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
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.
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.
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’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.
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.