Best Bluetooth Speaker for 2024

Best new Bluetooth speaker

Soundcore by Anker Boom 2

I liked the original Soundcore Motion Boom, which made our best Bluetooth speakers list and was one of the better mini boom box Bluetooth speaker values over the last few years, selling for around $80. The 3.75-pound Boom 2 costs more but sounds substantially better, with more than double the power rating of the original, so it not only plays louder but kicks out more bass and offers better clarity at higher volumes (it’s equipped with two tweeters and one subwoofer). It also has a couple of built-in LED lights to help create that party vibe. It’s an impressive-sounding speaker for its size and good value.

Waterproof (IPX7-rated) with a floatable design, the speaker’s battery life is rated at up to 24 hours at moderate volume levels (it charges via USB-C) and you can tweak the sound and customize the lighting with the Soundcore app for iOS and Android. There’s also a USB-out port to charge your devices.

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Best mini Bluetooth speaker

Bose SoundLink Flex

When the SoundLink Flex speaker launched, Bose made some bold claims about its new Bluetooth speaker, particularly its bass performance. It mostly lives up to the hype and is arguably the best-sounding wireless speaker for its compact size.

Available in three colors — black, white smoke and stone blue (pictured) — it’s equipped with Bose’s PositionIQ technology to automatically detect the speaker’s orientation and deliver optimized sound based on whether it’s upright, hanging or flat on its back.

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Tribit’s take on Bose Flex

Tribit StormBox Flow

Tribit’s StormBox Flow is another Bose SoundLink Flex knockoff for less that shares some similarities with the Soundcore Motion 300, including the same list price. The Tribit may sound slightly better than the Motion 300, edging it out for bass performance by a tad, but the Anker speaker wins on design.

Like the Bose SoundLink Flex, the Tribit StormBox Flow can be laid down flat with its speaker firing up. You can also wirelessly pair two of the speakers together for stereo sound.

It has an IP67 water-resistance rating, which means it’s dust-resistant and fully waterproof. Tribit says it delivers up to 30 hours of audio at moderate volume levels. That’s impressive.

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Top compact Bluetooth speaker

Soundcore Motion 300

Bose makes its excellent SoundLink Flex Bluetooth speaker that sells for around $150 and sometimes goes on sale for less. The Soundcore Motion 300 is Anker’s answer to that Bose speaker. Around the same size as the Bose, it doesn’t sound quite as good, but it sounds impressive for its compact size and lists for only $80 (it’s been on sale for as low as $55). 

Like the SoundLink Flex, it can be laid down flat with its speaker firing up toward the ceiling or propped up as shown in the photo above. It’s IPX7 waterproof and delivers up to 13 hours of audio at moderate volume levels. There’s also support for Sony’s LDAC audio codec for Android and other devices that support Bluetooth wireless streaming with LDAC. 

The speaker has a bass-boost button that does amp up the low end a bit, but I actually thought the speaker sounded a little better without the bass boost engaged because the speaker seemed slightly overdriven with the boost. 

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Top-sounding mini Bluetooth speaker

Harman Kardon Luna

Harman Kardon, which is owned by Samsung, makes popular JBL Bluetooth speakers like the Flip 6 and JBL Charge. The under-the-radar Harman Kardon Luna may just be the best mini Bluetooth speaker you’ve never heard of. It’s not only attractively designed — it comes in black or white — but sounds surprisingly good for its size, with clear, natural sound and punchy bass (it’s a mono speaker with a dual-driver design that features a woofer and a tweeter).

While it’s slightly bigger than JBL’s Flip series speakers and slightly smaller than the JBL Charge series, the Luna’s got a bit of heft to it, weighing in at 1.56 pounds (0.71 kg). Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3, it’s also fully waterproof and dustproof, with an IP67 rating. Battery life is rated at up to 12 hours at moderate volume levels. I did find it to be a better-sounding speaker than the JBL Flip 6 and preferred it in some ways to the JBL Charge 5.

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Best value micro Bluetooth speaker

Tribit StormBox Micro 2

Back in 2020, Tribit released the StormBox Micro, a budget version of Bose’s excellent SoundLink Micro speaker that delivered surprisingly good sound for its size and modest price. The second-gen StormBox Micro 2 offers improved sound and battery life, along with a charge-out feature that turns the speaker into a power bank for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. An integrated strap allows you to clip it to your backpack or your bike’s handlebars.

Like the original, it’s an excellent value and easy to recommend if you’re looking for a super-compact portable wireless speaker. It does cost $60 but sometimes goes on sale for closer to $50.

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New Sony Extra Bass mini Bluetooth speaker

Sony ULT Field 1

Sony launched the SRS-XB23 a few years ago and it was a fairly popular portable Bluetooth speaker. The lightweight and compact ULT Field 1 sort of looks like a cross between the XB23 and the newer SRS-XE200. It sounds significantly better than the XB23, which had bass forward sound but just didn’t offer enough clarity and detail for my tastes. The ULT Field 1 sounds fuller and more balanced and competes favorably with JBL’s popular Flip 6, which lists for the same price.

The speaker comes in four colors — off-white, orange, black and forest gray — and it’s waterproof and dust-proof, with an IP67 rating. It also has speakerphone capabilities and is rated for up to 12 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels.

When you press the ULT button, you get a bass boost and overall fuller sound. Unlike with the ULT button on the Wear headphones that I thought boosted the bass too much, in the case of the Field 1, the speaker sounded didn’t have enough bass unless the ULT button was engaged.

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Top-sounding midsize Bluetooth speaker

Marshall Middleton

Marshall’s 2023 Middleton speaker isn’t exactly compact. It also isn’t so beefy that you get a workout carrying it around. Weighing 4 pounds (1.8kg), it’s bigger than Marshall’s Emberton speaker and smaller and more portable than its Kilburn II speaker. Any way you look at it, it sounds very good for its size and puts out a surprising amount of quality bass while offering good treble detail and natural-sounding mids (where vocals live). I also liked that it has equalizer controls on the speaker itself — I did bump the bass a bit — and is fully waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating. 

Battery life is rated at up to 20 hours at moderate volume levels and Marshall says it takes 4.5 hours to fully recharge the speaker. Its USB-C charging port also has a charge-out feature that allows you to use the speaker as a power bank and charge your devices.

You can pair two or more speakers to amplify the sound but you can’t pair two speakers together to create a stereo pair. Marshall says the Middleton uses True Stereophonic, “a unique form of multidirectional stereo sound” and I did think the soundstage was bigger than what you typically get from a speaker this size. The only downside to the speaker is that it’s fairly expensive but I was otherwise impressed.

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Top Bluetooth boom box

Soundcore by Anker Motion Boom Plus

Anker’s original Soundcore Motion Boom speaker (see below) has been on this list for a while and is still a decent value at (sometimes) less than $100. The Motion Boom Plus is significantly improved. 

Weighing 5.29 pounds (almost a pound more than the Motion Boom), it uses Bluetooth 5.3 and is equipped with upgraded dual 3.5-inch woofers and newly added dual 1-inch tweeters, delivering up to 80 watts of audio output (60 watts for the woofers and 20 watts for the tweeters). Battery life is rated for 20 hours at moderate volume levels. It’s also IP67 waterproof and dustproof, and it floats if you happen to drop it in a body of water.

I was impressed with the sound quality, which measures up well against a few more expensive — and some larger — speakers on this list. For its size, the speaker can put out a lot of sound and mostly manages to avoid distorting at higher volumes.

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Best mini canister speaker

Sony SRS-XB100

Sony’s smallest Bluetooth speaker was once again modestly upgraded in 2023, with a new Bluetooth chipset, slightly improved sound and speakerphone performance. This portable Bluetooth speaker is both dust- and waterproof with an IP67 certification and, like its predecessor (the SRS-XB13), it’s rated for 16 hours of battery life at moderate volume levels and it charges via USB-C. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.3 with support for the AAC and SBC audio codecs, the speaker plays bigger than you’d think for its small size, with some punch to its bass. It’s pretty impressive for a mini mono speaker.

Although the 9.6-ounce (272-gram) speaker appears to have the same design as the XB13, Sony says its new sound diffusion processor “realizes richer spread sound,” which means this has a bit wider soundstage, which I can confirm. It can output only so much sound, but if you add a second XB100, you can get stereo-quality sound. There’s no companion app, but that isn’t a huge deal.

The XB100 is available in multiple color options and includes a strap so you can attach it to various objects. It also has speakerphone capabilities with an integrated microphone (as I said, the speakerphone’s performance has been improved, and callers said they could hear me clearly indoors).

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Top mini boom box Bluetooth speaker

Soundcore by Anker Motion X600

Anker’s Soundcore Motion X600 mini boom box not only has a premium look and feel with a metal grille and carrying handle but includes some interesting features like spatial audio and support for Sony’s LDAC audio codec. It sounds impressive for its relatively compact size and is a good value.

Weighing 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), it’s got some heft to it, but it’s light enough to carry around without feeling like you’re getting a workout. The speaker is available in gray, green and blue color options and is equipped with five drivers, including two woofers, two tweeters and one full-range, upward-firing driver “in a unique speaker array that combined with Soundcore’s audio algorithm and DSP helps create a wide (and tall) soundstage for listening to any type of music,” according to Anker. It’s rated for 50 watts of total power, with two 20-watt amps devoted to the woofers and tweeters and a third 10-watt amp powering the upward-firing driver.

At the default sound setting without bass boost or spatial audio engaged, I wasn’t exactly wowed with sound quality (the bass is a bit underwhelming, the mids are recessed and there’s a bit too much treble push). As soon as you engage the bass boost and spatial audio, everything sounds more balanced and full. You can also tweak the sound profile further in the Soundcore companion app for iOS and Android. 

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Better-sounding Flip

JBL Flip 6

With each new version of the Flip, JBL makes small improvements, and while the latest model, the Flip 6, doesn’t look much different from the Flip 5 on the outside, it does feature improved sound. It has two-way drivers with a woofer and tweeter and dual passive radiators that help the Flip 6 deliver much deeper bass than you think it could. 

It’s fully waterproof and dustproof with an IPX67 rating. Like the Flip 5, it’s rated for up to 12 hours of audio playback at moderate volume levels and charges via USB-C. Available in multiple color options, it’s one of the best-sounding speakers for its compact size.

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Good value mini Bluetooth speaker

Soundcore by Anker Mini 3

The very compact Soundcore by Anker Mini 3 Bluetooth speaker may not deliver huge sound, but it delivers more sound than you’d think, with just enough bass, from a speaker of its size. Available in multiple color options and weighing around 8 ounces (223 grams), it has an integrated strap and is fully waterproof with an IPX7 rating.

The 6-watt Mini 3 sounds fairly similar to the new Sony SRS-XB100, which retails for $60, around $20 more than the Anker, and features good battery life — up to 15 hours at moderate volume levels. You can wirelessly link multiple Mini 3s together to create a wider sound field, but most people will use this speaker for casual listening on the go. It also makes for a good bathroom or shower speaker and does have speakerphone capabilities with a built-in microphone.

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Best compact Bluetooth speaker with 360-degree light show

JBL Pulse 5

JBL Pulse speaker is now in its fifth generation, and both the sound quality and 360-degree light show have been improved. JBL has “expanded the transparent outer body” so the customizable light show (there’s a companion app for iOS and Android that allows you to alter the colorful lighting effects) looks more impressive. The speaker is also IP67 dustproof and waterproof, and it offers up to 12 hours of battery at moderate volume levels.

The speaker now has a separate tweeter and a passive bass radiator that delivers fairly punchy bass. I’d say the speaker delivers very good but not great sound for its size and price (it distorts a little at higher volumes). For sound, it’s sort of in between JBL’s Flip 6 and Charge 5, so you’ll arguably get slightly better sound from the Charge 5. You’re really buying this speaker for the light show; that’s what makes it unique and special and it does look mesmerizing.

Note that you can pair this with another JBL PartyBoost compatible speaker for stereo sound or link multiple JBL PartyBoost speakers for augmented sound. Also, you can find this speaker on Amazon as part of a bundle with a protective carrying case thrown in for the same price as the speaker by itself.

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Top-sounding Bluetooth speaker under $50

Tribit MaxSound Plus

The Tribit MaxSound Plus is about 30% bigger than its sibling, the XSound Go, and costs almost twice as much, but it performs substantially better and is one of the best-sounding speakers in its size and price class. It has a long-lasting rechargeable lithium-ion battery and superior sound quality for a Bluetooth speaker.

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Impressive sound for a relatively compact Bluetooth speaker

JBL Charge 5

JBL’s Charge 5 offers a good balance of size, performance and durability. It’s bigger than some of the mini speakers on this list, like the Flip 5, but is still compact and packs more bass punch and overall volume. Featuring a built-in USB charging port for juicing up your mobile devices, it offers improved audio and a dust- and waterproof design that’s elevated from the previous Charge. According to JBL, the speaker is equipped with a “racetrack-shaped driver,” with a separate tweeter and dual passive radiators, to improve both clarity and bass performance over the Charge 4. (In my tests, this indeed proved to be the case.) 

Battery life is rated at 20 hours at moderate volume levels. This model is also equipped with JBL’s PartyBoost feature that allows you to connect it to other compatible JBL portable speakers to augment their sound. The Charge 5 comes in six color options: black, blue, gray, red, teal and “squad” (which looks like a kind of camo).

The JBL Charge 5 in gray is being held in the palm of a hand.

Best for clipping onto a backpack

JBL Clip 4

For its first three generations, JBL’s Clip micro Bluetooth speaker had a circular design. For the fourth-gen Clip 4, JBL has moved to a more oval shape, bulked up the speaker slightly and added USB-C charging. This portable Bluetooth speaker does seem more durable, with a sturdier integrated carabiner clip. Also, it sounds a little better, with more volume, clearer sound and more bass. With an IP67 water-resistance rating, it can survive being dunked in shallow water and is dustproof. The Clip 4 is right up there with the best overall micro Bluetooth speakers.

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Most durable

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

We liked Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom 2 and the third-generation model, the Wonderboom 3, offers some small improvements, including slightly better battery life (up to 14 hours instead of 13, at moderate volume levels) and a new Bluetooth chip that allows for extended wireless range of over 130 feet (40 meters). The design has not changed, although the speaker now comes in different color options.

Like its predecessor, the Wonderboom 3 started at $100 but sometimes sells for less. Its IP67 rating means that it’s not only waterproof but also dustproof (and able to float).

This model retains the special Outdoor Boost mode that boosts treble and you can link two together (or pair a Wonderboom 3 to a Wonderboom 2) to create a stereo sound pairing by simply pressing a button on each speaker. As far as I can tell, the Wonderboom 3 sounds similar to the Wonderboom 2 and features very good sound for its small size. That said, while there’s some punch to the bass (being short yet squat helps it produce more low-end), it can only deliver so much kick. 

Alas, Ultimate Ears, which is owned by Logitech, has not upgraded the charging port to USB-C. The speaker still charges with a Micro-USB cable, which is a bit of a bummer.

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Best portable party speaker

JBL PartyBox 110

Released in 2021, the PartyBox 110 packs some serious punch and delivers a bigger sound than many portable boombox speakers, including JBL’s own Boombox 3. There’s an integrated handle for toting the speaker, but the PartyBox 110 is pretty hefty, weighing in at 23 pounds and measuring slightly more than 22 inches tall. You can stand this Bluetooth boom box up vertically as shown in the picture above or place it horizontally, as it has rubber feet on both sides of the speaker.

It’s rated for up to 12 hours of playback time at moderate volume levels and has a redesigned light show that syncs to the beat of your music (you can customize the light show from the speaker itself or use the JBL PartyBox companion app). 

The speaker has Bluetooth or a wired USB connection and there are guitar and mic inputs. It’s also worth noting that the speaker is IPX4 splash-proof and you can wirelessly link two PartyBox 110 speakers together for stereo sound.

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Pocket-friendly wireless speaker

JBL Go 3

The JBL Go 3’s durable design, coupled with surprisingly decent sound for its tiny size, makes it one of the top micro Bluetooth speakers out there.

Available in multiple color options, it has an IP67 water-resistance rating, meaning it can be dunked in water and is dustproof. Battery life is rated at up to 5 hours.

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