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Compare the best Bluetooth and wireless speakers

Stream high-res audio at home, outdoors or on the go.

Updated

Bluetooth speakers a portable, convenient solution for listening to music, podcasts and other audio from your phone or another device. But the right speaker for you depends on your budget — and where you plan to take in the tunes.

Top Bluetooth speakers

NameAvg. price
(USD)
Max. battery lifeMax. wireless rangePurchase
Polk BOOM Bluetooth Swimmer
Polk BOOM Bluetooth Swimmer
$44.998 hoursBuy now
JBL Go 2
JBL Go 2
$32.995 hoursBuy now
Anker Soundcore Flare
Anker Soundcore Flare
$99.9912 hours66 ftBuy now
JBL Clip 2
JBL Clip 2
$57.998 hoursBuy now
Philips ShoqBox SB300
Philips ShoqBox SB300
$39.008 hours66 ftBuy now
Creative Metallix
Creative Metallix
$63.9524 hours33 ftBuy now
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
$88.9910 hours100 ftBuy now
Logitech X300
Logitech X300
$138.976 hours30 ftBuy now
JBL Flip 4
JBL Flip 4
$99.0012 hoursBuy now
Ultimate Ears Boom 2
Ultimate Ears Boom 2
$69.9915 hours100 ftBuy now
NameAvg. price
(USD)
Max. battery lifeMax. wireless rangePurchase
JBL Charge 3
JBL Charge 3
$99.0020 hours30 ftBuy now
Bose SoundLink Mini II
Bose SoundLink Mini II
$149.997 hours30 ft”Buy now
Fugoo Style-S
Fugoo Style-S
$169.9915 hours30 ftBuy now
Creative iRoar
Creative iRoar
$179.2820 hoursBuy now
Denon Envaya (DSB-250BT)
Denon Envaya (DSB-250BT)
$228.4813 hours100 ftBuy now
Marshall Kilburn
Marshall Kilburn
$299.0020 hoursBuy now
Data obtained February 2019. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.

How do Bluetooth speakers work?

These speakers use Bluetooth technology to link to your TV, computer, phone or another audio source, unlike traditional speakers that require a cable.

Bluetooth transmits radio waves across short distances to all types of wireless devices, like keyboards, mice and digital cameras. You can send and receive signals over this Bluetooth connection to download photos from your camera, connect your phone to a hands-free headset or listen to music with Bluetooth speakers.

Bluetooth speakers are designed to be portable. Without a cable, you can connect your speaker to any Bluetooth-capable device no matter where you are. Some Bluetooth speakers are designed specifically for the outdoors.

What’s the difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi?

The main difference lies in how they work. Bluetooth speakers connect directly to an audio source, whereas Wi-Fi speakers connect to a Wi-Fi network, which in turn connects to an audio source. Wi-Fi allows multiple speakers to operate on the same network and broadcast the same audio. Because they’re typically installed in a house, they often aren’t as portable as Bluetooth speakers.

Why should I consider Bluetooth speakers?

Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to listen to high-quality audio. Use them at the beach, while camping, when traveling overseas or at home.

These speakers have all but taken over the role of traditional portable stereos. You need only a Bluetooth-capable device to connect to your speakers. And today, just about any device that plays digital music is now Bluetooth capable.

Pros and cons of Bluetooth speakers

Pros

  • Portable
  • Convenient
  • Inexpensive
  • Durable

Cons

  • Smaller models can sacrifice sound quality
  • Connectivity issues are possible
  • Few surround-sound options
  • Limited battery life

How to compare Bluetooth speakers

The best speakers for you comes down to how you want to use them. If you want a speaker you can take to the beach, look for a waterproof model. If you want to stream music on vacation, look for a portable speaker you can fit in your carry-on.

No matter what, look for a speaker with the longest battery life and highest-quality sound within your budget.

Quick Stats

Price rangeWeightVolume capabilityMaximum battery lifeWireless range
$30 to $700+0.5 to 15 lbs.85 to 110+ dB5 to 26+ hours30 to 100 feet

Other features to look for

  • Speakerphone. Some speakers include built-in microphones so that you can use the speaker as a hands-free device.
  • USB charging. Speakers with larger batteries offer the ability to charge other devices with a USB cable. So if your phone’s battery is running low from playing music all day, you can plug it into the speaker and use the extra battery to charge your phone.
  • Near field communication. NFC connects two Bluetooth devices when they’re within a few centimeters of each other. If you have an NFC-compatible device, consider buying a speaker with the same feature for added convenience.
  • Cable input. Bluetooth devices are designed to be wireless, but some models include an audio cable port. The port is helpful if you want to connect your speaker to a device that’s not Bluetooth capable, such as a desktop PC, or if the Bluetooth connection malfunctions.
  • Surround sound. Some Bluetooth speakers allow you to connect additional speakers to create surround sound. However, if you’re primarily buying speakers for surround sound at home, consider using more powerful Wi-Fi multiroom speakers.

Bottom line

You’ll find many Bluetooth speakers on the market, but choosing the best for comes down to four questions:

  • What is my budget?
  • Where do I plan to use my speaker — and how portable and durable does it need to be?
  • Do I need the ability to connect with other speakers or charge my phone?
  • How important is audio quality?

After narrowing down your needs and comparing your options, you’ll be ready to take in your tunes untethered.

How did we choose our products?

To gather our list of the best Bluetooth speakers, we considered the overall features, price, battery life and wireless range. We also researched models online.

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