When Bluetooth speakers were first introduced to the market, they were pretty much all the same – bad quality, cheap and difficult to use. However, the best Bluetooth speakers today provide fantastic quality. There’s really no need to use a cable anymore.
Times have definitely changed with modern technology. Portable Bluetooth speakers have become much more reliable. There’s also a wide variety of shapes and sizes to choose from, and some of the best portable speakers really pack a serious punch.
No matter how you plan to use your portable Bluetooth speaker – if its indoors, around the pool, at the beach or even at a party, one of our choices below should be suitable for you.
Sonos Move – For home
If you’re looking for a solution inside your home, you can’t go wrong with the Sonos Move Smart Speaker – however expect to pay a pretty penny.
It’s hard to find flaws in this premium Bluetooth speaker. It’s got a ton of bass, however the 10-hour battery life might be a bit short for using on-the-go. On the plus side, it’s got a sleek design and works with Spotify and Apple Music.
Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 – For Battery Life
For the price, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 is one of the best portable speakers that you can buy. It came out a few years ago, but its got brilliant sound (with a ton of bass) and it’s built to last.
With a 24-hour battery life, you’ll be able to keep the party going for a long time before requiring a charge. The IP67x rating means you can submerge it in 1 metre of water, so pool parties won’t be a problem.
Better yet, if you purchase a second Megaboom 3 unit or have a friend with one, you can pair them together for stereo sound.
JBL Charge 4 – For All-Round
While JBL fans might also like the Flip 4 or Flip 5, the JBL Charge 4 is currently our choice as one of the best portable speakers as it is regularly on sale for as low as $119.95.
The JBL Charge 4 comes in 10 different colours and the 7800mAh battery provides 20-hours of playback. There’s a useful USB charging port for your phone – which is a nice touch. It’s waterproof, which makes it great for around the pool.
Anker Soundcore Flare 2 – For Budget
While the first generation of the Anker Soundcore Flare was fantastic, the second generation is a minor refresh albeit improvement over its older counterpart.
The LED ring which changes colors is a nice touch too. It’s IPX7 water-resistant, so will work well around the pool. Sadly there’s no AUX jack – which some people might still prefer.
Bose is known for building quality devices and the Soundlink Reolve is no different. It delivers beautifully balanced sound at any volumes, has a long battery life, excellent build quality and modern design.
Features to look for in a Bluetooth speaker
If you’re still not sure which Bluetooth speaker to purchase, here is a bunch of additional information that will help guide your decision. While we have listed a few options, there are still plenty of fantastic Bluetooth speakers – some more suited towards home or mobile use.
AptX and aptX HD support: These two codecs (software) manage to make audio sound better over Bluetooth connections. Its lossless, so there shouldn’t be any compression or loss of quality in the music you play. aptX HD is the newer version, and only supported on the latest speakers.
App support: Some speakers can be paired with an Android or iOS app in order to control functions or provide additional features. It can be quite nifty. Some common functions that you might find in an app include building playlists, turning your speaker on and off, setting the EQ and more.
Battery: If you’re planning on using your portable speaker in mobile situations, or somewhere that you can’t instantly recharge it, you might want to consider a speaker that has a long battery life – something with 20-hours or more. However, it’s also important to note that if a battery lasts a long time, it’s usually bigger and heavier.
Charging: Can you charge your portable speaker via cable? Does it include a USB or USB-C port for faster charging? It also makes things a lot more convenient. In some cases, a portable speaker will also include a built-in USB port to charge devices like your phone.
Stereo pairing: If you want a solution that you can upgrade in the future, certain portable speakers have the ability to pair two or more units together. Stereo or surround sound will also greatly improve your overall quality.
Waterproof: Do you plan to use your portable speaker in or around the pool, at the beach or a lake? Finding a portable speaker with a waterproof rating of at least IP64 is essential – which is rated for a bit of dust and water splashes.