We've currently tested 14 JBL speakers. JBL is a well-known brand that offers portable Bluetooth speakers well-suited for listening to lots of different types of audio content.
The JBL PartyBox 310 is the best JBL Bluetooth speaker that we've tested. This large party speaker comes with customizable RGB lights. With its Bass Boost feature set to '1', it has a boomy sound profile suitable for listening to a wide variety of audio content. You can use the Bass Boost feature to add extra thump and rumble to your audio, which may please fans of bass-heavy music genres. This speaker can get incredibly loud, so it can easily fill large and crowded spaces. It's rated IPX4 for water resistance, meaning this decently built speaker is certified to be protected from small splashes of water. It also comes with 'Mic' and 'Mic or Guitar' inputs and other karaoke-related settings that may please musicians.
Unfortunately, there's some compression present at max volume, so your audio may not sound as clean at louder volumes. It's also pretty heavy and bulky, so it isn't very portable. Fortunately, it comes with built-in wheels and a telescopic handle to help with transporting it. It's a solid choice if you're looking for a good Bluetooth JBL speaker for music and is even one of the best speakers for parties that we've tested.
The best JBL portable speaker that we've tested is the JBL Boombox 2. Although it's larger than the JBL Clip 4 that comes with a built-in carabiner hook, this speaker has a built-in carrying handle to help with transporting, and you can easily carry it with one hand. It's also well-built, with an IPX7 rating for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can easily take it outdoors with you. It has a neutral sound profile, making it suitable for listening to a variety of audio content, and it can get pretty loud. It comes with a PartyBoost feature, so you can connect it with other PartyBoost-compatible speakers when you want your audio to fill a large room without increasing the speaker's volume. Also, it has an incredible battery life that can last almost 24 hours from a single charge, though this can depend on your usage.
Unfortunately, there's some compression present at max volume, so your audio doesn't sound as clean at louder volume settings. It also doesn't support voice assistants, which may disappoint those who like to rely on them. That said, it's still a great choice if you're looking for a portable JBL speaker.
The best JBL speaker we've tested in the budget category is the JBL FLIP 5. It’s a small, well-built, and portable Bluetooth speaker that comes with a strap that makes it easy to take with you on the go. It’s rated IPX7 for water resistance, meaning it's certified to be immersed in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes. It also has an eight-hour battery life, making it a suitable speaker for long days spent outdoors. It has a boomy sound profile with a balanced mid-range, so your vocals and lead instruments should sound clear, though its dipped treble range can make some sibilants like 'S' and 'T' sound a little dull. Though it has to downmix audio to mono, you can pair it to other FLIP speakers to create a stereo pair through its JBL Portable app.
Unfortunately, like most small speakers, it struggles to produce low-bass, which doesn't make it ideal for listening to bass-heavy music like hip-hop or EDM. It also doesn't get as loud as some other JBL speakers we've tested, like the JBL PartyBox 100, and has some compression artifacts at max volume. It's important to note that while it retails for a bit more than our $100 price point, we haven't tested any cheaper JBL speakers that perform better than it yet. That said, if you're looking for a versatile and portable speaker at an affordable price, it's still a solid choice.
Overall, JBL makes portable Bluetooth speakers with a solid, sturdy build and a neutral sound profile. However, you can't really customize their sound or use them as voice assistant speakers.
Oct 12, 2021: Minor updates to the text for accuracy; no changes in product picks.
Aug 13, 2021: Verified picks for accuracy and updated text for clarity.
Jun 15, 2021: Confirmed the picks are still the best recommendations for our users. Minor changes were made to the text for consistency and accuracy.
Apr 16, 2021: Replaced the JBL PartyBox 100 with the JBL PartyBox 310. Text was updated for consistency and accuracy.
JBL offers lots of speakers for many uses. Generally, they have a pretty neutral sound profile, but they don't have graphic EQs to customize their sound based on your preferences. These well-built, portable Bluetooth speakers are ideal for bringing with you on the go, but you probably won't be able to use them with voice assistants, even through your paired smartphone.