Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

Speaker cables are so 1980, and if you're looking for an upgrade Bluetooth speakers are the logical next step. That said, the quality of Bluetooth speakers isn't always predictable. Here are five of the best speakers currently available, based on your recommendations.

Photo by abhisawa

Logitech UE Mobile Boombox

Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

The Logitech UE Mobile Boombox is designed to be very small and easy to use. It has a built-in rechargeable battery, speakerphone capability for those random phone calls, and sounds about as good as you'd expect a tiny speaker to sound.

The Mobile Boombox also comes with the ability to let multiple people take turns selecting the music that goes to the speaker and offers wireless playback at up to 15 metres. At around $95, it's also one of the cheaper options on this list and is Wirecutter's pick for best portable Bluetooth speaker.

Bose Soundlink Series

Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

The Bose Soundlink series comes in two flavours: the Mini and the Mobile speaker II. The former is extremely light at around 680 grams, while the latter gives you even better quality sound at the sacrifice of its larger size.

Either way, at around $250 and $400 respectively, neither are cheap options, but you'll get the sound quality you'd expect from Bose. The Mini doesn't charge via USB, and it doesn't have a mic so you can't make speakerphone calls through it.

Jawbone Jambox Series

Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

The Jawbone Jambox series saw a new addition this week, and the original Bluetooth speaker is still going strong. Most striking about the speaker is its unique design, but it comes packed with everything you'd expect from a Bluetooth speaker, including a rechargeable battery and compatibility with most Bluetooth devices.

Coming it at around $200, it's certainly not a cheap option, but the Jambox features firmware updates, apps, and a surprisingly powerful speaker driver to justify the cost.

Braven Series

Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

Braven's line of Bluetooth speakers range from around $150 all the way up to $400 and you get the quality you pay for. Most of the speakers come with battery backups, the ability to charge external devices, and the ability to make hands free calls.

Braven's real claim to fame is its design. They're built for portability, so they're lightweight but still rugged enough to throw in your bag for a day trip. Many models also come packed with waterproof bags to keep the speakers safe no matter where you are.

JBL Flip

Five Best Bluetooth Speakers

The JBL Flip is made to work in any situation you might need it in. The speaker can lie either horizontally or vertically, and sounds good either way. It's lightweight enough that you can pack it with you pretty much anywhere you go, and the fact it works in two directions means it's easy to find a place to put it.

At around $150, the JBL Flip is one of the cheaper options on this list, although it's a bit larger than the comparably priced Logitech UE Mobile Boombox. The JBL Flip charges with a charger as opposed to USB, so you'll always need access to a wall outlet if you want to charge on the go.

Have your own favourite that didn't make the list? Tell us about it in the comments.


    For music? Great no problem but if you ever plan on buying a Bluetooth speaker to use to watch video then forget about it. Haven't found one yet that works across all platforms without audio lag. It may work with some without lag but not others so there's always that risk that when you buy a speaker that your movies are going to look and sound like a dubbed kung fu film.

      I have the Logitech UE Boombox, won it from The Good Guys and i've been using it as an axillary speaker for watching video with and there's surprisingly no lag at all.

        I picked one up last week from Dickie's for $70. (Father's Day Sale item)
        Been pretty impressed with it so far.

    The picture for the Bose Soundlink you have here is not mentioned in the article. Whilst it is in the Soundlink series, pictured here is their Wi-Fi speaker, not their bluetooth ones.

    Don't buy the Jambox. There is a major design flaw in it that will render its Bluetooth capability useless. Apparently the headphone jack has a small switch that when you have the 3.5mm jack in it will disable the Bluetooth transmitter - this is ok, but what is not ok is that over time when you use this the switch doesn't turn off when you have taken out the 3.5mm jack and try to use Bluetooth. I've got one - Bluetooth sometimes works, but then doesn't. The only way to fix this, and it's a design flaw that Jambox hasn't fixed, is to open it up and permanently force the switch into the on position, which would mean you can't use the 3.5mm jack anymore. I've heard that some people have just shoved a screw in the jack to get that switch to stay open.

    Bad design flaw, and Jawbone refuses to acknowledge the flaw. Check their forums for lots of people who complain about this problem, and their silence on the matter. I wish I read this before I got it, now the Jambox is useless without Bluetooth, and a very expensive wired speaker.

    The the Jawbone Big Jambox is by far the best quality and loudest out of all of the portable bluetooth speakers. It's also got the best/clearest low freq which is where most of these speakers lack.

    the price is a big downpoint though being $350.

    The best alternative and probably the best quality/loudest you'll get for the price point is the Logitech Ultimate Ears BOOM Portable Speaker (not the one listed above, its more similar in size/shape to the JBL Flip) at around $200, the comparison to the big jawbone being the best of the bunch, its really hard to warrant the extra $150 for the difference between the two.

    If you're out to splash the cash for the best, get the big jawbone (not the normal one, must be the big), if you want the best quality/loudest WITHOUT being too expensive get the UE Boom.

    Last edited 09/09/13 3:31 pm

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