Do you have the best Bluetooth speaker around?
In other words, does your Bluetooth speaker come with stunning sound quality, 360-degree audio, and waterproof capabilities? Whether you're looking for a better Bluetooth speaker or your first Bluetooth portable speaker ever, I'm sure you would agree it's tough to decide on the best one for you. With so many different models and sizes out there, how are you supposed to know which one suits your lifestyle?
In this guide, we're going to review the best Bluetooth speakers on the market. We'll take a look at their features and what you can expect if you were to purchase them. After, I'll explain what you should consider when you do your own research before you buy.
In This Guide
The Best Bluetooth Speakers: Our Top Picks
Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus Review
- 360-degree sound coverage
- Flexible fabric handle
- 16-hour battery life
- Easily take calls and talk to Siri or Google Voice
- Costs extra for easy cradle charger
- Stays connected only up to 30 feet away
The Bose SoundLink Revolve Plus Bluetooth Speaker is a pint-sized cylinder with 360-degree sound coverage and ultimate sound quality. This means it will radiate off of walls for better sound. The Bose Soundlink also has water-resistant capabilities and a long 16-hour Li-ion battery life, so you can stream all day long by the pool or at the beach. Just try not to drop it in the water fully!
You can take calls easily with the Bose Revolve Plus Bluetooth speaker. You can also connect to Siri or Google voice command via the user-friendly Bose App to control your music, speakerphone, and messages. Physically, the Bose Soundlink is meant to be portable with a flexible fabric handle and bumpers that protect against drops and collisions on the go or at home.
The biggest downside to the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus is its price. It's more expensive than most wireless Bluetooth speakers. It also requires you to purchase the charging cradle at $30 extra if you want to keep your speaker on a home base with its rechargeable battery all charged up.
Amazon Echo Review
- A smart hub with Bluetooth speaker capabilities
- Has its own app
- Voice control with Amazon's Alexa
- 360-degree audio
- Less expensive with more features
- Sound quality can be unbalanced
- It's not wireless or portable without a battery base and WiFi
The Amazon Echo is a Bluetooth speaker with a ton of added features. For example, the Amazon Echo is also a smart hub in which you can control outlets, thermostats, garage doors and more with your voice or mobile device. As such, it provides access to Amazon's Alexa voice command so you can ask about the weather, finds the latest sports scores, or check the traffic report without pressing a button.
Similar to the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus, the Amazon Echo is cylindrical in shape and has 360-degree sound coverage with somewhat high-quality sound. Luckily, it's almost half the price of the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus with way more features and capabilities. It also has its own app.
The biggest downside to the Amazon Echo is its lack of portability. It comes with wires to keep it powered on unless you buy a separate portable, rechargeable battery base at an extra charge. Additionally, there have been some reports of unbalanced sound quality during highs and lows. It works best when connected via WiFi.
Ecoxgear Ecocarbon Review
- Fully waterproof and floats in water
- Has speakerphone and smartphone charger
- 12-hours of battery life
- Powerful audio
- ECOCARBON Power Bank
- Doesn't have the best bass
- Buttons can be tough to operate
The Ecoxgear Ecocarbon Bluetooth Speaker is waterproof, floats in the water, and comes in various different colors. It's a great shower speaker and outdoor speaker with an EcoCarbon Power Bank to charge your battery on the go. Without the power bank, it'll last 12 hours.
The Ecoxgear Ecocarbon is also a relatively inexpensive portable Bluetooth speaker compared to others and it doesn't require WiFi for a solid connection. You can stream Pandora, Spotify Connect, and other streaming services with ease via this affordable, outdoors-proof speaker. It even has a LED flashlight built in in case you get stuck in the woods in the dark!
The only downside to the Ecocarbon is that its bass is not the best compared to speakers like the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus. Additionally, it doesn't have its own app and its buttons may be tough to operate, requiring a hard push to activate controls. Overall, however, the Ecoxgear Ecocarbon Bluetooth Speaker is an awesome speaker with powerful audio built to withstand the great outdoors.
JLab Block Party Review
- 3D sound with powerful audio and bass
- Indoor and outdoor mode
- Expandable to 8 speakers
- Simple and affordable
- High volume
- No speakerphone
- No app and fewer features
- Only 9-hours of play time
The JLab Audio Block Party Wireless Multi-room Bluetooth Speaker has 3D sound (not as good at 360-degree) with awesome audio and bass. The cool thing about it is that it's expandable to up to eight other speakers, so you can connect and play your music throughout your house or campsite in different rooms and areas (without WiFi).
The JLab Bluetooth Speaker lives up to the saying less is more. For example, it requires no WiFi, no app, and no wires to stream your Spotify Connect or Pandora station from your streaming device. Unfortunately, it also doesn't have speakerphone or voice command capabilities. It does have an indoor and outdoor mode for easy listening inside and louder listening outside.
If you're into the less is more mentality, this speaker might be perfect for you. The JLab has just 9-hours of play time when you're streaming wireless and stays connected just up to 30 feet. Although the JLab is splashproof, it is not waterproof, so you'll have to be careful near the water. It costs more than the Ecoxgear Ecocarbon but still much less than the Bose Soundlink Revolve Plus. There is a smaller version that's less expensive too if you'd rather pay even less.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Review
- Crisp and powerful 360-degree audio
- Waterproof and floats in water
- Stays connected up to 100 feet away
- 10-hour battery life
- No speakerphone
- No app for remote control
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom is a small speaker with big features that comes in all different colors. It's a great shower speaker and even comes with a hook attached, so you can hook it to your bag and forget about it while listening to your favorite tunes. With 360-degree audio, this speaker compares to the top and most expensive speakers at a less expensive price. It's the perfect speaker for travel bugs with its super portability and 10-hour rechargeable Li-ion battery life.
The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom small speaker is 100 percent waterproof, so you can bring it into the pool to float with you (yes, it floats!). It also has a long connection distance at 100 feet, so you won't have to worry about your device getting disconnected.
Ultimately, this is an affordable Bluetooth speaker that will survive the mud, pollen, and grime that come along with summer fun. You can even connect to another Wonderboom speaker to spread the music throughout your party. The only thing you may miss is an app for remote control and the speakerphone for when someone calls during streaming.
Key Considerations Before Buying on a Bluetooth Speaker
Bluetooth speaker sales have nearly tripled in the United States from the year 2013 to 2017, according to Statista. Are you looking to enter or stay in the speaker market? If so, there are various features and questions you should take into account before you buy a Bluetooth wired or portable speaker. Here's what to consider.
1. Is it waterproof or water-resistant?
One of the most relevant things to look for in a Bluetooth speaker is waterproof speaker capabilities. Remember: waterproof Bluetooth and water-resistant Bluetooth speakers are not the same things. Waterproof means your speaker will be totally fine if you drop it in water.
Water-resistant, on the other hand, means your speaker may not survive if it is fully engulfed in water. It will, however, survive some mild drops. If you want a portable Bluetooth speaker to use outdoors, waterproof Bluetooth capability should be high on your list of features to look for.
2. Is it portable and how far does it stay connected?
Some Bluetooth wireless speakers are easy to bring on the go and can stay connected to your streaming device via Bluetooth without wires up to 100 feet away. Other Bluetooth speakers either have wires and require WiFi, are too bulky to be portable, or only stay connected to your streaming device for short distances.
You'll want to look for a speaker with a longer connection length depending on how you plan to use your speaker. If you don't want to have to leave your phone or streaming device close to the speaker to stay connected, for example, this is an important aspect to pay attention to. You should also pay attention to your speaker's portability depending on your preferences.
3. Does it have voice control, an app, and other features?
Voice control can be useful if you don't want to worry about having to press a button to change the song, volume, or turn your speaker on and off. The same thing goes for an app if you want to control your speaker from your smartphone.
Some popular voice command assistants include Amazon's Alexa, Apple's Siri, and Google Voice Command. If your wired or wireless speaker doesn't have voice command or an app, you'll have to press tangible buttons to control your music.
4. How are the sound quality and coverage?
The sound quality and coverage are obviously some of the most important things to consider before buying a Bluetooth speaker. Does your speaker of choice have 360-degree audio coverage for ultimate sound reflection and radiation? Does it have a bumping bass and crisp highs? You'll want to make sure you get the quality you're looking for before you buy.
5. How long does the battery life last?
If your Bluetooth speaker of choice doesn't require wires, you'll want to find out how long the battery life lasts without it being plugged in. For example, if you're planning to bring your speaker with you on a camping trip with no outlets, it would be nice to know your speaker will last all day long. Make sure you know the battery life before you buy one of the best Bluetooth speakers.
The Bluetooth Speaker market has exploded in past years, making it hard for consumers to decide on the ultimate speaker for them. In fact, research cited in PRNewswire from 2014 stated the Bluetooth Speaker industry was projected to be worth $7 billion by 2019. While we're not quite there yet, the Bluetooth Speaker industry is booming, and I thought it only fair that someone carries out the research to help you make an educated decision on a purchase.
After comparing various candidates to find the best Bluetooth Speakers out there, it was quite clear to me who would make the top five. I investigated speakers including the B&O Play Speaker, the Harman Kardon Onyx, the Vava Voom 20 and more to compare features including battery life, price, extra features, portability, and voice command.
Top Choices for the Best Bluetooth Speaker
Overall, I believe the Bose Revolve Plus Bluetooth Speaker and the UE Wonderboom Bluetooth speakers are the two best options on the market depending on your needs.
The Bose Revolve Plus is the best when it comes to quality and features, with 360-degree audio and a 16-hour battery life. It is a little pricey for a speaker, but its extra features including speakerphone calls and Siri/Google Voice Command make it worth it. If you're looking for a quality speaker with guaranteed amazing sound and ultimate control, the Bose Revolve Plus may be your best bet.
The UE Wonderboom, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper than the Bose Revolve Plus and a bit smaller. Additionally, the UE Wonderboom is 100 percent waterproof and can even float in water. It can also stay connected up to 100 feet, whereas the Bose Revolve Plus only stays connected up to 30 feet and is only water resistant, not waterproof. Both speakers are extra portable for the avid traveler or adventurer.
Keep in mind that while this is an educated recommendation based on thorough research of reviews, specs, features, and prices, you'll have to consider your individual needs to make the best decision on a Bluetooth speaker for you.
Remember to keep your needs in mind when deciding on your ideal speaker so you don't end up wasting your money. For example, you'll probably want a different speaker for house parties than you might want for camping or outdoor adventures. You should take this into consideration before you make a purchase.