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The Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers for Jams Anywhere

Bring your music anywhere you want with a portable Bluetooth speaker.

portable bluetooth speakers

It's the 21st-century and portable Bluetooth speakers are a dime a dozen. They come in all different shapes and sizes, with different sound qualities and price points. But before actually buying a portable Bluetooth speaker, there are a lot of different factors that you should consider.

The Factors You Need to Consider

The Speaker brand: You’ve probably heard of all the speaker manufacturers on this list, which is a good thing. You want to trust that the speaker is not only going to sound good but also last. Many portable speakers on this list work with other like-branded speakers; for instance, you can pair two Ultimate Ears speakers together or two of Bose's SoundLink speakers together for more of a party (or multi-room) setup. So there is an advantage to sticking to one brand of speaker if you have that use case in mind.

Size and shape: Generally, the bigger the speaker, the louder and better it is going to sound. You also want to consider the shape and design of the speaker. The two most popular shapes these days are 360-degree (cylindrical) or mono-directional speakers. The 360-degree speakers are generally better when placed in the middle of a room while mono-directional speakers are better for stereo audio.

Ruggedness: All rugged speakers aren’t the same. And in order to know how water-resistant or drop-proof a speaker is, you really need to understand IP (Ingress Protection) ratings. The easy way to explain it is that the higher the IP rating of the speaker, the more water-resistant it is — an IP7-rated speaker is more durable than an IP4-rated speaker. You can check out how the IP ratings are explained here.

Voice Assistance: Some of the newer portable speakers have wi-fi connectivity and support a voice assistant, such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. This allows you to use a speaker similar to an Amazon Echo or Google Home, using voice commands to request songs, answer general queries and control smart home devices. However, you’ll only be able to access the voice assistant when connected to wi-fi or a mobile hotspot.

Battery Life: Bigger speakers tend to have larger and longer-lasting batteries. That said, it varies from speaker to speaker. If you know you’re going to listen to the speaker a lot and you’re also going to have to go days between charges, these are things you should consider before purchasing a portable speaker.

Charge: Most of today’s portable speakers need a micro-USB cable to charge. However, there are some speakers that require a USB-C or AC cable to charge. Knowing what kind of cable might seem like a small thing, but it’s actually really convenient to be able to use the same cables to charge a few of your devices, like wireless headphones, your smartphone and computer.

New and Upcoming Speaker Releases

Our recommendations are based on real-world testing. Here's a snapshot of new and unreleased portable Bluetooth speakers our testers are considering for future updates to this guide.

Victrola Music Edition 1 and Music Edition 2: The Music Edition 1 ($100) and Music Edition 2 ($200) are the first portable Bluetooth speakers by Victrola, the company best known for its budget-friendly turntables. Both speakers have striking designs made out of metal. They both have a pretty high IP67 water-resistance rating, and both charge via USB-C as well.

Polaroid Players: Polaroid recently announced its first-ever portable Bluetooth speakers. There are four different models — the P1 ($60), P2 ($130), P3 ($190) and P4 ($290) (from left to right: starting from the smallest and most affordable to the largest) — and each of them come in colorful-yet-retro-inspired design.

More Speaker Guides

Best Ultra-Portable Waterproof Speakers
Best Active Speakers
Best Outdoor Speakers for Parties
Best Multi-Room Wireless Speakers
Best Computer Speakers

How We Tested

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eight portable waterproof bluetooth speakers
Tucker Bowe

We've been writing about and reviewing audio products — including speakers, headphones, earbuds and other audio components that run the gamut from consumer to hi-fi — for near-on a decade. We also work with major brands and talk to experts within the audio industry. The below selections of portable Bluetooth speakers are a combination of products that we've had hands-on experience with as well as products that are made by brands trusted within the audio space.

Best All-Around Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Ultimate Ears Boom 3
Now 24% off
Best Upgrade Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Sonos Roam
Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $100
Sony SRS-XB23
Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth ​
Sony XE300
Now 26% off
Sony XG300
Now 43% off
JBL Go 3
Best Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Sony SRS-XB13
Sonos Roam SL
JBL Clip 4
JBL Flip 6
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3
Best Sounding Bluetooth Speaker
Sonos Move
Loudest Bluetooth Speaker
Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
Ultimate Ears
Now 13% off
Bose Portable Home Speaker
Now 20% off
Bose SoundLink Revolve II and Resolve Plus II
Anker Soundcore 3
Anker Soundcore Flare Mini
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