Take Your Tunes Anywhere With Our Fave Bluetooth Speakers

The best Bluetooth speakers still have a place near and dear to our hearts, even as we’ve seen better (and more portable) smart speakers creeping into the universe. 

It’s fun and easy to ask an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker to play your favorite track or tell you the weather, but smart speakers have a few crutches—first and foremost, stable Wi-Fi. By (mostly) forgoing voice assistants and Wi-Fi radios, Bluetooth speakers gain portability, with the ability to venture outside of your house and withstand rugged conditions like the sandy beach or the steamy Airbnb jacuzzi. They’ll also work with any smartphone, and they sound as good their smart-speaker equivalents. 

We’ve tested hundreds of models in the past few years, and we can happily say they are still some of the best small devices you can listen to. Here are our favorites right now.

Be sure to check out all our buying guides, including the Best Soundbars, Best Wirefree Earbuds, and Best Smart Speakers.

Updated September 2021: We’ve added the Sony SRS-XB13 and Bose Soundlink Revolve+ II, as well as updated our list of honorable mentions.

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  • smart speakers

    Photograph: Ultimate Ears

    Best Overall

    UE Boom 3

    There are bigger and badder Bluetooth speakers, but none match the fun and convenience of the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 (9/10, WIRED Recommends). It puts out some of the most pleasant, balanced sound for its size. The waterproof cylinder comes in multiple colors, lasts 15 hours between charges, and gives you 100 feet of Bluetooth range. On top of all that, it has a two-year warranty.

    ★ Bigger and boomier: If you really need to get a party kicking, the Megaboom 3 ($200) is a beefier model that amps up the bass.

  • Photograph: Sonos

    Best Smart Bluetooth Speaker

    Sonos Roam

    The larger Sonos Move is great if you want a speaker that usually lives inside, and which you can occasionally carry outside. But it’s not the kind of thing you’d want to throw in a backpack. That’s where the Roam (9/10, WIRED Recommends) comes in. This tiny Sonos speaker has all the same smarts as its bigger siblings, but with an IP67 dust- and water-resistance rating and 10 hours of listening time. It’s about the size of a 16-ounce beer can and easily fits in cup holders and knapsacks alike.

  • Photograph: Tribit

    Best Bargain

    Tribit StormBox

    You probably haven’t heard of Tribit, but its line of Bluetooth speakers sound a lot better than they should for the price. The StormBox is my favorite model. It has dual-firing drivers and passive radiators in a 7-inch-long pill shape. No, it can’t fuel a trance dance party on its own, but its sound clarity is impressive, and it has a fun extra bass button that adds some surprising, if slightly muddy, thump.

    With 20-ish hours of battery and an IPX7 waterproof rating—which means it’s not dust-proof but can be submerged in water—it’s a great companion for backyard tunes, a trip down the river, or other informal gatherings.

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