- Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges.
- The Sonos Move is our top pick because it has excellent sound quality, offers voice control, and you can move it around your home.
- In this guide, we also have several picks that are more portable and lightweight than the Move for those of you who want to bring your speaker everywhere.
- For more speaker recommendations, be sure to check out our roundup of the best speaker deals.
A great listening experience for all your favorite music services shouldn't be limited to one spot in your home, and while the days of carrying around a boom box on your shoulder are by and large over, you can still get a great on-the-go music playing device for you and your friends in the form of a Bluetooth speaker.
Whether you're getting a speaker for use around the house or a day at the park, there's almost certainly a great Bluetooth speaker for you. But there are a number of things to consider before you buy.
- Size matters: You'll want to think about how big you want the speaker to be. Now, speaking very generally, larger speakers will be louder, and while you can often get quite a racket out of a smaller speaker, for larger parties and gatherings, a larger speaker may be a little more appropriate. Of course, size also affects portability. If you're looking for something you can slip in your bag and carry around easily, then a smaller speaker may be a better choice for you.
- Battery life: You'll obviously want a longer battery life if you're looking for a speaker that can last all day, but sometimes a speaker with a shorter battery lifespan will do the job — especially if you plan on being able to charge the speaker often or even while in use.
- Durability and water resistance: Durability is another important factor if you plan on carrying the speaker around a lot. Not only will your speaker last longer if it's more durable, but it might be a little more versatile, too. For example, you probably won't want to take a non-waterproof speaker to the pool or the beach.
- Sound quality: Some may not care too much about how a Bluetooth speaker sounds, but others will want to ensure that they're getting the best audio performance they can for their money.
We have a pick for everyone in our buying guide whether you're an audiophile who's ready to spend the big bucks, a college kid on a budget, or someone whose needs fall in between the two ends of the spectrum.
Here are the best Bluetooth speakers:
- Best Bluetooth speaker overall: Sonos Move
- Best portable Bluetooth speaker: Bose SoundLink Revolve+
- Best waterproof Bluetooth speaker: UE Boom 3
- Best cheap Bluetooth speaker: Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
- Best small Bluetooth speaker: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay P2
- Best Alexa smart speaker with Bluetooth: Amazon Echo (3rd Gen)
Prices and links are current as of 07/24/2020. Added links to our full reviews of the UE Boom 3 and the Amazon Echo. Added details about the Bose Portable Home speaker and how it compares to the Bose Soundlink Revolve+. We downgraded the JBL Flip 4 and explained why. Updated by Steven Cohen.
The best Bluetooth speaker overall
The Sonos Move looks good, sounds great, and offers multi-room audio as well as voice control with Alexa and the Google Assistant.
Sonos has long been a leader in the wireless speaker market, and the company has finally launched a Bluetooth speaker. The Sonos Move is easily the best Bluetooth speaker out there, thanks to its excellent design, awesome sound quality, and smart features.
There are plenty of things to love about the Sonos Move, but perhaps the best thing about it is its audio quality. The speaker offers a ton of bass, coupled with plenty of clarity and detail in the high end. That makes it excellent for listening to music. The speaker can even be calibrated using Sonos' Trueplay tuning technology, though you'll want to tune it for different environments when you move the speaker around.
Speaking of moving the speaker, that's another thing that's great about the Sonos Move. The speaker has a base station where you can keep it most of the time, but it's designed to be portable too, so you can take it outside when you have a BBQ or move it around the house as you need. It is a bit heavy, so you won't be carrying it around on all your excursions, but it's nice to have the option.
Like other Sonos speakers, the Sonos Move is smart too. You can choose to use either the Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa, plus it integrates perfectly with Sonos' other speakers, allowing for multi-room audio. The speaker has a battery life of around 10 hours so it should easily get you through a day of listening when it's not being charged on its dock.
But what about the downsides? This speaker is a little pricey, and you won't get access to all of the smart features when you're using it with Bluetooth. Still, despite those downsides, it's gotten excellent reviews from many experts. TechRadar gave the speaker an impressive 4.5/5, while CNET gave it a still impressive 4/5.
Pros: Classy design, smart features, integrates with other Sonos speakers, excellent audio quality
Cons: A little expensive, a bit heavy
The best portable Bluetooth speaker
The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ looks great, it's easy-to-use, it offers 16 hours of battery, and it sounds good, too.
There are dozens of Bluetooth speakers out there, but the best speaker you can buy for moving around the house or backyard is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+. There are a number of things that make this speaker such a nice option for most people, from its great sound to its nice design.
Let's start with the design of the speaker, which is really quite good. It's reminiscent of new smart speakers like the Amazon Echo or Google Home, so it'll look right at home in any tech-savvy person's house. On top of that, it offers extremely easy-to-use controls, with six buttons located on the top of the speaker for things like volume control and Bluetooth control. Bose also added a handle to make it easy to bring the speaker with you outside or from room to room.
We tested it out and we were impressed by the SoundLink Revolve+'s great sound quality and how easy it is to move from room to room. It blended right in with our decor, too.
The speaker even has some smart features, including Bluetooth pairing with voice prompts, the ability to take calls, and access to Siri or Google Assistant from your phone. If you buy two speakers, you can sync them up together for party mode, too.
The speaker will give you 16 hours of play time, so it should get you through the day very easily — especially if you're good at keeping devices charged up. The 16-hour lifespan makes it good for holiday parties and when you're at the beach. You won't have to worry too much about the speaker getting damaged, either, thanks to its water-resistant design. The speaker can handle splashes and other interactions with water, though we wouldn't recommend actually taking it in the water with you.
So what about audio quality? Generally, it's good enough for most people's needs. As any audiophile will tell you, don't expect any Bluetooth speaker to beat a good wired speaker. Still, it does offer generally louder volume than other wireless speakers and is able to offer deep and clean bass easily without distorting.
Other reviewers largely agree that this is a great speaker, too. CNET gave it 4/5 stars in its review. That's not to say, of course, that it doesn't have its downsides. The main downside is the fact that it's a little pricey.
Buyers should also be aware that Bose now has a newer Bluetooth speaker, the Bose Portable Home Speaker. This model features a very similar design but adds Wi-Fi connectivity and integrated support for Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. With that said, the Bose Portable Home speaker usually carries a higher price tag than the Soundlink Revolve+ and it offers shorter battery life.
Pros: Good sound, nice design, easy to use, long battery life
The best waterproof Bluetooth speaker
The UE Boom 3 is well designed and sounds pretty good, but it's also water resistant, making it great for use by the pool or at the beach.
Looking for something that you can take to the beach or use by the pool without fear of it breaking due to water damage? The UE Boom 3 is the way to go. This speaker is well designed and sounds great, but perhaps the best thing about it is that it's water resistant.
The speaker may not sound as robust as the Sonos Move, but it still sounds pretty great, especially considering how small it is. The speaker offers a decent bass response, along with a well-tuned mid range, and a decent amount of clarity in the high frequencies. One of the best things about it is that it can also get super loud, which is great for use outside.
The speaker is also pretty well designed. It's relatively small and portable, and it's available in a range of different colors. On the side, you'll get buttons for controlling volume, while on the top there are controls for things like Bluetooth pairing and power. Safe to say, the UE Boom 3 is super easy to use.
The UE Boom 3 is built for use near water. The speaker is not only waterproof, but it's also designed to float, so you won't have to worry about losing it at the bottom of the pool. The Boom 3 is capable of being submerged in up to 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes, so it shouldn't break due to water damage.
Like anything, the UE Boom 3 isn't perfect. While the audio sounds pretty good, audiophiles may want something with a little more detail in the high end. The battery life is also around the same as the previous generation speaker, though it's not that bad, coming in at 15 hours. Despite those downsides, it has gotten some excellent reviews. TechRadar and Trusted Reviews both scored the speaker 4/5, which is pretty impressive.
Pros: Good sound quality, nice design, water resistance
Cons: High frequencies aren't as detailed as other speakers
- Read our UE Boom 3 review here
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker
The Anker Soundcore Flare Mini may cost less than any other model on this list, but it still looks and sounds pretty good.
Looking for an inexpensive speaker that still looks and sounds pretty good? The Anker Soundcore Flare Mini may well be the way to go. This speaker may carry a budget price, but it still sounds decent and won't break the bank.
The speaker is designed to look a lot better than other speakers in its price range. It's a cylindrical design with a fabric covering around the side and controls on the top. Those controls include power, volume, and Bluetooth pairing. There are even LED lights on the bottom, and you can control those lights through five different lighting modes.
The design of the speaker plays into how it sounds too. The speaker can deliver 360-degree audio, so no matter where you are around it, it should sound pretty good. It definitely won't sound quite as powerful as some of the more expensive speakers in this price range, but it can still get pretty loud and offers a decent amount of bass.
You'll get 12 hours of battery life out of the speaker, which isn't bad at all, and it's water-resistant with an IPX7 water-resistance rating.
Considering the price range, perhaps the only real downside to the speaker is that it can't really match more expensive offerings in the audio department.
Pros: Well-designed, very inexpensive, water-resistant, good battery life
Cons: Sound quality is only fine
The best small Bluetooth speaker
The B&O Beoplay P2 doesn't just sound good and feature a slick design, it's ultra-portable, too.
The Bose and UE speakers are really nice, but they probably won't fit into your bag all that easily. Thankfully, there are plenty of speakers out there that will, like the B&O Beoplay P2.
Now, generally speaking, smaller Bluetooth speakers can be a little hit and miss, but the BeoPlay P2 is a hit. That's largely thanks to its sleek and stylish design, coupled with hidden and intuitive controls. For example, you can double tap the speaker grill to play and pause your music, or you can program the speaker through the accompanying app to activate your digital assistant of choice, whether it be Google Assistant or Siri. That happens through your phone because the speaker doesn't have those assistants built-in.
So how does the speaker sound? You can't expect studio-quality sound, but it's not bad. The speaker features mono audio and an impressive bass response for a speaker of its size. The high-end isn't as responsive, though it's still not bad.
So what do reviewers think? Well, TechRadar gave the speaker 4.5/5 stars, while PCMag gave it 4/5.
Pros: Great sound, very portable, intuitive touch-controls
Cons: A little pricey for its size, could use more high-end clarity
The best Bluetooth speaker with Alexa
The Amazon Echo is well-designed, sounds good, and has Amazon's super-smart Alexa digital assistant built right into it.
The original Amazon Echo paved the way for smart speakers, and now on its third generation, the Echo is still the best Bluetooth-enabled smart speaker out there.
The Echo has gone through a few design tweaks since it first came out, and the current iteration looks pretty classy. It's a cylindrical design, with a fabric covering around the sides, a light ring at the top, and controls for those like volume and muting the microphone. It's available in a few different colors too, including Charcoal, Sandstone, Heather Gray, and Twilight Blue.
Of course, perhaps the best thing about the Amazon Echo is the fact that it has Alexa built right into it. In other words, using the speaker, you can control smart home devices, find out information from the web, play music, and more using only your voice. Alexa is already pretty smart, but Amazon routinely makes it smarter too.
The 3rd-generation Echo has achieved some pretty stellar reviews too. In fact, we called it "the best smart speaker for its price" in our full review.
Pros: Inexpensive, well-designed, sounds good, Alexa built-in
Cons: Still doesn't sound as good as Sonos speakers
- Read our Amazon Echo review here
What else we considered
JBL Flip 4: The JBL Flip 4 speaker was recently one of our picks, and it's still a fantastic Bluetooth speaker for the money. With that said, the less expensive Soundcore Flare Mini includes similar features for a more affordable price, making that model a better overall budget pick. If you're willing to spend a little more, however, the JBL Flip 4 features a bit more power and better sound quality.
Boasting a great design, nice sound, and waterproofing, the JBL Flip 4 remains a great choice for those that want a speaker they can take on the road with them. Let's start with the design, which is very nicely done. The speaker is available in a range of different colors, including black, red, gray, white, and even camo. On the outside, you'll find volume controls, along with playback controls, and a Bluetooth switch.
The speaker can connect to up to two different devices at a time, so you don't have to go through pairing the speaker again every time you want to switch devices. Battery life is rated for up to 12 hours, which is very good for this price.
Of course, the best thing about the speaker is that it sounds great. There's a powerful bass response, and while the upper-mids aren't the most well-tuned, the high-end brings back some of that clarity that helps make music sound so great.
The JBL Flip 4 has been pretty well-reviewed, too. It received a score of 4/5 on Digital Trends.
Pros: Portable, lots of colors, inexpensive, easy to use
Cons: High-mids aren't super well-tuned
Check out our other great speaker buying guides
The best speakers
Speakers come in all shapes and sizes for many different needs. Floorstanding and bookshelf speakers offer the best movie and music performance. Bluetooth speakers are better suited for buyers who want a compact speaker with wireless playback and portability. If you're looking for a digital assistant, then a smart speaker is the way to go. With all those options in mind, we've selected the best speakers you can buy.
The best smart speakers
Smart speakers include integrated digital assistants with support for voice commands, allowing you to ask questions, control compatible smart home devices, and more. The two most popular smart speaker assistants are Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. There are many different smart speaker models to choose from, and certain models are better suited for specific needs and budgets. Here are the best smart speakers you can buy.
The best soundbars
Soundbars offer a nice upgrade over built-in speakers used on most TVs, while still saving you some space and money compared to a full home theater speaker setup. Some soundbar models include wireless subwoofers, and more expensive packages even feature rear satellite speakers for true surround sound. Through research and testing, we've picked the best soundbars you can buy.
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