Buying Guide

Best Bluetooth Speakers : Buying Guide

Music should always accompany you, ideally to the quarry pond, garden party, or the beach, but your mobile phone’s loudspeaker is not sufficient for this. It would be best to buy a Bluetooth speaker with more power and a better range to provide you and your friends with good music. The market has a vast selection of models from mini speakers, speakers with docking stations to Bluetooth speakers specially designed for outdoors.

In our Bluetooth speaker buying guide you will find out everything useful and important information about the devices so you can decide on a speaker.
When buying, pay particular attention to battery performance, waterproofness, weight and range. Find out more about the different types of speakers below and make the best decision for your needs.

Overview

  • Bluetooth speakers are mostly compact and portable sound systems with an integrated Bluetooth receiver.
  • They offer the advantage of playing music in much better quality and at a higher maximum volume than the otherwise integrated speakers in smartphones, tablets or computers.
  • Most models are intended for outdoor use and therefore offer a certain degree of outdoor suitability due to their compact size, long-lasting battery and splash protection.

Our Recommendations

ImageProductPrice

Anker Soundcore MiniBest Mini Bluetooth Speaker

  • Compact And Powerful.
  • Micro SD support and AUX capability.
  • Anker battery technology supplies 15 hours of continuous playtime on a single charge.
  • Worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
Price

Anker Soundcore Motion+Best Bluetooth Speaker for home

  • Hi-Res audio which is further enhanced by Qualcomm aptX
  • Exceptional Depth and Clarity
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • 12-Hour Playtime
Price

JBL Flip 4Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound
  • Up to 12 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • JBL connect+ allows you to Link more than 100 JBL connect+ enabled speakers together
  • Dual external passive radiators demonstrate just how powerful your speaker is
Price

DOCKIN D FINE CUBEBest Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

  • GERMAN AWARD WINNER D FINE IN COMPACT FORMAT
  • SMALL BUT POWERFUL & VOLUMINOUS
  • ACCURATELY TUNED
  • THE PERFECT STEREO STAGE
  • FITS EVERYWHERE
Price

Best Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Anker Soundcore Mini

  • Compact And Powerful.
  • Micro SD support and AUX capability.
  • Anker battery technology supplies 15 hours of continuous playtime on a single charge.
  • Worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.

With several thousand reviews, the Anker SoundCore Mini is hard to beat on Amazon. With 15 hours of playing time, a crisp sound through robust bass with 5 W audio driver and passive subwoofer, it convinces with skill. Playback options with Bluetooth signal, FM radio, AUX input or micro SD card ensure more flexibility and complete the overall package.

The box includes an Anker SoundCore mini, a micro USB charging cable and a user manual. The device has an 18-month guarantee and is compact and easy to transport. There is something for every taste in 4 different colours.


Best Bluetooth Speaker for home

Anker Soundcore Motion+

  • Hi-Res audio which is further enhanced by Qualcomm aptX
  • Exceptional Depth and Clarity
  • IPX7 Waterproof
  • 12-Hour Playtime

With the Anker Soundcore Motion +, Anker has once again managed to bring a product onto the market that is as good as unbeatable in terms of price-performance ratio. In our practical test, the Soundcore Motion + Bluetooth loudspeaker convinced with a sound quality that you usually only get for 2 to 3 times the price.

The Bluetooth 5.0 technology used ensures a stable and distortion-free connection at all times. The Soundcore Motion + runs for around 12 hours on a single battery charge, which is quite decent.

However, the size and weight of the Motion + mean that, in our opinion, the device is no longer ideal for travelling, especially if the device has to fit in hand luggage. However, taking the loudspeaker with you in the car and driving it to the lake or the office is no problem.

Editor’s tip: In addition to the Soundcore Motion +, it’s best to buy a smaller and cheaper model.


Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • Wirelessly connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets to the speaker and take turns playing impressive stereo sound
  • Up to 12 hours of playtime
  • IPX7 waterproof
  • JBL connect+ allows you to Link more than 100 JBL connect+ enabled speakers together
  • Dual external passive radiators demonstrate just how powerful your speaker is

The JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Box is a portable Bluetooth speaker. It is suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Thanks to the waterproof shape, tilted glasses or immersion in water are no problem at all.

The JBL Box is compatible with all devices and can also be used with Alexa. Also, the battery lasts up to 12 hours.


Best Outdoor Bluetooth Speaker

DOCKIN D FINE CUBE

  • GERMAN AWARD WINNER D FINE IN COMPACT FORMAT
  • SMALL BUT POWERFUL & VOLUMINOUS
  • ACCURATELY TUNED
  • THE PERFECT STEREO STAGE
  • FITS EVERYWHERE

The DOCKIN D FINE Hi-Fi Bluetooth Speaker has already convinced in several tests and is also selling very well on Amazon. It has a 2-way system with two tweeters and two mid-range speakers. These generate an output of 50 watts. At the same time, four active drivers ensure rich bass and clear tones.

As it should be for a good Bluetooth speaker, pairing with the DOCKIN D FINE is no problem. Press the button on the housing, and the device connects to a smartphone, tablet or Amazon Echo via Bluetooth 4.0 or NFC. So that you can also use it outside, this product is dust and waterproof according to IP55.


Buying Guide: Questions to Consider Before Buying a Bluetooth Speaker

In our guide, we would like to draw your attention to a few points you should deal with before getting a Bluetooth speaker. In addition to the price question, we also clarify whether there is an alternative for you.

What are Bluetooth speakers anyway?

Wireless music transmission, thanks to Bluetooth has been trendy since the smartphone boom.

Not only cell phones, but also notebooks and MP3 players are now equipped with Bluetooth as standard.

Small but mighty – Bluetooth speakers often have an impressive battery life, especially when compared to their small size. The Anker Soundcore Motion+ can be seen here in our practical test.

And with Bluetooth adapters, you can also retrofit your favourite older devices with Bluetooth. For example, if your computer does not have Bluetooth, we recommend retrofitting it with a Bluetooth adapter.

You can play music or audiobooks stored on your Bluetooth-enabled devices wirelessly with these Bluetooth speakers. As a rule, such Bluetooth boxes offer better sound quality than the speakers already built into your smartphone, tablet or notebook.

Bluetooth is often used for wireless transmission in everyday life, so speakers with an integrated Bluetooth chip are becoming increasingly popular.

Did you know that the name Bluetooth is derived from a Danish king?

His name was Harald Bluetooth and he was responsible for connecting the two warring parts of Norway and Denmark.

Although there are also some stationary models for domestic use, manufacturers focus on ever smaller and lighter Bluetooth boxes for mobile use.

Although portable Bluetooth boxes have gotten better and better in recent years, you should also keep in mind that they can never really achieve the optimal sound standard of wired speakers.

Because to guarantee their mobility through small dimensions and low weight, the manufacturers also rely on smaller and lighter installation materials. Unfortunately, this goes hand in hand with the compromise of poor sound quality.

Pros

  • Can be used with all Bluetooth-enabled devices
  • Ideal for on the go: small and light
  • No tangled cables
  • Battery: enables mobility
  • Better sound quality and volume than speakers built into smartphones/tablets/notebooks

Cons

  • Do not achieve the sound quality of wired speakers.
  • Battery: limited usage time and regular charging
  • Bluetooth connection costs energy
  • Pay attention to possible sources of interference (e.g. reinforced concrete walls)

For a pleasantly rich sound experience during the outdoor barbecue or during a relaxing reading break on the living room couch, Bluetooth speakers are still a more than an acceptable option.


Are there any differences between Bluetooth speakers for at home and on the go?

Bluetooth speakers can be roughly divided into those for portable use and those you only want and can use at home. Depending on what you ultimately want to use your Bluetooth speakers for, you should pay attention to the following properties:

OUTDOORINDOOR
Long battery lifeClear and balanced sound, rich bass
Compact size and lightweightPower supply: USB cable or power supply?
Extended Bluetooth signal rangeWireless switching on and off via the transmitter
Suitable for outdoor use: water splash protection, dirt-repellent, hard-wearing

Of course, most Bluetooth boxes have other useful functions such as a radio function, an AUX connection or a charging function for your smartphone. However, these are more optional and depend on your personal user preferences.


How much do Bluetooth speakers cost?

Bluetooth speakers are available in all price and quality classes. Small and mobile devices for use in between start at around $20. Larger devices with ‘voluminous’ sounds with little loss of sound quality are rarely available for less than $200.

All in all, we find that these prices are reasonable if you often listen to music without headphones and want to enjoy it with better sound quality.

Price rangeCommon features
Inexpensive: up to $50+ Mostly “MINI” devices: Compact size and less than 500 g weight
+ Ideal companion for on the go
+ In relation to the size: Acceptable sound quality
– Not intended for continuous use
– Favorable housing processing
Middle: $50-120+ Mostly small devices under 1 kg
+ Well-known manufacturers
+ Stable workmanship: more suitable for outdoor use
+ Good sound quality
+ Many extras (NFC, hands-free function, etc.)
+ Ideal for both permanent use at home and on the go
+ Largest selection
Upper middle: $120 to 200Mixture of middle and upper class:
+ Has all middle class features with some extras of the upper class
+ Has the compact size of middle class devices
+ Often better sound richness
+ Flexible: Can be used stationary as well as mobile
– You often only pay for the brand name on it
Expensive: Starts from $200+ Offer the best possible sound quality
+ High maximum volume
+ Long battery life
+ Many extras
+ Ideal as a stationary alternative at home or in the garden
– Mostly large devices weighing over 1 kg
– Transport possible, but no longer as convenient

Where can I buy Bluetooth speakers?

Bluetooth speakers are now among the must-haves in terms of modern technology, which is why they can be purchased in every electronics store such as Amazon, eBay, BestBuy.

What alternatives are there to Bluetooth speakers?

If you want to listen to music with a good sound system, but don’t want to invest in a new Bluetooth speaker system – you have two good alternatives

  • Wired speakers
  • Speaker with docking station

The first alternative sounds logical, and it also has a decisive advantage for audiophiles: wired speakers always reproduce sound better than the wireless option.

Speakers with a built-in docking station are primarily intended for use in your own four walls. As the name suggests, smartphones (and more rarely tablets) are docked to it and are similar to conventional wired sound boxes.

They have the advantage that your mobile phone is charged simultaneously while playing, so you don’t have to worry about its battery life.

However, this also means that you cannot be flexible, as such speakers’ portability is limited. Also, unfortunately, the problem is that not all smartphones have the same connection options, which is why docking adapters have to be purchased.

If you already have a sound system at home that you do not want to replace or add to, then you have the option of retrofitting your speakers with an audio Bluetooth receiver adapter.

What types of Bluetooth speakers are there and which one is right for you?

Bluetooth speakers can be divided into the following types:

  • Mini Bluetooth speaker
  • Outdoor Bluetooth speaker
  • Bluetooth speakers for the home

Bluetooth speakers are offered in many designs, sizes and price ranges as well as with numerous features. With so many minor differences, the models can best be classified based on the ideal location.

To choose the most suitable wireless speaker for you, consider where you will mainly use it before buying.

In the following, we present three basic types to give you an overview of the various product features and to support you in your purchase decision.

What are mini Bluetooth speakers, and what are their pros and cons?

You can easily take the ultra-mobile mini Bluetooth speakers with you anywhere.

Whether travelling, in the park or the subway – they are always close at hand. Connect it to your smartphone, and you can enjoy good sound at any time.

There are many different types of construction. Some of these small Bluetooth speakers fit in your pocket or hand luggage, while others can be attached to a belt or bike. These often very cheap models are characterized above all by their low weight and compact design.

However, the small size may come at the expense of sound quality and volume. In general, the sound needs space to be able to unfold fully.

It is best to listen to a sample or find out otherwise whether a model meets your requirements. You can surpass the quality of the cell phone speaker with Bluetooth boxes.

Pros

  • Light weight
  • Handy
  • Often cheap

Cons

  • Mostly lower sound quality and volume
  • Has smaller battery, sometimes dependent on chargers

With Bluetooth loudspeakers to take with you, either rechargeable batteries or batteries provide energy, although the latter is more expensive in the long term.

Some models can even be used as a power bank, and you can use them to charge smartphones or similar devices with a USB port on the go.

What are outdoor Bluetooth speakers, and what are their pros and cons?

Do you want to use your Bluetooth speakers in the great outdoors, e.g. on camping trips, garden parties or beach parties? Then you should pay attention to devices with robust construction. These are often a little heavier and more unwieldy than ultra-mobile machines. But they are stable and shockproof.

Also, external speakers are often protected from dust and water. While some devices are completely waterproof, others only offer protection against splash water or light rain. Therefore pay attention to the IPX protection class. It shows the degree of water protection – the higher the number, the better.

Pros

  • Robust
  • Water and dust protected
  • Longer battery life
  • Often suitable for many people

Cons

  • Usually more weight
  • More powerful models are bigger in size

What are bluetooth speakers for home and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Perhaps you would like to use the Bluetooth speakers primarily in your own living room or bedroom or in your kitchen. You can, of course, use any model for this. Nevertheless, it is worth paying attention to product features for this area of ​​application.

Larger Bluetooth speakers with built-in amplifiers are particularly recommended for stationary use. They can then be a little heavier. Such speakers can fill an entire room with voluminous and high-quality sounds.

So you can also have a hi-fi sound system, e.g. set up with several floor standing speakers, which then delivers high-end sound with good bass. Of course, for particularly exquisite sound systems, you have to dig a little deeper into your pocket.

Pros

  • High sound quality
  • Provides music for many people or for an entire room
  • Practically operated via a socket

Cons

  • Not very mobile due to its size
  • Often unsuitable for outdoor use (e.g. in the rain) or for the bathroom
  • Can only be set up in the vicinity of a power connection when operated with a power plug
  • Particularly high-quality solutions are expensive

Bluetooth speakers can be supplied with power for home use practically via the mains connection. To do this, they must be placed near a socket. Many models for the home are still portable and can therefore easily be used in several rooms.

When buying, you can also make sure that the boxes match your interior and perfectly fit the room. A Bluetooth soundbar usually fits elegantly under the television to save space. Wall and ceiling speakers are also offered, but these are then permanently installed.

Purchase criteria: You can use these factors to compare and rate Bluetooth speakers

In the following, we would like to show you the factors you can use to compare and rate Bluetooth speakers. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is right for you or not.

In summary, these are:

  • Bluetooth version
  • Range
  • Height & Weight
  • Battery life
  • Splash protection
  • Stereo pairing
  • Multipair
  • Additional features

In the following paragraphs you can read about what the individual purchase criteria are and how you can classify them.

Bluetooth version

In general, it is always advisable to choose the latest Bluetooth standard. At the moment it would be Bluetooth 4.x. This version is characterized by its low energy concept and the improved safety standard.

Did you know that the Bluetooth 1.0 version came out in 1999?

A lot has been tried since the 1980s to minimize cable clutter. Version 5.0 has been available since January 2019.

However, Bluetooth 4.0 is not always backwards compatible with previous versions! Therefore, pay attention to whether the manufacturer explicitly promises backward compatibility or whether the packaging indicates a Smart Ready label.

It is also possible to buy a Bluetooth adapter with version 3.0 without any problems. However, you should already do without older versions.
In 2016, Bluetooth 5.0 was adopted by SIG. With this new version, the range is to be quadrupled, and the data rate doubled.

Range

How far your Bluetooth signal should reach naturally depends on your purpose and your immediate surroundings.

How big is your apartment and how far apart will the devices to be paired be? Do you have reinforced concrete walls nearby that could reduce the possible range of the Bluetooth connection?

Height Weight

The larger the resonance space, the more spacious the sound. But the old loudspeaker rule is no longer entirely correct with regard to Bluetooth speakers, because some new factors such as portability are playing an increasingly important role here.

Meanwhile, many good models also create a breathtaking sound. Therefore, the optimal dimensions of a Bluetooth speaker depend more on your purpose and budget.

If you plan to take your Bluetooth speaker with you more often, it should ideally not weigh more than 800g and not be larger than 18cm on the longest side.

If you are looking for a Bluetooth sound system for your home, its size depends on the space available.

Battery life

As a rule, Bluetooth sound systems have a rechargeable battery to be always portable. Of course, this battery has a limited running time and must therefore be charged regularly. Depending on the model, this is possible either with a USB cable connection or a DC power supply connection.

We recommend a battery life of at least six hours so that you don’t miss out on enjoying music outdoors. But here, too, much longer runtimes of up to 15 hours are standard nowadays.

Unfortunately, due to their built-in rechargeable battery, Bluetooth speakers are not designed to last. Depending on the device battery’s quality, it lasts 1,000 to 2,500 charging cycles until the battery capacity drops noticeably.

Alternatively, many Bluetooth speakers have to be continuously connected to the mains and do not require a battery. Accordingly, these models are more intended for permanent stationary use.

Splash protection

Bluetooth speakers are practical companions outdoors. But it can get wet there. Regardless of whether the weather is due to rain and snow or simply because good music should not be missing at the next barbecue party. If you are looking for a Bluetooth speaker to go, look for splash protection.

Bluetooth speakers are perfect for on the go. Since it can get wet outside, the speakers are generally splash-proof or waterproof.

If you want to go into the water on the beach or during a relaxing bath with the boxes, waterproof designs are a better choice.

To be on the safe side, pay attention to the specified protection class of the speakers when buying:

  • The protection class IPX5 shows that he doesn’t mind a few splashes of water.
  • Protection class IPX means that the device is protected against temporary submersion (one meter for 30 minutes).
  • The protection class IP67 certifies that not only briefly submerging the Bluetooth speaker is no problem. Dust is also not a problem – you can tell from the number 6.

Stereo pairing

You may have noticed that traditional sound systems always have two speakers. This is intended to achieve stereophony, i.e. a spatial sound impression in natural hearing.

This stereo effect is also possible when you couple two Bluetooth speakers and simultaneously play music from a transmitter. This function is called stereo pairing.

Bluetooth speakers with stereo pairing are therefore much more worthwhile for permanent stationary use.

Multipairing

This mode enables multiple source devices to be coupled without having to constantly re-pair them. In short: The Bluetooth speaker remembers the devices that are already connected to it.

We recommend a Bluetooth speaker with a social mode function if several people in your household want to use the speakers with different devices.

Additional features

Since Bluetooth speakers are becoming more and more popular, manufacturers are increasingly relying on additional functions and nice gimmicks.

  • Radio:  Especially if you would like some background music, it may be an advantage if you can switch on the radio. This means that you will also receive regular news updates.
  • Hands-free system: A Bluetooth speaker with a hands-free system is particularly suitable for motorists. So you can make phone calls relatively safely while driving. Please always drive carefully!
  • Light effects: Light effects are also a nice extra. These are particularly impressive when you darken the room a little. From romance to party – music and light create the right mood.

Some models offer useful accessories such as an integrated radio, a hands-free system, NFC support or even additional connections (AUX connection or SD card slot). Gimmicks such as lighting effects or a larger selection of colours can also be arguments for buying.

Facts worth knowing about Bluetooth speakers

Finally, we want to give you a few answers to questions that may be of interest to you on the subject of Bluetooth speakers.

How can I pair the Bluetooth Speaker with my smartphone?

If you have bought your new Bluetooth speaker and want to use it, you have to pair it with your smartphone to stream the music from the mobile phone. This only takes a few steps.

Total Time Needed :

1

Minute

Required Stuff:

– Smartphone.
– Bluetooth Speaker

Steps to pair Bluetooth Speaker with Smartphone

Step 1

Turn on the Bluetooth of your smartphone and press the Bluetooth button on the speaker.

Step 2

In the settings, it will now display the speaker in the list of available devices.

Step 3

Then just tap the name of your Bluetooth speaker there and pair it.

How can I connect multiple Bluetooth speakers together?

If you have multiple Bluetooth speakers, you may wish to use them at the same time. It’s not that easy, but it will work with our tips.

Usually, your music source can’t connect to several Bluetooth speakers at the same time. And the speakers among each other can’t do that either. You have to cheat for it.

If you have two Android smartphones, apps are a possibility. You can install the Soundseeder Music Player 2.0 on one device and the Soundseeder Speaker on the other. You connect a cell phone to one box and the other to the other.

Solution approachBenefitsDisadvantage
App for AndroidCheaprequires two Android smartphones
Apple AirplayCheaponly for iPhones
Splinterwiredcomparatively expensive
Transmitterwirednot all transmitters are suitable for two speakers

The apps communicate with each other and thus enable simultaneous playback on both Bluetooth speakers. Both are available from the Google Play Store. It’s a little easier with Apple AirPlay, because then you can select multiple connected Bluetooth speakers on your iPhone.

If you only have an Android smartphone, there is still a solution that is more expensive: a splitter. Such a device has two Bluetooth transmitters. Alternatively, you can connect your cell phone to a transmitter and connect it to the two speakers. But not all transmitters support two speakers at the same time – so read the product description.

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