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We review what are the best Bluetooth home speakers are, these speakers are pocket-budget friendly. Speakers mentioned were generally the best performing portable speakers out there.
Even before Bluetooth speakers became a proper thing, they were already desirable. Think of the transition from blue tooth earpieces before now down to the updated versions of today.
However, the first generation of Bluetooth speakers was often heavy, hard to connect, and sounded like trash. But the underlying technology has come a long way since then.
The latest crop of Bluetooth speakers pair reliably, take a beating (or splashing), and yet still sound fantastic.
In fact, portable Bluetooth speakers technology has gotten better to the point where its manufacturers are emboldened to incorporate voice assistants by way of smart speakers. As well as the development of multi-room sound systems.
There are tons of Bluetooth speakers available right now that would fit your criteria. Plus, they aren’t that expensive anymore. And that’s actually a very good thing for you, right!
Your typical portable speaker user simply wants something that will play music well or will connect to a smartphone or laptop instantaneously and sound exactly as it’s supposed to sound.
As a portable speaker that is aesthetically passable especially if you have to whip it out in the company of friends at a park for instance.
Consider how difficult it can get to choose the perfect Bluetooth speaker amongst the plenty on sale out there. Whether you are a Best Buy shop brick and mortar customer or even an Amazon user, you will always feel the agony of actually choosing the right speaker.
In essence, we have done the hard work on your behalf. We have tested more than 30 portable Bluetooth speakers across all sizes and price ranges to determine what the best portable speakers really are.
And after spending long days unboxing, charging, and listening to all of them in our offices, followed by weeks of real-world testing, we’ve found several that rise above the rest.
Truth is, you can’t really know a speaker until you’ve tossed it into a tote bag or spilled coffee on it.
The results of these trials are a mix of utilitarian speakers you can throw into a pool without care down to more delicate speakers that could actually win design awards in our ever-sophisticated world.
But across the range, they have one thing in common, they sound amazing.
Table of Contents
WHAT ARE THE BEST BLUETOOTH HOME SPEAKERS
ULTIMATE EARS WONDERBOOM 2, Portable Bluetooth Speaker
In a world where most Bluetooth speakers take the image of a rectangular prism or tall cylinder, the Wonderboom 2 is squat and globular. Almost like our dear planet earth but with the north and south poles cut off.
Or even what you’d get if you took the dodgeballs you hurled in middle school and kind of squashed the top and bottom. But what you lose in form, you gain in basically everything else.
Among the many Bluetooth speakers of its size we tested this year, the Wonderboom 2 emerged as the clear favorite.
The biggest advantage of the Wonderboom 2 over the competition is sound quality. Many speakers of this size struggle to render a balanced sound that’s clear across the frequency spectrum.
For instance, they’ll make a song with a low, repetitive bassline and high, crisp snaps and claps, sound muddled and distorted. Well, at least more distorted than it’s supposed to.
The Wonderboom 2 doesn’t have this problem. Even when we played it at a high volume (which is very loud), we found it more than capable of handling any song we threw at it, regardless of the genre or instrumentation.
Notes on the higher end all sounded clear and present, without any distracting hiss. And the lower-end notes were present and full, but not blown out. It is also possible to tweak the EQ with a dedicated app.
This small speaker is easy to take anywhere. Luckily, the Wonderboom 2 is durable and waterproof enough for any environment or task.
The speaker is IP67 certified, which means two things. First, that it’s totally enclosed from dust and debris. You’re not going to ruin it by dropping it onto the dirt at the park.
Second, that it’s protected from immersion in water up to a meter of depth. Even if the speaker falls into your shower, it’s going to keep playing. In fact, if you accidentally drop it into a pool, it’ll float to the top.
In addition, its “party up” feature which is also found in the mega boom 3 variant (below), has the ability to pair the speaker with other Wonderboom speakers.
If you or your friend has a Wonderboom 2 (or the older Wonderboom), you can use the speaker’s top center button to pair them for a bigger, fuller sound.
A more fundamental thing is the speaker’s battery life. The Wonderboom 2 promises 13 hours of battery life, which should be plenty to get you through a beach hang, pool party, or a barbecue roast and then some.
Tribit StormBox Bluetooth Speaker
If you want something with similar advantages as the Wonderboom 2, but with a slightly different form factor and a much lower price, consider the TribitStormBox.
The StormBox doesn’t sound quite as good as the Wonderboom 2. The bass response is good, but its highs are a bit punchy. Try to avoid its “XBass” mode unless you like overly boomy and distorted low notes.
This makes a delicate song like Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” sound kind of crunchy, especially if you’re paying attention to the high-hat cymbals.
Head to head, most people would likely opt for the Wonderboom 2, but none of the StormBox’s issues are so pronounced that you’d want to return it.
Like the Wonderboom, the StormBox is a waterproof Bluetooth speaker that’s rated for full immersion in water up to a meter’s depth and if you have two they can be paired together.
Better yet, the StormBox is a thinner and taller speaker with a longer hook. That means it’ll slide easily into the bottle pocket of your bag or the cup holder of a rental car and more easily hook onto whatever you want it to hook to.
If you know that’s what you’ll want to do with your speaker, the StormBox is the perfect alternative to the Wonderboom 2, at 42% less the price.
Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While the Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 and Tribit StormBox are excellent Bluetooth speakers, neither are really loud enough to entertain anything more than a small gathering of people, especially if you’re going to be outside.
For larger outdoor gatherings, we recommend the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3. The Megaboom 3 has a lot of the same advantages as its sister speaker, the Wonderboom 2; cited earlier. But in a much bigger, slightly differently shaped package.
The Megaboom 3’s sonic profile is just as appealing as that on the Wonderboom 2. It’s a bit gentle on the bass, but not in a bad way. Plus, the higher frequencies on the speaker sound wonderful, perfectly tuned, and not distorted.
Even when you’re blasting music over the din of a raucous party, you can rest assured that the music is audible. The EQ also has app support.
The tall cylinder shape of the Megaboom 3 is a bit more traditional than the squat globule of the Wonderboom 2. The Megaboom 3 is still a bit too large to fit into a cup holder or the bottle pocket of most backpacks, but we’ve found it’s pretty easy to stuff into any main compartment or tote. And just like the Wonderboom 2, the Megaboom 3 is completely enclosed and waterproof.
JBL Charge 4 – Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
If you want something with the power of the Megaboom 3, but don’t really entertain much, the JBL Charge 4 might be the speaker of your dreams. It has a slightly bigger bass response, but we found its overall sound to be a little underwhelming.
And, where the Megaboom projects sound in every direction, you only hear the Charge 4 at its most clear when you’re right in front of it.
If you’re just planning to bump your tunes from the comfort of your couch, that’s fine—but this is not a party speaker, by any means.
We liked the JBL Charge 4’s bass response, which is a bit more full than that on the Megaboom. We also didn’t hear any sibilance in the high end that would make listening to the speaker over a long period of time unpleasant.
But we found that anything in the mid-range, like male vocals and most instruments, sounded just a little dull—especially when compared to the same ones played from the Megaboom.
If you do choose the Charge 4, you’ll get a lot of the same functionality as the Megaboom. It’s also certified to be waterproof even if fully immersed.
JBL also supports JBL Connect+, which allows you to pair the speakers with other JBL speakers you or your friends bring to a party.
And, as you might have guessed from the name, the speaker has a USB output that allows it to reverse charge your smartphone.
And so we are honored to have presented to you our picks of the pack. The Bluetooth speakers mentioned in this article were generally the best performing portable speakers out there.
Although there are some we may have missed even though we tested extensively, It is fair to say, if they didn’t come under our radar then they were more likely not good enough or worthwhile for that matter. Ultimately, don’t get ripped off.