If you like to wirelessly stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks from mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet, you'll want a speaker that supports Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike speakers with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth-compatible speakers don't rely on an Internet connection to stream audio. As a result, they tend to be more portable, and many also have an outdoor-oriented design with carrying straps or water-resistant bodies. However, finding the best Bluetooth speaker comes down to what matters most to you. With so many Bluetooth speakers on the market, you have lots of options for finding a device that meets your unique needs.
We've tested over 30 Bluetooth speakers, and below you'll find our recommendations for the best Bluetooth speakers.
The best Bluetooth speaker that we've tested is the Sonos Move. This well-built speaker has built-in Alexa and Google Assistant capabilities, and it does an incredible job responding to your voice even if you aren't very close to the speaker. It's battery-operated, so you can bring it outdoors, and it has an IP56 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.
Overall, it has a balanced, neutral sound profile suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content. There are even bass and treble adjustments available in the Sonos S2 app to help you customize its sound. You can use the app to pair two Sonos speakers to create a stereo pair or to amplify your music across a large, crowded party. This speaker lasts over ten hours off of a single charge, which should be suitable for long listening sessions.
Unfortunately, while it can get pretty loud, there are a lot of compression artifacts present when you play it at max volume, which can be disappointing if you like to use your speaker at crowded parties. Also, it has to downmix stereo content to mono to play it, which doesn't sound as immersive. That said, it offers a versatile overall performance that can please lots of different listeners.
The best stereo Bluetooth speaker that we've tested is the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM. This portable Bluetooth speaker can get loud without a lot of compression, and it even has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Thanks to its over 23-hour battery life, it's well-suited for multiple long listening sessions without a recharge, too.
This speaker comes with an Adaptive EQ feature that automatically analyzes the acoustic characteristics of your room to optimize audio reproduction. With this feature turned on, it reproduces a balanced, neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, and you can even use the graphic EQ and presets in the Ultimate Ears app to adjust its sound to your liking.
Unfortunately, like many smaller speakers, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass out-of-the-box. Also, it's a bit bulky and heavy, so it's not as portable as some of the other speakers we've tested. That said, it has a built-in carrying strap, so you can still carry it with just one hand.
If you're looking for a stereo speaker with lights, consider the JBL PartyBox 100 instead. While it's bigger than the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM and doesn't come with as many sound customization features, its RGB lights create an eye-catching design that can add to the atmosphere at your party. It has a pretty neutral sound profile, and when you set it to 'Bass Boost 1', it reproduces a little extra warmth in the bass range that can please fans of bass-heavy music like EDM. You can use the Bass Boost feature to customize its sound slightly, either by turning it off, setting it to level one, or setting it to level two. This speaker gets really loud, too, and it has a ten-hour battery life that's suitable for long listening sessions. There are even Mic-in and Guitar-in ports for musicians.
If you want a smaller speaker with a longer battery life and more sound customization options, check out the Ultimate Ears. However, if you want a speaker with bright lights to help you rock out to your favorite tunes, consider the JBL instead.
The best speaker with Bluetooth connectivity that you can bring on-the-go is the Bose SoundLink Revolve. This small, lightweight speaker is battery-operated, so you can bring it outdoors without having to worry about plugging it into an outlet. It also has an IPX4 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this.
It has a neutral, balanced sound profile that suits many different types of music genres, though the lack of low-bass can be disappointing for fans of bass-heavy genres like hip-hop. Also, it's a 360-degree system, so it has a large, open soundstage that can immerse you in your favorite music. With a battery life of over 12 hours, it's well-suited for long listening sessions in the park.
Unfortunately, like many small speakers, it struggles to get very loud, and there's also some compression present when you play it at max volume. Also, it doesn't offer any sound customization features to help adjust its sound to your liking. However, if you want a sturdy speaker that you can bring out on your patio or to a picnic with friends, it's a solid choice.
If you're looking for a portable Bluetooth speaker that you can clip on to your backpack or belt, consider the JBL Clip 4. While it doesn't support voice assistants and doesn't reproduce as much low-bass as the Bose SoundLink Revolve, its built-in carabiner hook makes it ideal for users who want a hands-free listening experience while hiking. It's well-built, portable, and battery-powered, so you can use it for long days on-the-go. It also has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It has a boomy sound profile, though it also struggles to reproduce low-bass, and it doesn't get very loud. Also, its 5.5-hour battery life is poor.
If you want something that supports voice assistants, reproduces more low-bass, and has a longer battery life, check out the Bose. However, if you want a portable speaker that clips onto your bag for hands-free listening, consider the JBL.
The best Bluetooth speaker in the budget category that we've tested is the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2. This small, well-built model has an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. It lasts for over twelve hours off of a single charge, so it's well-suited for long listening sessions.
It has a pretty neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, though it lacks a lot of low-bass. However, its outdoor EQ mode can add a bit more bass to your audio, though we don't test for this. It can play stereo content, and it has an outstanding 360-degree soundstage, so you're really immersed in your favorite music.
Unfortunately, it doesn't have voice assistant support. Also, like many small speakers, it doesn't get very loud, so it may not be the best choice for use at parties or in large, crowded rooms. However, it still offers a very versatile overall performance for a more affordable price.
If you're looking for a speaker with more sound customization options, consider the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 instead. While it isn't as well-built and its battery life doesn't last as long as the Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2, it offers a graphic EQ and presets so you can adjust its sound profile to your liking. It comes with brightly-colored RGB lights and it's even rated IPX7 for water resistance, though we don't currently test for this. Out-of-the-box, it has a pretty neutral sound profile that's suitable for lots of different audio content, though it can also sound a bit dark or dull. Thanks to its 360-degree design, it has an amazing soundstage performance, so you can feel immersed in your audio from all angles.
If you want a better-built speaker with a longer battery life, check out the Ultimate Ears, but if you prefer a speaker with lots of sound customization features, consider the Anker instead.
Feb 17, 2021: Added the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM as 'Best Stereo Bluetooth Speaker' and the JBL PartyBox 100 as 'Alternative with RGB Lights'. Made the Anker Soundcore Flare 2 a 'Customizable Alternative' in the Budget category. Added the Sony SRS-XB43 and the Anker Soundcore Motion+ to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth speakers for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper speakers win over pricier ones if the difference isn't worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here's the list of all our reviews for Bluetooth speakers. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect speakers. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.