Bye, bye to the TDK Trek Flex and Sony SRS-X11. We’ve added the excellent Fugoo and JBL Xtreme to the list in their place.
Your phone cut the cord, now it’s time for you to set your music free and buy a Bluetooth speaker. Thankfully, there’s one suited for everyone out there.
Some Bluetooth speakers excel at packing in as much functionality as the unit can handle while keeping the price down. Other speakers shuck excess functionality in favor of premium build materials instead. Whatever path you choose to go down, you’ll be greeted with many options to suit your personal tastes.
The only thing standing in your way is sorting out what’s worth your money and what most definitely is not. To help you in your journey, we’ve compiled a list of the best Bluetooth speakers available right now in terms of value, performance and design.
A small Bluetooth speaker that raises the bar
Weight: 1 pound | Battery life: Up to 40 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feed | Frequency response: 60Hz -20kHz | Drivers: Two 28mm neodymium tweeters, two 39mm neodymium aluminum domed mid/woofers, two 43mm x 54mm passive radiators | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Awesome sound Amazing battery life No flaws to note
Meet the Bluetooth speaker market’s best-kept secret. The Fugoo comes in your choice of jacket style (Style, Tough, or Sport), but no matter which one you choose, this speaker is just as suited for the elements as it is your coffee table.
Despite its small size, this option offers surprisingly good sound performance and, get this, up to 40 hours of battery life when listening at medium volume. I was able to get nearly 20 hours out of it at a high volume.
2. Creative Muvo Mini
A capable, weatherproof Bluetooth speaker with subtle style
Weight: .6 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 32 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: Two micro drivers and one bass radiator | NFC: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.0 | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: No
10-hour battery Weatherproof Can’t charge devices
It’s not tough these days to find a Bluetooth speaker full of desirable features like full sound, weather-proofing and a good-performing battery. Most of the time, however, the options capable of all those feats won’t be cheap. That’s where Creative’s Muvo Mini comes in to play.
For $59 (£49, AU$69), this speaker handles all these impressive feats, wiping the floor clean of the competition in the process. It’d be enough to recommend it based on its cheap price alone, but it’s actually a really good all-around speaker, so there’s that too.
3. UE Boom
A Bluetooth speaker packed with surprises at every turn
Weight: 1.1 pounds | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 50 feet | Frequency response: 90Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers and two 2″ passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Unmatched style Impressive feature set Too dependent on phone Not true 360-degree sound
There aren’t that many Bluetooth speakers out there with as much “pop” as the UE Boom. For $199, it packs in a ton of functionality – much more that your standard Bluetooth speaker – thanks to the companion app for Android and iOS. With it, you can customize your own equalizer and even join it up with another Boom or with it’s little bro, the UE Mini Boom, for a surround sound effect.
4. Harman Infinity One
This stunning Bluetooth speaker lives up to the legacy
Weight: 2.8 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 70Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Four 1.8″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: Yes
Vibrant, rich sound Charges devices High asking price
The Harman Infinity One is the most expensive speaker on our list and it’s also one of the best values around. The sound performance is best-in-class with amazingly deep bass and rich sound making up the rest of the signature.
Additionally, this speaker houses every modern feature that one could desire in a Bluetooth speaker, like NFC connectivity, USB charging and conference calling. A big part of the price goes to the stunning design put forward by Harman. The entire enclosure is a matte grille that allows for sound to pour out of each side. You’re getting your money’s worth here.
5. UE Mini Boom
Big sound from a tiny, ruggedized Bluetooth speaker
Weight: .6 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 50 feet | Frequency response: 130Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.5″ drivers, one 3″ x 1.5″ passive radiator | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: No
Lively design Surprisingly deep sound Foggy highs
Don’t knock the UE Mini Boom for its small size. What it offers out of the box in terms of sound performance and battery life isn’t just impressive, it’s a steal at $99 (£79, AU$99).
Just as we were, you’ll likely be surprised by the capabilities of this speaker through its companion app. Packed into a fun, durable form-factor, this speaker is a fantastic value for music lovers.
(Sadly, this speaker has been discontinued. I’m going to keep it here a little while longer, as it’s still pretty easy to find at a good price. At that, I definitely recommend that you pick it up.)
6. JBL Charge 2 Plus
Improvements to last year’s hit speaker make it even better
Weight: 1.3 pounds | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 75Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.7″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Aux-in: Yes USB charging: Yes
Excellent sound Water-resistant A little expensive
Coming in at $150 (£129, about AU$170) is the JBL Charge 2+. It’s about the size of a large can of energy drink, but I promise that it has more functionality than one. It offers impressive sound that’s much more full-bodied than I’d thought a speaker this small could produce.
Not just that, speakerphone support is seamless and the tethering with three devices simultaneously via Social Mode makes it a fun party accessory. Lastly, outdoor enthusiasts will love that this speaker is also splashproof and can last up to 12 hours. You can even use it to charge your phone or tablet in a pinch.
7. Bose SoundLink Color
A vibrant Bluetooth speaker that packs impressive sound
Weight: 1.2 pounds | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: No
Fun, curvy design Booming sound Lacks some modern features
When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, Bose is a major player. But something that’s been missing from the company’s product line is a relatively affordable option that has the same full-bodied sound crammed into a small form-factor.
With the $130 (£120, AU$180) SoundLink Color, Bose has achieved just that, plus a splash of color. There are a variety of flavors to choose from, but whichever you choose, you’ll be treated to stellar sound and battery performance. Bose performance now comes cheap with this portable Bluetooth speaker.
8. JBL Xtreme
High performance wrapped in a stylish, durable shell
Weight: 4.6 pounds | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feed | Frequency response: 70Hz -20kHz | Drivers: Two 2.48″ woofers | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Splashproof Stylish Heavy Ports difficult to access
It’s impossible not to compare JBL’s rough and tough Xtreme to the stellar Infinity One. After all, its parent company, Harman, is responsible for both creations.
The Xtreme might look a whole lot like the One, but it sets itself apart with a rugged build that is forgiving of dings and short falls. Its battery can pump music for a very solid 15 hours, too. It edges out most, if not all, similarly priced competitors in terms of value, but falls short ever so slightly of the One’s sound performance.
9. Fluance Fi30
Music to your ears (and your wallet)
Weight: 8.3 pounds | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 50Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 3″ woven glass fiber composite drivers | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 2.1 | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: Yes
Strong sound performance Affordable No internal battery
One look at this speaker might make you think that it costs a small fortune. Coming in aggressively at $149, the Fluance Fi30 loves defying expectations and the act doesn’t stop at its shockingly low price. It also sounds great. With room-filling audio, we’ve got a value-packed speaker that can bring down the house.
Unlike the others on this list, the Fi30 isn’t portable at all. Not just for its size, but also because it requires being plugged into an electrical socket for power. Minor negatives aside, this makes for the perfect porch companion or boombox-sized speaker for your pad.
10. Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20
Tell iHome to go home
Weight: 2.5 pounds | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 40 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: One 2.5″ driver, two 1.5″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Weatherproofing: No | Charges devices over USB: Yes
Sleek, novel design Great lows and mids Not the loudest speaker out there A few useless functions
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR 20 packs novel functionality and roaring sound into an appealing body for a price that rings it at a pleasing tune of $129 (about £104, AU$155). This speaker is about the size of a hard-cover book and can compliment a bookshelf or a table top nicely.
Touching on features, the built-in internal microphone allows you to make or take calls with ease. The Roar SR20 supports a microSD card, which you can use either to record calls onto or listen to stored music from. Something else you don’t see often in a Bluetooth speaker is an overdrive button. “Roar” mode cranks the sound performance up a few notches.