Best Bluetooth Speakers Android Central 2020
A Bluetooth speaker is the best way to play your favorite music when you're swimming in the pool or out on a camping trip with friends. Compatible with practically every device known to man, Bluetooth speakers will make sure that, as long as your phone, tablet, or laptop is around, your music will be loud! Our favorite is the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 due to its sound quality and water resistance, but there are plenty of other options.
- Best Overall: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
- A Great Alternative: JBL Charge 4
- Best Battery Life: Anker Soundcore 2
- Best Value: Tribit XSound Go
- Goes to 11: Marshall Stanmore II
- Great for Parties: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
- Best Audio Quality: Bose SoundLink Revolve+
- Best-Looking Speaker: V-Moda Remix
- Another Affordable Option: Sony SRS-XB12
- Great Small Option: Bose SoundLink Micro
Best Overall: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2
Ultimate Ears speakers don't have to be expensive to be good. The Wonderboom 2 gets shockingly loud for its size, and sounds great for just about every type of music, from pop to rock to hip hop and jazz. The Wonderboom 2 also has omnidirectional sound, making it great for parties. It comes in multiple flashy colors, and you can pair it up with another speaker — although it's only with another Wonderboom 2 speaker.
It's also IP67-certified, meaning it's resistant to dust and submersion — in fact, half of the photos you'll find online of the Wonderboom 2 feature the speaker floating in pools. As a bonus, the Wonderboom 2 is durable, rated to withstand drops from up to 5 feet, and lasts for up to 13 hours between each charge. Not bad at all for a speaker of this size.
- Fantastic audio for its size
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- Good battery life
- Micro-USB charging
- Distorts a bit at max volume
- No Party Up feature
Great speaker in a small package.
The Wonderboom 2 is water-resistant, durable, and super compact, with great audio and a wide selection of color options.
A Great Alternative: JBL Charge 4
JBL is another instantly recognizable name in speakers, and the Charge 4 is a large, bulky speaker with deep bass and 20 hours of battery life. Its namesake feature is its ability to share that battery — the Charge 4 has a USB-A port next to its USB-C charging port that can be used to share power from is 7,500mAh battery to charge your phone while you listen to music.
Like many of the other speakers on this list, it's also water-resistant, bearing IPX7 certification (so long as you keep the rubber gaskets closed). If you're throwing an all-day pool party or going out on the water during a camping trip, this is easily one of your best options, since it eliminates the need to buy and carry a separate battery pack.
- Charges via USB-C
- Loud, punchy audio
- Long battery life
- Charges phones and other devices
- A bit bulky and heavy
- No microphone for calls
A Great Alternative
Charge while you listen.
The Charge 4 is a waterproof speaker with a built-in battery that charges your phone while you play music. It tops up over USB-C and lasts for 20 hours.
Best Battery Life: Anker Soundcore 2
There isn't much to complain about with the Soundcore 2. For a fraction of the price of the other Bluetooth speakers, Anker's latest packs respectable sound and all-day battery life into a small, rugged chassis. The Soundcore 2 is waterproof and rated to last for a full 24 hours — of course, you'd hope Anker of all brands would be able to provide good battery life.
Unfortunately, the Soundcore 2 is significantly lacking in bass, which can have a major impact on certain genres of music, and it's a bit quiet compared to other speakers on this list. Still, for the price it commands, it's a great little speaker available in a few color options, and you can even buy more than one and pair them together for surround sound audio.
- IPX7 water resistance
- Stereo pairing with other Soundcores
- Fantastic battery life
- Extremely affordable speaker
- Lacking in bass
- Not as loud as other speakers
Best Battery Life
Small and affordable.
The Soundcore 2 is a tiny speaker with water resistance and long battery life. It's a bit quiet and lacking in bass, but it's a great deal nonetheless.
Best Value: Tribit XSound Go
The Tribit XSound Go is another inexpensive speaker with long-lasting battery life and IPX7 water resistance. It doesn't have the most impressive sound, lacking in bass and high-end clarity, but it's certainly better than what any phone's speaker can put out — and for less than $50, it's hard to complain.
You get 24 hours of battery life on the XSound and an impressive range of up to 66 feet. There's a lanyard slot on the speaker to attach it to any bag or even hang it off of a tree branch, and a rubber flap covers the headphone jack and Micro-USB charging port. If you're on a tight budget, it's hard to go wrong with the XSound Go.
- All-day battery life
- IPX7 water and dust resistance
- Extremely affordable
- Lanyard slot for easy transport
- Lacking sound quality
- Not very loud
As affordable as you can ask for in a capable Bluetooth speaker.
The Tribit XSound Go isn't the best-sounding speaker around, but it's affordable, water-resistant, and lasts all day without breaking a sweat.
Goes to 11: Marshall Stanmore II
Marshall took its decades of guitar amplifier prowess and built an amazing Bluetooth speaker in the Stanmore II. It's stylized like a Marshall combo amp, with a few knobs at the top for adjusting volume, as well as bass and treble, and you can quickly switch between Bluetooth, auxiliary input, and even RCA.
The Stanmore II is much larger than most of the other speakers on this list, but it fits perfectly in any musician or music lover's home and sounds as good as you'd expect a Marshall product to. You can further adjust the sound via the accompanying app, but by default, it has well-defined bass and holds up well, even at loud volumes — it is a Marshall amp, after all. Well, sort of.
- Phenomenal sound quality
- Stylized like a guitar amplifier
- Apt-X certified
- Supports Bluetooth, aux, and RCA
- Very expensive
- Large and heavy for a Bluetooth speaker
Goes to 11
Turn it up to 11
The Stanmore II is a large speaker stylized after classic Marshall guitar amps. It sounds good, gets extremely loud, and offers onboard EQ controls.
Great for Parties: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3
Ultimate Ears has been making incredible Bluetooth speakers for years, and the Megaboom 3 is the best in its lineup. If offers everything from good looks and great sound to water resistance, long-lasting battery life, and bold color options.
The Megaboom 3 features UE's iconic cylindrical shape and soft-touch fabric, along with two enormous buttons along the casing for adjusting volume up and down. The rubberized flap near the bottom of the speaker hides a Micro-USB port (sadly, no USB-C), and there's a fabric loop at the top for clipping the Megaboom 3 to a carabiner — perfect for carrying attached to your backpack.
It's a bit on the larger side, but the Megaboom 3's stature allows for fantastic, booming audio with just the right amount of bass. This is one of the best-sounding speakers on the list, and the shape of the speaker allows for 360-degree sound so that everyone in the area hears the same great audio. Best of all, you can link multiple Boom speakers together to play the same music throughout the house — as many as 150 speakers at once.
You won't have to worry about the Megaboom 3 running out of juice halfway through a party either since it's rated for up to 20 hours of playback on a single charge. If you're looking for a great Bluetooth speaker to get you through the summer and beyond, this is easily one of the best options money can buy.
- Loud, punchy sound
- Fun colors and attractive design
- IP67 water and dust resistance
- Long battery life
- Fairly expensive
- Charges via Micro-USB
Great for Parties
The most well-rounded Bluetooth speaker around.
The Megaboom 3 packs great, well, booming sound, along with water resistance, all-day battery life, and a myriad of fun color options.
Best Audio Quality: Bose SoundLink Revolve+
Bose's SoundLink Revolve+ is similar to the Megaboom 3, offering omnidirectional audio and several on-board controls, but it sounds even better, with a clearer high end and punchier bass that Bose is known for. The aluminum unibody design is pretty slick, too — but it's only IPX4 splash resistant, rather than IP67 like the Megaboom 3.
The SoundLink's biggest disadvantage is its price, which is 50% more than the Megaboom 3. Still, that could be worth it for audiophiles and fans of Bose's legendary sound signature. It also has long battery life, coming in at around 16 hours per charge, and the handle at the top makes it easy to pick up and carry around once the party moves locations.
- Sleek aluminum design
- Bose reputation
- IPX4 splash-proof
- Handle up top for easy transport
- Great battery life
- Omnidirectional audio
- Significantly pricier than Megaboom 3
- Charges over Micro-USB
Best Audio Quality
The pricier, better-sounding Megaboom 3 alternative.
The Revolve+ is one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers around, pumping audio in all directions. The aluminum enclosure is sleek and splash-resistant.
Best-Looking Speaker: V-Moda Remix
V-Moda is typically known for its high-end headphones, but the Remix impresses with a unique, stunning design and modern appointments like USB-C. It's a bit on the larger side, but that's partially because the Remix features a built-in headphone amplifier, allowing you to connect high-impedance headphones.
The design is comprised of a hexagonal speaker grill enclosed in your choice of either aluminum or vegan leather. It's one of the best-looking speakers around, and the audio lives up to V-Moda's reputation with responsive highs and mids and loud, thumping bass. Unfortunately, the Remix isn't water-resistant like the Megaboom 3 and only has about half the battery life with a rating of 10 hours.
- Gorgeous design with customizable build materials
- USB-C charging
- Built-in headphone amplifier
- Booming bass
- No water resistance
- Middling battery life
Great looks, great sound, and a built-in headphone amp.
The Remix is a unique-looking speaker with options for aluminum or vegan leather and includes a built-in amplifier for high-impedance headphones.
Another Affordable Option: Sony SRS-XB12
The XB12 is a relatively new Bluetooth speaker from Sony with a soft touch rubber body that's both water-resistant and able to take a beating. It fits in the palm of your hand, and gets surprisingly loud and clean, with even fairly balanced bass despite its small stature.
Like most other speakers in this list, the XB12 uses Micro-USB for charging and comes in a small assortment of eye-catching colors with matching wrist/carrying straps. It lasts up to 16 hours per charge, though it takes several hours to reach a full charge. With solid build quality and a rugged exterior, there's a lot to love about the XB12 at a competitive price.
- Surprisingly loud, crisp audio
- Long battery life
- Small, portable form factor
- IPX7 water and dust resistance
- Micro-USB, rather than USB-C
- Charges slowly
Another Affordable Option
Small speaker packing a powerful punch.
The XB12 fits in the palm of your hand but sounds surprisingly loud and clear. It's water, dust, and shock-resistant, and comes in several bold colors.
Great Small Option: Bose SoundLink Micro
If the SoundLink Revolve+ is out of your price range, the Micro is a smaller speaker for about half the price that's both water-resistant and shockproof. It's available in a few interesting colors, and offers clean, distortion-free sound at a respectable volume — though the small size means it's a bit lacking in bass.
The biggest disadvantage of the SoundLink Micro is its battery life. At only 6 hours, this is far from the longest-lasting speaker we've seen, but your neighbors will likely appreciate the hard limit on loud music. The SoundLink Micro also has built-in microphones, which allows you to carry out calls and even talk to Google Assistant or Siri when connected to your phone.
- Built-in microphone for voice assistants
- Small, portable design
- IPX7 water resistance
- Good audio quality
- Poor battery life
- Lacking in bass
Great Small Option
Built-in microphone for calls and voice assistance.
The SoundLink Micro is ultra-portable and features a microphone for calls and Google Assistant. It sounds pretty good, and it's water-resistant as a bonus.
Why you should buy a portable Bluetooth speaker
The easiest way to upgrade the sound on your phone or tablet is to pair it with a Bluetooth speaker. The standard is ubiquitous, with every phone, tablet, and notebook featuring Bluetooth connectivity. While some of the options listed above feature Bluetooth 4.0 and several others are based on Bluetooth 4.2, you won't notice any difference when it comes to connecting your phone or tablet to any of the picks we've outlined.
Bluetooth speakers have come a long way in the last five years, with even budget options offering great sound quality these days. They're ideal for listening to music or your favorite podcasts at home or near the pool. You don't have to worry about range either, with all of the aforementioned options delivering rock-solid connectivity up to 50 feet. There are several on the list that go up to 100 feet or beyond, with Ultimate Ears leading the charge in this particular area.
One of the main reasons for going with a Bluetooth speaker is that you don't need to worry about wires, and there's no specialized hardware needed to connect to one. Portability is also a main factor here, as it's easy to carry most of the picks we've listed above in your bag.
Here's the Bluetooth speaker we would buy
When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, you need to consider a few features in your product, including battery life, sound quality, and element resistance. The portability means you're going to want to take it places that might be dangerous to electronics, so you're going to want a speaker that's built to take on the go.
There's no shortage of Bluetooth speakers to choose from, but if we were buying one, we'd go for the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2. The speaker sounds fantastic for what it costs, and offers excellent value for your money. While there are more specialized options that prioritize things like longer battery life or better sound, the Wonderboom 2 is the most well-rounded speaker, offering loud, punchy sound, water resistance, and excellent battery life.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.
Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he's writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there's a correlation.
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