When it comes to small speakers that are equally at home around the home or chucked in a bag and taken to the park, nothing beats the convenience of a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
Improvements in battery technology mean that they can easily last hours without needing to be charged, and increasingly speakers are being made waterproof to allow you to use them in humid conditions like a bathroom, or even take them to the pool.
But not all wireless speakers are made equal, and with that in mind welcome to our list of our top picks for the best Bluetooth speakers around. Some are rugged, some are stylish, but all of them are well worth a place in your tech arsenal.
1. UE Boom 2
Minor, but worthwhile upgrades for a modern classic
Weight: 1.2 pounds | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 90Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.75″ drivers and two 1.75″ x 3″ passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes USB charging: Yes
This sequel to the UE Boom nails everything it aims to accomplish. Even better, what used to be the best Bluetooth speaker around for most occasions is now the best one for every occasion, thanks to the waterproofing. The Megaboom also comes recommended if you’re looking for more power.
A small Bluetooth speaker that raises the bar
Weight: 1 pound | Battery life: Up to 40 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feed | Frequency response: 60Hz -20kHz | Drivers: Two 28mm neodymium tweeters, two 39mm neodymium aluminum domed mid/woofers, two 43mm x 54mm passive radiators | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Meet the Bluetooth speaker market’s best-kept secret. The Fugoo comes in your choice of jacket style (Style, Tough, or Sport), but no matter which one you choose, this speaker is just as suited for the elements as it is your coffee table.
Despite its small size, this option offers surprisingly good sound performance and, get this, up to 40 hours of battery life when listening at medium volume. I was able to get nearly 20 hours out of it at a high volume.
3. Harman Infinity One
This stunning Bluetooth speaker lives up to the legacy
Weight: 2.8 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 70Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Four 1.8″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: Yes
The Harman Infinity One is the most expensive speaker on our list and it’s also one of the best values around. The sound performance is best-in-class with amazingly deep bass and rich sound making up the rest of the signature.
Additionally, this speaker houses every modern feature that one could desire in a Bluetooth speaker, like NFC connectivity, USB charging and conference calling. A big part of the price goes to the stunning design put forward by Harman. The entire enclosure is a matte grille that allows for sound to pour out of each side. You’re getting your money’s worth here.
Editor’s Note: This speaker is available in the US only, but the One bears such close resemblance in terms of its design and performance to the also-fantastic JBL Xtreme below that folks around the world won’t be left out of the experience.
4. Creative Muvo Mini
A capable, weatherproof Bluetooth speaker with subtle style
Weight: .6 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 32 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: Two micro drivers and one bass radiator | NFC: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.0 | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: No
It’s not tough these days to find a Bluetooth speaker full of desirable features like full sound, weather-proofing and a good-performing battery. Most of the time, however, the options capable of all those feats won’t be cheap. That’s where Creative’s Muvo Mini comes in to play.
This speaker handles all these impressive feats, wiping the floor clean of the competition in the process. It’d be enough to recommend it based on its cheap price alone, but it’s actually a really good all-around speaker, so there’s that too.
5. UE Mini Boom
Big sound from a tiny, ruggedized Bluetooth speaker
Weight: .6 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 50 feet | Frequency response: 130Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers, one 3″ x 1.5″ passive radiator | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: No
Don’t knock the UE Mini Boom for its small size. What it offers out of the box in terms of sound performance and battery life isn’t just impressive, it’s a steal at $99 (£79, AU$99).
Just as we were, you’ll likely be surprised by the capabilities of this speaker through its companion app. Packed into a fun, durable form-factor, this speaker is a fantastic value for music lovers.
(Sadly, this speaker has been discontinued. I’m going to keep it here a little while longer, as it’s still pretty easy to find at a good price. At that, I definitely recommend that you pick it up.)
6. JBL Charge 3
A near-perfect balance between sound, features and price
Weight: 1.76 pounds | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.7″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
I’ll just come out and say it: The JBL Charge 3 is a big speaker. There’s no getting around it. At 213 x 87 x 88.5mm, the speaker will take up a fair bit of room in your backpack or purse and at 1.76 pounds, it’ll weigh you down as well.
However, what you get for having such a big speaker is 20 hours of battery life and waterproofing. It’s IPX7 rated, which means you can submerge the speaker in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. But while it’ll survive a dunk into the pool it’s probably best if you don’t leave it there for an extended period of time.
As a package, the JBL Charge 3 offers a compelling set of features and excellent sound quality to boot. It punches well above its weight, playing loudly and distortion-free. The Charge line of speakers have been on our shortlist of recommendations for a long time and the latest iteration maintains JBL’s dominance in the portable Bluetooth speaker market.
7. Bose SoundLink Color
A vibrant Bluetooth speaker that packs impressive sound
Weight: 1.2 pounds | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: No
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, Bose is a major player. But something that’s been missing from the company’s product line is a relatively affordable option that has the same full-bodied sound crammed into a small form-factor.
SoundLink Color, Bose has achieved just that, plus a splash of color. There are a variety of flavors to choose from, but whichever you choose, you’ll be treated to stellar sound and battery performance. Bose performance now comes cheap with this portable Bluetooth speaker.
8. JBL Xtreme
High performance wrapped in a stylish, durable shell
Weight: 4.6 pounds | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feed | Frequency response: 70Hz -20kHz | Drivers: Two 2.48″ woofers | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
It’s impossible not to compare JBL’s rough and tough Xtreme to the stellar Infinity One. After all, its parent company, Harman, is responsible for both creations.
The Xtreme might look a whole lot like the One, but it sets itself apart with a rugged build that is forgiving of dings and short falls. Its battery can pump music for a very solid 15 hours, too. It edges out most, if not all, similarly priced competitors in terms of value, but falls short ever so slightly of the One’s sound performance.
9. Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
Size isn’t everything
Weight: 3.6 pounds | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 40 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: One 2.5″ driver, two 1.5″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: Yes
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 is the successor to the much-loved Sound Blaster Roar SR20 and rings it at a pleasing tune of $169/£149, or about AU$235. This speaker is about the size of a hard-cover book and can compliment a bookshelf or a table top nicely.
Touching on features, the built-in internal microphone allows you to make or take calls with ease. The Roar 2 supports a microSD card, which you can use either to record calls onto or listen to stored music from. Something else you don’t see often in a Bluetooth speaker is an overdrive button. “Roar” mode cranks the sound performance up a few notches.
10. Razer Leviathan Mini
This miniature monster can sure make a racket
Weight: 1.3 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 40 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers and one passive radiator | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: No
The Razer Leviathan Mini is a lightweight portable Bluetooth speaker that does a lot right in the company’s first attempt at sound in a small package. It’s a little costly for what it offers, though, but ultimately sounds as good or better than the competition.
As far as performance is concerned, it’s significantly better than both the Pill and SoundLink. The audio is far more robust-sounding, and I found the Leviathan Mini to actually outperform Dre’s dream speaker in every category, bass included. If you’re looking to add a portable Bluetooth speaker to your growing arsenal of Razer audio products, the Razer Leviathan Mini is a well-rounded option that might be a bit more than the competition, but delivers in all the right categories.
We’ll update this page as we review more speakers, so stay tuned. Let us know if you have suggestions for us to check out in the comments below.