Best portable mini Bluetooth speakers

The market for Bluetooth speakers has exploded in the past few years, and with good reason: quality has increased and prices have dropped. Every model can stream music from nearly any smartphone or tablet, many of them double as speakerphones, too.

We at CNET have been reviewing them at a steady clip, and we've rounded up more than two dozen of our favorite models, focusing on small and lightweight units that are best suited to travel. Some of the "older" models have been discontinued but are perfectly fine and continue to be offered for sale at great prices, so we're keeping them in the round up until they completely disappear from the market.

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UE Boom 2

While it's not cheap ($200 USD, £179, AU$180), the UE Boom 2 delivers very big sound and is a great choice for outdoor use. This updated version looks very similar to the original, but has improved sound and is fully waterproof. It costs around $180 online while the original UE Boom goes for around $120. Available in many color options.

See pricing on Amazon for UE Boom 2.

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JBL Charge 2 Plus

The Flip's slightly bigger brother offers improved sound, as well as better battery life (and the ability to charge your other gadgets) for a bit more: $150 USD. (UK and Australia prices are far closer to that of the Flip: £120 and AU$170.) With this being a 2015 model, you can find it discounted online. The new Charge 3 will be available in 2016.

See pricing on Amazon for JBL Charge 2+.

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Bose SoundLink Mini II

With excellent build quality and impressive sound quality for its size, the Bose SoundLink Mini II is near the top of the mini Bluetooth speaker pack, and well worth its price ($200 USD, £170, AU$250). This second-generation version features a built-in speakerphone, longer battery life and USB charging.

See pricing for Bose SoundLink Mini II on Amazon.

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JBL Pulse 2

A lot of these small Bluetooth speakers sound fairly similar, but the JBL Pulse 2 manages to distinguish itself with a built-in light show that's fairly mesmerizing. It lists for $200 USD, £170, or AU$300, but can be had for less online.

See pricing for JBL Pulse 2 on Amazon.

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B&O Play BeoPlay A1

Credit B&O Play for creating a Bluetooth speaker that doesn't look like anything out there already. The new dome-shaped Beoplay A1 is not only the smallest wireless speaker from the Danish company, but also the most affordable at $249, £199 in the UK and AU$379 in Australia. It sounds impressive for its small size and has a high-quality speakerphone.

See pricing for BeoPlay A1 on Amazon.

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UE Roll

We're fans of UE's Roll Bluetooth speaker, a compact, waterproof wireless speaker with a unique design that sounds very good for its size and has decent battery life. When it was released last summer it listed for $100 USD (£80, AU$95), but in recent weeks has come down to $70 on sites such as Amazon (and Best Buy now has it for $50 in multiple color options).

We suspect this means UE is coming out with a new version of the speaker, but the Roll is still a good deal at those discounted prices.

See pricing for UE Roll on Amazon.

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JBL Flip 3

The JBL Flip 3 is the newer -- and improved -- version of JBL's original Flip and Flip 2. It's one of the top wireless speakers out there at $100 USD (or £110, AU$168). A 2015 model, you can now find it online closer to $80.

See pricing for JBL Flip 3 on Amazon.

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Sony SRS-X33

Sony's $150 (£129, AU$199) SRS-X33 is one of the best-sounding speakers for its compact size and measures up pretty well against the highly rated Bose SoundLink Mini II. Since this model is going on a couple years old it's now available for less than $100 online. A refurbished model can be had for $60.

See pricing for Sony SRS-X33 on Amazon.

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Klipsch Groove

Klipsch's Groove mini Bluetooth speaker is well designed and packs a punch. It's expensive at its list price of $150, but you can find it for a bit less online.

See pricing on Amazon for Klipsch Groove.

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Bose SoundLink Color

If your priority is sound quality, you're better off with the more expensive SoundLink Mini II, which also has a more upscale metallic design. But if you value portability and don't want to spend the extra $70, the SoundLink Color is a solid choice. While not everybody will love its design, the majority of people should be impressed with the sound it puts out, particularly in smaller rooms.

See pricing for Bose SoundLink Color on Amazon.

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Beats Pill+

The Beats Pill+, which charges via Apple's Lightning cable, has a lot to like about it if you can overlook its inflated list price: $229 USD, £189, and AU$267. But it is being discounted online to around $170 (£170), which helps.

See pricing for Beats Pill+ on Amazon.

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Logitech X300

Logitech's X300, which can be stood up vertically or sat down horizontally (as pictured), is a solid deal at $70 USD (£60, AU$80), sounding as good or better than many competing speakers in the $100 USD price range. Since it's being phased out you can now find it for closer to $50 online.

See pricing for for Logitech X300 on Amazon.

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Jawbone Mini Jambox

The pioneer in mini Bluetooth speakers has shrunk the original Jambox down while improving the sound. Jawbone has discontinued it but you can now find it online for as low as $75 USD, £70, or AU$99.

See pricing for Jambox Mini on Amazon.

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Editors' Rating
4 stars

MSRP: $179.99

See manufacturer website for availability.

TDK Life on Record TREK Max A34

When it was released in 2014 TDK Life on Record's rugged Trek Max A34 was one of the more impressive mini Bluetooth speakers out there for $150. You can now find it discounted to around $85.

See pricing for TDK Life on Record TREK Max A34 on Amazon.

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Deck by Sol Republic and Motorola

The Deck was originally overpriced -- $200 USD, £150, or AU$236 -- but it's now available for as low as $40 online, making it a pretty nice deal in the U.S. at least.

See pricing for Deck on Amazon.

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Divoom Voombox Travel

Divoom's Voombox Travel is a rugged donut-sized speaker that plays very loud for its size and retails for an affordable $50 USD (£35 in the UK, not available in Australia). While it distorts at times, it's still one of the stronger speakers in its size class.

See pricing for Divoom Voombox Travel on Amazon.

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Editors' Rating
3.5 stars
Pricing is currently unavailable.

AmazonBasics BTV1

AmazonBasics BTV1 Bluetooth speaker is a decent value at $40. Also available in blue, red, and white.

See pricing for BTV1 on Amazon.

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JBL Clip+

The $40 USD JBL Clip+ is the successor to the Clip ($30) and Micro Wireless Bluetooth speakers. It has a couple of small changes, including a splashproof design. (Residents of the UK and Australia should check out the very similar JBL Micro or Micro II, which retails for £35 or AU$60.)

See pricing for JBL Clip+ on Amazon.

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A doughnut-size Bluetooth speaker that's pretty tasty

The X100 is one of the better micro wireless speakers out there. While its sound is decent for its class, ultimately you'd probably want to pick it over its competitors because you like its design (I do) and maybe because it now only costs around $20 online (or £20).

See pricing for Logitech X100 on Amazon.

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Sol Republic Punk

The Sol Republic Punk plays a little louder than some speakers its size and has come down from its list price of $60 to less than $40 online (depending on the color).

See pricing for Sol Republic Punk on Amazon.

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Klipsch Gig

The Klipsch Gig offers some of the deepest bass of any micro Bluetooth speaker. When it was first released, it listed for $200 USD or £150, but has now come down in price and can be had for as little as $100 or £80 online.

See pricing on Amazon for Klipsch Gig.

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Scosche BoomBottle H2O

Scosche's $100 USD (£100, not available in Australia) BoomBottle H2O is a sporty little canister-style speaker that's waterproof and bike-friendly. It's been out a while and can be now had for significantly less online (I've seen the black version for as low as $30).

See pricing for Scosche BoomBottle H2O on Amazon.

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Philips SoundShooter Wireless

People often refer to the Philips SoundShooter Wireless as "the grenade speaker." It started out $50 USD or £33, but now that it's been discontinued, it can be had for less than $20 online.

See pricing for Philips SoundShooter Wireless on Amazon.

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Braven BRV-1

We thought the water-resistant Braven BRV-1 was overpriced at its $180 USD list price, but now that it's come down to less than $100 (£120 in the UK, AU$195 in Australia), it's a lot more attractive.

See pricing for Braven Braven BRV-1 on Amazon.

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Boom Swimmer

The Boom Swimmer is a small waterproof wireless speaker that has a bendable tail that allows you to hook the speaker onto anything you want. When it was first released it listed for $60 USD (£50, AU$79), but can now be had for less than half that online.

It also comes with a suction cup, so you can attach it to the wall -- or glass -- in your shower. It offers better sound than its small size would indicate, but it gets on the list for its flexible, bathroom friendly design. Available in multiple color options.

See pricing for Boom Swimmer on Amazon.

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Philips BT2500

Philips also makes the larger BT3500 (it offers a little bit fuller sound), but we like the BT2500, which can be had for less than $40 USD or £40 online.

See pricing for Philips BT2500 on Amazon.

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Divoom Voombox Outdoor

Divoom's rugged Voombox Outdoor sells for less than $80 USD (£50) online and plays very loud for its small size, though it can distort at higher volumes.

See pricing for Voombox Outdoor on Amazon.

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Jabra Solemate

Jabra's Solemate has treads on its base to keep it from moving around at higher volumes. Now that it's been discontinued it can be had for as little as $60 online after starting out at $150 USD, £75, and AU$174.

See pricing for Jabra Solemate on Amazon.

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Grace Digital Ecoxgear Ecorox

Now that the Ecorox has dipped to$60 USD (£85 in the UK, not available in Australia), it's worth considering if you're looking for a small waterproof speaker that floats.

See pricing on Amazon for Grace Digital Ecoxgear Ecorox.

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Philips Shoqbox SB7200

The Philips Shoqbox SB7200 can handle short drops and is available online for less than $100 USD (£120, or AU$230).

See pricing for Philips Shoqbox SB7200 on Amazon.

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