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. It's a portable Bluetooth speaker with a boombox-style design and a built-in carrying handle to help you bring your favorite tunes with you on the go. Thanks to its versatile performance, it's suitable for listening to lots of different types of audio content, whether you're at home or outside on your porch. Since it's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance, it's protected against some exposure to the elements, and it can even float in the water at your next pool party.
Whether you're listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, this speaker offers great sound quality. Voices and lead instruments reproduce with clarity, and you don't have any trouble following along with dialogue. If you prefer a different sound, there's even a graphic EQ available in the JBL Portable app, meaning you can add more boom in the bass or more sparkle in the treble. It gets loud, too, and its battery life of over 29 hours lets you rock on late into the night without worrying about a recharge.
If you're looking for a more affordable option, consider the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential. This portable Bluetooth speaker is designed with parties in mind, but it's still a suitable choice for cranking out your favorite tunes while at home. Its stylish design brings excitement to your next event with a circular RGB light ring that you can customize to suit the mood through the JBL PartyBox app. There's even a microphone input if you want to host a karaoke session, as well as some extra party-centric features through its companion app.
Right out of the box, this speaker provides an even and balanced sound. Voices and lead instruments are clear and present in the mix, and there's plenty of rumble in the bass to bring genres like EDM and hip-hop to life. Plus, there's a graphic EQ to switch up its sound, as well as a Bass Boost feature if you want to shake the room with your favorite tunes. It gets plenty loud, but with a battery life of a little over eight hours, it doesn't last quite as long off a single charge as the JBL Boombox 3. It isn't quite as suitable for outdoor use since it can't float in water. Still, if you just want a powerful speaker to crank up the music indoors, it's a really solid choice.
The JBL Charge 5 is another versatile speaker available at a more wallet-friendly price. Found in lots of different color variants, this stylish speaker is a great choice for listening to everything from music to podcasts to audiobooks. It's compatible with the JBL Portable app, where you can customize its sound with the graphic EQ or pair it with other PartyBoost speakers to spread sound throughout your room. Given its smaller size, it doesn't bring as much rumble in the low-bass as other picks, like the JBL PartyBox Encore Essential. However, if you mostly listen to music without a lot of bass mixed in, it's not a big deal.
Thanks to its small and lightweight design, this device ranks as the best JBL portable speaker we've tested. You can easily carry it in one hand, making it a great choice for your next backyard party or camping trip. Simply throw it in your bag or backpack to enjoy your favorite music while on the go. It has a sturdy build, and its IP67 rating for dust and water resistance means it can withstand some exposure to the elements. Since it lasts over fourteen hours off of a single charge, you don't have to worry about running back inside to recharge it all that often, either.
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 hiking 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 size may not be ideal for everyone, 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, but it's more portable and affordable, which is nice.
Sonos and JBL are both popular speaker manufacturers, though they address different market segments. Sonos is known for its premium, high-end smart speakers that fit into its existing ecosystem of audio products, and it only sells a few models. Meanwhile, JBL's speakers are generally more outdoor-oriented, and you can find both high-end party speakers as well as budget-friendly portable models in their lineup.
Bose is another speaker manufacturer geared towards making smart speakers, though they also have a few outdoor-oriented models in their lineup. The manufacturer is known for its signature sound, though generally speaking, their speakers aren't as customizable as other models on the market. Meanwhile, JBL sells everything from premium party speakers to budget Bluetooth speakers without as many integrated smart features for hands-free control.
Sony and JBL are similar in many ways— both manufacturers produce a wide array of speakers at both ends of the market, so you can find big party speakers as well as small Bluetooth speakers to bring on the go. Their devices are pretty customizable in terms of sound, though they don't offer many smart features like built-in voice assistant support. That said, JBL tends to have a more even sound quality out-of-the-box compared to Sony's speakers.
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.
JBL manufactures a wide array of speakers for a variety of different uses.
Portable Bluetooth Speakers
Feb 21, 2023: Confirmed each pick; minor updates to the text for clarity.
Dec 23, 2022: No changes in product picks after verifying their accuracy and availability.
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'.
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.