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Compare Bluetooth and wireless speakers for any budget

With wireless Bluetooth speakers you can listen to high-quality audio anywhere you go.

Bluetooth speakers offer a portable and convenient solution for listening to music or any other audio files without all the hassle of wires. You can take the dance party with you or listen to your favourite podcast on the go, all while travelling or spending time outdoors.

Bluetooth speakers can be categorized as either ultra-portable, such as the JBL Go, or semi-portable, like the Bose Soundlink Mini. Ultra-portable speakers can weigh as little at 0.2 kg, but often don’t have the volume or battery capacity of larger models. Semi-portable speakers can weigh as much as 6.5 kg and generally cost more than their more portable counterparts, but they usually offer more full-bodied sound.

Choosing the right Bluetooth speaker for you depends on your budget and how you plan to use it. Read on to find out how to compare Bluetooth speakers.

Compare top Bluetooth speakers

Data obtained October 2020. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Price (CAD) Max. Battery Life (hrs) Max. Wireless Range (ft.) Purchase Today
Polk BOOM Bluetooth Swimmer
Polk BOOM Bluetooth Swimmer
$38.44
8
Waterproof, dirtproof, shockproof and able to loop its flexible tail around chair arms, fence posts and more.
JBL Go 2
JBL Go 2
$39.99
5
Choose between 6 bright colours.
Creative Metallix
Creative Metallix
$62.26
24
33
Play more than 200 songs with a battery life of up to 24 hours.
Anker Soundcore Flare
Anker Soundcore Flare
$79.99
12
66
Listen to music in 360 degrees with a beat-driven LED light show.
Logitech X300
Logitech X300
$86.80
6
30
Make hands free calls and choose between 4 different colors.
JBL Clip 2
JBL Clip 2
$88.43
8
Wirelessly connect two waterproof Clip 2 speakers together for amplified sound.
JBL Flip 4
JBL Flip 4
$118
12
Made from durable and splash proof material available in 6 vibrant colours.
Fugoo Style-S
Fugoo Style-S
$151.16
15
30
The Style-S can withstand mud, snow, water and shock.
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Name Product Price (CAD) Max. Battery Life (hrs) Max. Wireless Range (ft.) Purchase Today
Ultimate Ears Roll 2
Ultimate Ears Roll 2
$109
9
100
A bungee strap and floatie allow you to take the waterproof Roll 2 anywhere.
Ultimate Ears Boom 2
Ultimate Ears Boom 2
$129
15
100
Allows you to listen to music in 360-degree sound and connect multiple speakers together for louder audio.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
$129.99
10
100
The Wonderboom is waterproof, floatable and has a battery that lasts up to 10 hours.
JBL Charge 3
JBL Charge 3
$162.88
20
30
Connect up to 3 speakers together for surround sound.
Creative iRoar
Creative iRoar
$343.99
20
An app allows you to control the speaker from your smart devices.
Bose SoundLink Mini II
Bose SoundLink Mini II
$349.99
7
30
Enjoy your music on the go, everywhere you go. The SoundLink Mini II Wireless speaker delivers full, natural sound from an ultra-compact speaker that fits in the palm of your hand.
Marshall Kilburn
Marshall Kilburn
$351.94
20
Features a unique vintage design with bass, treble and volume controls.
Denon Envaya (DSB-250BT)
Denon Envaya (DSB-250BT)
$632
13
100
Water and dust proof Bluetooth speaker.
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How do Bluetooth speakers work?

Traditional speakers use a cable to link them back to an audio source such as a TV, computer or cell phone. Bluetooth speakers use Bluetooth technology to link the speaker to the audio source without requiring a physical cable.

Bluetooth uses radio waves to transmit across short distances, up to around 10 m. Signals are sent and received over this Bluetooth connection allowing you to download photos from your camera, connect your mobile to a hands-free headset or listen to music – all without connecting wires. Bluetooth is also frequently used to connect a computer to wireless devices like a keyboard, mouse, digital camera or cell phone.

Because there are no wires, Bluetooth speakers are designed to be portable. You can connect your speaker almost instantly to any Bluetooth-capable device, like your smartphone or computer, no matter where you are. Some Bluetooth speakers are specifically designed for enhanced portability and durability, making them ideal for outdoor activities.

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

The main difference between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers is in how they access your audio content. Bluetooth speakers connect directly to the audio source, whereas Wi-Fi speakers connect to an internet network, which in turn connects to an audio source. You have to be connected to the internet in order to operate Wi-Fi speakers. While internet is not required to connect to a Bluetooth speaker, you have to be within a 10 m range of the speaker to connect to it.

You should also know that Wi-Fi allows multiple speakers to operate on the same network and broadcast the same or different audio files simultaneously. On the other hand, Bluetooth speakers can only receive one audio signal at a time. That’s partly why Wi-Fi speakers are typically installed in a house or unit and are not as portable as Bluetooth speakers.

Why should I consider Bluetooth speakers?

Bluetooth speakers are a convenient way to listen to high-quality audio. You can use your speakers at the beach, while camping and when travelling overseas or at home. Bluetooth speakers have taken over the role of traditional portable stereos. Where stereos required a CD or cassette tape, you only need a Bluetooth-capable device, like a smart phone, to connect to your speakers. Fortunately, 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 sometimes have worse sound quality
  • Can have connectivity issues
  • Few surround sound options
  • Limited battery life

How to compare Bluetooth speakers

The best speaker for you comes down to how you want to use it. If you want a speaker you can take to the beach in the summer, look for something waterproof. If you want to listen to music on vacation, look for something with enhanced portability that you can fit easily into your carry-on. No matter what, you’ll want to look for a speaker that has long battery life, high-quality sound and fits within your budget.

Quick stats
Price range (CAD)Weight (kg)Volume capability
(decibels)
Maximum battery life (hours)Wireless range (metres)
From $20 to $1,000From 0.2kg to 6.5kgFrom 85 dB to 110+ dBFrom 5 to 26+From 9 m to 30+ m

Additional features to look for:

  • Speakerphone. Some speakers include built-in microphones so you can use the speaker as a hands-free device.
  • USB charging. Some speakers with larger batteries also give you the ability to charge other devices via a USB cable. So if your phone 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). NFC allows two Bluetooth devices to connect simply by being within a few centimetres of each other. If you have an NFC compatible device, consider buying a speaker with the same feature for added convenience.
  • Cable input. Even though Bluetooth devices are designed to be wireless, some include an audio cable port. This can be helpful if you want to connect your speaker to a device that is 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 are primarily buying speakers to use at home for surround sound, you should consider using Wi-Fi multi-room speakers.

Summary

While it may seem like there are an overwhelming number of wireless Bluetooth speakers on the market, choosing the best one for you is simple if you ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is my budget?
  • Where do I want to use my speaker? How portable does it need to be?
  • Do I need a speaker that is durable? Able to connect with other speakers? Able to charge my phone?
  • How important is audio quality?

Once you have considered what you want from your speaker, you are ready to compare options and make a decision. Get started today by browsing our list of available affordable and high-end Bluetooth speakers.

If you want even more options, check out our list of the top sites to buy Bluetooth speakers.

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