10 best Bluetooth speakers
There is a diverse range of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market today, so there are a few things you need to consider when making a purchase.
Just how portable do you want your speaker to be? Some on this list are so small and light that they can easily be bunged into a backpack and taken around on your travels, while other, larger models are better suited to just moving around the house.
If you’ve got a NFC-capable device, then you might want to opt for an NFC-enabled speaker, which allows you to connect just by moving your device close to it.
Here, we’ve taken into account portability, design and whether the speakers meet — or surpass — what you can expect from that price bracket.
1. Divoom AuraBox: £50, amazon
We certainly had the most fun with this speaker. Its versatile LED display is like nothing else we tested, and can be controlled by a responsive app — you can create light shows, get it to display social media notifications, act as an alarm clock, and more. The 5W speaker pumps out great sound for its price, too.
2. SoundLink Colour: £110, johnlewis
This is one of the best sounding speakers on our list, and you’d expect nothing else from Bose. The rich, deep bass is striking upon first listen, while the highs are clear and textured. Helpful voice prompts lead you through connecting the Bluetooth — a nice touch.
3. JBL Clip+: £40, johnlewis
If you’re heading outdoors with your music, then this may be the speaker for you. As the name suggests, it has a clip at the top of the speaker, meaning you can attach to a rucksack or a bike, for example. The sound isn’t as all-encompassing as some more, but for this price, you can be pleased with the quality. Comes in plenty of different colours too.
4. SRS-X11: £50, johnlewis
For such a tiny speaker, this offering from Sony really packs a punch. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and is light enough to be considered truly portable. The 10w audio delivers a balanced, clear sound which, for its size, is astounding.
5. UE Roll: £100, johnlewis
Style matches substance with this from Ultimate Ears. With massive, easy-to-use plus and minus signs on the front acting as volume controls and a strong bungee cord meaning you can attach it to pretty to much anything, the design is fun yet functional. It’s waterproof, durable and sounds great, too.
6. Inateck Marsbox: £47, amazon
If you’re on a budget, we’d say this offering from Inateck is a wise choice. The minimalist design is interesting and attractive, with functional buttons on top. On sale for under £50, we weren’t expecting miracles from the sound quality, but it is impressive — the dual 5W drivers are loud enough to fill a room and with well-balanced levels.
7. Fugoo Tough Bluetooth Active: £195, amazon
This may be pricey, but you get what you pay for. It’s an incredibly well-made speaker, crafted from sturdy aluminium, and will stand up to quite a battering. And there’s no compromise on the sound, either, which comprises bass that is heavy, not overpowering, and beautiful highs. To top it all off, there’s remarkable battery life — around 40 hours.
8. Cambridge Audio Go: £120, johnlewis
This is the updated version of Cambridge’s popular Minx Go. The bass on the stylish speaker is literally booming — you can see the rear-facing speaker pulsing with each hit. There’s an impressive 18 hours’ of life on a full charge and there’s a USB port which means you can charge your phone on the go.
9. Pure Voca: £80, johnlewis
We loved the look of this one. The metal exterior is sleek and would fit in with a modern interior. The heavy bass means it would probably be best suited to dance music, but it performs well across most genres. The rubber bottom means it sticks to surfaces as well, which is handy.
10. Braven LUX: £90, johnlewis
Here’s a speaker that could double up as a fashion accessory. The intricate, smart-looking visage comes in gold, purple or silver. With two speakers packed inside, it can deliver a powerful sound, although the actual quality isn’t as great as some of its pricer competitors. It’s water-resistant, not waterproof, so best not to expose it to much more than a splash.
Our vote goes to the Bose speaker, as we were bowled over by the delicious sound quality, and it’s easily portable, too. If you’re heading into tougher terrain, however, we’d recommend the offering from Fugoo. It’s expensive, but it’s extremely well made, and delivers some of the best sounding music of them all.