Bluetooth speakers are great for pool parties and for Spotify jam sessions. In addition, they have impressive sound quality and volume, are comfortably portable and some even have voice assistant integration. Find the best Bluetooth speaker for your budget and needs below.
What to look for in a Bluetooth portable speaker
While it is easy to buy the first Bluetooth speaker you see because it looks cool or is super cheap, there are actually a number of other important factors that you should consider as well. Knowing these features can help you choose the best possible speaker for your needs (and budget):
- Sound quality: High quality sound is the name of the game here, so expect the best Bluetooth speakers to provide high quality sound that sounds clear and full, not cluttered or cracked. They should also have a well-balanced bass or at least an alternative to a bass amplifier. In addition, it is important not only for your Bluetooth speaker to be able to play sounds loud but to maintain the fidelity of the sound at high volumes.
- Easy to use: These wireless speakers should be super easy to use, with large clearly marked buttons that allow you to control everything on the speaker itself without the need for an accompanying mobile app. Some even allow you to make phone calls, so you do not have to dig for your phone and disconnect it just to make a call. Bonus points if it comes with a comfortable loop that you can attach to your backpack or hang on a hook.
- Duration: Although not everyone wants a Bluetooth speaker to be used in the shower or throw in the pool, such durability should still be expected. The vast majority of Bluetooth speakers can handle emissions, rain and even full immersion in water, and they usually have a sturdy fabric or tough rubber that can handle anything you throw at it (or throw it away). the on). Most can also handle a good amount of dust and even single drops, so they are perfect for camping, keeping out on your back patio and using around energetic children and pets.
- Battery life: What is a party without good music? Keep the music going by choosing a Bluetooth speaker with lots of playing power that does not die in the middle of the song. On average, these speakers can run anywhere from 10-15 hours on a single charge, although some can be well over 20 hours; remember, however, that high volumes and bass amplifiers drain a battery faster. These speakers usually have a cord for charging and allow you to continue playing music while you juice it up.
- Award: Like most audio equipment, really Good things are often the most expensive, so if you are looking for high quality preloaded drivers and components, be prepared to pay the price. But here’s a hot spot (and audiophiles should stop reading at this point): most people can not see the difference in sound quality after a certain point, so in the end there is no real need to drop a small fortune on a Bluetooth speaker when so many budget-friendly options do the job well.
- Extra: For most people, having a portable speaker with decent sound quality and battery life is enough. After all, there are extras that can make or break a speaker. Some speakers have cool extras that allow you to make phone calls, have Alexa or Google voice assistant integration, or offer an AM / FM tuner. If you are looking for a more robust speaker, these are some of the fun extras you can expect.
Best overall: Anchor SoundCore Flare
With its sleek looks, impressive sound quality and affordable prices, the Anker SoundCore Flare is an easy choice for the best overall Bluetooth speaker. While more expensive options can offer even better sound, SoundCore Flare promises stellar sound quality without disturbing your budget. In fact, the 12-watt speaker has back-to-back dual drivers that work with passive bass radiators to give you 360-degree sound, so everyone in the room can hear the sound clearly. It even has a boost mode to drive the volume further. And Anker did not forget bass – it is stimulated by neodymium drivers that intensify bass frequencies.
One of the coolest things about SoundCore Flare is its halo of rainbow LED lights that phase, pulsate and even match your music type, making parties (and solo listening experiences) much more exciting. It has five customizable light modes to choose from, and a mobile app for Android and iOS, so you can adjust the equalizer to make it sound and look perfect. Flare has an IP67 rating, so you can leave it outside or chuck in the pool without worrying. The battery can take up to 12 hours and is charged via micro-USB.
Best premium option: JBL Xtreme 2
The JBL Xtreme 2 is a portable Bluetooth powerhouse and a good find if you have the budget for it. It’s a little bigger than most of the other speakers in our range, and it looks great wherever you place it, whether it’s on a shelf in an office or at your entertainment center. Xtreme 2 has four drivers and two bass radiators for the sweet sound and a 10,000 mAh lithium-ion battery that can play your favorite music for up to 15 hours per charge.
Xtreme 2 is IPX7 rated, so it will survive a pool soiree without any problems, and its integrated hooks, carrying strap and bottle opener make it the perfect portable party companion. It is built with robust metal, rubber and fabric, so that it remains durable while looking good, and you can connect several JBL speakers for a stereo experience with the JBL Connect app for Android and iOS. Narrow minimalist buttons on top of the speaker allow you to easily turn on the device, navigate through tracks and connect it to your phone or laptop.
Best premium options
Best budget option: Tribit XSound Go
If you’re less interested in having perfect sound quality and it’s really just about having something cheap to play your songs on, the Tribit XSound Go speaker is the hit, plus it has some nice extras to lose the deal. The petite speaker has dual 6-watt power drivers and passive bass radiators, so it still manages to produce clear sharp sound whether you’re listening to loud punk music or a quiet low-key podcast.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Tribit XSound Go is its solid battery life. Despite being so small, it has an unbeatable battery life – it can play continuously for up to 24 hours. And not only is the six-watt speaker small enough to fit in your hand (with the included strap), it looks great to just sit on the desk. Of course, if you want to go crazy, its IPX7 rating means you can take it by the pool or leave it on your back patio when the sprinklers come on. The speaker uses Bluetooth 4.2 technology, and it will hold the connector 66 meters from the device with which it is paired.
Best budget options
Best portable option: Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 is a perfect companion for all types of outdoor activities such as pool parties, hikes and even makeup with things out in your garage. In addition to being really adorable and coming in five different color schemes, it has powerful sound that does not get lost in the open air. It offers 360-degree sound, so you can hear lyrics and chords perfectly no matter where you are in relation to WONDERBOOM 2, and its new outdoor boost button increases the volume and clarity is perfect for listening in wide open spaces.
WONDERBOOM 2 has large user-friendly buttons for turning the device on or off and adjusting the volume, as well as playing, pausing and skipping tracks or switching outdoor boosts. The battery lasts for up to 13 hours (although the use of outdoor reinforcement will reduce this), and its IP67 rating means that it is tough enough to operate with a good amount of dust and water exposure.
Best portable option
Best Large Laptop Options: Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM
Whether you’re looking for a powerful yet portable Bluetooth speaker option for parties, or something solid that will do the trick when you play through your old vinyl collection, Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM has its back. The speaker measures 14.33 inches high by 7.5 inches wide and deep and has large buttons on the top to adjust volume and playback. Four devices can be connected to the HYPERBOOM at the same time via two Bluetooth inputs, an optical input and an optional connection, and you can switch between them at the touch of a button. The USB discharge port also allows you to charge your phone while the speaker is playing.
UE HYPERBOOM’s adaptation equalizer automatically adapts to the environment. It can produce massive, high-quality sound in any volume and continues to rock for up to 24 hours at a time, making it perfect for parties. But it only has an IPX4 rating, so even though it can handle a quick splash, it should not be thrown in your pool (although there are other speakers up to that task if that’s what you need). You can also connect other Ultimate Ears speakers to the one from the BOOM, MEGABOOM and HYPERBOOM series if you want a stereo effect or need to cover a huge sound area and manage playback at the touch of a button from the Android and iOS apps.
Best large portable option