Last Updated: January 2018
There was a time when playing summer jams at the beach required lugging a giant boombox around on your shoulder. Thankfully the Bluetooth connectivity on our smartphones and other devices combined with streaming music services and portable speakers means you never have to look like a person in an ’80s breakdancing video ever again.
Bluetooth speakers now come in all shapes, sizes, and battery capacities. You can even take some of them into the pool with you. So sit back, start building your perfect Spotify playlist, and we’ll help you pick out the right Bluetooth speaker for your needs. These are the best wireless bluetooth speakers:
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom
The Ultimate Ears brand has become synonymous with Bluetooth speakers over the last few years and its latest flagship, the $100 Wonderboom, builds upon what made its predecessor the UE Boom 2 so great. Offering 360-degree sound, the Wonderboom feels right at home either at a campsite or right in the pool with you. Yes, it’s not only waterproof but this squat little speaker also floats with an IPX7 rating that allows it to be submerged up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.
The sound performance of the Wonderboom keeps it consistently rated higher than many other Bluetooth speakers of its size and since you can find it for less than $100 usually, it’s a decent value for such a quality speaker. Plus, the battery lasts 10 hours and it’s rugged enough to survive an accidental fall from your hands—try that with a boombox.
Bose SoundLink Revolve+
Let’s face it, you can hardly talk about quality speakers without mentioning the word Bose. Long known for creating stunning home theater systems, Bose has also made a name for itself in the portable speaker space with the SoundLink line. The Revolve+ is the company’s latest offering, and it delivers some of the best audio possible from a unit of this size. Thanks to its tubular design, the Revolve+ sounds great from any direction—a big plus if you’re just going to set it on a patio table or poolside. There’s a handy fabric carrying handle too, and while it’s not exactly waterproof, it does resist some water with an IPX4 rating. While it’s expensive at $300, a high quality build, a built-in mic for taking calls, and 16 hours battery life mean the Revolve+ could be the star of your next party.
A couple years ago, the Fugoo Style speaker kind of came out of nowhere with its sophisticated looks and impressive sound. With a staggering 40 hour battery life the Style is also dustproof, shock-resistant, and submersible up to 3 feet for up to 30 minutes. One of its other unique features is the ability to swap out new “jacket” covers for the unit, meaning you can not only keep the speaker looking fresh with a new cover, but also customize it to your liking. With six internal speakers, the Style packs a real punch too. Plus, all of these excellent features and great sound are pretty affordable at around $90. Be sure to stick to the original Fugoo Style and steer clear of its unfortunately weaker (but newer) S model.
JBL Charge 3
While it lacks the sophisticated looks of the Fugoo Style or Bose Revolve+, the JBL brand carries with it a serious pedigree in the audio market. The JBL Charge 3 is one of the best sounding, most versatile of JBL’s ever-growing Bluetooth speaker product lineup. The bass response is excellent, and the Charge 3 capable of handling up to three Bluetooth connections at a time—perfect for when you and a couple other friends are taking turns playing music at a party. Battery life clocks in at an impressive 20 hours and thanks to an IPX7 rating, you don’t need to worry if your Charge 3 falls into the pool or the party gets rained out.
Oontz Angle 3
You don’t have to break the bank to get a high quality Bluetooth speaker to throw in your bag for fall camping trips and summer beach parties. We’ve been using this Oontz Angle 3 speaker for over a year and it’s super impressive for a product that costs less than $30. The sound quality is exceptional, but moreover this little triangle-shaped speaker can get brutally loud. Connecting the Angle 3 to your smartphone is a super easy process and it’s also capable of making crystal-clear voice calls—even while you’re splashing around in a pool. Just keep in mind its IPX5 rating means it’s resistant to water splashes, but if it falls in the drink it’s probably toast. But hey, it’s cheap enough to just buy another one.
Even if you don’t know the Marshall name, you still know their sound. Featured on pretty much every rock n’ roll record you can imagine, Marshall isn’t just known for guitar amps anymore. While the company offers a handful of portable speakers these days, the stylish Kilburn is hands-down the coolest looking. Weighing in at over six pounds it’s not quite a “pack it in your beach bag” kind of speaker, but its massive sound and rockin’ looks make up for it. The design is setup like a vintage Marshall amp, including gold metal accents and that famous script logo on the grill. One cool and unique feature on the Kilburn is individual treble and bass knobs along with a coiled 3.5mm audio cable reminiscent of a guitar cable. Under the hood, there’s dual 0.75-inch tweeters and a four inch woofer. Blast some AC/DC out of this beast and be the life of the party (sadly, the knobs don’t go to 11).
JBL Clip 2
The JBL Clip 2 is a great sounding, circular speaker with super portability and a handy clip for easy toting. Sometimes, you just need an inexpensive Bluetooth speaker you can clip to your backpack, or attach to a necklace and rock your jams like Flava Flav. And since you can sync the Clip 2 to a second Clip 2, both you and your friend can look totally rad together at the pool. With an IPX7 rating, the Clip 2 is fully submersible and it’s perfect for hanging out at the beach and splashing around. When you’re not in the water the Clip 2 even has the ability to make speaker calls. Even better, you can grab one for less than $60, so it’s super affordable, too.