How To Choose The Best Bluetooth Speaker For You
There are a couple things youll want to consider when shopping for a Bluetooth speaker, the first of which is whether you want it to be wireless or wired. While a number of wired speakers like the Amazon Echo provide excellent Bluetooth listening, you cant bring them outside your kitchen or living room. Stick to a speaker with a rechargeable battery for on-the-go audio.
With that, youll need to decide if an option with a voice assistant is the best Bluetooth speaker for you. If you plan to use your speaker in your backyard, it could be useful to have Google Assistants or Alexas powers at your disposal. That way you can change the music using your voice, rather than controlling the audio through your phone. These smart features will not work beyond your homes Wi-Fi, so opt for a non-smart Bluetooth speaker for the beach or other outdoorsy locales.
Best For Home: Devialet Phantom Ii
The Devialet Phantom II is hands down one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers built for home listening. This high-end speaker can pump out an incredible 95dB of sound with heavy bass, and features an iconic white design with an incredibly sleek appearance. The speaker is compatible with Spotify Connect, AirPlay, Blueototh, UPnP, optical and analog devices. Its the only speaker that we have tested that fits in very nicely in modern home interior décor, and can deliver bass and volume on the same level as a home theater system. If you are looking for an ultra-high-end Bluetooth speaker with some of the loudest volume youll ever hear, we highly recommend the Devialet Phantom II for its volume and design.
The sound performance of the Devialet Phantom II is superb and impressive. This speaker is ultra-dense and built to deliver more power, precision and clarity than any other wireless Bluetooth speaker from the bass to the treble ranges. This speaker delivers immensely wide soundstage with virtually zero distortion at max volume levels and with no background noise. It does have a wide frequency range of 16 Hz to 25 kHz, and the dynamics of this speaker are very nicely defined at every frequency level. The level of clarity, precision and dynamics that you get with the Devialet Phantom II is on another level it feels and sounds like an audiophile speaker. Do note that we recommend at least 10 hours of music break-in before sound starts to actually open up.
What Is Sound Quality
If youre buying a sound system, the quality it can produce is naturally your highest concern. In case youre particularly fond of classical music, you will find some more specific information in a dedicated article here. Otherwise, you need to make sure that the system has a wide range, producing clear highs and decent bass. If the range is insufficient, you will get a muffled, distorted sound thats very unpleasant.
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Buying Guide For Best Mini Bluetooth Speakers
Mini Bluetooth speakers let you take your music on a hike, to the beach, or simply from room to room in your house. Todays technology puts deep, full sound in some tiny devices.Theres a competitive market for these speakers.
n the one hand, that means there are some high-performance mini speakers that rival the quality and features of much larger models. On the other, youve got more options than ever before.
Our shopping guide will help you narrow down the features you need voice control, aux input on a speaker that falls within your budget. Sit back and listen to your favorite remix as you take a look at our top picks on your way to finding your own mini Bluetooth speaker.
The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers You Can Buy
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If theres one thing Ive learned about todays Bluetooth speakers, its that for general consumers, the options are pretty good. However, that doesn’t make the process of sifting through the dozens of choices any easier. So I set out to test out some of the most popular models in different price ranges. Most of the speakers I tried sounded good on first listen it was only through side-by-side comparisons that I began to suss out the nuances. Just reading the spec sheets only goes so far. As such, were focusing a bit more on audio quality and dynamic range, while also taking into consideration other factors like utility and price. Ultimately, there isn’t one best Bluetooth speaker out there, but we’ve found plenty of good options that will fit a range of use cases and price points.
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Best Bass: Bose Soundtouch 30
The Bose SoundTouch 30 is an excellent speaker for those who love a deep bass.
The speakers come with its unique Waveguide technology which provides high power for a rich, deep sound for your listening pleasure.
It also features 6 audio presets that further help to make sure that you get the best sound quality.
Other features include Alexa for voice control, Bluetooth and Wifi to play music services such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Deezer, a wide range of audio formats from AAC, Apple Lossless, MP3 and WMA, easy setup and control using the SoundTouch app and intuitive remote, and SoundTouch offers crisp sound and good audio.
I recommend this to music lovers who like deep, rich bass and sound.
Best Bluetooth Speaker 2021 Including Today’s Best Portable Speakers
The best Bluetooth speakers make it easy to play music from any phone, tablet or laptop these are the top portable speakers
The best Bluetooth speakers make it easy to play music from any source, anywhere you want. Most of the popular models are battery powered and small enough to fit in a bag easily our guide focuses on the best portable speakers, though there are bigger, beefier models here too.
The best Bluetooth speakers offer much better quality than in the past, and come in a bigger range of shapes, sizes and toughness. You can surprisingly large and refined sound from a can-sized lump of aluminium, and enough power for a big party from a bigger portable speaker.
The best portable speakers turn up everywhere from fields to beaches to kitchens they’re like the portable radios of the 21st century, and the best waterproof speakers use Bluetooth, since it makes it easier to be watertight. With a battery and vary degrees of ruggedising, these are handy for moving from room to room, and also taking outside.
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Best Budget Bluetooth Speakers : Big On Sound Kind On Your Wallet
Best budget Bluetooth speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to What Hi-Fi?’s round-up of the best budget wireless speakers you can buy in 2021.
Bluetooth speakers have always been a great addition to any music lover’s kit bag and a budget option is a must for lazy days at the beach . These days, it’s surprising what even a small outlay can buy you too.
Perhaps dropping a significant sum on something with multi-room capabilities, Roon-ready smarts or a plethora of inbuilt streaming platforms simply isn’t justifiable right now. Some of these solutions will set you back as little as £20-£30 ideal if you just want something cheap and cheerful but don’t want to scrimp on sound quality. Maybe the children could use something durable to listen to while doing homework, or maybe you just want to chuck a podcast on in the kitchen when you’re cooking.
So, aside from something that sounds good for the money, what should you look for when shopping for a budget Bluetooth speaker?
Models here at the more affordable end of the market tend to be rugged and super portable, so look out for a durable design and waterproofing IPX7 and IP67 are good numbers to look out for.
Budget Bluetooth speakers can be small enough to fit in a coat pocket, cheekily designed to fit in your bike’s water cage or big enough to fill a room with serious sound, so it’s imperative that you also check the dimensions before clicking “buy” .
Reasons to avoid
Read the full review: JBL Charge 5
What Are The Best Wireless Speaker Brands To Look Out For
It really depends on what kind of speaker you’re after. If you want multiroom connectivity and excellent sound, look for home speakers from Sonos and Harman Kardon.
Need a smart speaker? Check out models in the Google Nest and Amazon Echo ranges . Bear in mind though, you’re not stuck with these brands if you need a voice assistant, as many third-party speakers come with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
If it’s pure audio fidelity you’re after, brands like KEF, Naim, and Devialet are worth looking into.
And, for portability, check out the likes of JBL, Ultimate Ears, Bose, and Urbanista.
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio 6
YouTube / Harmon Kardon
Harmon Kardons Onxy Studio 6 is the latest portable Bluetooth speaker, and it checks all the right boxes
At 11.5 inches tall and 11.2 inches wide, this is the largest speaker in our guide. Its also the heavies, weighing in at eight pounds. It has a handle, though, which makes it easier to carry with you. The Onyx Studio 6 gets up to eight hours of music playback per charge and charges via MicroUSB, which are the same specs as Klipschs Heritage Go.
The Onyx Studio 6 has a 4.72 inch woofer for the bass and midrange frequencies and a 1 inch tweeter for high frequencies. This two-driver arrangement will get you a better overall sound than a single-driver system, and youll be able to pick out different instruments more clearly. These larger audio components are the main reason this speaker is bigger, they wouldnt fit any other way.
This speaker has an IPX7 waterproof rating, which means it can be fully submerged under water without getting damaged. You can bring the Onyx Studio 6 poolside or to the beach with no reservations. It doesnt support multi-speaker stereo sound, but you can connect two devices to the Onyx Studio 6 to share DJ duty. It doesnt have any smart features, either, but youre getting this speaker primarily for the sound.
If you dont mind the extra heft, and want a portable speaker thatll sound excellent without sacrificing durability, this is our top choice.
The Best Deals On Bluetooth Speakers From This Guide
Bluetooth speakers are becoming all but a staple in the home for so many applications, from kitchen listening to livening up the party. Bluetooth speaker deals are usually rather plentiful year round, but that doesn’t seem to be the case at the time of writing. Perhaps due to shipping constraints, retailers and manufacturers are holding on to their deals until Black Friday and Cyber Monday season begin in earnest.
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Top 12 Product Ratings
|Incredible audio quality, powerful volume, pairs with other soundlink models||Good overall sound, great volume, great battery life, waterproof||Good sound quality, waterproof, long battery life||Great audio quality, wireless charging, compact size, integrates with Sonos home systems||Super-portable, waterproof, great battery life|
|Cons||Expensive, not the most portable||Not the strongest bass, a bit pricey||Not the strongest sounding bass||Poor battery life||Sound quality diminishes significantly at higher volumes|
|Bottom Line||If lush audio in a portable package is your top priority, this is the best speaker you can buy||A good mix of sound qaultiy/volume and durability||An affordable balance for those that want good sound quality and portability but don’t want to pay a premium price for the absolute best||This speaker delivers lush sounds in a compact size, is exceptionally portable, charges on a wireless pad, and integrates with other Sonos speakers seamlessly||This mega-portable, waterproof, and durable speaker is perfectly at home on hikes, bike rides, out on the lake, or in the shower|
|Dimensions||4.13″ x 4.13″ x 7.25″||2.9″ x 2.9″ x 7.25″||3.64″ x 3.6″ x 8.5″||6.61″ x 2.44″ x 2.36″||1.8″ x 3.4″ x 5.3″|
|Inputs and Charging Ports||USB-C port, wireless Qi charging||USB-C port|
Best Pa System: Bose S1 Pro
The Bose S1 Pro is definitely one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers and portable Bluetooth PA system that delivers a tonne of volume. It is really a combination of a Bluetooth speaker and a versatile PA system made for parties, outdoor gatherings that delivers immensely powerful sound. It supports Bluetooth wireless pairing and aux inputs for microphone or musical instrument such as a keyboard or guitar for live concert or PA performances. The speaker also comes with built-in sensors and multiple aiming positions for optimal sound performance in any position. Its hands down one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers from Bose thats designed for incredibly loud sound performance.
We really liked the sound performance of the Bose S1 Pro speaker. It delivers sound of the loudest sound performance and massive deep bass that can really make your floor vibrate. The sound performance is awesome and clear EDM music sounded very catchy and lifelike at the get-go, and vocal performances sounded sweet and well-defined. At maximum volume, the Bose S1 Pro delivers intensely loud sound without any distortion the sound volume remains clean and clear with crisp response.
The Bose S1 Pro is well-built and durable. It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery that delivers up to 11 hours of playtime. The speaker also comes with aux and XLR inputs for you to attach microphones and music instruments if you need this to double as a portable PA system.
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Choose A 2 Or 3 Channel System Instead Of A 5 Or 7
Speaker placement is very important to getting a true surround effect, and in a smaller apartment or condo, you probably dont have enough space to properly place the rear speakers in a 5.1 surround sound setup. Instead of struggling with how to fit a 5.1 system into your space, dedicate your budget to a high quality 2 or 3 channel system. Whatever your budget, you will be able to get higher quality speakers if you are only dividing it between 2 or 3 speakers rather than 5, and most audiophiles would agree, its better to have a high quality 2 channel system than a budget 5.1 system. You can always add onto a smaller system later and turn it into a 5.1 when you move into a larger space and have more room.
While there are plenty of options for Bookshelf or Tower Speakers for your Apartment here are some options that will work great in a smaller space.
About Our Trusted Experts
Benjamin Zeman has been writing for Lifewire since 2019. He has over 20 years of experience in the tech industry and as a musician, he has a strong background in audio products.
Jason Schneider is Lifewire’s audio expert. With a background in music technology, a decade of experience covering tech, and previous publications in Greatist and Thrillist, Jason has spearheaded Lifewire’s audio coverage.
Lifewire / Benjamin Zeman
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The Best Bluetooth Speakers 2021 The List
The Beosound A1 v2 finds its way to the top of this list thanks to sheer audio quality for the size if you want a full, punchy sound that’s fairly expansive, and that doesn’t crush when going loud, then this is the place to start.
That’s no surprise when it comes from Bang & Olufsen, of course. And it follow B& O’s usual MO of having quite a neutral sound out of the box, but you can use the app to customise the audio we at T3 like to push up the bass of B& O’s products a little, and that’s so easy to do and then save as a preset.
There’s another smart trick here too, though you can even use Alexa from the device, despite it lacking Wi-Fi, thanks to the Bluetooth connection. That means you can just request music without touching your phone .
And, being a B& O speaker, it’s also an object of desire, and is available in a great range of colours, with new ones added to the range over time. The build quality can certainly take a tumble, and is dust and waterproof, for lighter dunkings. Here’s our full B& O Beosound A1 2nd Gen review.
The original Wonderboom from Logitech subsidiary Ultimate Ears was great. Wonderboom 2 is, as you’d imagine, one better. Better sound, longer battery life , cool new buttons to play with, dust- and sand-proofing , and a great price.
The Wonderboom 2 is the state of the art in waterproof, outdoor portable speakers. Keep an eye out for the original Wonderboom speaker going cheap, though it’s still an excellent product.
Great Sound On A Small Budget
Grant Clauser has been writing about AV technology and home automation for nearly 20 years.
Weve updated this list with our latest picks.
With audio gear, you tend to get what you pay for, but there are some great deals to be had if you know where to look. Weve reviewed hundreds of headphones, speakers, and other audio gear to find the best things to drive your tunes in your apartment, on your commute, or in your backyard, for around $100 or less.
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