Best Bluetooth Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar India’s round-up of the best bluetooth speakers in 2019.
We’ve listened to countless wireless speakers over the years and have put our heads together to form a definitive list of the best ones you can buy.
If you want a quick and easy way to play music around your home or on the go, then nothing beats the convenience of a Bluetooth speaker. Simply charge it up, pair it to your phone, and you’ll be able to play your entire music collection wherever you choose.
While the latest set of audio cans can do amazing things, they previously offered a weak and tinny sound. Improvements in Bluetooth technology meant that they’re able to offer a very capable audio experience in their own right. And, better yet, battery capacities have improved such that you can use a Bluetooth speaker for several days on the trot without needing to recharge it.
But all of them are well worth a place in your tech arsenal, and with that in mind, here’s our list of our top picks for the best Bluetooth speakers around. Some are rugged, some are stylish, some are weatherproof and some aren’t fit for the outdoors – read through and take your pick.
1. UE Boom 3
Simply the best cordless speaker
Weight: 544g | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 90Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.75″ drivers and two 1.75″ x 3″ passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes USB charging: Yes
The UE Boom 3 is the latest addition to this list and it stays on top, just like its predecessor. While the UE Boom 2 was a bigger upgrade, the UE Boom 3, despite being a minor upgrade, is still is the best Bluetooth speaker money can buy. It offers the same thumping and loud audio without distortion at high volumes; be light enough to carry on a camping trip but remain durable enough to tumble in a bag unprotected.
There are certainly more detailed speakers out there (see: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin down below), but at a price that’s relatively affordable to all, the UE Boom 3 hits all the right notes for the third year in a row.
Read the full review: UE Boom 3
2. Bose SoundLink Revolve
Weight: 1.5 pounds | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
360-degree rich sound
Only 30ft range
The Bose SoundLink Revolve is an excellent sound speaker for folks looking for true 360-degree sound. It’s great for sharing music during a party or for moving around the room without losing audio fidelity. However, the Bose SoundLink Mini II sounds slightly better and is slightly cheaper to boot.
On the debit side, it’s also not fully dust or waterproof so you’ll want to think twice before bringing the Revolve to the beach.
For half the price, the Wonderboom is a great speaker that is completely dust and waterproof and while it can’t match the audio fidelity or features of the Bose, it’s still great for on-the-go listening. If bass is your game, the JBL Charge 3 is an excellent fully waterproof speaker that sounds great, but is big and heavy along with it.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Revolve
3. JBL Charge 3
A near-perfect balance between sound, features and price
Weight: 798g | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.7″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Kicking bass response
As a package, the JBL Charge 3 offers a compelling set of features and excellent sound quality to boot. It punches well above its weight, playing it loud and distortion-free.
The Charge line of speakers have been on our shortlist of recommendations for a long time and the latest iteration maintains JBL’s dominance in the portable Bluetooth speaker market.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 3
4. Bose SoundLink Mini II
Slightly dated, but still one of the best sounding wireless speakers
Weight: 667g | Dimensions: 2 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches (H x W x D) | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Wireless range: 30 ft (10 m) | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: No
Built like a tank
Compact form factor
No NFC or multipoint Bluetooth
The Bose SoundLink Mini II is relatively ancient, having been released in June 2015. However, writing off the SoundLink Mini II because of its age would be a mistake, as it remains one of the best sounding wireless speakers.
That said, it punches way above what its size would suggest, producing deep bass, sparkling highs and a lush midrange. While most wireless speakers sound OK, the Mini II proves that small speakers don’t need to compromise on sound.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Mini II
5. Anker Soundcore Flare
The best budget Bluetooth speaker
Weight: 18.7 ounces | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: 20m / 66ft | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 2 x 1.75″ Full Range + 2 x Passive Radiator | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Weatherproofing: Yes-IPX7 | Charges devices over USB: No
Impressive sound for the size
Excellent mobile app
Average battery life
Harsh at max volume
Anker has a history of making excellent budget wireless speakers. While we weren’t entirely impressed with the Anker SoundCore 2’s sound, we couldn’t be too mad since the speaker was so affordable.
So what happens if you can stretch your budget? For around $20 more you get the Anker Soundcore Flare, an excellent waterproof Bluetooth speaker that can stand toe-to-toe with the competition.
The Soundcore Flare is an amazing value in the sub-$100 wireless speaker segment. Competitors like the UE Wonderboom (listed above) give the Flare a run for its money in terms of build quality but we give the Flare the slight edge with sound quality. We recommend the Flare for anyone looking for a wireless speaker that can do it all without breaking the bank.
Read the full review: Anker Soundcore Flare
6. UE Wonderboom
One of the best-sounding waterproof speakers you can buy
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 102 x 93.5mm (H x D) | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Wireless range: 100 ft (33 m) | Frequency response: 80 Hz – 20 kHz | Drivers: two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1mm x 65.2mm passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No
Slightly confined sounding
When someone asks us for a recommendation for a waterproof speaker, the UE Roll 2 was always on the top of our list. We loved the Roll 2’s unique form factor, 50-foot wireless range and, obviously, it sounded good, too. Where it was lacking was in the bass department. Logitech, UE’s parent company, has fixed the Roll 2’s lack of bass by creating the appropriately named UE Wonderboom.
In our eyes, the UE Wonderboom bests the Roll 2 in just about every way – except for the Roll 2’s handy bungee cord. Still, ignoring that, if you’re looking for one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market today, it’s hard to do better than the UE Wonderboom.
The UE Wonderboom is still not available in India but we have confirmation about its arrival to the country. Our global team has tested the device, hence we were sure about putting it on the best Bluetooth speakers’ list.
Read the full review: UE Wonderboom
7. Bang and Olufsen Beoplay P2
The best lightweight Bluetooth speaker
Weight: 275 g (9.7 oz) | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: 68 Hz – 21.000Hz | Drivers: 2 x 15W class D for woofer and tweeter (2 x 50W peak power) | NFC: No | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No
Good bass for the size
It’s lacking highs and mids
A pouch or case would be nice
B&O created a hit with the Beoplay P2. It’s a well-designed speaker that’s extremely easy to use, has a well-built companion app, and it sounds great. On top of that, the speaker is ultra-portable without compromising on much bass content. Sure, you could get something a little bigger (and stereo) for the same price, but at this size the sound quality justifies the price. The smart gestures are a nice touch too, although we wouldn’t buy the device solely for that reason.
Read the full review: B&O Beoplay P2
8. Bose SoundLink Color II
A vibrant Bluetooth speaker that packs impressive sound
Weight: 544g | Dimensions: 5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches (H x W x D) | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
Fun, curvy design
Average battery life
It seems just about every speaker company has a wireless speaker that can take the abuse of being outdoors and Bose, a company most well-known for its brand of excellent noise-canceling headphones, is no different.
If you’re looking for something from Bose to take with you on your next hike, the SoundLink Color II is the company’s only splash-proof speaker that can stand up to the elements with an IPX4 rating.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Color II
9. Marshall Kilburn
Vintage looks with excellent sound
Weight: 3kg | Battery life: Up to 20 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: 62 – 20,000Hz | Drivers: two 3/4-inch dome tweeters, one 4-inch woofer | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Bass and treble controls
No playback controls
Not as portable as competition
The Marshall Kilburn might not appear to be the best choice in Bluetooth speakers. It’s large, heavy, doesn’t have USB charging and isn’t waterproof. Plus, almost Rs 25k is a lot to pay for a Bluetooth speaker. But none of this matters because the Kilburn sounds so darn good.
If design and audio performance are your two most important criteria for a Bluetooth speaker – and they should be – the Kilburn is near perfect.
Read the full review: Marshall Kilburn
10. JBL Flip 4
A life-friendly speaker that doesn’t skimp on sound
Weight: 515g | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Wireless range: 40 feet | Frequency response: 70Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: 2 x 40mm | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
Decent, rugged design
Plenty of bass
Underwhelming mid-range sound
Slightly basic looks
Bringing bluntness over refinement, the JBL Flip 4 is a good Bluetooth speaker for the rugged outdoorsman in your friend circle. Its rough, tough design makes it perfect as a portable speaker to accompany all aspects of your life without worrying your home audio system.
Its all weather friendly design is a win, but a lack of definition and distinction in the mid-range ultimately means its sound quality is not quite up to scratch when compared with some, more high-end portable speakers.
Read the full review: JBL Flip 4
Note: Not all the speakers listed here are tested by the Indian team. Some of them have been recommended by our global team, but all are available in India.