Tested: The Best Bluetooth Speakers Worth Your Attention

earfun, soundcore, edifier, marshall, jbl, bose, sony wireless bluetooth speakers
The Best Bluetooth Speakers in 2023Bridget Clegg


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There's nothing better than kicking back at home or outside with your phone by your side, streaming your go-to playlist, podcast, or audiobook to a Bluetooth speaker. That's just one of the countless reasons investing in such a product is worth it.

The latest Bluetooth speakers are more capable than ever and incredibly well-priced — many great ones cost just around $100. Today's best will deliver great sound, have next-level craftsmanship and durability, and pack a plethora of convenient additional features, like access to virtual assistants and in-app controls, to name a few.

We're constantly researching and testing the latest top Bluetooth speakers on the market today to find you the absolute best.

The Best Bluetooth Speakers

How We Tested

Before the testing began, we spent hours researching today's latest portable Bluetooth speakers from leading brands like Bose, Marshall, Sony, Soundcore, and more. We looked for products with up-to-date, futureproof specs in various form factors and price points.

Our testing process included rocking out with the products at home and during park outings while evaluating the following criteria:

  • Audio Quality — the speaker's ability to deliver bass, treble, and midrange while listening to various types of content.

  • Design and build — evaluating the product's craftsmanship and durability, including its ability to survive exposure to water.

  • Battery endurance — testing the speaker's real-life performance between charges.

  • Additional features — app-enabled controls, compatibility with virtual assistants, and more.

What to Consider

Sound

Good sound is a must for a top-tier Bluetooth speaker, and the more audio drivers it packs, the better its fidelity will be. Unless you are looking for a compact offering or one that offers unique features, keep an eye out for a pair of onboard audio drivers. On the other hand, bass radiators will help the product produce a powerful and entertaining low range.

Durability

Water resistance used to be a niche feature for Bluetooth speakers, but today, the handy functionality's growing availability has made it a must-have for any great Bluetooth speaker.

All product suggestions (with the exception of one) can handle direct exposure to water, and many can survive complete submersion and even float on the surface. Before making a pick, it's essential to know that speakers with an IP rating can survive exposure to water and dust, while IPX-rated ones can only handle the former. So, if you're shopping for a beach- or hike-ready Bluetooth speaker, consider one with an IP rating.

Battery Life

A good Bluetooth speaker should offer double-digit battery life, regardless of its size and price point. The product category's finest offer endurance beyond the 10-hour bare minimum.

Additional Features

Bluetooth 5.0 (and higher) is the most desirable wireless connectivity standard a speaker should offer. Depending on your usage preference, options beyond Bluetooth (e.g., wired and Wi-Fi) are worth considering, too.

A companion app with speaker controls and audio customization options is also worth considering for your next Bluetooth speaker. Thankfully, there's no need to break the bank to access this bit.

Now that you know how to shop, find the best Bluetooth speaker for your lifestyle and budget among these high-quality tested products.

Best Overall

<p>SRS-XE300 Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$148.00</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B446TW86?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

SRS-XE300 Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$148.00

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amazon.com

Sony's all-new SRS-XE300 is the best Bluetooth speaker for most consumers and a worthy follow-up to the SRS-XB33 — our previous top pick in this product category. It has an elegant and durable design with a fabric finish, fantastic audio quality, and long battery life, all at an agreeable price. It also packs additional features like an onboard microphone for making calls, elaborate app controls, multi-device connectivity, and fast-charging tech.

Equipped with full-range audio drivers and passive radiators, the SRS-XE300 delivers a detail-rich and powerful sound. The drivers have a non-circular shape, allowing the speaker to blast distortion-free audio at any volume. You can adjust the product's sound and settings via the Sony Music Center app.

The SRS-XE300 sounds like a bigger product thanks to a clever line-shape diffuser. It delivers an equally great sonic experience when placed horizontally or vertically, and there's also an option seamlessly connect many units If you want bigger sound.

Sony offers the SRS-XE300 in black, blue, red, and light gray. If you want a smaller Bluetooth speaker, consider the Sony SRS-X200 with the same design and features for less.

Runner-Up

<p>Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$219.99</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B088KRKFJ3?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

Stockwell II Portable Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$219.99

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amazon.com

With its timelessly cool design, impressive sound, seamless portability, and top-notch battery life, the Marshall Stockwell II speaker also earned high marks. It also has a neat carrying strap and a durable build with an IPX4 rating for water resistance.

The design of the Stockwell II has been inspired by the brand's iconic guitar amps. In addition to the legendary Marshall logo on the front speaker grille, the device's dedicated knobs for controlling volume, bass, and treble output make it look more like an amp than a speaker. The knobs are just as fun to interact with as they are cool.

The speaker delivers an immersive, multidirectional sound courtesy of a powerful woofer and a duo of tweeters (front- and rear-facing). The sonic experience is well-balanced and easy to customize via the rotating knobs I mentioned above.

If you like the Stockwell II speaker as much as we do but need even more decibels, consider the larger and pricier Marshall Tufton instead. It has a similar design and an even bigger sound. The Emberton II, on the other hand, is a more compact and affordable Marshall speaker with a similar design.

Best Budget

<p>Soundcore 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$35.99</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BCHKY52?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

Soundcore 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$35.99

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amazon.com

Priced around $50 before any discounts, Anker's Soundcore 3 is our favorite Bluetooth speaker for budget-conscious upgraders. It offers a minimalist and durable design, intuitive controls, stellar audio quality, and good battery life. The speaker weighs less than a pound, so it's impressively compact and easy to carry around.

Rocking a pair of titanium audio drivers and a duo of passive radiators, the Soundcore 3 delivers full stereo sound that defies its compact size and price point. On the other hand, the speaker's companion mobile app for customizing its sound and settings is one of the best in the business and more feature-rich than those of considerably pricier rivals. The product performed well as a speakerphone while I tested it, too.

You can simultaneously connect the Soundcore 3 to a duo of devices, unlike countless similarly priced alternatives. A PartyCast feature is also available, allowing you to connect more than 100 speakers and synchronize their sound.

Anker offers the Soundcore 3 in black, blue, gray, and red. Each speaker comes with a matching carrying strap and an 18-month warranty.

Best Under $100

<p>UBOOM L Portable Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>myearfun.com</p><p>$79.99</p><p><a href="https://go.redirectingat.com?id=74968X1596630&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.myearfun.com%2Fspeakers%2Fearfun-uboom-l-portable-waterproof-bluetooth-speakers-black&sref=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bestproducts.com%2Ftech%2Felectronics%2Fa14250893%2Freviews-top-portable-bluetooth-speakers%2F" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">myearfun.com</span>

UBOOM L Portable Bluetooth Speaker

myearfun.com

$79.99

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myearfun.com

The EarFun UBOOM L is the best Bluetooth speaker for under $100. Priced below $80 before any deals and promotions, the product has an understated and rugged design with a fabric cover that belies its price point, convenient controls, and dependable battery life. The fully waterproof and dustproof device can also float in water.

I was impressed by the audio performance of the UBOOM L when I put it to the test. The speaker produced a stereo sound that's powerful yet surprisingly balanced. However, it's important to note that you can't fine-tune the audio via an app.

The device has indoor and outdoor listening modes you can activate with a button. The former delivers a harmonious listening experience, while the outdoor mode boosts the bass output. You can also pair two speakers in a proper stereo setup with left and right channels.

A standard 3.5-millimeter wired audio input is another bit I like about the EarFun UBOOM L Bluetooth speaker. The old-school functionality is rarely available in products that cost a lot more.

Cool Retro Design

<p>MP230 Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$149.99</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09Q2T6M72?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

MP230 Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$149.99

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amazon.com

The Edifier MP230 deserves pressing the buy button for its beautiful design inspired by mid-century radios. Made using natural wood and high-quality fabric, the speaker makes its rivals look generic in comparison. The same goes for its beautiful button controls, which reminded me of the cassette player I rocked out with three decades ago.

The retro design is not the only reason why the Edifier MP230 caught my attention. The Bluetooth 5.0 device also features a standard wired audio input (there's a cable in the retail package) and a memory card slot for local audio playback. The last-mentioned bit is particularly notable because it allows the MP230 to play your MP3 collection and entertain you on its own, similar to the old-school radios it resembles.

Edifier has equipped the MP230 with a pair of audio drivers and passive radiators, which combine to deliver a crisp and harmonious sound. The latter is not customizable via an app.

With up to 10 hours of playback between charges and no water resistance, the Edifier MP230 is not a take-anywhere audio sidekick. It's all about design, craftsmanship, and tactility, and it doubles as a great desktop or home accessory.

Best Compact Speaker

<p>SoundLink Flex Portable Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$149.00</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0B1DTGBJN?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

SoundLink Flex Portable Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$149.00

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amazon.com

The highly rated Bose SoundLink Flex is the Bluetooth speaker to get if you are looking for top-tier sound in an uncompromisingly compact, take-anywhere form factor. It is half the size of our top pick from Sony, yet it can deliver signature Bose sound with excellent quality. And thanks to a clever tech dubbed PositionIQ, the device can produce an enjoyable sonic experience regardless of its orientation (e.g., laying flat, standing upright, etc.).

Unlike its predecessors, the Bose SoundLink Flex is also exceptionally tough. The device can survive exposure to water, dust, and UV light. It can also float on the water’s surface, so it’s great for use on the go and perfect for pool parties. You can order it in black, white, stone blue, and a striking new carmine red option.

It’s worth noting that a single Bose SoundLink Flex can’t produce a stereo sound experience — you’ll need to connect a pair via the companion app for such a feat. The speaker is also the only one on this list to feature Bluetooth 4.2 — an older wireless standard with a more limited range and power efficiency. The compromises are worth making, considering the product’s design, portability, and audio quality.

Best Mini Speaker

<p>Clip 4 Mini Bluetooth Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$79.95</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PJ7B6HM?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

Clip 4 Mini Bluetooth Speaker

amazon.com

$79.95

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amazon.com

The JBL Clip 4 is our favorite mini Bluetooth speaker, thanks to a minuscule-yet-durable build, a powerful sound with a surprisingly thumping low end, up-to-date Bluetooth connectivity, and great battery life for its size.

Powered by a single 40-millimeter audio driver, the JBL Clip 4 emits a big sound from its palm-sized form factor suggests. You can expect a sonic experience with a good harmony between bass, treble, and midrange.

Thanks to the product family's signature carabiner, the speaker can easily attach to a bag or a bicycle, among countless other items. With a weight close to that of a big-screen phone like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, the Clip 4 is also impressively light for a Bluetooth speaker.

Available in a multitude of color options that range from understated to eclectic, the latest Clip iteration rocks an oversized JBL logo and a back with a textured finish. The latter is convenient because it makes the speaker easier to handle and less prone to slipping on any surface.

The Smartest

<p>Portable Smart Speaker</p><p>amazon.com</p><p>$399.00</p><p><a href="https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VFKBQ3K?tag=syn-yahoo-20&ascsubtag=%5Bartid%7C2089.a.14250893%5Bsrc%7Cyahoo-us" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shop Now" class="link ">Shop Now</a></p><span class="copyright">amazon.com</span>

Portable Smart Speaker

amazon.com

$399.00

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amazon.com

The Bose Portable Home Speaker is smarter and more feature-packed than any other entry on this list. When not in use on the go, the gadget doubles as an excellent smart home speaker, courtesy of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. It's compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple AirPlay 2 wireless playback.

The Portable Home Speaker has the same cool design and water-resistant build as the Bose SoundLink+ Revolve Bluetooth speaker. I like that it has a characterful fabric handle, which helped make the SoundLink+ Revolve a favorite of ours when it launched in 2017. Bose offers the product in silver or black.

I wasn't surprised to discover that the 360-degree sound of the Portable Home Speaker is rich and entertaining, just as you would expect from a Bose product. I enjoyed the bass, which thankfully didn't come at the expense of the high- and the midrange most of the time.

The device's built-in microphones picked up my voice commands even with the volume up. There is a button for disabling the voice assistant feature if you want to take a break from it.

The speaker's battery life is good, especially considering its many features. The industry giant offers an optional charging dock, which is incredibly convenient for home use. I believe the accessory is well worth its $29 price tag because it makes the charging experience as seamless as placing the speaker on it.

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