Talk of Bluetooth speakers and there are literally tons of them on the market by renowned brands, upcoming startups and ones developed by passionate audiophiles. While sound quality is something that every Bluetooth speaker needs to score at, there are other factors like waterproofing or battery life, that lead to the final buying decision.
So what portable speakers should you go for in 2021 as the best bargain for the money you spent? It’ll depend on your needs, taste and personal preference – that’s why we’ve compiled together the best options for different users and the occasions of use. Buy one of these portable Bluetooth speakers and you’ll not regret the decision.
Clip-on aesthetics – JBL Clip 4
You can never go wrong with a JBL Bluetooth speaker, and if you’re someone who wants a portable clip-on speaker that looks good, delivers quality sound, and fits in the palm of your hand – then the JBL Clip 4 is the one to choose.
This is the fourth generation of trusted speaker format and by far the best in the small speaker domain by JBL. The speaker has an oval design which feels good to hold, and the assuring clip-on aesthetics make it the one to carry on your hiking trips since it is waterproof and dustproof (IP67-rated) too.
The respectable battery life of 10 hours will get you through a day easily, and the price tag of $70 is worth it.
Thumping bass, balanced sound – Sony SRS XB12
Sony has created a niche for itself with a range of Bluetooth speakers that have the deepest bass in the market. With the SRS-XB12, Sony has managed to get a balanced sound output while maintaining the deep bass levels of its predecessor.
Sony SRS-XB12 boasts an impressive 16 hours battery life, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a classic design that’s ideal for any occasion. Put it in a decent sized room indoors and it’ll surprise you with the audio quality, especially at higher volume levels. The speaker is priced at $40, it is one of the best sellers, and you know why.
Pool party rocker – UE Wonderboom 2
After the success of the first generation portable speaker, the UE Wonderboom 2 slips right into the shoes of its predecessor with some great improvements. It is slightly larger and has a better sound output that’s best experienced when streaming audio services.
The USP is its waterproof (IP67 rating) design that’s perfect for a small pool party with your buddies. The portable speaker is drop-proof up to 5 feet and has a range of 100-foot for Bluetooth connectivity. For a price tag of $100, the UE Wonderboom 2 is an absolute no-brainer.
Compact size and quality sound – Bose SoundLink Micro
Looking for the most compact designed Bluetooth speaker that also sounds great for its size? Then look no further than the pocket-sized Bose SoundLink Micro. The Bluetooth speaker manages to produce a very rich, loud sound than other speakers out there.
The built quality is top-notch and the IPX7 certified rating makes it ideal for any outdoor adventure by the water side. On the flip side, the Bluetooth speaker looks elegant on your desk too. If you can live with the 6 hours battery life, it is the best sounding portable speaker for a price tag of $100.
Lightweight and elegant – Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 is another Bluetooth speaker that has a very balanced mix of design aesthetics, pure audio quality and other features that’ll have you lured in its direction. The speaker has an excellent battery life (around 18 hours at normal volume) and IP67 water and dust resistance for any outdoor activity.
You can keep it handy for all your personal assistance as it comes with Amazon Alexa built-in. The device has multi-point Bluetooth pairing which will be great if you like to connect to more than one device to your speaker. Although the price for this one is a tad higher at $250, it brings features that no other can offer on this list.
Best value for money – Tribit Stormbox Micro
A pocket-sized Bluetooth speaker that is a great package for the price – feature proposition. The Tribit Stormbox Micro priced at $40 is ideal for youngsters who don’t want to spend a chunk on fancy options. There are a few little compromises like the 8 hour battery life, at moderate levels, other than that it is bang for the buck.
It has IP67 water and dust proofing, good punchy sound that’s bass-heavy, a very sleek design and is an absolutely recommended speaker by reviewers – it’s that good! The speaker is the best value for money option on this list, and if you are on a limited budget, go for it!
Best of the rest – Anker Soundcore Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This one could very well be the best speaker but for the small little compromises that are understandable at a price tag of $40. While it still manages to match some of the portable Bluetooth speakers on this list with a superior 24 hours battery life, it falls a bit behind with just IPX7 waterproofing, and no dust resistance.
If you’re not going to take it to the rugged outdoors and can manage the slightly larger rectangular size footprint, those compromises won’t even matter for that price. The speaker is good for small rooms and great for people living in small apartments – students especially!
One to watch out for – Sonos Roam
The Roam is the smallest yet most versatile portable speaker in the Sonos line-up. Weighs only 0.95 pounds, it lets you carry incredible sound everywhere with you and when you’re back, instantly switch to Wi-Fi mode with the push of a button and Roam becomes part of your home’s wired Sonos system.
Priced at only $169, it is the most affordable Sonos speaker, but certainly not so when compared to the best options out there. That said, the speaker has its own set of merits including compatibility with Apple Airplay 2, and voice assistants from Google and Amazon.
Sonos Roam is IP67 rated for water, dust and shock resistance but it comes with 10 hour battery backup only. To go on sale starting April 20, it is currently available to pre-order.