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The best Bluetooth speakers in 2021

best Bluetooth speaker
(Image credit: UE)

The best Bluetooth speakers have earned the right to be called the finest in their category — which is no small feat, considering how many wireless speakers are on the market right now. Nonetheless, by combining sound quality on par with the best headphones, long battery life and practical design, these models are worth your money and then some.

Speaking of cash, we’ve gathered speakers across a range of budgets, so whether you’re ready to splurge or are working with a tight budget, you should find one that suits. Some features can bump the price up, like built-in digital assistant support, but as some of the best waterproof speakers prove, you can still get rugged design for less. Read on for our best Bluetooth speaker picks overall, and consider which will best entertain you.

The best Bluetooth speakers: Back to school

A new school year is approaching, and our Back to school guide is ready to help you get equipped. From the best Chromebook deals to the best webcams, this collection of handy buying guides will ensure you start the term fully prepared. On the tech side, anyway.

We’ve also included this very list of the best Bluetooth speakers; while your classmates might not appreciate you breaking out your new speaker in the middle of a lecture, the right music can help you focus and block out distractions when studying at home.

What is the best Bluetooth speaker?

Our pick for the best Bluetooth speaker is the UE Megaboom 3. The Megaboom 3 sounds great when playing all genres of music, offers an impressive 20 hours of playback and is sturdy enough to face the elements outdoors. It’ll even survive an accidental drop in the pool. 

The best Bluetooth speaker for those on a budget is the Anker Soundcore 2. For less than $50, the SoundCore 2 delivers loud sound in a durable, compact body. While it’s a bit small for the average backyard party, it’s great to toss in your bag for a beach venture or other outing. Its 24 battery life will survive any day trip you have in mind, too. If money is no object, the massive, $399 Sonos Move has the most features of any Bluetooth speaker we’ve tested, though we like its newer, smaller sibling — the Sonos Roam — even better.

Looking for the best Bluetooth speaker to buy right now? Read on for our full list of picks.

The best Bluetooth speakers right now

Best Bluetooth speaker: UE Megaboom 3

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

1. UE Megaboom 3

The best Bluetooth speaker overall

Specifications
Size and Weight: 8.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches, 2 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours
Water Resistance: Yes
Maximum Sound Level: 90db
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Big bass and full vocals+Good battery life+Can pair with older Megaboom and Boom models for stereo sound
Reasons to avoid
-Big and heavy for a portable-No speakerphone

Thanks to its excellent sound quality, long battery life and travel-ready ruggedness, the UE Megaboom 3 is the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy right now. This big, bold portable speaker pumps out rich 360-degree sound complete with crisp highs and satisfying low-end, and maxes out at 100 decibels of noise. And with an IP67-rated design, it can survive drops, splashes and a fall into the pool without skipping a beat.

The Megaboom 3 is on the bigger side compared to other portable speakers, and unlike many of its competitors, it doesn't have Alexa or Google Assistant support, or any other smart features. But if that’s not a dealbreaker, the Megaboom 3's sound quality and ruggedness can't be beat for the price. You can also pair it with older Megaboom and Boom models for a stereo sound experience.

Read our full UE Megaboom 3 review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Anker Soundcore 2

(Image credit: Anker)

2. Anker Soundcore 2

The best Bluetooth speaker under $50

Specifications
Size and Weight: 6.5 x 2.1 x 1.77 inches, 12.6 ounces
Battery Life (Rated): 24 hours
Water Resistance: Yes
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Great battery life+Waterproof
Reasons to avoid
-Not ideal for larger rooms

The Anker Soundcore 2 is the best Bluetooth speaker for folks shopping on a budget. For under $50, this tiny powerhouse delivers loud, well-balanced sound within an IPX7-rated design that can survive water, dust and snow. The speaker lasts a whopping 24 hours, thanks to Anker's best-in-class battery technology, and the Soundcore 2's dual neodymium drivers ensure you'll get powerful sound in any setting.

The Soundcore's compact, 6.5 x 2.1 x 1.77-inch design makes this speaker perfect for tossing into your bag for a quick road trip, and it comes in vibrant blue and red color schemes in addition to the standard slick black. Its low cost makes it ideal for environments where you wouldn’t mind it getting a little roughed up, too.

Check out the Anker Soundcore 2 on our list of the best cheap Bluetooth speakers.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Sonos Roam

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

3. Sonos Roam

The best Bluetooth speaker with Wi-Fi smarts

Specifications
Size and Weight: 6.6 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches, 15 ounces
Battery Life (Rated): 10 hours
Water Resistance: Yes (IP67 rated)
Voice Controls: Yes (Alexa and Google Assistant)
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Extensive connectivity+Auto TruePlay sound tuning
Reasons to avoid
-No Bluetooth  multipoint-Middling battery life

Building on the success of the Sonos Move, the Sonos Roam is a connected smart speaker at home and powerful Bluetooth beast on the road. It’s much more portable and more affordable than the Move, though, and its Auto TruePlay feature automatically adjusts the sound to suit its surroundings, whether you’re listening in a noisy, urban park or a quaint, airy campground.

Although we wish the battery lasted more than 10 hours, it juices up quickly via USB-C or wireless charging. When you return back from your latest excursion, the Sonos Roam should rejoin your larger Sonos system on its own. It also gives you the option to hand off your current soundtrack to the nearest Sonos speaker. Or you could stick to Roam, bringing your voice assistant and streaming services room-to-room, or as far as your Wi-Fi can reach.

Read our full Sonos Roam review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: UE Wonderboom 2

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

4. UE Wonderboom 2

The best portable Bluetooth speaker below $100

Specifications
Size and Weight: 4 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches, 0.9 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 13 hours
Water Resistance: Yes
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Full bass for a small speaker+Waterproof and dustproof
Reasons to avoid
-No app-No visual battery life indicator

The UE Wonderboom 2 is proof that great things can come in small packages. This tiny speaker delivers huge sound within a small 4-inch cylinder, complete with throbbing bass, balanced midtones and crisp vocals. It can survive being dunked in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes and is dust-resistant, making it perfect for your next trip to the pool, beach or park.

Other key features include an impressive 13-hour battery life and the ability to pair two Wonderbooms together for immersive stereo sound. If you need an especially small speaker that’s a breeze to tote around and don't want to spend more than $100, the Wonderboom 2 is hard to beat. Add a carabiner to the clever loop to attach the Wonderboom to your bag as you head out the door.

Read our full UE Wonderboom 2 review.

Best Bluetooth speakers: JBL Go

(Image credit: Future)

5. JBL Go 3

The best Bluetooth speaker for cheap weatherproofing

Specifications
Size and Weight: 3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches, 7.4 ounces
Battery Life (Rated): 5 hours
Water Resistance: Yes
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+IP67 rating+Light and compact+Extremely affordable
Reasons to avoid
-Better sound elsewhere

At fewer than 4 inches wide, the only thing smaller than the Go 3 might be its price; even the Anker Soundcore 2 might sweat when seeing this speaker's price tag. And despite the small investment, your return is IP67-rated waterproofing. That means it will survive full submersion in shallow water for half an hour, and full dust-proofing is part of the package as well.

Battery life looks poor at 5 hours, but in our testing we could stretch this out to over 10 hours if we didn't go too crazy with the volume. As such, there are better alternatives if you need to fill a large space, but as a personal, portable speaker, the Go 3 is very likeable indeed.

Read our full JBL Go 3 review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: JBL Charge 5

(Image credit: Future)

6. JBL Charge 5

JBL's best Bluetooth speaker with full waterproofing

Specifications
Size and Weight: 8.7 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches, 1.8 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 20 hours
Water Resistance: Yes
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Full vocals+Rich bass+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Limited app

The JBL Charge 5 makes only a few changes to the Charge 4's formula, but thanks to the new model's improved sound output and even greater ruggedness, it's a deserving member of the best Bluetooth speaker club. Its IP67 rating, signalling high dust resistance and full waterproofing, is about as good as you'll get on a mainstream speaker.

JBL's app isn't as advanced as, say, the UE Megaboom 3's, and the Sonos Move has a lot more features. But the Charge 5 can show off a few tricks of its own, chief among them being able to act as a power bank for phones and tablets. Running out of juice when you're streaming music in the yard or at a park? Just plug it into the Charge 5 and the speaker will give you a top-up.

Read our full JBL Charge 5 review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: UE Hyperboom

(Image credit: UE)

7. UE Hyperboom

The best Bluetooth speaker for parties

Specifications
Size and Weight: 14.3 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches, 13 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 24 hours
Water Resistance: IPX4
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Big and balanced sound+Gets very loud+Good battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-Really, really big and heavy

Looking to really go big? The UE Hyperboom is the best Bluetooth speaker for large gatherings, thanks to its massive size and big, booming audio output. This 14-inch tall speaker offers huge, balanced sound that's especially ideal for barbecues and outdoor parties.

The Hyperboom is as rugged as it is big, with IPX4 water resistance for surviving splashes. And you'll get 24 hours of battery life for keeping the outdoor tunes going all day and night long. Pair that with seamless Bluetooth connectivity and plenty of volume, and you have the ultimate speaker for filling a big area with great sound.

Read our full UE Hyperboom review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: LG XBoom Go PL7

(Image credit: LG)

8. LG XBoom Go PL7

The best Bluetooth speaker for sheer style

Specifications
Size and Weight: 9.7 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches, 3.2 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 24 hours
Water Resistance: IPX5
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Crisp treble and defined bass+Good battery life+LED lights add to the fun
Reasons to avoid
-No integrated voice assistant-Few sound adjustments available

Every Bluetooth speaker on this list delivers great sound and functionality, but only the LG XBoom Go PL7 does it while boasting awesome LED lights. This unique Bluetooth speaker packs fully customizable LED rings on either side, adding some unique flair to your pool parties or indoor jam sessions.

But the XBoom Go PL7 has much more than looks going for it. The XBoom's appropriately booming sound holds its own against the best Bluetooth speakers in this price range, delivering balanced bass and satisfying treble. And with an IPX5  rating, this speaker can handle sprays or plashes of water and keep on ticking. Factor in its strong 24 hour battery life, and the XBoom Go PL7 is a great Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds.

Read our full LG XBoom Go PL7 review.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Sonos Move

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

9. Sonos Move

The best high-end Bluetooth speaker for outdoors

Specifications
Size and Weight: 9.4 x 6.3 x 5 inches, 6.6 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 10 hours
Water Resistance: Yes (IP56 rated for splashes)
Voice Controls: Yes (Alexa and Google Assistant)
Reasons to buy
+Superb audio quality+Built-in Automatic TruePlay technology+Easy Wi-Fi-to-Bluetooth connection conversion
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey-No smart features in Bluetooth mode

The Sonos Move might not be as portable as the newer Roam, but it's still one of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. The Move takes the well-tuned sound and rich feature set found in the Sonos One and lets you take it on the go, with a 10-hour battery packed into a portable (albeit fairly chunky) design. 

We found the Move delivers a booming, crisp sound, complete with satisfying bass and clear vocals. The speaker works with all major streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music, sports Apple AirPlay 2 support and can seamlessly switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi on the fly. Alexa and Google Assistant support allow you to do anything from check the weather to control your smart home, and the Move's Auto TruePlay automatically tunes the speaker's audio output for wherever you're listening, whether you're having a rooftop party or rocking out in your bedroom.  

The Bose Portable Home Speaker is the next-best option for powerful, portable sound with voice assistants. Check out our Sonos Move vs. Bose Portable Home Speaker to see which is right for you.

Read our full Sonos Move review

Best Bluetooth speaker: V-Moda Remix

10. V-Moda Remix

The best Bluetooth speaker for bass heads

Specifications
Size and Weight: 8.1 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches, 1.9 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 10 hours
Water Resistance: No
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Loud, balanced audio with booming bass+Stunning design+Lots of customization options+Daisy-chain multiple speakers
Reasons to avoid
-A bit expensive-No multi-room solution

For a premium speaker that looks as good as it sounds, look no further than the V-Moda Remix. This drool-worthy showpiece is the best Bluetooth speaker for the design-oriented, and can be customized to your heart's content. The base model looks slick in aluminum or vegan leather, while, people with bottomless budgets and a penchant for style can opt for steel or platinum finishes (the later of which will run you well over $300,000). 

Most importantly, the Remix sounds great, offering plenty of bass as well as a built-in headphone amp for enhancing the audio of your favorite set of cans. The Remix's 10-hour battery life certainly makes this speaker worthy of longer jam sessions, and its trusty microphone allows for crisp call quality whether you’re set up inside your house or out.

Read our full V-Moda Remix review.

Best Bluetooth Speakers: Cavalier Maverick

(Image credit: Cavalier)

11. Cavalier Maverick

A classy Alexa speaker with great sound

Specifications
Size and Weight: 2.95 x 2.95 x 8.78 inches, 3.89 pounds
Battery Life (Rated): 10 hours
Water Resistance: No
Voice Controls: Yes (Alexa)
Reasons to buy
+Attractive exterior+Charging base is included+Programmable touch controls
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive for the size-Bass is limited

Smart speakers are growing in popularity, but only a few know how to balance design, sound, and intelligibility. The Cavalier Maverick is one of them, producing clear vocals and crisp treble, along with seamless Alexa voice control in a handsome exterior with premium touches of leather and aluminum. There is also a companion app that lets you adjust the treble and bass and assign functions to the “smart” button. Cavalier has battery life rated at 10 hours, though it is really 9 hours on a single charge when factoring in special features and volume. Still, this is serviceable for a cocktail dinner party or backyard gathering.

While it originally launched at $300, the Maverick is currently available for as low as $164 and even comes with an attractive charging base, leaving the Bluetooth speaker to sit gorgeously on any countertop while powering up.

Read our full Cavalier Maverick review.

Best Bluetooth speakers: Tribit StormBox Micro

(Image credit: Tribit)

12. Tribit StormBox Micro

The best Bluetooth speaker that's both cheap and waterproof

Specifications
Size and Weight: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4-inch, 8 ounces
Battery Life (Rated): 8 hours
Water Resistance: Yes (IP67)
Voice Controls: No
Reasons to buy
+Small and lightweight+Good bass for a small speaker+Water resistant
Reasons to avoid
-No app-Limited battery life

Sometimes, being small and easy to carry is the most important quality in a Bluetooth speaker. But the inexpensive Tribot StormBox Micro doesn't skimp on sound, either. While it's just 4 inches square, the StormBox Micro has pretty impressive bass, especially for something its size.

The speaker has a plastic strap that makes it easy to attach to a backpack or bike, an IP67 water-resistant rating, so it's fully protected against dust and dirt as well as submersion in water. However, there's no aux input, so you have to connect to it via Bluetooth. 

Read our full Tribot StormBox Micro review.

How to choose the best Bluetooth speaker for you

There are a couple things you’ll 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 can’t bring them outside your kitchen or living room. Stick to a speaker with a rechargeable battery for on-the-go audio.

With that, you’ll 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 Assistant’s or Alexa’s 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 home’s Wi-Fi, so opt for a non-smart Bluetooth speaker for the beach or other outdoorsy locales.

How we test the best Bluetooth speakers

Every product on this list is considered the best Bluetooth speaker for one or more standout features, however each must meet basic requirements during our testing to be considered. We spend several hours listening to music, making calls and toting around every speaker to make sure it sounds great across all genres, provides solid call quality and withstands minor bumps or splashes. 

If a speaker offers smart features, we enable the supported voice assistant to see how it fares against other top rated smart speakers. We’ll use it to control smart home devices, browse playlists and get answers to other common queries. 

We also test battery life, exhausting each speaker’s battery after a full charge to see how long it can last under realistic conditions. A smart speaker connected to Wi-Fi should last at least 10 hours, while a standard Bluetooth speaker should last around 20. Most people want to know how much play time they can expect when their speaker is brought along for a day trip. 

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