There are so many reasons to get a speaker with Bluetooth connectivity. Maybe you want an outdoor speaker for socially distanced gatherings, maybe you need great sound that can be moved on a whim, or perhaps you’re building surround sound with multiple speakers in your home theater. Regardless of your reason, there is almost certainly a portable speaker with powerful sound to meet your needs.
In our quest to find the best Bluetooth, we considered factors such as battery life, sound quality and more — below, we present our current contenders, including , pocket-size micro versions and heftier models with powerful audio. Looking for more? We can also recommend the and the .
At $33, the Tribit XSound Go is one of the top Bluetooth speakers for the money. Besides sounding decent for streaming your favorite music and more, this affordable Bluetooth speaker is also fully waterproof.
Not only does this fully waterproof wireless Bluetooth speaker (IPX7) have improved battery life and better sound than the Clip 2, but it’s also more durable, according to JBL, thanks to the integrated carabiner framing the entire perimeter of the mini speaker, acting as a bumper. It has a built-in rechargeable li-ion battery and is one of the best wireless Bluetooth speakers for its tiny speaker size. This portable bluetooth speaker sells for $70.
Ultimate Ears Boom Bluetooth speakers come in a few different sizes, but none of them are as big as the all-new Hyberboom. A supersize wireless speaker that tips the scales at a hefty 13 pounds, the Hyperboom makes the UE Megaboom 3 look unquestionably puny. It’s not cheap, but its sound quality is better than a lot of the jumbo portable speakers on the market right now.
UE Boom reps told me the Hyperboom was created after the company got feedback from its customers looking for a bigger speaker that could play loud enough and have deep enough bass to power a party. The speaker can do just that — Ultimate Ears says it’s three times as loud and has six-and-a-half times the bass of Megaboom 3 — and has no trouble filling a fairly large room with sound.
The Tribit MaxSound Plus ($58) is about 30% bigger than its sibling XSound Go and costs about $25 more, but it performs substantially better and is one of the best-sounding speakers in its size and price class. It has a long-lasting rechargeable lithium-ion battery and superior sound quality for a Bluetooth speaker.
Tribit’s StormBox speaker looks like a cross between a UE and a JBL speaker. We suspect that’s not an accident. This fully waterproof speaker costs about $50 less than the JBL Flip 5 and produces bigger sound and has up to 20 hours of battery life to play music and more. Tribit’s XSound speakers are probably a better value, but the Stormbox is more stylish.
We liked Ultimate Ears’ original Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker, which sounded good for its compact speaker size and was also waterproof. Now the company has released the Wonderboom 2, which is a touch bigger than the original and sounds slightly better for streaming your favorite music, with more bass and a special Outdoor Boost mode that boosts treble.
Like its predecessor, the fully waterproof Wonderboom 2 with Bluetooth connection carries a list price of $100, but often sells for less. What’s different is the IP67 rating that means it’s dustproof, more shock-resistant and also able to float. This bluetooth device also has 30% better battery life — lasting up to 13 hours at moderate volume levels, according to Ultimate Ears — and you can link two together to create a stereo sound pairing by pressing a button on each speaker.
Bose SoundLink Micro is arguably the best-sounding speaker for its tiny size. Although this Bose SoundLink is a little pricey, Bose did shave $10 off its list price, bringing it down to $99. It’s a fully waterproof bluetooth speaker and available in three Bose SoundLink color options.
JBL’s Flip 5 ($120) is slightly bigger than the Flip 4, with improved sound performance with a little more bass. It has an IPX7 waterproof certification, which means this small speaker can be submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes and survive. Tribit’s StormBox is about $30 less and plays louder, but I like the tonal balance of the Flip 5 better. It also offers USB-C charging, which is better for future-proofing.
The Sonos Move is the company’s first portable indoor-outdoor Bluetooth speaker, complete with a built-in rechargeable battery that’s good for 900 charges or roughly three years and is replaceable. It’s Wi-Fi-enabled and can be linked to other Sonos speakers in your home system — Sonos says the Move has the best Wi-Fi connectivity of any of its speakers to date. It also has a Bluetooth connection, so you can take it out of range of your Wi-Fi network and stream directly from your Android, iPhone or any Bluetooth-enabled audio device.
Bose’s new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth portable speaker is more compact and easier to carry around than the Sonos Move and costs a little less. This Bose speaker delivers big loud sound for its relatively small size and links with other speakers in brand’s Wi-Fi Home speaker line to create a multiroom audio system.