The best Bluetooth speakers of 2021 are must-have devices for any music lover, thanks to their portability, durability, and fantastic audio quality – and it’s not hard to see why they’ve become the go-to sound solution for music fans looking to take their tunes with them wherever they go.
Whether that’s to the garage, out to the garden, or down to the beach, the best Bluetooth speakers are an essential buy – and if you are headed down to the beach, be sure to check out our guide to the best waterproof speakers, too.
Because they’re such a good idea for so many of us, there’s a huge range of portable speakers to pick from. This is great news but does mean it can be a challenge to make the right choice. Luckily for you, we’ve done the research and the testing, which means we’re in a prime position to select the very best portable speakers you can buy in 2021.
Top 10 the best Bluetooth speaker 2021
The best Bluetooth speaker you can buy right now
1. Sonos Move
Here’s the thing about the Sonos Move – it’s so good, you might want to consider it not only as your on-the-go party station, but also as your main in-the-home wireless speaker too.
With two quality drivers, a solid app that unlocks playback from hundreds of wireless sources, multi-room capabilities and smart audio-tuning tech which tweaks the output based on the speaker’s immediate surroundings, the Sonos Move is engineered well beyond your average Bluetooth speaker.
It’s a versatile speaker, one that stands solidly alongside the built-for-home Sonos speakers that the company made its name on.
It’s not perfect – it’s heavy as a byproduct of its incredible sound, it’s expensive due to its rich feature set, and it sadly can’t be used as rear channels for a home cinema set-up. But if you’ve got the money, it’s hard to fault the Sonos Move when it comes to hunting down the very best Bluetooth speaker in the world.
2. JBL Flip 5
A What Hi-Fi? 2020 Awards-winner. If all you want is a portable Bluetooth speaker that sounds as good as you can currently buy for around £100 ($100, AU$119), you’ll be hard-pressed to better the fantastic Flip 5. JBL’s newest offering sounds great for the price and is rugged enough to cope with a day at the pool.
The Flip 5 is waterproof to an IPX7 rating, boasts a 12 hour battery life and has a USB-C charging port, meaning it goes from flat to fully juiced in just 2.5 hours. It’s a pleasure to use and scores highly for portability, with a wrist strap that slips comfortably over our hand.
There’s also a PartyBoost button that helps you pair two PartyBoost-enabled speakers to create a stereo pair, or link over 100 PartyBoost-compatible speakers in mono.
Sound is impressively weighty and agile, with a good punch of bass and a real sense of openness and texture. Assuming you don’t mind the lack of an aux-in port or inbuilt microphone (as seen in the Flip 4), you’ll almost certainly be wowed by this speaker’s sonic chops. A superb performer.
3. Tribit StormBox
4. Sony SRS-XB33
If you need something that sounds a little louder and fuller than the UE Wonderboom 2, but that’s more portable and affordable than the JBL Xtreme 2, the Sony SRS-XB33 finds a nice middle ground. The successor to our previous pick, the SRS-XB32, the new XB33 is a little bulkier and a little better, with deeper bass and a somewhat more detailed and natural sound.
It’s powerful enough to fill a 15-by-20-foot room, and we got about 16 hours of battery life. It’s also built to take punishment, with an IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating. Like its predecessor, it has multicolor lights and strobes. However, it’s about 2½ times bigger and heavier than the Wonderboom 2, so it’s nowhere near as portable.
5. Anker Soundcore Flare 2
The Flare 2 sports powerful dual drivers and passive radiators, outputting 20W of sound with improved clarity and bass response compared to its predecessor. With an upgraded IPX7 waterproof rating, coupled with a Dual LED Halo on the top and bottom, your speaker can set the tone for your party, wherever you may be. EQ and lighting controls are available through the Soundcore app, where you can also connect up to 100 Flare 2’s to fill every crevice of your room with booming sound.
The speaker boasts a 5,200 mAh battery with 12 hours of continuous playback, and can be charged through its USB-C port. The only real drawback is that it lacks a 3.5mm input jack. Still, at less than $100, it’s hard to find another similarly-priced Bluetooth speaker that could compete with the Flare 2.
6. Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM
The best stereo Bluetooth speaker that we’ve tested is the Ultimate Ears HYPERBOOM. This portable Bluetooth speaker can get loud without a lot of compression, and it even has an IPX4 rating for water resistance, though we don’t currently test for this. Thanks to its over 23-hour battery life, it’s well-suited for multiple long listening sessions without a recharge.
It comes with an Adaptive EQ feature that automatically analyzes the acoustic characteristics of your room to optimize audio reproduction. With this feature turned on, it reproduces a balanced, neutral sound profile that’s suitable for listening to lots of different music genres, and you can even use the graphic EQ and presets in the Ultimate Ears app to adjust its sound to your liking.
Unfortunately, like many smaller speakers, it struggles to reproduce a thumpy low-bass out-of-the-box. Also, it’s a bit bulky and heavy, so it’s not as portable as some of the other speakers we’ve tested. That said, it has a built-in carrying strap, so you can still carry it with just one hand.
7. UE Wonderboom 2
We liked Ultimate Ears’ original Wonderboom Bluetooth speaker, which sounded good for its compact speaker size and was also waterproof. Now the company has released the Wonderboom 2, which is a touch bigger than the original and sounds slightly better for streaming your favorite music, with more bass and a special Outdoor Boost mode that boosts treble.
Like its predecessor, the fully waterproof Wonderboom 2 with Bluetooth connection carries a list price of $100, but often sells for less. What’s different is the IP67 rating that means it’s dustproof, more shock-resistant and also able to float.
This bluetooth device also has 30% better battery life — lasting up to 13 hours at moderate volume levels, according to Ultimate Ears — and you can link two together to create a stereo sound pairing by pressing a button on each speaker.
8. LG XBoom Go PL7
Every Bluetooth speaker on this list delivers great sound and functionality, but only the LG XBoom Go PL7 does it while boasting awesome LED lights. This unique Bluetooth speaker packs fully customizable LED rings on either side, adding some unique flair to your pool parties or indoor jam sessions.
But the XBoom Go PL7 has much more than looks going for it. The XBoom’s appropriately booming sound holds its own against the best Bluetooth speakers in this price range, delivering balanced bass and satisfying treble.
And with an IPX5 rating, this speaker can handle sprays or plashes of water and keep on ticking. Factor in its strong 24 hour battery life, and the XBoom Go PL7 is a great Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds.
9. Tronsmart Element Force SoundPul
The Bluetooth speaker market is a cutthroat business when you get to this price range. The good news for music lovers is that you can find some very good products here. If $60 is too much for your budget, consider our runner-up, the Aukey SK-S1 (see below).
Otherwise, we can’t say enough good things about the Tronsmart Element Force SoundPulse, which features IPX7 weatherization, support for True Wireless Stereo (so you can operate two of them as a stereo pair), and absolutely fantastic sound (in Extra Bass EQ mode, that is). That’s a lot of speaker for just 60 bucks.
10. VicTsing SoundHot C6 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
While this portable speaker could essentially be used anywhere, more than 36 percent bought it for use in the shower. “Exactly what I was looking for … I just wanna sing in the dang shower to my hearts content,” writes one reviewer. The speaker’s carabiner and suction cup make it easy to hang in the shower, which reviewers appreciate.
The speaker itself is also waterproof, which helps with the whole shower-speaker thing. “I’ve been using it in the shower every morning for over a month now and it still works flawlessly despite being dropped a couple times and having been completely submerged in water,” one says. And as for sound quality, reviewers are happy with it for music, podcasts, and radio.
One listener writes, “The voices are clean, loud, easily understood, natural sounding. Music has a few layers of detail.” The speaker also gets pretty loud, according to one reviewer, who says, “I drive a loud truck everyday so this will surely be heard over old engines and dashboard fans resembling a jet engine.”
This type of quality endures, as one user says: “This little speaker lasted me through the last two years of college, several summer camps, and half a year of working in elementary schools and hasn’t changed a bit.”
How we chose the best Bluetooth speakers
There are thousands and thousands of Bluetooth speakers in the world and it’d be impossible for us to review them all, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to get our grubby hands on all of them. If a speaker made it onto this list, then you can be sure we’ve had first-hand experience with them and in many cases put them through our entire review process.
Not only do we directly review and test as many audio products as we can, but we also take into account what others are saying about a given product. We want our readers to be happy with their purchases and that means we had to narrow down what it means to be “the best Bluetooth speaker.” In this case, we needed it to sound good, be relatively affordable, and durable.
If a speaker’s intended use is for camping or hiking, we made sure that it’s received an official IP rating. Generally, if Bluetooth speakers perform well, there’s no need to overspend for the sake of overspending.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best Bluetooth speakers for most people to buy, according to their needs. We factor in the price (cheaper speakers win over pricier ones if the difference isn’t worth it), feedback from our visitors, and availability (no speakers that are difficult to find or almost out of stock everywhere).
If you would like to choose for yourself, here’s the list of all our reviews for Bluetooth speakers. Be careful not to get caught up in the details. There are no perfect speakers. Personal taste, preference, and listening habits will matter more in your selection.