The drivers are placed on both sides of speakers making the music sound flow in all directions 360 degrees.
Probably not the best one for watching films - the sound may be delayed.
The Ultimate Ears BOOM 2 wireless speaker can offer you great sound quality under various conditions, including quite extreme (IPX7 protection), while providing the simplest controls and settings (Siri, Google Now voice integration).
NFC; Bluetooth; 1 x MicroUSB (charge); 1 x MiniJack 3.5 mm
2 active drivers + 2 passive radiators
Up to 15 hours
18 x 6.7 x 6.7 cm
An IPX7 protection rating allows using the speaker not just in harsh weather conditions but also completely submerging the device under water (up to 1.5 meters deep).
Loud volume drains the battery faster.
You can connect 2 mobile gadgets to it for a shuffle playback. The JBL Connect+ technology allows syncing up to 100 devices. A compact cylindric design makes the speaker easy to hold even with one hand. Available in a variety of colours.
Bluetooth, Micro USB
2 x 8W with passive ABR
Up to 12 hours
17.5 x 7 x 6.8 cm
Thanks to an innovative energy saving technology the speaker can be used for up to 24 hours.
The bass sound is not very impressive.
The speaker has a special "Grab-and-go" design that makes it easy to carry. The model is splash- and waterproof, which is perfect for long trips. On top of that, it has a great sound range, thanks to the two decent speakers.
Bluetooth, Micro USB, AUX Line in
2 x 6W
Up to 24 hours
16.5 x 5.4 x 4.5 cm
A passive radiator provides a deep and rich bass.
The matte finish tends to stain easily.
A small Bluetooth speaker with a convenient strap that allows hanging the device almost anywhere you need. On top of that, this model has a stylish look, waterproof housing and a stable Bluetooth connectivity (up to 10 metres) to ensure a comfort of use no matter what.
Bluetooth, Micro USB
1 x 5W
Up to 16 hours
7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1 cm
When your smartphone is low on energy and you don't want to risk it with Bluetooth, you can use AUX line connection or a micro SD card to listen to your favourite songs.
The volume controls could be more sensitive.
The DOSS portable wireless speaker is a model on the affordable side of the market but it has some features of more expensive options and offers powerful stereo sound. Plus, it takes only 3 to 4 hours to charge.
Bluetooth; 1 x MicroUSB (charge); 1 x Mini Jack 3.5 mm; microSD slot
2 x 6W
Up to 12 hours
16.8 x 7.4 x 6.9 cm
Ultimate Ears BOOM 2
The Ultimate Ears UE BOOM 2 Bluetooth Wireless Speaker is the best purchase for those who can't imagine their life without music. A couple of 45-mm active drivers and two additional 45x80 mm passive radiators located on either side of the speaker ensure a quality sound 360° around the speaker. Everyone gathered around will hear the music perfectly.
You can wirelessly connect this speaker to not only one but two devices at a time, and with a special app on your smartphone, you will be able to gather all the UE BOOM 2 speakers around and play your music through all of them simultaneously. Just imagine having ten of these things placed all around the room. It's a surround sound! This model also supports both Siri and Google Now so you can control the playback with your voice and not bother about finding where you've placed the source. Furthermore, an IPX7 water protection allows taking the Ultimate Ears Bluetooth speaker to the pool or when you go kayaking. And to remember the fun you had on your trips even years later, you might want to also obtain a waterproof camera.
JBL Flip 4
An Essential Model for Harsh Weather
The next generation model from JBL features an improved housing with an IPX7 protection index that offers an exceptional water resistance to the speakers. With an almost completely waterproof body, the JBL Flip 4 will be your true companion no matter where you go.
As for the specifications of this model, it offers a frequency response range from 70 Hz to 20 kHz, which is quite wide for such a small model. Additionally, the upgraded wireless system allows for a better and an almost seamless connection, thanks to the Bluetooth 4.1 pairing.
The speaker is really easy to hold, thanks to its cylindrical shape and relatively light weight of 520 grammes, compared to other models in its price range. Optionally, this model is available in a variety of different colours and patterns so you can choose the one that fits your personal style.
With a 3000 mAh battery on board, you will be able to enjoy listening to your favourite artists for 12 hours from a single charge. Moreover, it takes only 1.5 hours to completely recharge the battery. A highly versatile stereo speaker, the JBL Flip 4 offers a high-quality sound in a compact body and will be suitable for those who can’t imagine their life without music.
Anker SoundCore 2 (AK-A3102011)
Easy to Hold, Hard to Put Away
A perfect pick for the beach and pool parties, the Anker SoundCore 2 has a special IPX5 protected housing that prevents the water splashes and sand from getting under the cover and damaging the electric parts of the device.
The battery capacity of the device is quite impressive and allows you to use the boombox for about 24 hours before it will need to be recharged. Meaning, you can easily listen to your favourite tracks for the whole weekend and still have some charge left after that.
The sound quality is an essential part of any acoustic system and this model has a few things to offer. Although hardly comparable to home or computer speakers, still, thanks to the BassUp technology, this model has a decent-quality bass sound. At the same time, the treble of this Bluetooth speaker has a wide range, thanks to a pair of 6W drivers that are able to produce a sound of an exceptionally high quality that won’t be left unnoticed by music enthusiasts.
As for the convenient features, the speaker has a built-in microphone that offers not just hands-free calls but also quick access to your music library by means of Siri and Google Now voice assistants.
To sum up, a budget-friendly Anker SoundCore 2 is perhaps one of the few models that are light, easy to use, and can offer an unexpectedly high-quality sound.
Sony XB10 (SRSXB10)
A Top-Notch Sound Quality
The portable Bluetooth speaker from Sony will be a perfect pick for people with an active lifestyle. Its extremely light weight of just about 260 grammes makes the speaker highly portable and easy to hold. In case you don’t have a hard case for the speaker you can put it inside your bag, backpack or glove box of your car, thanks to its small size it fits almost any container. Highly convenient, it is hard not to think that it is one of the best mini Bluetooth speakers just by looking at the dimensions of the device.
As for the sound quality, the speakers have a lot to offer. Thanks to the patented Sony EXTRA BASS technology, you can truly bring your music to life. The passive radiator creates a significant bass boost despite the modest dimensions of the device. As for more impressive features, this little fellow is able to play music for up to 16 hours straight without the need of recharging the battery.
Like all other products from Sony, the construction of this portable speaker is of top quality. The same goes for the quality of sound, which is simply amazing considering that this tiny speaker can fit in a pocket of your jacket. What is more, this speaker has an IPX5 water protection housing that ensures that no rain or other liquid drops will damage the device.
Highly portable, loud, bass-rich - these are just a few features that make this model one of the best mini Bluetooth speakers on the market today.
Now Touch It
This peculiar Bluetooth speaker has no control buttons. Instead, it has a panel using which you can pause/play, skip tracks, receive calls, and adjust volume with a single touch. It actually takes a bit to get used to but when you do, the whole process looks coolly futuristic.
The speaker is a bit on the heavy side, it weighs around 700 grammes, however, there are several reasons for that. The first and probably the crucial would be the powerful 2200mAh Li-ion battery that provides it with up to 12 hours of uninterrupted playback after just 3 to 4 hours of charging. Perfect for long rides, picnics, and strolling around with friends day after day. There are two drivers that offer 12 Watts of power, the sound is really nice for the device of this class and price, with distinctive basses (well, as far as it can go without a separate subwoofer) and impressive volume.
The DOSS SoundBox is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices and in case your phone is dying on you and you don't have a power bank so you are wary of turning on the Bluetooth, or you have a player without Bluetooth, you can use an AUX cable for a wired connection or insert an SD card with music into the TF card slot.
You can choose this model in one of four colours: classic black, white, blue, or red.
What Is a Bluetooth Speaker?
Can't spend a day without music and sharing it with others, but your phone/tablet sound just doesn't satisfy you? There is no need to suffer from limitations anymore. Bluetooth speaker is an easy-to-use portable device, which offers its owner a chance to enjoy a high-quality sound at any place and time. Just connect any of your devices - a laptop, a phone, a tablet - and freely listen to music with your friends, during a walk, or on a family picnic. And not only that! A number of models come with a built-in microphone, enabling you to communicate via the speaker.
If you are interested in portable acoustics you might as well want to have a look at our review covering some more advanced models for home use - computer speakers.
What Features to Compare
The first thing we should pay our attention to is the interfaces that our Bluetooth speaker has. All of the modern portable speaker models are able to connect via Bluetooth, usually with a version 4.0 set by a manufacturer, which allows up to 10 m of distance for connectivity. Except for that standard connection, more advanced models are equipped with a high-speed NFC protocol used to synchronise devices simply by touching one of them to another. And there are models that offer you an alternative to a wireless connection - they can be connected via AUX audio cable. The most functional models, of course, have all of those features, wireless and wire-based alike.
When we are done reviewing all the different types of interfaces, next characteristic to note is Bluetooth speaker's performance. The quality and loudness of sound would mostly depend on the general power of the speaker and in order to obtain good and qualitative sounding the power should be not less than 3W. For those who look into buying a speaker for the outdoor use where there are such interferences to the sound as wind, we would recommend getting one with a power between 10W and 20W. Due to the device being portable, its performance depends on the time a model can work on a single charge and also on the amount of speakers inside. The usual operation time for Bluetooth portative speakers varies from 5 to 10 hours, but there are models able to last much longer after being fully charged. The number of drivers is also extremely important, as some may argue that devices with only one driver are unable to transfer the full richness of the original sound. For those who seek the best of sound quality, we would recommend choosing a model with more than one driver and, even better, a subwoofer, to experience everything the sound has to offer.
Now it's time to have a look at other features of the model. For once — size, as the device is designed to be portable. Size and weight play a big role since they influence the comfort the speaker can be carried around with. Some might want to use their speakers near the pool or at the beach. In this case, they might want to consider getting one with some kind of water and/or dust protection. Also, there are models with a high battery capacity allowing not only a long working time but also charging your other devices using its USB port. For comfortable speaker charging some companies provide charging cradles. When you need to find your way through the unfamiliar area the speaker can help with voice navigation tips for some models come with a voice helper installed, which can easily help you search for information, order food, and keep up-to-date with the news.
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2. Ben Stockton How to buy the best wireless or Bluetooth speaker, Which?
3. Bluetooth speaker buying guide, Best Buy.
4. How to pick the best wireless speaker, Consumer Reports. March 2016.
5. Electric Jen Choosing a portable Bluetooth speaker, Teslarati. March 3, 2016.