A Bluetooth speaker is a must in just about every household, whether you use it for casual music listening, or to make that next outing with your friends extra special. It comes in handy in a variety of situations, so investing in a good one is always worth it.
But the market seems somewhat flooded with options at the moment, so choosing a good one is more difficult than you might think. There are good options and not-so-good options, and some will cost you a lot while not being worth that much. To help you out, let’s take a look at a few options.
What To Look For In A Bluetooth Speaker
There are a lot of things you’ll find on the specification sheet, but that doesn’t tell you the whole story. So, what are some things you should look for when buying a Bluetooth speaker?
The size is the first thing to keep in mind. While many would say “bigger=better”, that’s not always the case with Bluetooth speakers.
A bigger one will oftentimes be louder, maybe sound better, and usually come with a bigger battery and more features. But a Bluetooth speaker also needs to be portable, and getting one that’s massive isn’t exactly portable, is it?
In regards to size, it’s all a matter of finding a compromise that works for you. See what’s the biggest speaker you would be comfortable taking with you when you’re out and about, and start from there.
The other big thing you should keep in mind is the battery life. A party isn’t a party if your battery dies halfway, so make sure you have at least a couple of hours. This one ties in with the size, because a bigger speaker, as we mentioned, will probably come with a larger battery.
While we’re at it, it’s also worth noting whether or not your speaker has some kind of quick charging. If it does, it’s a nifty feature because you can top it up whenever you want to, rather quickly, and get an extra hour or two, or sometimes more.
Yes, even though this is primarily a speaker, sound quality isn’t the first priority on the list, but it’s still there, and it goes hand in hand with the speaker size. A larger speaker usually houses a larger driver inside, which more often than not, results in a better sound quality.
Aside from this, more premium speakers will also come with better sound quality thanks to the additional effort the manufacturers spend tuning the speakers themselves.
There’s also the fact that some premium options actually have multiple speakers inside one housing, which basically gives you much cleaner sound and better dynamic range. However, note that you’ll pay quite a bit for this.
One thing we must mention here is that the chances of getting the same sound quality from a Bluetooth speaker as you would from a dedicated, wired one, are pretty slim, as some compromises must be made. But with the right speaker, you can get close enough.
Last but not least, when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker, consider whether or not it has any kind of ingress protection rating. Even if you don’t intend on using it anywhere near water, it’s still a good idea to have this kind of protection.
It will also save your speaker from dust, and if you get caught out in the rain, you’ll have enough time to put it away without it being damaged. It’s not exactly a bare necessity, but it’s on the list of nice-to-haves.
Best Bluetooth Speaker 2021 Buying Guide
These were some of the things you should look for while choosing a portable bluetooth speaker. Now let’s start the actual roundup review without any further ado.
Tribit StormBox Micro: Check Price On Amazon
Best Bluetooth Speaker 2021 Under 50
There’s something very attractive with compact speakers that can actually get loud, and sound great while doing that. Make the price reasonable, and you’ve got yourself a winner – and Tribit did just that with the StormBox Micro.
Now, the StormBox Micro is actually sold as a bike speaker, and it does come with a tear-resistant silicone strap that allows you to attach it to your handlebars. If you’re a fan of loud music while you’re cycling, this is a great choice. You might not be the favorite in the group, though, unless everyone enjoys your music.
Considering how small it is, the StormBox Micro is surprisingly loud. It comes with a powerful driver with very clear highs and mids, and the XBass technology makes sure the low end is pretty well covered, too.
It really sounds phenomenal regardless of what kind of music you’re listening to.
The size is another one of the benefits, this is a very compact speaker that you can put in your backpack without it taking up a lot of space.
The silicone strap we mentioned will also allow you to attach it to the backpack, too, another nice addition. It’s also lightweight, so you’ll barely feel it there.
To further sweeten the pot, the StormBox Micro is IP67 rated, which ensures that water splashes or dust won’t be able to do any damage to it. With a battery life of up to 8 hours and USB-C charging, it’s no surprise this is a bestseller.
Did we mention you can pair two of them for stereo sound? Yeah, that’s a rather nice functionality if your buddy has one as well.
- Very compact and lightweight
- Excellent sound quality
- IP67 weather resistance
- No fast charging
- Battery life could be better
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2: Check Price On Amazon
Best Bluetooth Speaker 2021 Under 100
Logitech’s Ultimate Ears brand has a pretty great range of Bluetooth speakers that cover everything from small, pocketable speakers, to massive ones meant for home use.
The UE Wonderboom 2 is towards the smaller end of that range, but it still packs a punch and comes with one underrated feature – 360 degrees sound.
You wouldn’t expect such a compact speaker to have this good sound quality, but the Wonderboom 2 surprised us positively in that regard. It sounds good, and even better, it sounds full thanks to the 360 degree sound.
This means that however you rotate it, it will sound the same, and when put in the center of a room, it can fill it up with sound surprisingly well.
The bass is punchy, the mids and highs are clear and crisp, and overall, it sounds really good. You even get an ‘outdoor boost’ button which makes the speaker even louder – perfect for the outdoors.
The battery life is pretty respectable at 13 hours. This is more than enough to get you through a day of hiking, biking, or the beach, and it’s plenty for a party, too. Speaking of parties, you’re looking at an IP67 weather resistance rating, so you shouldn’t worry if you’d like to take the Wonderboom 2 to the next pool party you’re attending.
When you factor in things like easy music controls on the speaker itself, as well as the very portable and pretty rugged design, it’s easy to see why the Wonderboom 2 is a crowd favorite.
It even comes with a stereo functionality so you can pair two of them and get an even better stereo sound. This is an underrated feature, but one you’ll love.
- Compact and rugged design
- 360 degree sound
- IP67 weather resistance
- Somewhat expensive
Audio Pro Addon T3: Check Price On Amazon
Best Bluetooth Speaker 2021 Under 150
Audio Pro might not be the first brand that springs to mind when you’re looking at wireless speakers, but the Addon T3 should definitely be one you’re taking a look at. It’s a design that’s different to most other speakers, but it looks great, and the sound quality is pretty great too.
Let’s kick things off with the design. The Addon T3 looks like a box, but think about it and you’ll realize that every quality speaker looks like a box – that’s due to the acoustic properties of such a design.
The Addon T3 does take advantage of that pretty well, and with the advanced digital signal processor and 25 watts of power, it sounds really good. The entire range, from the bass and mids, to the highs, sounds very, very good, which is definitely one of the best things about the Addon T3.
The other big thing about the Addon T3 is the additional functionalities it has. Now, you might not get extreme portability, or water resistance, you get up to 12 hours of play time at maximum volume, or up to 30 hours if you’re a bit more conservative in that regard.
To add to this, you can use the USB port to charge your devices, such as your smartphone, and basically use the Addon T3 as a power bank.
If you don’t really intend on taking it with you, but would rather want a good Bluetooth speaker for home use, the Addon T3 is a great choice. However, the lack of waterproofing and ruggedness make it a bad call for adventures.
- Simple, yet effective design
- Loud and clear sound
- Great battery life
- No ruggedness whatsoever
- Pretty expensive
V-MODA Remix: Check Price On Amazon
While their bread and butter tend to be the headphones they make, V-MODA made an exception with the Remix, and ended up with one of the most functionally versatile speakers out there, the Remix.
It’s expensive, yes, but it comes with things you won’t find anywhere else, as well as a 40+ Editors’ Choice Award sound.
The sound quality of the Remix is pretty great. You’re looking at a Glass Fiber Dual-Driver setup, as well as a Passive Bass Reflector, and overall, this is one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers out there.
There’s no music it won’t play very, very well, and it also gets rather loud – perfect for those home parties.
To add to this, the speaker comes with two extra things. One of them is a built-in microphone, which allows you to take voice calls from your speaker. This is pretty convenient in some situations.
The other one is a built-in VAMP, which is a headphone amplifier. Yes, you read that right, you can use the Remix as an amp for your headphones. This is an underrated feature, and one you won’t find with other such speakers.
V-MODA have also included an audio cable so you can connect to the Remix the old fashioned way, and you can use the port for daisy chaining. Having a couple of these connected together is a seriously good system.
Factor in the compact, portable design, as well as the 10+ hours of battery life, and you’re looking at one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers out there. But if you’re going to take it along with you, make sure you keep it safe and protected, because it’s not all that rugged, and there is no weather protection.
- Extremely good sound
- Compact and lightweight
- Built-in headphone amp
- Not rugged and no weather resistance
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1: Check Price On Amazon
Bang & Olufsen have somewhat of a reputation for expensive products, and unfortunately, the Beosound A1 is no exception. It’s surprisingly expensive for what it is, but it comes with a few nice things that still make it a great choice for people who don’t mind spending a couple of hundred dollars on a speaker.
To begin with, the build quality is phenomenal. The design is stunning, and B&O made sure ot only use premium feeling materials.
The entire thing feels very solid, which is a nice surprise. To add to this, you’re looking at IP67 certification, so water and dust can’t do much damage to it – within reason, of course.
The sound you’ll get from a speaker this compact is surprisingly good. It’s clear, crisp, and just about any type of music sounds really good on the Beosound A1. It also gets loud, although not too loud. It might struggle a bit when you’re outdoors.
The battery life is another one of the highlights, because you can get up to 43 hours if you’re conservative with your volume. If not, you can expect up to 18 hours at typical listening volumes. This is still pretty good, and the speaker comes with a USB-C port for charging.
Last but not least, you’re looking at an integrated Alexa functionality, with Far Field, which enables Wake Word assist for up to 3 hours after you turn it off.
The 3 microphone array also helps a bit in this regard, and is partially what allows the functionality to work so well. If you can work with the price, it’s a great choice.
- Very well built, IP67 resistant
- Excellent sound quality
- Phenomenal battery life
- Very expensive
- Not exactly rugged
JBL Xtreme 2: Check Price On Amazon
If you don’t mind lugging along a big speaker, and getting loud is very, very important to you, the JBL Xtreme 2 is probably your best bet.
If you can afford it, that is, because this is the most expensive speaker on our list. So, what is the JBL Xtreme 2 all about?
To begin with, the sheer size of this makes it a good choice for home or backyard use, and for parties if you can take it with you. It is massive, and it’s rather heavy, too, which does take away some of its portability.
However, if you can actually take it with you, the Xtreme 2 is one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers you’ll come across.
It gets really loud, and is the perfect party accessory if one speaker is all you think you’ll need. It also sounds pretty good, even if you push it to the maximum in terms of volume. There is minimal distortion, and the bass levels are great.
The build quality of the Xtreme 2 is great, too. Not only do you have IPX7 water resistance, but you’re also looking at a durable, rugged combination of plastic and fabric, which means that you won’t be damaging this easily.
While we’re talking about the design, you get two attachment points where you can put a strap and carry it as a shoulder bag.
Last but not least, the battery life is great at up to 15 hours. This should be enough to get you through that party, but note that it might be shorter if you keep it at maximum volume all the time. It also takes a bit longer to charge up, too, which isn’t too great.
- Very rugged and water resistant
- Gets very loud
- Great battery life
- Slow to charge
Conclusion – which one should you pick?
All things considered, if you’re in need of a versatile Bluetooth speaker, we would suggest going with the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2.
Even though not the loudest, nor the cheapest one on the list, it strikes the perfect balance between portability, sound quality, battery life, and price.
This makes it an excellent choice for anyone from people who want a small speaker for their next hiking trip, to someone who wants to buy a couple of them and set them up as a party audio system. An excellent, and very versatile choice.