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Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers

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Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 1

Source: Android Central

Best
Bluetooth Speakers
Android Central
2020

A Bluetooth speaker is the best way to play your favorite music when you’re swimming in the pool or out on a camping trip with friends. Compatible with practically every device known to man, Bluetooth speakers will make sure that, as long as your phone, tablet, or laptop is around, your music will be loud! Our favorite is the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 due to its sound quality and water resistance, but there are plenty of other options.

Best Overall: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Source: Android Central

Ultimate Ears speakers don’t have to be expensive to be good. The Wonderboom 2 gets shockingly loud for its size, and sounds excellent for just about every type of music, from pop to rock to hip hop and jazz. The Wonderboom 2 also has omnidirectional sound, making it great for parties. It comes in multiple flashy colors, and you can pair it up with another speaker — although it’s only with another Wonderboom 2 speaker.

It’s also IP67-certified, meaning it’s resistant to dust and submersion — in fact, half of the photos you’ll find online of the Wonderboom 2 feature the speaker floating in pools. As a bonus, the Wonderboom 2 is durable, rated to withstand drops from up to 5 feet, and lasts for up to 13 hours between each charge. Not bad at all for a speaker of this size.

Pros:

  • Fantastic audio for its size
  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • Affordable
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Micro-USB charging
  • Distorts a bit at max volume
  • No Party Up feature

Best Overall


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Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Great speaker in a small package

The Wonderboom 2 is water-resistant, durable, and super compact, with excellent audio and a wide selection of color options.

A Great Alternative: JBL Charge 4

black jbl charge 4 outdoors

Source: JBL

JBL is another instantly recognizable name in speakers, and the Charge 4 is a large, bulky speaker with deep bass and 20 hours of battery life. Its namesake feature is its ability to share that battery — the Charge 4 has a USB-A port next to its USB-C charging port that can be used to share power from is 7,500mAh battery to charge your phone while you listen to music.

Like many of the other speakers on this list, it’s also water-resistant, bearing IPX7 certification (so long as you keep the rubber gaskets closed). If you’re throwing an all-day pool party or going out on the water during a camping trip, this is easily one of your best options, since it eliminates the need to buy and carry a separate battery pack.

Pros:

  • Charges via USB-C
  • Loud, punchy audio
  • Long battery life
  • Charges phones and other devices

Cons:

  • A bit bulky and heavy
  • No microphone for calls

A Great Alternative


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 4

JBL Charge 4

Charge while you listen

This waterproof speaker with a built-in battery charges your phone while you play music. It tops up over USB-C and lasts 20 hours.

Best Battery Life: Anker Soundcore 2

black anker soundcore 2 summer party

Source: Anker

There isn’t much to complain about with the Soundcore 2. For a fraction of the price of the other Bluetooth speakers, Anker’s latest packs respectable sound and all-day battery life into a small, rugged chassis. The Soundcore 2 is waterproof and rated to last for a full 24 hours. Of course, you’d hope Anker of all brands would be able to provide good battery life.

Unfortunately, the Soundcore 2 is significantly lacking in bass, which can have a significant impact on specific genres of music, and it’s a bit quiet compared to other speakers on this list. Still, for the price it commands, it’s a great little speaker available in a few color options, and you can even buy more than one and pair them together for surround sound audio.

Pros:

  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Stereo pairing with other Soundcores
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Extremely affordable speaker

Cons:

  • Lacking in bass
  • Not as loud as other speakers

Best Battery Life


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 6

Anker Soundcore 2

Small and affordable

The Soundcore 2 has water resistance and long battery life. It’s quiet and lacking in bass, but it’s a great deal nonetheless.

Best Value: Tribit MaxSound Plus

Tribit Maxsound Plus Lifestyle

Source: Tribit

The Tribit MaxSound Plus is another inexpensive speaker with long-lasting battery life and IPX7 water resistance. This portable powerhouse gives you 20 hours of battery life on and an impressive range of up to 100 feet, so you don’t have to keep the device close to you or your phone to keep the tunes blasting.

There are two 12W drivers with Tribit’s proprietary Xbass technology for booming sound at the push of a button, along with Texas Instruments amplifier modules and audio processing technology. The speaker sports a lanyard rope for carrying, and a rubber flap that covers the headphone jack and Micro-USB charging port to keep everything waterproof. If you’re on a tight budget, it’s hard to go wrong with the MaxSound Plus.

Pros:

  • All-day battery life
  • IPX7 water and dust resistance
  • Extremely affordable
  • Xbass technology

Cons:

  • The attached lanyard can seem a bit small
  • Charges via micro-USB rather than USB-C

Best Value


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 8

Tribit MaxSound Plus

As affordable as you can ask for in a capable Bluetooth speaker

The Tribit XSound Go is affordable, water-resistant, and lasts all day without breaking a sweat.

Goes to 11: Marshall Stanmore II

marshall stanmore ii on desk

Source: Marshall

Marshall took its decades of guitar amplifier prowess and built a fantastic Bluetooth speaker in the Stanmore II. It’s stylized like a Marshall combo amp, with a few knobs at the top for adjusting volume, as well as bass and treble, and you can quickly switch between Bluetooth, auxiliary input, and even RCA.

The Stanmore II is much larger than most of the other speakers on this list, but it fits perfectly in any musician or music lover’s home and sounds as good as you’d expect a Marshall product to. You can further adjust the sound via the accompanying app, but by default, it has well-defined bass and holds up well, even at loud volumes — it is a Marshall amp, after all. Well, sort of.

Pros:

  • Phenomenal sound quality
  • Stylized like a guitar amplifier
  • Apt-X certified
  • Supports Bluetooth, aux, and RCA

Cons:

  • Very expensive
  • Large and heavy for a Bluetooth speaker

Goes to 11


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 10

Marshall Stanmore II

Turn it up to 11

This speaker stylized after classic Marshall guitar amps. It sounds good, gets extremely loud, and offers onboard EQ controls.

Great for Parties: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

red megaboom 3 bluetooth speaker at a party

Source: Ultimate Ears

Ultimate Ears has been making incredible Bluetooth speakers for years, and the Megaboom 3 is the best in its lineup. It offers everything from good looks and great sound to water resistance, long-lasting battery life, and bold color options.

The Megaboom 3 features UE’s iconic cylindrical shape and soft-touch fabric, along with two large buttons along with the casing for adjusting the volume up and down. The rubberized flap near the bottom of the speaker hides a Micro-USB port (sadly, no USB-C), and there’s a fabric loop at the top for clipping the Megaboom 3 to a carabiner — perfect for carrying attached to your backpack.

It’s a bit on the larger side, but the Megaboom 3’s stature allows for fantastic, booming audio with just the right amount of bass. This is one of the best-sounding speakers on the list, and the shape of the speaker allows for 360-degree sound so that everyone in the area hears the same great audio. Best of all, you can link multiple Boom speakers together to play the same music throughout the house — as many as 150 speakers at once.

You won’t have to worry about the Megaboom 3 running out of juice halfway through a party either since it’s rated for up to 20 hours of playback on a single charge. If you’re looking for a great Bluetooth speaker to get you through the summer and beyond, this is easily one of the best options money can buy.

Pros:

  • Loud, punchy sound
  • Fun colors and attractive design
  • IP67 water and dust resistance
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Fairly expensive
  • Charges via Micro-USB

Great for Parties


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 12

Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

The most well-rounded Bluetooth speaker around

The Megaboom 3 packs great, well, booming sound, with water resistance, all-day battery life, and a myriad of fun color options.

black bose soundlink revolve plus outside

Source: Bose

Bose’s SoundLink Revolve+ is similar to the Megaboom 3, offering omnidirectional audio and several onboard controls. Still, it sounds even better, with a clearer high end and punchier bass that Bose is known for. The aluminum unibody design is pretty slick, too — but it’s only IPX4 splash resistant, rather than IP67 like the Megaboom 3.

The SoundLink’s most significant disadvantage is its price, which is 50% more than the Megaboom 3. Still, that could be worth it for audiophiles and fans of Bose’s legendary sound signature. It also has long battery life, coming in at around 16 hours per charge, and the handle at the top makes it easy to pick up and carry around once the party moves locations.

Pros:

  • Sleek aluminum design
  • Bose reputation
  • IPX4 splash-proof
  • Handle up top for easy transport
  • Great battery life
  • Omnidirectional audio

Cons:

  • Significantly pricier than Megaboom 3
  • Charges over Micro-USB

Best Audio Quality


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 14

Bose SoundLink Revolve+

The pricier, better-sounding Megaboom 3 alternative

The Revolve+ is one of the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers around, and its aluminum enclosure is sleek and splash-resistant.

Best-Looking Speaker: V-Moda Remix

v moda remix and headphones

Source: V-Moda

V-Moda is typically known for its high-end headphones, but the Remix impresses with a unique, stunning design and modern appointments like USB-C. It’s a bit on the larger side, but that’s partially because the Remix features a built-in headphone amplifier, allowing you to connect high-impedance headphones.

The design is comprised of a hexagonal speaker grill enclosed in your choice of either aluminum or vegan leather. It’s one of the best-looking speakers around, and the audio lives up to V-Moda’s reputation with responsive highs and mids and loud, thumping bass. Unfortunately, the Remix isn’t water-resistant like the Megaboom 3 and only has about half the battery life with a rating of 10 hours.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous design with customizable build materials
  • USB-C charging
  • Built-in headphone amplifier
  • Booming bass

Cons:

  • No water resistance
  • Middling battery life

Best-Looking Speaker


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 16

V-Moda Remix

Great looks, great sound, and a built-in headphone amp

The Remix is a unique-looking speaker with options for aluminum or vegan leather and includes a built-in amplifier for headphones.

Another Affordable Option: Sony SRS-XB12

sony srs xb12 speaker attached to jacket

Source: Sony

The XB12 is a relatively new Bluetooth speaker from Sony with a soft touch rubber body that’s both water-resistant and able to take a beating. It fits in the palm of your hand, and gets surprisingly loud and clean, with even reasonably balanced bass despite its small stature.

Like most other speakers in this list, the XB12 uses Micro-USB for charging and comes in a small assortment of eye-catching colors with matching wrist/carrying straps. It lasts up to 16 hours per charge, though it takes several hours to reach a full charge. With a solid build quality and a rugged exterior, there’s a lot to love about the XB12 at a competitive price.

Pros:

  • Surprisingly loud, crisp audio
  • Long battery life
  • Small, portable form factor
  • IPX7 water and dust resistance

Cons:

  • Micro-USB, rather than USB-C
  • Charges slowly

Another Affordable Option


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 18

Sony SRS-XB12

Small speaker packing a powerful punch

This small speaker sounds surprisingly loud and clear. It’s water, dust, and shock-resistant, and comes in several bold colors.

bose soundlink speaker on bike

Source: Bose

If the SoundLink Revolve+ is out of your price range, the Micro is a smaller speaker for about half the price that’s both water-resistant and shockproof. It’s available in a few striking colors and offers clean, distortion-free sound at a respectable volume — though the small size means it’s a bit lacking in bass.

The biggest disadvantage of the SoundLink Micro is its battery life. At only 6 hours, this is far from the longest-lasting speaker we’ve seen, but your neighbors will likely appreciate the hard limit on loud music. The SoundLink Micro also has built-in microphones, which allows you to carry out calls and even talk to Google Assistant or Siri when connected to your phone.

Pros:

  • Built-in microphone for voice assistants
  • Small, portable design
  • IPX7 water resistance
  • Good audio quality

Cons:

  • Poor battery life
  • Lacking in bass

Great Small Option


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 20

Bose SoundLink Micro

Built-in microphone for calls and voice assistance

The SoundLink Micro is ultra-portable, sounds good, and features a microphone for calls and Google Assistant.

Toughest Speaker: Tronsmart Force

Tronsmart Force

Source: Android Central

Having a waterproof Bluetooth speaker is excellent, and being lucky enough to find one that can take the occasional drop is even better. But what about a speaker that can survive a four-story plummet to its (near) death from a hotel balcony into a pool? If you’re looking for that level of toughness, then look no further than the Tronsmart Force Bluetooth speaker.

This is the kind of speaker you can feel comfortable bringing with you on your next pool party or beach vacation, but it is equally at home in the home. It pairs quickly and easily to your devices via NFC, and even though the battery life isn’t as long as we’d like, you can charge it efficiently via its USB-C charging port. It’s so versatile that many people even use it as a shower speaker.5

For a deeper dive (pun intended), be sure to check out our review of this sturdy little speaker.

Pros:

  • IPX7 water resistance
  • 15-hour battery
  • NFC pairing
  • USB-C charging
  • Almost 100-foot range

Cons:

  • Battery life could be better
  • Buttons are difficult to see

Toughest Speaker


Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 22

Tronsmart Force

The Force is strong with this speaker

The Tronsmart Force has modern touches like NFC pairing and USB-C charging and can withstand extreme water and drop scenarios.

Why you should buy a portable Bluetooth speaker

The easiest way to upgrade the sound on your phone or tablet is to pair it with a Bluetooth speaker. The standard is ubiquitous, with every phone, tablet, and notebook featuring Bluetooth connectivity. While some of the options listed above feature Bluetooth 4.0 and several others are based on Bluetooth 4.2, you won’t notice any difference when it comes to connecting your phone or tablet to any of the picks we’ve outlined.

Bluetooth speakers have come a long way in the last five years, with even budget options offering great sound quality these days. They’re ideal for listening to music or your favorite podcasts at home or near the pool. You don’t have to worry about range either, with all of the options mentioned above delivering rock-solid connectivity up to 50 feet. There are several on the list that go up to 100 feet or beyond, with Ultimate Ears leading the charge in this particular area.

One of the main reasons for going with a Bluetooth speaker is that you don’t need to worry about wires, and there’s no specialized hardware required to connect to one. Portability is also a primary factor here, as it’s easy to carry most of the picks we’ve listed above in your bag.

How to pick the best Bluetooth speaker for you

With a seemingly unending selection of Bluetooth speakers, it can be challenging to decide where to start. These devices vary wildly by price, by design, by feature set, by sound quality, and more. Before you decide on a Bluetooth speaker, here are some factors to consider:

1. Indoors or outdoors?

While many of the Bluetooth speakers on this list can function equally well both inside and out, some are tuned to work better in one environment over the other.

For example, the Marshall Stanmore II or V-Moda Remix are both fantastic additions to your living room or office, but you probably don’t want to leave them outside for hours at a time. Alternatively, something like the Tronsmart Force or Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 are outstanding for outdoor use, but if you’re primarily going to be listening inside, you can probably find better options.

2. Price

Bluetooth speaker pricing runs the gamut from bargains buys to premium audiophile halo products. Generally speaking, the more you spend, the more features are included, and the better the speaker(s) sounds. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t find a good balance of features for a good value. True, one of our absolute favorite speakers (of any kind) is the Bose SoundLink Revolve+, but just about any offering from JBL or Ultimate Ears should make most ears happy.

3. Size matters

Get your mind out of the gutter; I’m talking speaker size here. If you want something portable for a mountain bike ride or commute, then you’re not going to want to get anything much larger than the Bose SoundLink Micro or Sony SRS-XB12. However, if you’re going to host an epic BBQ or dance party, the much larger Bose SoundLink Revolve+ or Marshall Stanmore II might be more fitting.

4. Battery life and charging capacity

If you’re taking your Bluetooth speaker away from a steady power source, you want to be sure that it can last the duration you need it to. And you don’t want to have to carry a phone, a Bluetooth speaker, AND a battery pack if you don’t have to.

Generally speaking, the larger the speaker, the larger the battery, but that’s not always the case. Just look at our pick for Toughest Speaker, the Tronsmart Force. It tops out at about 15 hours, where similarly-sized speakers can get five to 10 hours more per charge.

Here’s the Bluetooth speaker we would buy

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Source: Android Central

When it comes to portable Bluetooth speakers, you need to consider a few features in your product, including battery life, sound quality, and element resistance. The portability means you’re going to want to take it places that might be dangerous to electronics, so you’re going to want a speaker that’s built to take on the go.

There’s no shortage of Bluetooth speakers to choose from, but if we were buying one, we’d go for the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2. The speaker sounds fantastic for what it costs, and offers excellent value for your money. While there are more specialized options that prioritize things like longer battery life or better sound, the Wonderboom 2 is the most well-rounded speaker, offering loud, punchy sound, water resistance, and excellent battery life.

Don’t forget that we have several guides for different kinds of Bluetooth speakers, including ranking them by affordability, outdoor usage, and interoperability with smart voice assistants.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 24

Hayato Huseman is a recovering trade show addict and video editor for Android Central based out of Indianapolis. He can mostly be found complaining about the cold and enthusing about prog metal on Twitter at @hayatohuseman.

Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 26

Daniel Bader is the Managing Editor of Android Central. As he’s writing this, a mountain of old Android phones is about to fall on his head, but his Great Dane will protect him. He drinks way too much coffee and sleeps too little. He wonders if there’s a correlation.

Best Bluetooth Speakers 2020: Great sounding portable speakers 28

Jeramy Johnson is proud to help Keep Austin Weird and loves hiking in the hill country of central Texas with a breakfast taco in each hand. When he’s not writing about smart home gadgets and wearables, he’s defending his relationship with his smart voice assistants to his family. You can follow him on Twitter at @jeramyutgw.

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