you’ll forget that you’re listening to a tiny speaker, especially when bass drums come on.
If you connect the speaker with the Sony | Music Center app, you’ll be able to control its essential functions from your smartphone. Skip the track, crank up the volume, pause the party – it’s all just a tap away. With up to 16 hours of battery life, the speaker will keep the party going for longer. A full charge will take you through a whole day of fun – and beyond.
What we like:
- Small and lightweight speaker you can take anywhere with you;
- Despite its small size, the speaker delivers loud, quality audio;
- IP67 rating means that the speaker is fully waterproof;
- The speaker can run for up to 16 hours once fully charged.
What we don’t like:
- The sound can come close to distortion on some deep bass.
5. JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- JBL Signature Sound - Experience impressive stereo sound with your...
- Your music, non-stop - High-capacity 4.800mAh rechargeable battery...
- Quality sound, wherever you go - Flip 5 is fully waterproof (IPX7) so...
JBL speakers are not packed with advanced features such as Alexa integration, but they are known for their signature sound. JBL Flip 5 delivers quite a punch for its size and price; even more than the dimensions and drivers should be capable of. The bass doesn’t distort at high volume levels, thanks to some DSP (digital signal processing) that thins out the deep lows.
The speaker uses a USB-C charging port and cable and it can go from flat to fully juiced in just 2.5 hours. When fully charged, the battery can last up to 12 hours. An IPX7 rating, meanwhile, covers all the bases on the waterproofing front. The speaker also features one special button called PartyBoost. The press of this button allows you to connect to various other JBL speakers and have them all stream the same music simultaneously.
What we like:
- A high-quality speaker with outstanding sound quality;
- DSP ensures that the bass doesn’t distort at high volume levels;
- It takes 2.5 hours to fully charge the speaker; the run time is about 12 hours;
- PartyBoost button allows multiple JBL speakers to connect and stream music simultaneously.
What we don’t like:
- There is no speakerphone functionality or aux input.
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Benefits of Bluetooth Speakers
Image Courtesy of 10 Best Ones
Perfect for Travel
The majority of Bluetooth speakers are slim and compact, made to perfectly fit into a suitcase, backpack, or even a purse. But, don’t let the small size discourage you. Even the smallest of Bluetooth speakers can sound surprisingly big.
Water- and Weather-Resistant
Even though not all Bluetooth speakers are made this way, there are quite a few models that are made for those who enjoy outdoor sports and activities. Some of the best Bluetooth speakers can survive rain and snow while being shock- and dust-resistant at the same time. Make sure to choose a speaker that will be as rugged as your lifestyle.
Extra Power for Smartphones
Some Bluetooth speakers feature a built-in recharger that can be quite helpful during a long flight or overnight camping trip. These speakers come with a USB charging port that can give your smartphone or tablet battery a boost.
Can Be Used as Speakerphones
There are many Bluetooth speaker models that come with a built-in microphone, meaning that you can use them as a speakerphone. When the speaker is paired with your phone, any incoming call will be routed to the speaker. From there, it is up to you whether you’ll accept the call or continue listening to your favorite beats.
A Powerful Sound System
Plenty of Bluetooth speakers are powered by a built-in battery. However, there are some models that are powered by an AC power source. They are typically larger in size, but they also offer a louder and more crisp sound than their portable counterparts. These speakers are perfect for creating a powerful sound system in your home, office, dorm room, den, or any other space where a smartphone is the source of your music and the space is at a premium.
There are affordable speakers that slightly compromise sound quality. But, the best Bluetooth speakers can satisfy even audiophile needs. Such systems have high-performance electronics for more accurate sound. They often feature DACs (digital-to-analog converters) that reproduce the fine details of the music. These speakers also come with low-resonant MDF speaker cabinets that ensure cleaner and more accurate sound reproduction.
Wireless Computer Speakers
All laptops have Bluetooth capability, and there are special stereo speaker systems designed just for laptops. The best thing about them is that you won’t have to deal with unplugging the speaker jack every time you pick up your laptop from your workstation.
How to Choose the Best Bluetooth Speakers for Your Needs?
With so many Bluetooth speakers available, it is hard to settle down only for one. However, there are some features that distinguish the best Bluetooth speakers from average ones. Here is what you should look out for when choosing a Bluetooth speaker.
Image Courtesy of Amy Heffernan
It goes without saying that the most important feature is sound quality. There’s no point getting a cheap Bluetooth speaker that will sound just a bit louder than your smartphone. Whichever model you chose, make sure to inspect sound quality first. And, sometimes, it is a bit better to invest more money if it will grant long-term satisfaction.
Some manufacturers display the total harmonic distortion of their speakers. If you see this feature, make sure it is below 1%. Also, make sure to pay attention to frequency response, as it can truly make a difference. Figures include the top and bottom frequencies that are heard before the response rolls away. Most likely, you will see numbers such as 100Hz (low frequency) to 20kHz (top frequency). As most people cannot hear up to 20 kHz, especially as we get older, the top frequency is not that important. The low-frequency point indicates the level of bass we may expect – the lower it is, the better.
Also, pay attention to audio power. Not all speakers have this feature specified. When it is stated, it is given in watts. Ten watts is loud, although when it comes to speakers in a small case, it means they will not be very efficient. Be aware that more power is needed for large rooms and for outside use.
Portable Yet Powerful
It is very difficult to find the perfect balance between portability and power. Smaller speakers tend to have a lower maximum volume, and it’s difficult to find a model with good sound quality. Choose a Bluetooth speaker, depending on your lifestyle. If you plan to carry the speaker in a backpack or even a suitcase or just move it occasionally, then feel free to get a bigger model. However, if you plan to take your speaker every day with you in a purse or a briefcase, then it is better to compromise sound quality and get a lightweight model.
Ease of Use
If you’re getting a portable Bluetooth speaker, then make sure to go for a model that features easy-to-use controls on the speaker housing and an easy-to-set-up Bluetooth connection to your smartphone or tablet. If you’re getting a Bluetooth sound system or laptop speakers, then make sure that the model you choose comes with an accompanying easy-to-use app and that the setup process is straightforward.
Besides sound quality, battery life is another essential feature to keep in mind. If you plan to take a Bluetooth speaker with you when you go to the beach or camping, then you need to get a model that will last for a few hours.
Smaller models tend to have smaller batteries, so don’t expect them to last for too long. However, the best Bluetooth speakers can last for up to 24 hours on a single charge. On average, a quality model will last you four to ten hours. The length of operation depends actually on how loud you play the speaker. The louder it is, the more current the speaker uses, affecting the battery life.
Keep in mind that Li-ion batteries last the longest if you ensure they don’t get completely discharged. In addition, the older the batteries get, the amount of charge they can store decreases.
Image Courtesy of DIY Smart Things
Style & Size
Bluetooth speakers come in all styles and sizes. The small, compact ones are usually in the shape of a cylinder, and they are designed to ensure maximum portability. The larger ones can also be cylindrical or rectangular. In general, the larger the speaker, the better the audio quality. Also, bigger Bluetooth speakers tend to have a more long-lasting battery life.
If you plan to take your speaker outdoors, then you need to make sure that it is durable and waterproof as well. All those who enjoy hiking or just spending a day at the beach should look for waterproof models that are also shock- and dust-resistant.
When it comes to being waterproof, the majority of models are just water-resistant, meaning that they will survive contact with water but shouldn’t be submerged. There are also fully waterproof models that are submersible, but they tend to be pricey.
Many Bluetooth speakers manufacturers mention the Bluetooth version. The big question is what this number actually means.
When Bluetooth appeared for the first time, the first version was named v.1. Nowadays, you won’t come across devices that use this version. Most commonly, you’ll see devices that use the 2.1 version. However, there are also Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 updates.
As long as your speaker has Bluetooth 2.1 or higher, it will be capable of providing better sound quality. The higher versions provide some additional capabilities such as data collection from fitness trackers or other sensors. So, unless you want a super-advanced Bluetooth speaker, the 2.1 version will serve you just fine.
NFC stands for near field communication. Speakers that are equipped with this feature are more convenient to use. NFC allows compatible devices to connect to a speaker simply by tapping the two together. However, if you’re an iPhone owner, you won’t be able to take advantage of this feature. iPhones do have an NFC capability, but it is used for Apple Pay only. Luckily, connecting with Bluetooth is just as simple and takes perhaps only a few seconds longer.
Connecting Multiple Speakers
One great thing about the best Bluetooth speakers is that they can be connected to another speaker to create stereo sound. If this is something you’re looking for, then make sure to add this feature to your list of must-haves for a Bluetooth speaker.
The point of Bluetooth speakers is, well, to use Bluetooth to connect to them. However, there are some devices that don’t have Bluetooth, such as the iPod classic. There are two ways to resolve this issue – either get a Bluetooth transmitter or choose a speaker that has a 3.5mm jack input. This way, you’ll be able to connect all devices to it by using a suitable cable.
As already mentioned, there are some Bluetooth speakers that have speakerphone capability. This feature is quite useful as you won’t have to disconnect your smartphone to take a call. However, if you’re in an office with other people or by the side of a swimming pool, it can be a bit inconvenient as everyone around you will hear the conversation.