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One of the best uses of Bluetooth technology is the ability to play music or podcasts (or whatever your heart desires) on a crisp, clear speaker without even removing your phone from the charger. In fact, you don’t even have to be inside to play professional-quality sound — not with these Bluetooth speakers we’ve rounded up below.
And the best part is that, thanks to their portable nature, they make fantastic holiday gifts for your loved ones. Since the products come in all shapes and sizes with a wide range of features — and a wide range of price points — we’ve selected a variety of the best Bluetooth speakers below, from $20 shower speakers to $400 home systems.
This is one durable unit: It’s not “it’s alright if you spill some water on it” waterproof, it’s “can be submerged in up to one meter of water for a half hour” waterproof. Like, “it floats in the pool” waterproof. It’s also “drop proof,” meaning being clumsy won’t mean certain disaster, and the 15-hour battery means it really is perfect for parties and other high-intensity uses. You can pair it with other Ultimate Ears Boom and Megaboom speakers, and it can also charge wirelessly via the Power Up charging dock (sold separately).
Writes Amazon user Essie, “Excellent overall sound quality ranging from pop, metal, jazz, classical, hip hop. What makes this speaker especially awesome is that you can drop it, throw it in the sand, leave it out when it rains. I did all these within a week, and it’s still like new. Easy to pair, but if you have multiple phones or devices that are linked to it and you want to switch from one phone to playing from another, you need to hit the Bluetooth button again, which makes sense. If you’re looking for something cute to hang from a small backpack, this one’s probably too heavy and big for that. It’s definitely a solid dude. For toting around a beach bag, stuff in a backpack bottle holder or a bike basket, get this one!”
You know when you purchase an Anker product that you’re going to get a certain level of quality, and that’s no different with the brand’s affordable, portable Bluetooth speaker. Two high sensitivity drivers mean clear sound with zero distortion, and the long-life battery provides 24 hours of playtime. With Bluetooth 4.0, you’ll have a strong connection for up to 66 feet.
Writes Amazon user Marshall Jones, “Great little speaker—especially for the price. Sound is crisp and full, it looks great, and has a nice, solid heft to it. It’s also extremely easy to pair to an iPhone. Once paired, it quickly and reliably connects to my phone when turned on.”
Looking for something a little more stylish? This faux wood-front speaker has four drivers, two high-output woofers, two tweeters, and a powerful amplifier for warm, natural sound. Your Bluetooth range is up to 100 feet with Bluetooth 5. It’ll connect easily to your iPhone or Android smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and the battery lasts for up to 12 hours of playtime. Pair any two AOMAIS speakers for 60W stereo surround with left and right channels between the speakers.
Writes user Tommy, “As for aesthetics, it looks as pictured and is pretty attractive relative to the average bluetooth speaker. The only thing worth pointing out which isn’t apparent is that the bottom has little rubber strips that keep it raised maybe 2 millimeters above whatever surface it’s on. This is helpful because it 1) creates a gap between the speaker and the surface so it doesn’t make the surface rattle and 2) it keeps dust, dirt, etc from accumulating on the bottom of the nice cotton exterior.”
Price: $39.95 – $69.95
Not only is this extremely small and portable — the compact circular unit comes with a built-in carabiner clip and weighs less than half a pound — it’s also legitimately nice-looking, unlike some other speakers. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 10 hours, and it’s IPX7 waterproof so it can be submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It’s perfect for the beach, the pool, or the shower, and a built-in noise and echo-cancelling speakerphone means you can make clear calls on it, too.
Amazon user Jewel writes, “The sound quality itself is — in my opinion — about what you’d expect from JBL. Very pristine and clear, no lags or sudden disconnections from Bluetooth like some speakers have. The volume honestly doesn’t get all that high, even with your phone and the speakers’ volume at full max. However, it’s plenty loud enough for normal folk to enjoy while you’re swimming, hiking, boating, working, or whatever.”
Perhaps the best-reviewed speaker on this list, the durable, portable, waterproof unit is perfect for both indoor and outdoor usage. It’s both Bluetooth and wifi compatible, and you can control it with the Sonos app or Bluetooth. It’s got built-in Alexa for hands-free control (and all the features Alexa provides, as long as you’re connected to the internet). Deep bass comes from two powerful drivers, and the automatic true-play tuning balances sound depending on your circumstances. It’s rechargeable via the included base or a compatible USB-C charger, and the battery lasts for up to 11 hours. The IP56 rating means it can stand up to humidity, rain, snow, dust, salt spray, UV rays, and extreme heat and cold, plus the shock-resistant casing protects against accidental drops or bumps.
Amazon user Carlson B. assessed the sound quality: “The bass is significant, even outside, without ever getting distorted. It plays really loud if you want, but also sounds well-balanced at low sound levels. They did something amazing with the high-frequency and mid-range where is sounds uniform across the entire side and forward projection of the speaker, not just in the ‘sweet spot’ in front like other speakers. It is beautifully detailed and realistic sounding.”
This powerful and stylish wifi-enabled subwoofer speaker is perfectly sized for any room. It’s got precise, balanced audio and built-in Alexa, so you can control your music without even touching the speaker. The app allows you to customize presets, connect to other Alexa-enabled devices, and control playback demands. While the 10-pound speaker is not portable (you have to plug it in to the wall), it has a gorgeous retro design that will look great no matter where you place it.
“I mean, how such a (relatively) small speaker can deliver this quality of sound, I have no idea,” writes user A Scholar. “It looks great, it sounds awesome and it’s portable and easy to move around…so whats there to dislike?”
This versatile smart speaker can be used as a portable Bluetooth speaker, a home speaker, or a voice control speaker. It weighs just over two pounds, has a battery life of up to 12 hours, and comes with a portable handle so it’s easy to transport. It’s water-resistant and can withstand plenty of accidental drops and bumps. Control it with your mobile phone or tablet, or if you’re within wifi range, use voice control with built-in Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant with integrated music services like Amazon Music, Spotify, and Pandora. The 360-degree sound and powerful bass make the sound quality clear both inside and outside. And it’s compatible with any other Bose smart devices for a multi-room listening experience. The minimalist design comes in two colors: Triple Black or Luxe Silver.
“As expected from Bose, the sound quality of this speaker is exceptional at any volume level. Friends are consistently amazed at the sound quality, especially considering the small footprint and portability. Crisp highs, deep but not overly boomy lows, and you have access to EQ settings in the Bose App, which also works well. The carry handle is great and the charging dock is extremely convenient and sturdily constructed. The voice control mics are also very sensitive as advertised, which is great. You can be listening to music LOUD in another room, and the speaker will still respond to Alexa commands,” writes user Scuba Steve.
Another portable unit, this rectangular design takes three hours to fully charge 10 hours of total playtime, with a 90-day standby time. It delivers deep bass, which can be doubled if you connect to a second speaker for surround sound, and it’s compatible with both Android and iOS devices. While it’s not submergible, it is splash-resistant with an IPX5 waterproof rating and weighs two pounds. While the sound can be tinny, the price and sleep design make it a worthwhile choice.
Writes user Andrew Deenan, “Great little speaker. Sleek design and sound quality and volume is great for the size.”
About the size of a Discman (sorry, youths, we’ll explain: that was what we had to use to listen to music on the go before smartphones), this lightweight speaker (it weighs just over a half a pound) is everything you’d expect from Bose. It’s got crisp and clear sound both indoors and outdoors, a built-in mic for speakerphone calls, and it’s waterproof up to 1 meter and has a very durable exterior. Rather than a carabiner, it comes with a strap for easy attaching to backpacks, coolers, handlebars, or even belt loops. The battery lasts for up to six hours, so it’s not quite as long-lasting as competitors, but it’s a trade-off for the Bose sound quality. It can be paired with other SoundLink speakers or any smart Bose speakers for stereo sound, and you can also use your phone’s Siri or Google Assistant or access your Echo Dot directly from the speaker. While you’ll get better battery life for a lower price with the JBL clip 3, you’re paying for the balanced Bose sound.
“What makes this so wonderful for me, as I travel an awful lot, is the size and weight,” writes user Noodles. “There is almost no excuse not to throw it in your bag however little you are traveling with, and the battery life is plenty enough at six hours. The magic in this unit is when you’re chilling out and just have it sat in the room on the table. Many times now I’ve found myself enjoying the music I listen to at a comfortable volume whilst browsing the internet on my phone and completely forgetting its there. Then when I look up and see how tiny it is, and just how pleasing and full the sound is, I feel totally reassured about my purchase, i.e., NO buyer’s regret!”
The priciest speaker on this list, it’s the largest and most powerful speaker Ultimate Ears makes — with the most features to boot. The 24-hour battery life, IPX4 waterproof rating, and adaptive equalizer make it perfect for parties (so does the rich, bass-heavy yet still well-rounded sound). It can play music from four different devices thanks to its two Bluetooth, one auxiliary, and one optical inputs, or connect with any Boom Megaboom or another Hyperboom for extra sound. A USB charge-out means you can charge your phone from the device (the 24-hour battery comes in handy here), and you can control your sound directly on the speaker or via the app. Surprisingly, it’s still a portable 13 pounds and even has a pull-out strap for easy movement.
Writes NATHAN L., “I have the Ultimate Ears Megablast that I use at the beach which is great but I needed a little more in the backyard for pool days and this is crazy loud. The neighbors complain with one, I would hate to see them when the second one comes in. To put this in perspective my backyard is easily the size of a football field.”
The specs on the Color II are similar to the Micro, particularly the bold sound quality. It’s waterproof (though a slightly lower grade than the Micro) with a durable silicone exterior, and uses the same Bose app and has the same Siri and Google assistant compatibility. Where it differs more is battery life — the Color II lasts for up to eight hours per charge — and its weight — at 1.2 pounds, it’s more than double the weight. It comes in a few fun colors (Aqua Blue, Citron, or Coral Red) as well as a standard Soft Black, Polar White, or Midnight Blue. An auxiliary jack allows you to connect a non-Bluetooth advice, and you can operate it via battery or AC power. One word of warning: A bug in the firmware can mean that some units will lose the ability to charge, but there are fixes online and Bose will replace it under warranty within one year of purchase.
Writes user Jeff, “I bought this to pair with an Echo Dot. Setup was very easy — almost effortless. Sound is much better than what the Dot, or even the full-sized Echo, can produce, and I am very pleased with its performance.”
You can’t beat the price on this portable waterproof speaker, which comes with color-changing lights and a carabiner that makes it easy to attach to anything. It’s perfect for listening to podcasts or music in the shower, and it’s even got a port for an SD card if you don’t want to use the Bluetooth feature. It has several different light modes, including a multi-color display that is extra fun for kids.
Daniel and Amy Huddleston wrote in their Amazon review, “I absolutely love this speaker! It has great sound, and does not sound distorted at full volume. The color changing background is so amazing and fun. My kids love watching the colors in the speaker as they dance around to the music. Honestly turns the shower into a disco party! I definitely recommend this speaker fun to play music and simple to use! I included a few pics of the lights. Great price for a fun gadget!!”
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