The speaker's output is really impressive: it works at frequencies of 60Hz-20kHz and produces sound up to 80 dB. To add more, it uses the JBL Connect+ technology that allows you to hook this speaker up to more than 100 compatible devices and achieve even more powerful sound and drive.
Charging time might take longer than stated by the manufacturer.
Fitted with a capacious battery, this portable JBL Charge 4 speaker will provide you with hours of playback on end. Furthermore, it will allow you to enjoy your music anywhere, as it boasts a premium-quality casing with IPX7 waterproof protection which secures the device against harsh weather conditions.
Bluetooth 4.2, 1 x USB (charge), 1 x Mini Jack 3.5 mm
Single driver x 30 W
Up to 20 hours
220 x 95 x 93 mm
The two drivers and two passive radiators guarantee great surround sound quality. And the accompanying app gives access to remote control, equalizer adjustment, an alarm clock, and much more.
The instructions are poor.
This water-resistant speaker is great for both indoor and outdoor parties and it can get pretty loud for such a compact device. The sound quality is high and the long battery life guarantees that you can party non-stop and enjoy the tunes the way they're meant to be.
Bluetooth, 1 x MicroUSB (charge), 1 x Mini Jack 3.5 mm
2 active drivers and 2 passive radiators
Up to 15 hours
18.3 x 7.3 x 7.3 cm
The Sony XB10's famed for its good sound and great speakerphone capabilities putting it a step ahead of other Bluetooth speakers of the same size. In addition, this speaker is water-resistant and boasts a long battery life.
The matte finish tends to attract dust.
Despite its tiny dimensions, this speaker can output much more bass than many similarly priced speakers. You can use it as is or attach the included strap to prop it horizontally. Available in several colour options to suit any style.
Bluetooth, 1 x Micro USB (charge)
1 x 5 W
Up to 16 hours
7.5 x 7.5 x 9.1 cm
Improved sound processing technology and powerful speakers provide extremely detailed sound even at maximum volume. The proprietary XBass technology, which is activated at the touch of a button, gives you the opportunity to enjoy deep bass.
Audio lowers when connecting through the Audio line.
The waterproof Bluetooth speaker Tribit MaxSound Plus, built in a sturdy and stylish case, will give you up to 20 hours of playback of your favorite tracks. For your convenience, the controls of the speakers are located on the top panel, and on the side, there is a hand strap.
Bluetooth, 1 x MicroUSB (charge), 1 x Mini Jack 3.5 mm
2 x 12 W
Up to 20 hours
65 x 198 x 68 mm
The built-in microphone and support of Siri and Google Assistant allow for hands-free music control. Simply enable Bluetooth by pressing a corresponding button on the speaker to move up or down on different tracks.
The sound quality could be better.
This speaker is lightweight and compact with powerful bass, perfect for those who love to party. Though it doesn't have the highest sound quality, it's reasonably priced and works a long time on a single charge.
Bluetooth, 1 x MicroUSB (charge), 1 x Mini Jack 3.5 mm
2 x 12 W
Up to 12 hours
81.3 x 19 x 6.6 cm
JBL Charge 4
True Portable Power
Most portable Bluetooth speakers aren't known for being powerful sound drivers, namely due to their design, which is focused much more on portability than on delivering a powerful sound. This fact hasn't been lost on JBL, who set out to change this with the JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker and Power Bank. This powerful Bluetooth speaker operates with an output power of 30 W at frequencies of 60Hz – 20kHz and creates noise up to 80 dB, making this one of the most powerful portable speakers on the market. If this still isn't quite as powerful as you'd like, you can combine more than 100 compatible speakers to get even more powerful sound and drive, thanks to the support of JBL Connect + technology.
Aside from the pure power delivered by this portable speaker, there is plenty else here to like about it. Coming with a capacious battery that also doubles as a power bank for other mobile devices, it will give you long hours of enjoying your favorite music. Its rubberized case with inserts of high-strength fabric is endowed with IPX7 waterproof protection, so you can safely arrange parties by the pool. The speaker can connect to your mobile devices using Bluetooth 4.2, while for those who prefer a wired connection, a 3.5mm audio input jack is included as well. While this speaker may take a while longer to charge than what is stated by the manufacturer, we are certain that all will find this powerful Bluetooth speaker from JBL to be one of the best on the market.
Ultimate Ears BOOM 3
High Quality Personified
Bringing music along to a party automatically makes you welcome, especially if it’s on a summer night with drinks passed around in a pool. But nobody wants a speaker that’s too quiet to be heard properly and there’s always the danger of the small gadget being dropped into water or getting drinks splashed onto it. Luckily, the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 kills two birds with one stone.
Not only is this compact model water-resistant (enough so that you could listen to it in the bathroom as you shower), it also has surround sound. The two drivers and dual passive radiators here keep the sound travelling farther so even if your home is pretty large, you won’t have to put the speaker volume on the loudest setting just to enjoy music while you’re in a different room. The sound carries well both indoor and outdoors anyway.
Controlling the music is also very easy as you get access to a dedicated app that lets you remotely change acoustic options, turn music on and off, adjust the equalizer, and much more.
This model is, of course, rechargeable via a MicroUSB port and can run sustainably for 15 hours on a single full charge. That’s enough for a day of listening to music. Since we’ve already covered one port on the speaker, we should also mention that it has a mini 3.5-mm jack so you can enjoy music privately or hook it up to a bigger set of bass-heavy speakers.
So if you want the best Bluetooth speaker that’s loud as a motorcycle and has good sound quality to boot, the Ultimate Ears BOOM 3 is a great choice. It’s convenient in use, waterproof, and the only fault we could find lies with the unhelpful instruction manual. This is really a product worth its money, even if it is somewhat pricey.
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.
Tribit MaxSound Plus
Sound That Satisfies
A common problem with many Bluetooth speakers that are offered on the market is that many of them suffer from having sub-par quality sound. Tinny sounding speakers and small frequency ranges often plague these speakers, resulting in a sound that leaves much to be desired.
The Tribit MaxSound Plus Bluetooth Speaker was made specifically to satisfy those who have long been disappointed in the sound quality offered by other Bluetooth speaker models. This device features advanced audio processing technology along with large drivers and high powered amplifiers to give you a rich sounding audio experience that simply can't be touched by most other portable speakers.
One of the features that makes this model really stand out is the proprietary XBass technology from Tribit, which lets you boost the bass to rich, deep levels simply with the press of a button. Another feature which should endear this model to those who like poolside parties is the IPX7 waterproof design, which gives these speakers maximum protection against the elements. Along with this, the extended playback time of up to 20 hours lets you use these speakers for a full day before you need to worry about recharging them. All in all, those who need Bluetooth speakers that have high-quality sound reproduction will be pleasantly surprised with this model.
Anker Soundcore Motion B
Just Say the Word
Ever wanted a speaker that’s so easy to control that it could even be a viable model for kids? We don’t mean a lack of buttons but rather a model with advanced controls that don’t even require much input. Something like the Anker Soundcore Motion B, for example.
This model’s built-in microphone, coupled with support for Siri and Google Assistant as well as other voice-activated helpers, lets you control your music and playlist without as much as raising a finger. Despite being pretty compact, this is certainly one of the more high-tech models we’ve seen.
Sadly, we can’t give the same praise to the sound quality, which lacks a bit of detail and won’t satisfy experienced audiophiles. Still, it’s more than enough to play music at a party or serve as a lullaby player for your kids’ bedroom. In fact, those that have trouble sleeping could even run this with gentle music playing all night as the battery on this model holds for 12 whole hours. And recharging is easy via the MicroUSB port.
In terms of how loud it can get, the Anker Soundcore Motion B is certainly up there with a pair of 12W speakers built into it. That does mean that this model is a bit wider than usual but it’s still compact enough to carry in a bag or your backpack. All things considered, if you want a good mid-range speaker with Bluetooth connectivity, the Anker Soundcore Motion B is a solid choice. It runs for a while on a single charge, can get pretty loud if you want it to, and the voice control options are a unique and convenient touch.
What Is a Bluetooth Speaker?
For those who can't spend a day without music but the sound of their phone isn't good enough, a portable Bluetooth speaker will be an ideal solution. With its tiny dimensions and overall light weight, you will be able to take it with you wherever you go and enjoy hours of playback of your favourite tracks on end.
Bluetooth speakers can be paired with pretty much any digital device and can drastically improve your music tracks by delivering richer volume and eliminating tinny metal sound. You can bring it along with you to the beach, pool party or simply when you go for a walk, it is tiny and small and won't create any inconvenience. Moreover, most models boast really amazing speakerphone capabilities, enabling you to answer calls via the speaker, which makes them very practical and multi-functional.
Bluetooth speakers may include a number of other useful features worth mentioning. For instance, some models will offer sound equalizer options, allowing you to adjust volume and mix effects for a better listening experience; others will also serve as a power bank, providing you with the option to charge your mobile devices on the go. In this review, we cover models from different brands and with a different set of features, so you can compare them and choose the most suitable one for you.
If you are interested in portable acoustics you might as well want to have a look at our review covering some of the more advanced models for home use - computer speakers.
What Features to Compare
When selecting a Bluetooth speaker, make sure to consider its interface and connection options. Most modern speaker models are designed to connect via Bluetooth, usually 4.0 version, and can work across a distance up to 10 metres. However, besides that standard connection, you can find more advanced models featuring a high-speed NFC protocol which allows for instant synchronization of devices by simply brushing one against the other. Obviously, there are also portable speakers that in addition to wireless connection will allow you to enable them using an AUX cable too. And of course, you'll find those combining all of these features.
The next characteristic to consider is a Bluetooth speaker's performance, which is determined by the speaker power output. In general, the average sound power, which is considered normal, is about 3W. However, if you plan on using a Bluetooth speaker outdoors we recommend opting for models with a power output of at least 10W-20W - that will be enough to overlay external sounds, such as wind, for example, and deliver a rich and well distinct sound.
Another thing worth noting is the run time from one full charge. In general, portable speakers provide around 5 to 10 hours of continuous playback before they need recharging. However, there are models that can work much longer than that, with some offering 20 hours of continuous music listening, enough for the whole day. These are extremely popular with travellers and those who simply adore music and can't live without it.
Finally, the number of drivers, which is used in the device, also matters. For a quality sound and immersive music experience, we recommend you look in the direction of models fitted with a couple of drivers as well as a subwoofer, so you can get the most out of your favourite tracks and customise music to your liking.
As far as extra features are concerned, you may want to consider the speaker's size and weight - important parameters that determine how easy carrying and storing the device will be. Another thing we recommend checking out is whether the speaker has any kind of protection. Many modern models come with a water-proof casing which gives them protection from the elements and eliminates the risk of damage if you ever happen to drop the speaker into the pool, for example. Others may also have dust protection, allowing you to keep the device look nice with no extra hassle needed. As we've mentioned before, some portable speakers may also serve as a power bank. For that, however, we recommend checking the battery life of the speaker - it should be longer than average. Finally, there are Bluetooth speakers that support Siri and Google Assistants which permit you to manage your music as well as perform other functions hands-free.
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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.