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The best wireless speakers to give in 2019

Wireless speakers make nice gifts -- and some are quite affordable. Here are our top picks for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers.

This story is part of Holiday Gift Guide 2019, your source for the season's best gifts and deals, hand-picked by the experts at CNET.

When it comes to wireless speakers, there are plenty of options -- perhaps too many. Here's a look at some of our current favorites, from compact mini Bluetooth models to Wi-FI speakers you can link up to create a multiroom audio system.

Also, here are some related product picks you might enjoy: 

Note that CNET may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.

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The Sony XB01 is a splashproof mini wireless speaker, is available in multiple colors -- and it sounds great for the price. It lists for $35 but is regularly discounted to less than $25 and sometimes drops to less than $20. Read Sony SRS-XB01 review.

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At $33, the Tribit XSound Go is one of the top Bluetooth speakers for the money. Besides sounding decent, it's also fully waterproof. Read our Tribit XSound Go review.

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Not only does this fully waterproof bluetooth speaker (IPX7) have improved battery life and better sound than the Clip 2, it's more durable, according to JBL, thanks to the integrated carabiner framing the entire perimeter of the speaker, acting as a bumper. It has a built-in rechargeable li-ion battery and is one of the top speakers for its tiny size. It sells for $60. Read our JBL Clip 3 review.

Sony

Last year Sony made some small improvements to its little canister-style speaker, one of the smallest in its Xtra Bass line. The SRS-XB12 puts out surprisingly big sound for its small size and boasts 16 hours of battery as well as IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating (if you accidentally drop it in water it floats). You can add another speaker to get stereo sound. While it lists for $50 it usually costs less than $40. Available in multiple color options.

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The Tribit MaxSound Plus ($56) is about 30% bigger than its sibling XSound Go and costs about $25 more, but it performs substantially better and is one of the best-sounding speakers in its size and price class. It has a long-lasting rechargeable battery and superior audio quality. Read our Tribit MaxSound Plus review.

David Carnoy/CNET

We liked Ultimate Ears' original Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker, which sounded good for its compact size and was also waterproof. Now the company has released the Wonderboom 2, which is a touch bigger than the original and sounds slightly better, with more bass and a special Outdoor Boost mode that boosts treble.

Like its predecessor, the fully waterproof Wonderboom 2 carries a list price of $100, but sells for less (around $80). What's different is the IP67 rating that means it's dustproof, more shock-resistant and also able to float. It also has 30% better battery life -- lasting up to 13 hours at moderate volume levels, according to Ultimate Ears -- and you can link two together to create a stereo sound pairing by pressing a button on each speaker.

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Bose's SoundLink Micro is arguably the best-sounding speaker for its tiny size. Although it's a little pricey, Bose did shave $10 off its list price, bringing it down to $99. It's fully waterproof and available in three color options. Read our Bose SoundLink Micro review.

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JBL's Flip 5 ($100) is slightly bigger than the Flip 4, with improved audio sound with a little more bass. It has an IPX7 waterproof certification, which means it can be submerged in a meter of water for up to 30 minutes and survive. Tribit's StormBox is about $30 less and plays louder, but I like the tonal balance of the Flip 5 better. It also offers USB-C charging, which is better for future-proofing.

Sarah Tew/CNET

At around $200, the Sonos One remains the best value Sonos speaker. This WiFi model, which links with other Sonos speakers to create a multiroom audio system, not only has Amazon's Alexa voice assistant and Google Assistant built into it but Apple AirPlay 2 support. If you buy two, you can create a stereo pair.

Sonos also makes the new Sonos One SL, which leaves off the voice features and costs a little less. Read full review.

Bose

Bose's new Wi-Fi and Bluetooth portable speaker is more compact and easier to carry around than the Sonos Move and costs a little less. It delivers big sound for its relatively small size and links with other speakers in Bose's Wi-Fi Home speaker line to create a multiroom audio system.  Read CNET first take.

The Sonos Move is the company's first portable indoor-outdoor speaker, complete with a built-in rechargeable battery that's good for 900 charges or roughly 3 years and is replaceable. It's Wi-Fi-enabled and can be linked to other Sonos speakers in your home system -- Sonos says the Move has the best Wi-Fi connectivity of any of its speakers to date. It also has Bluetooth, so you can take it out of range of your Wi-Fi network and stream directly from your phone or any Bluetooth-enabled audio device. Read our Sonos Move review.

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With the addition of Google Assistant, the Sonos Beam is the smart sound bar to get. It may be a little bass-light without a sub but it'll make your movies sound huge with its virtual surround capabilities. Links with other Sonos speakers to create a multiroom audio system.  Read our Sonos Beam review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Tribit's StormBox speaker looks like a cross between a UE and a JBL speaker. We suspect that's not an accident. Fully waterproof, it costs about $30 less than the JBL Flip 5 and produces bigger sound and has up to 20 hours of battery life. Tribit's XSound speakers are probably a better value, but the Stormbox is more stylish. 

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