Best Bluetooth speaker 2024

Bluetooth speakers have become essential travel companions these days, thanks to their ease of use and portability. You can conquer the world with the best Bluetooth speaker by your side, ready to play your favorite tunes. Whether you're camping for days in the wilderness or hanging with your best buds by the poolside or beach, a portable speaker sets the vibe.

With virtually thousands of incredible options available out there in every imaginable shape, form, and size, settling on a single Bluetooth speaker can be a challenge of epic proportions. But you're a lucky duck because we've spent countless back-breaking hours testing, researching, and jamming to find the very best Bluetooth speakers in every category, and at every price point.

The overall best Bluetooth speaker for anyone and everyone is the Ultimate Ears Boom 3. It features amazing sound quality, extreme portability, great battery, solid build quality, and excellent water resistance. What's more, it can be had at a very reasonable price. The Boom 3 has just about everything you could want in a speaker, and although it launched a few years ago, its feature set and sound quality remain unmatched for the price.

At a glance

Best overall

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

1. Ultimate Ears Boom 3

Best overall Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 148ft / 45m
IP rating: IP67
Battery life: Up to 15hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: Custom EQ
Charging: microUSB

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic audio for its size
+
IP67 water and dust resistance
+
Affordable
+
It floats!
+
Good battery life
+
PARTYUP pairing with up to 150 UE speakers
+
You can create a bespoke one for yourself

Reasons to avoid

-
Dated micro-USB charging
-
No audio input port

Ultimate Ears sets the industry standard, showing others how it's done. The Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is living, breathing proof that speakers don't have to be expensive to be good. The Boom 3 sports omnidirectional output that can fill any spacious room with booming sound that refuses to crack. It's excellent for just about every type of music, from pop to rock to classical.

You'll be impressed by the Ultimate Ears Boom 3's rugged build quality and IP67 rating for water and dust resistance. The fabric is tough, there's a built-in strap, and the outdoor speaker can absorb an impressive level of shock. Oh, and did we mention that it actually floats in pools?

The Boom 3 has UE's PARTYUP stereo pairing feature that lets you sync up to 150 other Boom 3, Megaboom 3 and Hyperboom speakers together. Now that's what you call a party! You can manage your speaker with the Ultimate Ears companion app on your phone if you want.

This spunky Bluetooth speaker comes in multiple flashy colors and has a great 15-hour battery life. UE sells a proprietary wireless charging dock separately to go with the Boom 3. If you really want to make it your own, you can create your personalized UE Boom 3 via the My Boom 3 studio feature.

Overall, this is the best portable Bluetooth speaker for all kinds of users. It may have an outdated micro-USB port, but the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 touts impressive value for something of its size and with a sub-$150 price tag.

Best budget

Tribit XSound Mega speaker outdoors on a stone structure

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)
Best budget Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 98ft / 30m
IP rating: IPX7
Battery life: Up to 20hrs
Stereo pairing:
Equalizer: Custom EQ
Charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
20hr battery life and doubles as 4,000mAh power bank
+
Stunning retro RGB lighting with dynamic modes
+
IPX7 water and dust resistance
+
Extremely affordable
+
Xbass technology
+
Comes with a shoulder strap and AUX in port

Reasons to avoid

-
Front-facing speakers don't fire audio at every angle

The Tribit XSound Mega is an excellent budget speaker with long-lasting battery life, vibrant dynamic RGB lighting, and IPX7-rated water resistance, all of which make it one of the best Bluetooth speakers under $100. This portable powerhouse has up to 20 hours of battery life and an impressive range of up to 98 feet, so you don't have to keep it close to you or your smartphone to keep the tunes blasting.

The beastly RGB Bluetooth speaker contains a 30W full-range titanium driver, along with Texas Instruments amplifier modules and audio processing technology. Tribit's proprietary Xbass technology makes everything better, delivering booming sound at the push of a button. The speaker even has an integrated shoulder strap for carrying it around, as well a rubber flap covering the AUX in, USB-A, and USB-C ports to keep everything waterproof. If you're on a tight budget, it's hard to go wrong with the Tribit XSound Mega.

Best rugged

JBL Charge 5 Bluetooth speaker outdoors.

(Image credit: JBL)

3. JBL Charge 5

Best rugged Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: Unspecified
IP rating: IP67
Battery life: Up to 20hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: Custom EQ
Charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Charges via USB-C
+
Loud, punchy audio
+
Long 20hr battery life
+
Charges phones and other devices
+
Can connect to two smartphones

Reasons to avoid

-
A bit bulky and heavy
-
No microphone for calls
-
No AUX input

JBL is another instantly recognizable name in portable audio, and the Charge 5 is its latest large, bulky speaker with deep bass and 20 hours of battery life. Its namesake feature is its ability to share that battery — the Charge 5 has a USB-A port next to its USB-C charging port that can be used to share power from its 7,500mAh battery to charge your smartphone while you listen to music.

Like many other speakers on this list, the Charge 5 is water-resistant, bearing IP67 certification (so long as you keep the rubber gaskets closed!). If you like singing in the shower, this is the best shower speaker on the market, but it's also handy if you're throwing an all-day pool party or going out in the water during a camping trip. JBL Charge 5 is easily one of your best options as it eliminates the need to buy and carry a separate battery pack.

With IP67 water and dust resistance, JBL Charge 5 is among the toughest Bluetooth speakers available in the market right now.

Best premium pick

Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 portable Bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: Harman Kardon)

4. Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6

Best premium Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: Unspecified
IP rating: IPX7
Battery life: Up to 8hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer:
Charging: AC cord

Reasons to buy

+
Sounds unbelievably good indoors and outdoors
+
Handle built-in
+
IPX7 waterproof rating
+
Stereo pairing
+
Constructed with premium fabric and aluminum materials

Reasons to avoid

-
Eight hours of playback is too less
-
Charges via AC power adapter

The high-end Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 looks and sounds like a work of art. This expensive portable Bluetooth speaker stands in a league of its own, battling with the big boys from Bose and Sonos effortlessly. Even though newer versions of the Onyx Studio series are out now, they just don't deliver as much value as the Onyx 6. This is largely because of the design, which has been discontinued with the Onyx Studio 7 and 8, as well as the price.

With the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6, you'll get the Rolls Royce of audio gear for less than $200. The premium Bluetooth speaker comes with an integrated handle for better portability and has an IPX7 waterproof rating as well. What's surprising is how good it sounds both outdoors and indoors, a quality that makes it a versatile choice. Unfortunately, the Onyx Studio 6 uses an AC power adapter for charging up and the eight-hour battery life falls short of the mark.

Best mid-range

Sonos Roam

(Image credit: Android Central)
Best mid-range Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: Unspecified
IP rating: IP67
Battery life: Up to 10hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: ✔️
Charging: USB-C, Qi wireless

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic sound for the size
+
Works with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
+
Wireless charging
+
IP67 water, dust, and shock resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
Battery life could be better
-
Pricey

Sonos followed up its highly anticipated Sonos Move launch with a smaller and less expensive version that you can take out into the wider world. Needless to say, the portable Sonos Roam was a massive hit and we've all been head over heels in love with it ever since. The Roam is roughly the same size as the Ultimate Ears Boom 3, and it's just as, if not more, durable and ready for the outdoors.

The Sonos Roam is IP67-certified for water and dust protection (much improved over its larger sibling) and can withstand shocks pretty well. It's one of the rare Bluetooth speakers that can charge wirelessly with any Qi charger. This is a good feature, as our tests indicated that the battery endurance is a bit disappointing with the Roam. You'll also want to consider what else you can get for the price, as the Roam's MSRP is $30-$40 more than something comparable like the Boom 3.

All said, if you're a Sonos fanatic and want an excellent portable option, you won't be disappointed with this Bluetooth speaker!

Best sounding

Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II Bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: Bose)
Best sounding Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 30ft / 9m
IP rating: IP55
Battery life: Up to 17hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer:
Charging: micro-USB

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek aluminum design
+
Bose reputation
+
IP55 dust and splash protection
+
Handle up top for easy transport
+
Great battery life
+
Omnidirectional audio

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Charges over micro-USB

Bose's new and improved SoundLink Revolve+ II is similar to some of the other speakers on this list in that it offers omnidirectional audio and a bunch of onboard controls. Nonetheless, it sounds better than just about any other speaker we've used, with a clearer high-end output and punchier bass that Bose is known for. The aluminum unibody design is pretty slick too — but it's only IP55-rated for dust and splash resistance — unlike the IP67-certified other speakers on this list. Still, this is an improvement from its predecessor's IPX4 rating.

The SoundLink Revolve+ II's most significant disadvantage is its price, which is almost twice as much as that of the JBL Charge 5. Still, that could be worth it for audiophiles and fans of Bose's legendary sound signature. It also has a long battery life, coming in at around 17 hours of use on a full charge, and the handle at the top makes it easy to pick up and carry around once your party decides to move locations.

Best compact

Marshall Emberton II Bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)
Best compact Bluetooth speaker for audiophiles

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 30ft / 10m
IP rating: IP67
Battery life: Up to 30hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: ✔️
Charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Produces superior sound from a very tiny body
+
IP67 water and dust resistance
+
30 hours of uptime
+
Stereo pairing
+
Companion app with EQ
+
USB-C port with fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack of handle or strap makes it hard to carry
-
Pricey for the size

Marshall has long been the favored brand of audiophiles and hardcore music lovers around the world. The Emberton II features the well-known and well-loved signature Marshall sound in a small, portable, and robust little form factor. It's bold of Marshall to try to one-up the legendary Emberton, but the powers that be have done it! The Emberton II vastly improves on its predecessor.

You get up to a whopping 30 hours of playback from the small yet mighty Emberton II. This classy-looking Bluetooth speaker uses a Type-C port for charging, so you can use your phone or Chromebook's USB-C cable. It supports fast charging, giving you four hours of playback from a quick 20-minute charge. Marshall Emberton II pulls all the stops, from perfectly balanced audio to rugged IP67 water and dust resistance.

Best portable

Sony SRS-XB13

(Image credit: Sony)

8. Sony SRS-XB13

Best portable Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 30ft / 10m
IP rating: IP67
Battery life: Up to 16hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer:
Charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly loud, crisp audio
+
Long 16hr battery life
+
Small, portable form factor
+
IP67 waterproof and dustproof
+
USB-C charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Charges slowly
-
Not as loud as other speakers on this list

The Sony SRS-XB13 is a relatively new Bluetooth speaker from the company, having a soft rubber body that's water-resistant and can take a beating. It fits in the palm of your hand and gets surprisingly loud and clean, even having reasonably balanced bass despite its small stature. With a UV coating, it's the ideal speaker to bring with you to the beach, and if you ever need more sound, you can pair it up with an extra speaker. This is easily one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can score for under $50.

Unlike the previous model, the Sony SRS-XB13 has a USB-C port for more convenient charging and comes in a range of eye-catching colors with matching wrist/carrying straps. It lasts up to 16 hours on a single charge, though it does take several hours to get fully juiced up. With a solid build quality and a rugged exterior, there's a lot to love about the Sony SRS-XB13, and the price is also quite competitive.

Best unique

Tronsmart T7 portable Bluetooth speaker ring light on top

(Image credit: Namerah Saud Fatmi / Android Central)
Best unique Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 18m / 59ft
IP rating: IPX7
Battery life: Up to 12hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: ✔️
Charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
IPX7 water resistance
+
Cool tactile volume knob
+
Ambient RGB lighting
+
Built-in microSD slot and mic
+
USB-C charging with Type-C and 3.5mm audio cables included
+
Very cheap but doesn't look like it

Reasons to avoid

-
12 hours of uptime isn't long enough
-
No audio jack
-
Not the best clarity at max volume levels

Having a waterproof Bluetooth speaker is excellent, and being lucky enough to find one that doesn't bankrupt you is even better. In an ocean of boring speakers, knock-offs, and unoriginal designs, the Tronsmart T7 is a unique Bluetooth speaker that stands out. It has a tactile volume knob surrounded by RGB lighting.

This is the kind of speaker you can feel comfortable bringing with you on your next pool party or beach vacation, but it'll feel equally good using it at home too. It pairs quickly and easily to your devices via Bluetooth 5.3, and even though the battery life isn't as long as we'd like, you can charge it efficiently via the USB-C charging port. It has more unconventional features that make it versatile, such as a microSD card slot and a 3.5mm headphone jack for audio input.

Best boombox

Tribit StormBox Blast

(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

10. Tribit StormBox Blast

Best big Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Bluetooth range: 150m / 492ft
IP rating: IPX7
Battery life: Up to 30hrs
Stereo pairing: ✔️
Equalizer: ✔️
Charging: AC cord

Reasons to buy

+
IPX7 water resistance
+
Bold dynamic RGB lighting
+
30-hour battery
+
150-meter range
+
3.5mm AUX cable port

Reasons to avoid

-
Can get a little flat and clangy at high volumes
-
Charges via AC adapter

If you ever dreamed about taking your parents' old massive stereo speakers to the beach or the pool, then the Tribit StormBox Blast is for you. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but this thing is easily the biggest "portable" Bluetooth speaker we've come across. It comes in at 12 pounds and is about 4 inches tall and over 14 inches wide. It's a big boi.

While that might not make it the most portable Bluetooth speaker on this list, all that space means that Tribit could pack some powerful gear under the hood. It features large, easy-to-use touch controls and can last up to a full day (or even more!) on one charge, and it can also charge your phone while you stream to it. Even better, you can pair other StormBox Blast speakers to amplify and extend the sound further.

Let's also not forget about the Tribit StormBox Blast's music-driven RGB lights that really bring the party to life. This is the speaker you'll want for a booming backyard barbeque, but it'll also be suitable for a large party or even a big event.

There's no shortage of great portable Bluetooth speakers

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When it comes to the best Bluetooth speakers, you need to consider a few features in your product such as battery life, sound quality, and resistance against elements. 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 tough.

There's no shortage of Bluetooth speakers to choose from, but if we were buying one, we'd go for the Ultimate Ears Boom 3. The speaker sounds fantastic for what it costs and offers excellent value for your money. While more specialized options put more emphasis on things like longer battery life or better sound, the Boom 3 is the most well-rounded speaker, offering loud, punchy sound, water resistance, as well as excellent battery life.

If you need something a bit more premium, the JBL Charge 5 or Bose Soundlink Revolve+ II are fantastic choices that deliver stellar sound quality on the go. 

FAQs

This article is meant to serve as a buying guide for the best portable Bluetooth speakers in the market right now at different price points, and for different uses. In addition to all of the information provided above, we know that you may still have a few questions about Bluetooth speakers. Hopefully, we'll be able to address all of them below before telling you why you should buy a Bluetooth speaker in the first place, how to pick the best Bluetooth speaker for you, and what other Bluetooth speaker options are available.

Why should you 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 one or two odd options listed above feature Bluetooth 4.0, the vast majority come with Bluetooth 5.0 or higher. 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 decade, with even budget options offering excellent 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 some of the options mentioned above delivering rock-solid connectivity up to 150 feet. Several on the list go beyond that, with Ultimate Ears leading the charge in this particular area.

One of the main reasons for going with a Bluetooth speaker is that most smartphones no longer have headphone jacks. You don't want to use a USB-C headphone adapter and muck around with all those wires. Portability is also a primary factor here, as it's easy to carry most of the picks we've listed above in your bag.

How to pick the best Bluetooth speaker for you

With a seemingly unending selection of Bluetooth speakers, it can be challenging to decide where to start. These devices vary wildly by price, design, feature set, sound quality, and more. Before you decide on a Bluetooth speaker, here are some factors to consider:

1. Indoors or outdoors?

While many of the Bluetooth speakers on this list can function equally well both inside and out, some are tuned to work better in one environment over the other.

For example, the Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6 and Tronsmart T7 are both fantastic additions to your living room or office, but you probably don't want to leave them outside for hours at a time. Alternatively, something like the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 is outstanding for outdoor use, but if you're primarily going to be listening inside, you can probably find better options.

2. Price

Bluetooth speaker pricing runs the gamut from bargain buys to premium audiophile halo products. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the more features you get, and the better the speaker(s) sound(s). But that doesn't mean that you can't find a good balance of features for a good value. True, one of our absolute favorite speakers (of any kind!) is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II, but just about any offering from JBL or Marshall should make most ears happy.

3. Size matters

Get your mind out of the gutter; we're talking speaker size here. If you want something portable for a mountain bike ride or your commute, you're not going to want to get anything much larger than the Sony SRS-XB13. However, if you're going to host an epic BBQ or dance party, the much larger Bose SoundLink Revolve+ II or Tribit StormBox Blast might be more fitting.

4. Battery life and charging capacity

If you're taking your Bluetooth speaker away from a steady power source, you want to be sure that it can last the duration you need it to. And you don't want to have to carry a phone, a Bluetooth speaker, AND a battery pack if you don't have to.

Generally speaking, the larger the speaker, the larger the battery, but that's not always the case. Just look at our pick for toughest speaker, the JBL Charge 5. It tops out at about 20 hours, whereas similarly sized speakers can get 10 to 15 hours more per charge. Then there's the Marshall Emberton II that turns the competition to dust with its 30-hour battery life.