The Best Bluetooth speakers listen to music better whether you use them for casual music listening or having a small outdoor get-together at home. Available in various types and sizes, these speakers make it easy to bring great sound anywhere from the beach to your backyard. But the market seems flooded with many options at the moment, so choosing the best speaker is more difficult than you might think.
Here are the 5 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers.
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1. JBL FLIP 4
JBL Flip 4 not only wins the award for being the best all-rounder, but it also has the best sound quality out of all the other compact speakers in this article. In the box, you’ve got Bluetooth 4.2, Micro-USB charging, and an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it’s fully waterproof for up to 30 Minutes.
The build and design are excellent, with both ends of the speaker having a passive bass radiator, which you can watch pulsate and vibrate at loud volumes. In terms of battery life, you’ve got 12 hours of playback on a single charge, which is good but not quite the best out of all the five speakers in this article, but when it comes to pure sound quality, this speaker is the best out of all the compact options.
Its bass-boosted sound profile is truly impressive for its size and offers insane clarity even at higher volumes but, what gives the Flip 4 an edge over other compact speakers in terms of sound quality. It is not only its bass, but it also has mids and highs, which also provide clarity that ensures they are never affected by deep bass.
But there’s a newer model of the speaker available right now, the JBL FLIP 5. Despite having USBC fast charging and noticeably improved sound quality, slightly higher volume, and having the ability to pair with other JBL Partybox speakers. It also has no improvements in terms of battery life or Bluetooth connection, and it’s slightly bigger, heavier, and more expensive.
JBL FLIP 5
If you are on a tight budget, there’s no denying that the Flip 4 is better value for money since it offers the same sick of build quality, the same battery life, the same Bluetooth connection, and a very similar sound signature. So the final decision with you.
2. TRIBIT MAX SOUND PLUS
The Tribit Max Sound Plus won the award for being not only the cheapest but surprisingly the loudest and has the longest battery life of any other speaker in this article. The build quality is excellent, with a matte black rubberized finish, great button controls, and you’ve also got Bluetooth 4.2, Micro USB charging, and an Ipx7 waterproof rating.
But even despite being less than half the price of the Flip 4 in the UK, you even gain a few features of the JBL Flip 4 doesn’t have. First of all, the Max Sound Plus has a bass boost button, which instantly delivers punchy a deeper bass but crucially, we’ve got a beastly 20 hours of playback, which is not far off double that of the Flip 4.
The sound quality with bass boost off is decent but distinctly flat and lacking bass, so because of that, I keep bass boost on at all times, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon, but even with the bass boost on the Max Sound Plus still only just, manages to catch the bass on the Flip 4.
Overall the Max sound plus win the award for being the loudest Bluetooth speaker in this article, reading around 115 decibels at 100% volume that is 3 decibels more than the mid-sized.
3. ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM 2
The WONDERBOOM 2 offers excellent sound quality in a compact frame, and it wins the award for being the most durable and outdoor-ready speaker by a mile.
Why is it so outdoor-ready? The Wonderboom 2 is Ip67 water and dust resistant, meaning it’s not only waterproof but it’s also 100% dust-tight not a grain of sand can enter the body of the Wonderboom, and that’s important if you’re going to be using it out of the house or on the beach.
It also features an outdoor boost button on the base of the speaker this doesn’t increase the overall volume it does adjust the sound signature so that the sound is much clearer at a distance. However, you will lose a little bass with this enabled, but it is a feature worth having if you do love the great outdoors. There are tons of different vibrant colorways to choose from with the Wonderboom 2, and the build quality is insanely high with very responsive button controls.
In terms of longevity, the Wonderboom 2 has a 13-hour battery life, which is pretty formidable though not quite as long-lasting as the Tribit Maxsound Plus. It also has micro USB charging, and you can pair two of these speakers with one device to sync to playback. When it comes to pure sound quality, the Wonderboom 2 comes in third place to the JBL Flip 4 and Maxsound Plus.
Bass isn’t the Wonderboom strong point but, the overall sound signature is incredibly well-balanced, with the mids and highs still offering excellent clarity. It’s a great option even if you never intend to take this thing out of the house, and it’s one of the only affordable Bluetooth speakers to offer 360° sound at this lower price point.
4. ANKER SOUNDCORE MOTION PLUS
If portability isn’t your priority, and you’re mostly going to be using the speaker at home, then a mid-size Anker Soundcore Motion Plus speaker is ideal for you. The Motion Plus wins the award for being the most future-proof and without a doubt offers the best value for money even despite not being the cheapest in this article.
The build quality is insanely good as always, with anchor feeling and looking much more like a high-end Sony product than the budget hero it truly is. The Anker Soundcore Motion Plus is the only speaker in this article to have Bluetooth 5.0 so, that’s faster pairing and a stronger connection as a further distance and the support of AptX codec the higher sound quality and less audio-visual lack.
It’s Ipx7 waterproof and charges through USB-C the faster-charging speeds, so in terms of future-proofing, the sound call Motion Plus is the best option by a mile, given you insane value for money. It offers 12 hours of battery life but, it does charge up very quickly thanks to its USB-C port, and if you have two of these speakers, you can pair them so that they play the same music in sync from one device.
When it comes to sound quality, there’s no doubt that the Soundcore Motion Plus is the best and even with the bass boost turned off, the Motion Plus still offers decent bass compared to the other compacts. The mids are great, and the highs also offer solid clarity and volume, but it is bigger, heavier, and less portable. However, you can also change the Motion plus Equalizer settings in the Anker app that only adds even more value for money.
If a mid-size speaker doesn’t put you off because you’re about to use it at home 99% of the time, then the Soundcore Motion Plus is the better choice overall for the compact speakers so far.
5. SONY XB32
The Sony XB32 wins the award for being the bassist speaker of the bunch and for being the only one with a full-on light show. Similar to the Wonder Boom 2, it’s the only other speaker in this article to have an Ip67 rating making it dustproof and waterproof, perfect for withstanding any outdoor excursion.
It has Bluetooth 4.2, MicroUSB charging, and like most Sony products, it supports the LDAC codec for the streaming of insanely high-quality audio, and the Sony XB32 can even act as a power bank and charge your smartphone if you need it.
The battery life is pretty insane, promising 24 hours of playback with the extra bass and LEDs turned off with extra bass, and the LEDs on you can expect 14 hours of playback, which is still better than almost all other options. The Sony XB32 also has a live mode, which you can enable with a single button press, and it offers more of a surround sound type of effect though it does sacrifice a little bass to pull this off.
The base on the XB32 seems to offer a little more detail and clarity, sounding warmer with more resonance overall, and the mids on the XB 32 are noticeably quieter against that Sony brand of deep bass. That allows vocals and bass to often compete for the spotlight on the XB32, although you may be happy to hear that it can easily be tweaked in the Sony Music Center app.
In the app, you can custom manipulate the equalizer to suit your tastes which, only adds more value to this speaker.
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