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Article updated on January 19, 2024 at 9:53 AM PST

Best Bluetooth Speaker for 2024

We've tested the best wireless Bluetooth speakers available -- everything from tiny micro speakers to larger boom boxes. Here are our top picks for every budget.

Our Experts

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Written by 
David Carnoy
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
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David Carnoy Executive Editor / Reviews
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Nook e-books and audiobooks.
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Our Picks

$149 at Amazon
Image of Bose SoundLink Flex
Best mini Bluetooth speaker
Bose SoundLink Flex
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$145 at Amazon
anker-soundcore-motion-boom-plus-green-background.png
Best Bluetooth boom box for the money
Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus
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$60 at Amazon
Image of Tribit StormBox Micro 2
Best value micro Bluetooth speaker
Tribit StormBox Micro 2
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$300 at Amazon
Image of Marshall Middleton
Best new midsize Bluetooth speaker
Marshall Middleton
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$48 at Amazon
Image of Sony SRS-XB100
Best mini canister speaker
Sony SRS-XB100
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$200 at Best Buy
Image of Anker Soundcore Motion X600
Best new mini boom box Bluetooth speaker
Anker Soundcore Motion X600
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$45 at Amazon
Image of Anker Soundcore Mini 3
Good value mini Bluetooth speaker
Anker Soundcore Mini 3
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$100 at Amazon
anker-soundcore-motion-plus-12
Best around $100
Anker Soundcore Motion Plus
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$136 at Amazon
Image of Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore
Mini Bluetooth speaker with slick design
Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore
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$130 at Amazon
Image of JBL Flip 6
Better-sounding Flip
JBL Flip 6
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$250 at Amazon
Image of JBL Pulse 5
Best compact Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree light show
JBL Pulse 5
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$60 at Amazon
30-tribit-maxsound-plus
Best-sounding Bluetooth speaker under $100
Tribit MaxSound Plus
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$180 at Best Buy
The JBL Charge 5 in gray is being held in the palm of a hand.
Impressive sound for a relatively compact Bluetooth speaker
JBL Charge 5
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$37 at Amazon
10-tribit-xsound-go
Excellent value mini Bluetooth speaker
Tribit XSound Go
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$399 at Bose
portable-home-speaker-black-2009-7
Best Bose portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker
Bose Portable Home Speaker
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$356 at Amazon
ue-hyperboom-20
Top-sounding jumbo Bluetooth speaker
UE Hyperboom
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$79 at Amazon
jbl-clip-4-1
Best for clipping onto a backpack
JBL Clip 4
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$77 at Amazon
Image of Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3
Most durable
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3
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$400 at Amazon
jbl-partybox-110-outdoors
Best portable party speaker
JBL PartyBox 110
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$75 at Amazon
anker-motion-boom-2
Best value mini boombox
Anker Soundcore Motion Boom
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$179 at Sonos
sonos-roam-lake-background
Sonos portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker
Sonos Roam
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$54 at Amazon
01-tribit-stormbox
Cheaper alternative to JBL Flip
Tribit StormBox
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$120 at Best Buy
Image of Marshall Willen
Top micro Bluetooth speaker
Marshall Willen
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$186 at Amazon
bang-olufsen-beosound-a1-gen-1
Impressive-sounding ultracompact speaker (and speakerphone)
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd-Gen)
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$74 at Amazon
Image of Tribit XSound Mega
Best value mini Bluetooth party speaker
Tribit XSound Mega
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$50 at Amazon
Image of JBL Go 3
Pocket-friendly wireless speaker
JBL Go 3
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$119 at Bose
Bose SoundLink Micro
Top-notch micro speaker
Bose SoundLink Micro
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$250 at Walmart
Image of Monoprice Soundstage 3
Portable Bluetooth speaker with big sound
Monoprice Soundstage 3
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What is the best Bluetooth speaker overall?

The best Bluetooth speaker overall is going to depend on the shape, size and price that works for your space or purposes. So to give just one model the title of best is difficult to do. However, there are a few that have some key qualities that put them at the top of our lists, including the Bose SoundLink Flex, Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus and Tribit StormBox Micro 2.

When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, there's something for everyone and every budget. Some speakers are better than others, and some offer better value for what they cost -- both are important factors we take into account when making our list. We also evaluate sound quality, battery life and design, including a speaker's water-resistance rating and durability. After all, these are portable speakers, which should be able to hold up to the elements.

CNET's audio experts have tested all the Bluetooth speakers on this list, and we update the list regularly as new speakers hit the market and some products become outdated. Certain premium models can get pretty expensive, but we also have a number of value picks for people on a tighter budget.

Best Bluetooth speakers of 2024

$149 at Amazon

Best mini Bluetooth speaker

Bose SoundLink Flex

When the SoundLink Flex speaker launched, Bose made some bold claims about its new Bluetooth speaker, particularly its bass performance. But it mostly lives up to the hype and is arguably the best-sounding wireless speaker for its compact size.

Available in three colors -- black, white smoke and stone blue (pictured) -- it's equipped with Bose's PositionIQ technology to automatically detect the speaker's orientation and deliver optimized sound based on whether it's upright, hanging or flat on its back.

Pros:

  • Impressive sound for its compact size
  • Prop it up horizontally, lie it down flat or hang it vertically by its integrated loop
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof (and also floats)
  • Speakerphone

Cons:

  • No audio input
  • Silicone finish on back attracts some dust and lint
$145 at Amazon

Best Bluetooth boom box for the money

Anker Soundcore Motion Boom Plus

Anker's original Soundcore Motion Boom speaker (see below) has been on this list for a while and is still a decent value at sometimes less than than $100. But the Motion Boom Plus is significantly improved. 

Weighing 5.29 pounds (almost a pound more than the Motion Boom), it uses Bluetooth 5.3 and is equipped with upgraded dual 3.5-inch woofers and newly added dual 1-inch tweeters, delivering up to 80 watts of audio output (60 watts for the woofers and 20 watts for the tweeters). Battery life is rated for 20 hours at moderate volume levels. It's also IP67 waterproof and dustproof, and it floats if you happen to drop it in a body of water.

I was impressed with the sound quality, which measures up well against a few more expensive -- and some larger -- speakers on this list. For its size, the speaker is able to put out a lot of sound and mostly manages to avoid distorting at higher volumes.

Pros:

  • Plays loud and delivers very good sound for its size
  • Strong battery life (up to 20 hours)
  • Charges via USB-C, can charge other devices via USB-A
  • IP67 waterproof and dust-resistant

Cons:

  • More expensive than its predecessor
$60 at Amazon

Best value micro Bluetooth speaker

Tribit StormBox Micro 2

Back in 2020, Tribit released the StormBox Micro, a budget version of Bose's excellent SoundLink Micro speaker that delivered surprisingly good sound for its size and modest price. The second-gen StormBox Micro 2 offers improved sound and battery life, along with a charge-out feature that turns the speaker into a power bank for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. An integrated strap allows you to clip it to your backpack or your bike's handlebars.

Like the original, it's an excellent value and easy to recommend if you're looking for a super compact portable wireless speaker. It does cost $60 but sometimes goes on sale for closer to $50.

$300 at Amazon

Best new midsize Bluetooth speaker

Marshall Middleton

Marshall's new-for-2023 Middleton speaker isn't exactly compact. But it also isn't so beefy that you get a workout carrying it around. Weighing 4 pounds (1.8kg), it's bigger than Marshall's Emberton speaker and smaller and more portable than its Kilburn II speaker. Any way you look at it, it sounds very good for its size and puts out a surprising amount of quality bass while offering good treble detail and natural-sounding mids (where vocals live). I also liked that it has equalizer controls on the speaker itself -- I did bump the bass a bit -- and is fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating. 

Battery life is rated at up to 20 hours at moderate volume levels and Marshall says it takes 4.5 hours to fully recharge the speaker. Its USB-C charging port also has a charge-out feature that allows you to use the speaker as a power bank and charge your devices.

You can pair two or more speakers to amplify the sound but you can't pair two speakers together to create a stereo pair. Marshall says the Middleton uses True Stereophonic, "a unique form of multidirectional stereo sound" and I did think the soundstage was bigger than what you typically get from a speaker this size. The only downside to the speaker is that it's fairly expensive but I was otherwise impressed.

$48 at Amazon

Best mini canister speaker

Sony SRS-XB100

For 2023, Sony's smallest Bluetooth speaker has once again been modestly upgraded, with a new Bluetooth chipset, slightly improved sound and speakerphone performance. This portable Bluetooth speaker is both dust- and waterproof with an IP67 certification and, like its predecessor (the SRS-XB13), it's rated for 16 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels and it charges via USB-C. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 with support for the AAC and SBC audio codecs, the speaker plays bigger than you'd think for its small size, with some punch to its bass. It's pretty impressive for a mini mono speaker.  

Though the 9.6-ounce (272-gram) speaker appears to have the same design as the XB13, Sony says its new sound diffusion processor "realizes richer spread sound," which basically means this has a bit wider soundstage, which I can confirm. It can output only so much sound -- yes, it has its limitations -- but if you add a second XB100, you can get stereo sound. Alas, there's no companion app, but that isn't a huge deal.

The XB100 is available in multiple color options and includes a strap so you can attach it to various objects. It also has speakerphone capabilities with an integrated microphone (as I said, the speakerphone's performance has been improved, and callers said they could hear me clearly indoors).

Pros:

  • Slightly improved sound and speakerphone performance
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Up to 16 hours of battery life
  • IP67 waterproof and dust-resistant

Cons:

  • It can put out only so much sound 
  • No companion app
$200 at Best Buy

Best new mini boom box Bluetooth speaker

Anker Soundcore Motion X600

Anker's new Soundcore Motion X600 mini boom box not only has a premium look and feel with a metal grille and carrying handle, but includes some interesting features like spatial audio and support for Sony's LDAC audio codec. It sounds impressive for its relatively compact size and is a good value.

Weighing 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), it's got some heft to it, but it's light enough to carry around without feeling like you're getting a workout. The speaker is available in gray, green and blue color options and is equipped with five drivers, including two woofers, two tweeters and one full-range, upward-firing driver "in a unique speaker array that combined with Soundcore's audio algorithm and DSP helps create a wide (and tall) soundstage for listening to any type of music," according to Anker. It's rated for 50 watts of total power, with two 20-watt amps devoted to the woofers and tweeters and a third 10-watt amp powering the upward-firing driver.

At the default sound setting without bass boost or spatial audio engaged, I wasn't exactly wowed with sound quality (the bass is a bit underwhelming, the mids are recessed and there's a bit too much treble push). But as soon as you engage the bass boost and spatial audio, everything sounds more balanced and full. You can also tweak the sound profile further in the Soundcore companion app for iOS and Android. 

Pros:

  • Premium look and feel
  • Sounds impressive for its relatively compact size
  • Built-in handle and auxiliary input
  • IPX7 waterproof 

Cons:

  • Default sound isn't great (need to engage bass boost and spatial audio)
$45 at Amazon

Good value mini Bluetooth speaker

Anker Soundcore Mini 3

The very compact Soundcore by Anker Mini 3 Bluetooth speaker may not deliver huge sound, but it delivers more sound than you'd think, with just enough bass, from a speaker of its size. Available in multiple color options and weighing around 8 ounces (223 grams), it has an integrated strap and is fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating.

The 6-watt Mini 3 sounds fairly similar to the new Sony SRS-XB100, which retails for $60, around $20 more than the Anker, and features good battery life -- up to 15 hours at moderate volume levels. You can wirelessly link multiple Mini 3s together to create a wider sound field, but most people will use this speaker for casual listening on the go. It also makes for a good bathroom or shower speaker and does have speakerphone capabilities with a built-in microphone.

Editors' choice
$100 at Amazon

Best around $100

Anker Soundcore Motion Plus

Anker's Soundcore Motion Plus came out in 2019, but it remains one of best-sounding speakers for around $100. It's larger than many mini Bluetooth speakers, but it's still compact. It manages to sound quite a bit fuller than much of the competition in its price range, with bigger bass, more volume and better clarity. It's also fully waterproof (IPX7-rated) and has support for the aptX streaming codec for devices like Samsung's Galaxy phones that support it.

Pros:

  • One of the best-sounding speakers for its price
  • Larger than many mini Bluetooth speakers, but still compact
  • Auxiliary input
  • IPX7 waterproof

Cons:

  • Has been out for a while and is due for an update
$136 at Amazon

Mini Bluetooth speaker with slick design

Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound Explore makes its debut on this best list about a year after the speaker was first released (in May 2022) because I was only recently able to get a review sample for testing. While it's a little overpriced for the sound quality it ultimately delivers, it's a very good little speaker that has a sleek, eye-catching design, is fully waterproof and dustproof (IP67 rating), and offers excellent battery life, with up to 27 hours of music listening at moderate volume levels. 

Weighing 22.2 ounces (629 grams), it doesn't have the built-in microphone and speakerphone capabilities of the Beosound A1 2nd Generation, but it's equipped with Bluetooth 5.2 and compatible with the Bang & Olufsen App for iOS and Android, which allows you to upgrade the speaker's firmware and tweak the sound profile with the Beosonic equalizer.

It does deliver more volume than you'd think for its small size and has some decent punch to its bass and ample clarity -- it sounds quite good at moderate volume levels but you can get only so much sound out of it. Comparatively, Bose's SoundLink Flex has a wider soundstage and overall better sound. However, the Beosound Explore has its share of likable traits and comes in a variety of color options.

Pros:

  • Sleek, eye-catching design
  • Decent sound for its size
  • Speakerphone
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Cons:

  • A bit overpriced
$130 at Amazon

Better-sounding Flip

JBL Flip 6

With each new version of the Flip, JBL makes small improvements, and while the latest model, the Flip 6, doesn't look much different from the Flip 5 on the outside, it does feature improved sound. It has two-way drivers with a woofer and tweeter and dual passive radiators that help the Flip 6 deliver much deeper bass than you think it could. 

It's fully waterproof and dustproof with an IPX67 rating. Like the Flip 5, it's rated for up to 12 hours of audio playback at moderate volume levels and charges via USB-C. Available in multiple color options, it's one of the best-sounding speakers for its compact size.

Pros:

  • One of the best-sounding speaker for its size
  • Good design
  • Listen to it horizontally or vertically
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Cons:

  • A liittle overpriced
$250 at Amazon

Best compact Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree light show

JBL Pulse 5

JBL Pulse speaker is now on its fifth generation and both the sound quality and 360-degree light show have been improved. JBL has "expanded the transparent outer body" so the customizable light show (there's a companion app for iOS and Android that allows you to alter the colorful lighting effects) looks more impressive. The speaker is also IP67 dustproof and waterproof, and it offers up to 12 hours of battery at moderate volume levels.

The speaker now has a separate tweeter and a passive bass radiator that delivers fairly punchy bass. I'd say the speaker delivers very good but not great sound for its size and price (it distorts a little at higher volumes). For sound, it's sort of in between JBL's Flip 6 and Charge 5, so you'll arguably get slightly better sound from the Charge 5. But you're really buying this speaker for the light show -- that's what makes it unique and special and it does look mesmerizing.

Note that you can pair this with another JBL PartyBoost compatible speaker for stereo sound or link multiple JBL PartyBoost speakers for augmented sound.  Also, you can find this speaker on Amazon as part of a bundle with a protective carrying case thrown in for the same price as the speaker by itself.

$60 at Amazon

Best-sounding Bluetooth speaker under $100

Tribit MaxSound Plus

The Tribit MaxSound Plus is about 30% bigger than its sibling, the XSound Go, and costs almost twice as much, 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 lithium-ion battery and superior sound quality for a Bluetooth speaker.

Pros:

  • One of the best-sounding speakers for its price
  • Compact
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life
  • IPX7 waterproof

Cons:

  • Design is a little generic looking 
$180 at Best Buy

Impressive sound for a relatively compact Bluetooth speaker

JBL Charge 5

JBL's Charge 5 offers a good balance of size, performance and durability. It's bigger than some of the mini speakers on this list, like the Flip 5, but is still compact and packs more bass punch and overall volume. Featuring a built-in USB charging port for juicing up your mobile devices, it offers improved audio and a dust- and waterproof design that's elevated from the previous Charge. According to JBL, the speaker is equipped with a "racetrack-shaped driver," with a separate tweeter and dual passive radiators, to improve both clarity and bass performance over the Charge 4. (In my tests, this indeed proved to be the case.) 

Battery life is rated at 20 hours at moderate volume levels. This model is also equipped with JBL's PartyBoost feature that allows you to connect it to other compatible JBL portable speakers to augment their sound. The Charge 5 comes in six color options: black, blue, gray, red, teal and "squad" (which looks like a kind of camo).

Pros:

  • Good balance of size, performance and durability
  • USB-A out charging port
  • Listen to it horizontally or vertically
  • IP67 waterproof and dustproof

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey 
$37 at Amazon

Excellent value mini Bluetooth speaker

Tribit XSound Go

Despite being on the market for a few years, the Tribit XSound Go remains one of the top Bluetooth speakers for the money. Besides sounding decent for streaming your favorite music and more, this affordable Bluetooth speaker is also fully waterproof. It has had some small upgrades over the years.

Pros:

  • Very good value
  • Good sound for its compact size
  • Up to 24 hours of battery life
  • IPX7 waterproof

Cons:

  • Design is a little generic 
$399 at Bose

Best Bose portable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speaker

Bose Portable Home Speaker

Bose's Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Portable Home Speaker is more compact and easier to carry around than the Sonos Move and costs a little less. This Bose speaker delivers big sound for its relatively small size (the Sonos does sound better, however) and links with other speakers in the brand's Wi-Fi Home speaker line to create a multiroom audio system.

Pros:

  • Premium look and feel
  • Sounds good for its size
  • Built-in handle
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity (multiroom audio option)

Cons:

  • Fairly pricey
$356 at Amazon

Top-sounding jumbo Bluetooth speaker

UE Hyperboom

Ultimate Ears' Boom Bluetooth speakers come in a few different sizes, but none of them are as big as the Hyberboom. A supersize wireless speaker that tips the scales at a hefty 13 pounds, the Hyperboom makes the UE Megaboom 3 look unquestionably puny. It's not cheap, but its sound quality is better than a lot of the jumbo portable speakers on the market right now.

UE Boom reps told me the Hyperboom was created after the company got feedback from its customers looking for a bigger speaker that could play loud enough and have deep enough bass to power a party. The speaker can do just that -- Ultimate Ears says it's three times as loud and has six-and-a-half times the bass of Megaboom 3 -- and has no trouble filling a fairly large room with sound.

Pros:

  • Excellent sound with strong bass
  • Rugged design
  • Built-in carrying strap
  • Auxiliary and optical inputs

Cons:

  • Not so easy to carry around
  • Pricey
$79 at Amazon

Best for clipping onto a backpack

JBL Clip 4

For its first three generations, JBL's Clip micro Bluetooth speaker had a circular design. But for the fourth-gen Clip 4, JBL has moved to a more oval shape, bulked up the speaker slightly and added USB-C charging. This portable Bluetooth speaker does seem more durable, with a sturdier integrated carabiner clip. Also, it sounds a little better, with more volume, clearer sound and more bass. With an IP67 water-resistance rating, it can survive being dunked in shallow water and is dustproof. The Clip 4 is right up there with the best overall micro Bluetooth speakers.

Pros:

  • Very good sound for its small size
  • Sturdier integrated carabiner clip
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof

Cons:

  • Can only output so much bass
$77 at Amazon

Most durable

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

We liked Ultimate Ears' Wonderboom 2 and the third-generation model, the Wonderboom 3, offers some small improvements, including slightly better battery life (up to 14 hours instead of 13, at moderate volume levels) and a new Bluetooth chip that allows for extended wireless range of over 130 feet (40 meters). The design has not changed, though the speaker now comes in different color options.

Like its predecessor, the Wonderboom 3 started at a price of $100 but sometimes sells for less. Its IP67 rating means that it's not only waterproof but also dustproof (and able to float).

This model retains the special Outdoor Boost mode that boosts treble and you can link two together (or pair a Wonderboom 3 to a Wonderboom 2) to create a stereo sound pairing by simply pressing a button on each speaker. As far as I can tell, the Wonderboom 3 sounds similar to the Wonderboom 2 and features very good sound for its small size. That said, while there's some punch to the bass (being short yet squat helps it produce more low end), it can only deliver so much kick. 

Alas, Ultimate Ears, which is owned by Logitech, has not upgraded the charging port to USB-C. The speaker still charges with a Micro-USB cable, which is a bit of a bummer.

Pros:

  • Very good sound for its size with decent bass
  • Rugged design
  • Extended wireless range (40 meters)
  • Waterproof and dustproof (and it floats)

Cons:

  • Micro-USB charging (not USB-C)
  • Less slim than some micro Bluetooth speakers
$400 at Amazon

Best portable party speaker

JBL PartyBox 110

Released in 2021, the PartyBox 110 packs some serious punch and delivers bigger sound than many portable boombox speakers, including JBL's own Boombox 3. There's an integrated handle for toting the speaker, but the PartyBox 110 is pretty hefty, weighing in at 23 pounds and measuring slightly more than 22 inches tall. You can stand this Bluetooth boom box up vertically as shown in the picture above or place it horizontally, as it has rubber feet on both sides of the speaker.

It's rated for up to 12 hours of playback time at moderate volume levels and has a redesigned light show that syncs to the beat of your music (you can customize the light show from the speaker itself or use the JBL PartyBox companion app). 

The speaker has Bluetooth or a wired USB connection and there are guitar and mic inputs. It's also worth noting that the speaker is IPX4 splash-proof and you can wirelessly link two PartyBox 110 speakers together for stereo sound.

$75 at Amazon

Best value mini boombox

Anker Soundcore Motion Boom

Anker's more expensive Soundcore Motion Boom Plus (see above) is a substantial sound upgrade over the original Motion Boom but this model remains a very good mini boom box for the money. Equipped with a handle and weighing a little over 4 pounds, the speaker reminds me of one of those giant flashlights or "floating lanterns" that were in vogue about 30 years ago. For the record, the Motion Boom actually does float and is fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating. 

Anker says the Motion Boom delivers "huge stereo sound," and yes, it plays pretty loud and has a decent amount of bass with reasonable clarity. I kept the bass boost on at all times because it sounds better that way. The Motion Boom can't compete against bigger and more expensive speakers like JBL's Boombox 2 and Ultimate Ears' Hyperboom, but it packs a lot more volume and punch than more compact Bluetooth speakers like JBL's Flip 5 and Flip 6. It also travels well, so it's ideal for a beach excursion or a little tailgating.

Pros:

  • Good value
  • Plays pretty loud with decent bass and reasonable clarity
  • Not too heavy
  • Fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating

Cons:

  • Step-up Soundcore Motion Boom Plus sounds significantly better
$179 at Sonos

Sonos portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker

Sonos Roam

Available in white or black for $179, the Roam is currently the smallest and most affordable Sonos speaker (if you don't count those $99 Sonos-compatible Symfonisk Ikea Wi-Fi bookshelf speakers), though it's fairly expensive for a mini wireless speaker. This Sonos Roam model, like Sonos' earlier Move portable speaker ($400), is equipped with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and can tap into an existing Sonos multiroom audio system and link with other Series 2-compatible Sonos speakers.

Pros:

  • Premium look and feel
  • Sounds good for its compact size
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity (multiroom audio option)
  • Waterproof and dustproof (IP67 rating)

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
$54 at Amazon

Cheaper alternative to JBL Flip

Tribit StormBox

Tribit's StormBox speaker looks like a cross between a UE and a JBL speaker. We suspect that's not an accident. This fully waterproof speaker costs about significantly less than the JBL Flip 5 and Flip 6 and produces bigger sound. Its rechargeable battery offers up to 20 hours of battery life for playing music and more. Tribit's XSound speakers are probably a better value, but the StormBox is more stylish.

Pros:

  • Decent value
  • Plays pretty loud with decent bass and reasonable clarity
  • Up to 20 hours of battery
  • Fully waterproof 

Cons:

  • A little generic looking
$120 at Best Buy

Top micro Bluetooth speaker

Marshall Willen

Marshall's little mono Willen speaker is similar to Bose's SoundLink Micro and other micro speakers like the Tribit StormBox Micro 2. Also like those speakers, it has an integrated strap on its base so you can clip it onto a backpack or even to your bike's handlebars. Its 2-inch full range driver and two passive radiators put out more sound than you'd think it would for its tiny size, and it offers decent clarity as well just enough bass to avoid sounding tinny (you can choose from three preset sound modes). 

Battery life is good at around 15 hours of playback time at moderate volume levels, and the speaker is IPX67 dustproof and waterproof. The main strike against it is its $100 price -- ideally it would cost around $80. But it's nicely designed, feels rugged and fits in a jacket pocket, weighing in at 0.68-pound (308 grams).

The Willen can stand up vertically or lay down horizontally and has a built-in microphone for speakerphone calls. It comes in a couple of color options and can be linked wirelessly with other Willen speakers to augment the sound.

Pros:

  • Very compact
  • Good sound for its tiny size
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating
  • Speakerphone

Cons:

  • A little overpriced
$186 at Amazon

Impressive-sounding ultracompact speaker (and speakerphone)

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd-Gen)

Last year Bang & Olufsen upgraded its dome-shaped aluminum-clad A1 speaker with improved battery life, better speakerphone performance (it now has a three-microphone array) and slightly improved sound. It's not only the smallest wireless speaker from the Danish company, it's technically the most affordable.

While the speaker drivers remain the same, the Qualcomm chipset that powers the speaker has been upgraded (the speaker uses Bluetooth 5.1), bumping the sound quality a tad, particularly at higher volumes, with better digital signal processing. It remains one of the best-sounding mini Bluetooth speakers, with richer, more tonally balanced sound than other Bluetooth speakers its size -- and it should sound good, considering its elevated price.

It's also worth noting that the A1 has multipoint Bluetooth pairing so you can connect this to your PC and smartphone at the same time and easily switch back and forth between the two if a call comes in on your phone. Additionally, the smart speaker is Alexa-enabled, meaning you can activate Amazon's voice assistant by just saying, "Alexa." 

Battery life is rated at up to 18 hours at 50% volume (the earlier A1 didn't live up to its battery life claims but this number is more accurate) and if you can afford it, you can link two A1 speakers to create a stereo pair. The speaker is waterproof with an IP67 rating, which means it can be submerged briefly in shallow water.

Pros:

  • Premium look and feel
  • Good sound with decent bass and reasonable clarity
  • Speakerphone
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof with an IPX67 rating

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
$74 at Amazon

Best value mini Bluetooth party speaker

Tribit XSound Mega

Over the last few years, Tribit has made several Bluetooth speakers that deliver a lot of boom for the buck. Add its new XSound Mega to the list.

Tribit is billing the XSound Mega as more of an outdoor speaker -- a lanyard is included for toting it around as a sort of mini boombox -- but it works just fine indoors. It has an LED light show that you can turn on or off and there are three EQ settings for sound: XBass, Music and Audiobook. Additionally, it can be used as a power bank to charge your mobile devices.

In my tests, the speaker compared pretty favorably to more expensive speakers like the JBL Charge 5. There's plenty of bass and the speaker plays loud for its size, with decent clarity. That said, it's a mono speaker with a single driver and two bass radiators -- that's how you get all that bass. So while you can expect big sound, the soundstage doesn't feel all that wide, particularly at lower volumes. It actually sounds better at higher volumes.

$50 at Amazon

Pocket-friendly wireless speaker

JBL Go 3

The JBL Go 3's durable design, coupled with surprisingly decent sound for its tiny size, make it one of the top micro Bluetooth speakers out there.

Available in multiple color options, it has an IP67 water-resistance rating, meaning it can be dunked in water and is dustproof. Battery life is rated at up to 5 hours.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Decent sound for its tiny size
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating
  • Attractive design

Cons:

  • Can only deliver so much bass and volume
$119 at Bose

Top-notch micro speaker

Bose SoundLink Micro

Although a little pricey and due to be upgraded, the Bose SoundLink Micro sounds remarkably decent for its tiny size, delivering more bass than other pocketable speakers. It's a fully waterproof Bluetooth speaker and available in three color options, although the blue version appears to be hard to find. 

While this model is truly pocket-size -- and that's certainly an appealing feature -- the bigger but still compact SoundLink Flex sounds significantly better and is also the better value though it costs more.

Pros:

  • Compact
  • Great sound for its tiny size
  • Fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating
  • Durable design

Cons:

  • Micro-USB charging (no USB-C)
  • Due for an upgrade
$250 at Walmart

Portable Bluetooth speaker with big sound

Monoprice Soundstage 3

Monoprice tends to make pretty generic-looking electronics products, and its understated Soundstage 3 Bluetooth speaker probably isn't going to wow you with its design although its minimalist aesthetic has its appeal. I wouldn't buy this speaker at its list price of $250, but it's often discounted to closer to $150, where it's a good value thanks to its ability to play big sound with strong bass and decent clarity, with 50 watts of power that drives a 5.25-inch "concave aluminum cone woofer" flanked by two 1-inch silk-dome tweeters. It also has good connectivity options, including digital optical, 3.5mm analog and RCA analog wired inputs that allow you to connect your television or another stereo component. There's also a sub-out port. 

The 11.3-pound Soundstage 3 is fairly beefy and is designed more for moving around rooms inside your home or patio duty (it doesn't appear to be water resistant however). Its battery life is pretty average at around 10 hours at moderate volume levels, and it's equipped with Bluetooth 4.2 instead of the newer Bluetooth 5.0. However, that's not a big deal for Bluetooth speakers, as even Bose uses Bluetooth 4.2 in its popular Flex speaker because it provides a reliable connection.

Pros:

  • Big sound with strong bass
  • Digital optical, 3.5mm analog and RCA analog wired inputs
  • Sub-out port
  • Built-in handle

Cons:

  • Generic design
  • No water-resistance rating

Factors to consider when choosing a Bluetooth speaker

Budget

Before anything else, you'll want to figure out how much you're willing to spend on a new Bluetooth speaker. Value priced wireless speakers continue to improve, so you can find good "cheap" Bluetooth Bluetooth speakers from Chinese brands like Tribit for not too much money (less than $60). But if you're looking for a more premium speaker, you can expect to pay $100 or more, especially for larger portable speakers that deliver better sound

Size 

Bigger speakers tend to sound better, delivering bigger sound with more bass. But going bigger means they weigh more, which can make them a little harder to carry around. So you have to balance size with performance if you're looking for something that's easily portable. If you're interested in a larger portable speaker, one feature worth looking out for is a built-in handle. 

Durability

Many Bluetooth speakers now are now fully waterproof and some fully dustproof. If you're planning on taking the speaker with you to the beach or on a hiking trip, having a more durable speaker is a desirable trait.

Speakerphone capabilities

Some speakers have a built-in microphone that turns them into a speakerphone when making calls on your cell phone. However, many speakers don't offer that feature. So choose accordingly if that's something you're looking for.

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How we test Bluetooth speakers

In assessing what the best Bluetooth speakers are, we consider the design of the speaker, and particularly how durable it seems, along with sound quality, battery life, extra features (such as additional connectivity options) and overall value. We test speakers in real-life environments both indoors and outdoors and compare it to other speakers in the same price range.

The list includes everything from compact mini models and pocket-size micro versions to heftier models with powerful audio. For more, check out our lists of the best smart speakers, and the best Wi-Fi speakers and music systems.

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Bluetooth speaker FAQs

How do I choose a Bluetooth speaker?

When choosing a Bluetooth speaker, what it really comes down to is size and price. If you're looking for a very portable speaker, you'll want to get something very compact, but remember that smaller speakers usually produce less sound and bass than larger ones. So while there are plenty of mini Bluetooth speakers that deliver bigger sound than you might expect, they do have their sonic limitations. For a lot of people it's a question of finding a speaker that's not too big or too small -- one that travels well but also is capable of producing good sound for its size. But finding the best portable Bluetooth speaker also comes down to your budget.

Price can be a limiting factor. You may not want to spend $150 or more for a small speaker. Luckily, there are plenty of good options for $100, and some decent mini Bluetooth speakers can cost less than $50. Also, certain "value" brands that sell primarily on Amazon are strongly worth considering because they do offer a lot for the money.

If you're looking for the best sound quality, as I said, bigger is usually better, and some larger portable Bluetooth speakers -- sometimes referred to as Bluetooth boom boxes -- can put out a lot of sound and have an integrated handle for toting them around.

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How do I connect a Bluetooth speaker with my TV?

Well, first of all, you need a TV, video streaming device or set-top cable or satellite box that has Bluetooth. You connect a Bluetooth speaker just like you do Bluetooth earbuds: through the Bluetooth settings menu on your TV or those aforementioned devices (Apple TV, for instance, has Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to connect your AirPods). 

The only issue with connecting a Bluetooth speaker to your TV is that there can be some audio-video syncing issues due to Bluetooth lag. In some cases, where your Bluetooth speaker has an audio input (a few high-end Bluetooth speakers even have digital audio inputs), you can use a wired connection to the speaker via the audio outputs on your TV. 

Soundbars tend to use the optical or HDMI connection on your TV to get sound. Many soundbars have a Bluetooth option so you can wirelessly stream music from your phone to the soundbar.

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What is the loudest Bluetooth speaker?

The loudest Bluetooth speakers are the biggest ones. Sometimes they're referred to as boom boxes or "party" speakers. Some of those speakers are portable and have built-in rechargeable batteries while the biggest party speakers literally have wheels on them for transport and need to be plugged in with an AC adapter because they require so much power. 

We have a list of best wireless boom box speakers if you're looking for a bigger Bluetooth speaker. It's also worth noting that Bluetooth speakers from the same company can be daisy-chained together to augment their sound or paired together as a left-right stereo pair. Often, the best way to get bigger sound is to pair two Bluetooth speakers together in a stereo pair.

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