We've currently tested 20 JBL speakers. JBL is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of Bluetooth speakers, from small, portable Bluetooth speakers you can bring with you on the go like their Flip and Clip lineups to much larger and more powerful party speakers that can produce enough bass to rumble a room from their PartyBox lineup.
The best JBL Bluetooth speaker we've tested is the JBL Boombox 3. This portable Bluetooth speaker is a versatile pick that's loud enough to fill large and open spaces with your favorite tunes. With its built-in carrying handle and a long-lasting battery life of almost 30 hours, it's really easy to bring this speaker with you on the go. It's well-built, and its IP67 rating means that it's certified to be dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. As a result, you can listen poolside without worrying about long-term damage to your speaker.
Whether you're listening to music or podcasts, this speaker's balanced sound ensures that voices and lead instruments reproduce with detail and clarity. If you prefer a different sound, you can switch up its output thanks to the graphic EQ available in the JBL Portable app. The app also lets you pair the speaker with other PartyBoost-compatible models, like the JBL Charge 5 or the JBL Flip 6, so you can amplify the sound throughout your room. That said, it doesn't reproduce quite as much low-bass as some of JBL's bigger, more party-oriented speakers—but if you want something more portable for listening to music, it's still a solid pick.
If you're a fan of bass-heavy music, the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential is a portable party speaker that can produce a deeper and thumpier low-bass than the JBL Boombox 3. Its sound profile is neutral overall, making it great for listening to a wide variety of music genres. It's compatible with the JBL Partybox app, which features a graphic EQ, meaning you can customize its sound profile to your liking, just like our top pick. However, this speaker comes with some extra tools to liven up your next party, including a mic input for karaoke as well as light show effects, DJ effects, and karaoke effects in the app.
This speaker isn't quite as good for outdoor use as the Boombox 3. The PartyBox's battery doesn't last nearly as long, with only eight hours of power from a single charge. With only an IPX4 rating for water resistance, it can withstand some splashes, but it's not designed to be immersed in water, either. If you're looking for a similarly-priced speaker that's more suitable for outdoor use, check out the JBL Xtreme 3. It's lighter, better built, has a longer battery life of almost 13 hours, and is incredibly portable. However, it doesn't bring as much low-bass as the PartyBox and lacks the extra party-focused features.
If you're looking for a smaller and more affordable option, the JBL Charge 5 is the best JBL portable speaker in this price range that we've tested. It's more portable than the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential, as you can carry it in one hand. It's better built, too, with an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance that certifies it to be fully dust-tight and immersible in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can relax with it by the pool without needing to worry about accidentally dropping it in the water. Its long-lasting battery life of over 14 hours makes it great for long listening sessions. It also comes with a PartyBoost button, so you can connect it to other PartyBoost-compatible JBL speakers like the JBL Xtreme 3 and the JBL Pulse 4 when you want to amplify your audio across a larger space.
Overall, this speaker is suitable for listening to different music, podcasts, and audiobooks, and you can adjust its sound to your liking thanks to the graphic EQ in its companion app. However, like most speakers its size, it doesn't produce as deep a low-bass as larger speakers like the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential, and it doesn't get as loud. If you're looking for a speaker for under $200 that can produce a deeper bass, consider the JBL Xtreme 2. It's a solid pick if you like to feel the rumble in bass-heavy genres like EDM and hip-hop, but since it's not as small and portable as the Charge 5, it's not quite as versatile.
On a budget? Since the release of the next-generation JBL Flip 5 and JBL Flip 6 speakers, the JBL Flip 4 has become a great budget option. You can find this small, versatile speaker in many different colors and styles. It's lightweight and easy to carry, and it even comes with a carrying strap to help you transport it with you on the go. It's rated IPX7 for water resistance, so it's certified to be immersed in up to a meter of water for up to 30 minutes. As a result, you can bring it to the lake or the beach without worrying about long-term damage to your device.
When it comes to sound, the speaker does pretty well, too. Compared to more premium models like the JBL Charge 5, it reproduces less low-bass and lacks extra customization tools like a graphic EQ. However, given its balanced output right out of the box, you may not want to switch up its sound in the first place. Voices and lead instruments in your favorite songs are clearly and accurately reproduced, and you don't have any trouble following the action in your favorite podcasts. Overall, it's a solid pick for the price.
If you're looking for something even more budget-friendly, consider the JBL Clip 4. It's a well-built Bluetooth speaker with a really small, lightweight build, so it's great to bring on the go. Whether you're meeting up with friends in the park or taking a hike in the woods, you can clip it onto your bag with its built-in hook, so you can easily keep track of it. Its buttons are large and easy to press, too, so you can adjust the volume while on the go. Thanks to its IP67 rating, you don't have to worry much about water damage.
This small speaker can reproduce most voices and instruments with clarity, though there's a little extra boom to the mix due to the extra emphasis in the high-bass. Given its small size, it's not a surprise that you don't feel the deep rumble in the low-bass as much as with bigger, more premium models, like the JBL Flip 4. You don't have access to a companion app or customization tools, either. Still, if you're looking for a simple speaker at a cheap price, it's a really good option.
If you're ready to splurge on a powerful speaker to haul to your next party, look no further than the JBL PartyBox 310. This mighty speaker is among the best speakers for parties we've tested. Its large frame helps it reproduce a deep and rumbling low-bass, so you feel the floor shake when you listen to hip-hop, EDM, and other bass-heavy genres. Its BassBoost feature also lets you control how much boom you add to the mix, which is nice, and there's also a graphic EQ in its companion app. It gets really loud and has customizable RGB lights built in to add to the ambiance at your next event.
The speaker's ideal for karaoke, with inputs for microphones and guitars built into its frame, as well as extra karaoke settings and effects in its app. Its big size may not be ideal for everyone, though, even with its telescopic handle and wheels to help you transport it to your next gig. If you want a party speaker that's a little smaller, check out the JBL PartyBox 110. It doesn't reproduce as much rumble in the low-bass as the 310, but it's more portable and more affordable, which is nice.
Overall, JBL makes portable Bluetooth speakers with a solid, sturdy build and a neutral sound profile. However, you don't have much control over the sound profiles of their older models. Most of them also can't be used as voice assistant speakers.
Oct 31, 2022: Replaced the JBL Boombox 2 with the JBL Boombox 3.
Sep 01, 2022: Recategorized picks to better reflect a price-based approach. Added the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential as the 'Best Mid-Range JBL Speaker', and the JBL Clip 4 as the 'Best Cheap JBL Speaker'.
Jun 07, 2022: Restructured article to better reflect user needs. Made the JBL Boombox 2 the 'Best JBL Speaker'. Added the JBL Charge 5 as the 'Best JBL Speaker under $200'. Made the JBL Flip 4 the 'Best JBL Speaker Under $100' and the JBL PartyBox 310 the 'Best JBL Speaker For Parties'.
Apr 08, 2022: Updated text for clarity; no changes to product picks.
Feb 08, 2022: Verified picks for availability. Minor changes were made to the text for accuracy; no changes to picks.
If you're looking for the best JBL speaker, they offer many speakers for many uses, from small and compact portable speakers to larger and more powerful party speakers. Generally, JBL speakers have a pretty neutral sound profile, but many older models don't have graphic EQs to customize their sound based on your preferences. Their well-built, portable Bluetooth speakers are ideal for bringing with you on the go, but you probably can't use them with voice assistants, even through your paired smartphone.