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Best Bluetooth Speakers: The best budget and premium speakers


With Bluetooth speakers, you can move around your home (or out of it) or step away during a party without having to worry about leaving your phone behind. 

Using a Bluetooth speaker can massively improve the quality and volume of your audio, but with so many Bluetooth speakers available, it’s tough to sift through and decide which one is the best Bluetooth speaker. We’ve got plenty of experience testing Bluetooth speakers, and have compiled our top picks below. 

We’ve included a wide range of Bluetooth speakers for different use cases, including portable speakers, desktop speakers and outdoor speakers.  We test them by listening to lots of music to ensure the audio performance is worthy of being on this list

We look at the features they offer, to stereo pairing to create a bigger sound. We also perform battery drains to see how they can last, as well as assess build quality. This is all to gauge whether they’re value for money, so you’re not overpaying for your new Bluetooth speaker. 

For those interested in exploring our other lists, check our guides for the best outdoor speakers, the best smart speakers and the best multi-room speakers

Best Bluetooth speakers at a glance

How we test

How we test wireless speakers

We play a lot of music, and we play it loud. We play it everywhere – in the house, in the garden, and even in the bath if a speaker is waterproof.

We don’t just listen to the speakers; if there are special features then we make sure we fiddle with them until we’re satisfied. Recently, some Bluetooth speakers have begun to get smart functionality with the integration of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and as a result we’ve started speaking to our speakers as well.

Of course, it always comes back to the music. Speakers are tested by reviewers who have a love of music, a knowledge of sound quality, as well as a context of the market. We’ll listen to Bluetooth speakers alongside similarly priced rivals, so when we recommend a particular model, it’s among the best you can buy for the money.

Obviously, we know not everyone has the same taste in music, so we won’t only test with the same perfectly mastered album, but with a variety of genres and file qualities, from MP3 to Hi-Res FLAC.

Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen

Best smart Bluetooth speaker
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  • Excellent sound
  • Portable
  • Alexa support
  • Great style
  • Waterproof design


  • Pricey

B&O A1 2nd gen is the sequel to the Beoplay A1 and improves upon its predecessor with an even better audio performance.

It is the world’s first Bluetooth-only speaker to support Alexa, relying on the Bluetooth connection between it and a smartphone to access the Amazon digital assistant. We found it worked pretty well in a local park, Alexa responding quickly to queries unless the smartphone was busy doing another task. We’d suggest not doing too much multitasking with a phone if she proves to be less responsive than usual.

As you’d expect from a Bang & Olufsen product, it ladles on the style with its aluminium top surface and waterproof leather base. Its IP67 rating protects it from water and dust and the 18-hour battery life exceeds the likes of Sonos Roam and Wonderboom 3, so you can listen to music on this speaker for longer.

What impressed us the most during testing was its audio. For a speaker of its size and shape, it produced a detailed, clear sound, and ample amounts of bass. Compared to the portable speakers that feature on this list, it’s the best-sounding effort.

The RRP has gone up since we first reviewed it, to $279 / £239. Even in light of its increase, we’d still rate this as an excellent Bluetooth speaker.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: B&O Beosound A1 2nd Gen

JBL Charge 5

Best loud portable Bluetooth speaker
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  • Big, spacious and powerful sound
  • Rugged design
  • Can be used as a powerbank
  • App support


  • Heavy
  • Treble performance could be better

No company makes as many wireless speakers in various forms as JBL does, the Charge 5 sits between the Flip series and Xtreme models as a big, portable speaker for those who want a loud, dynamic outdoors performance.

It comes in an array of colours to suit any listener’s personality, and also looks like an American football, though this isn’t a speaker we’d want to throw at someone. Its big and heavy at nearly 1kg and doesn’t come with a handle or strap for carry. The fabric covering is one we found to be quite grippy for carrying in the hand though you’ll want to stow it in away in a bag when not in use. Its tough IP67 rating ensures protection against water and dust like the Wonderboom 3 and Beosound A1 2nd Gen that feature on this list.

Battery is quoted around 20 hours, which should suffice for a few days use and the speaker can be used as a powerbank to charge other mobile devices. There is app support in the form of the JBL Portable app, which we found simple to use. There aren’t many features inside, with just the ability to change the speaker’s EQ, update the firmware (which we did found could take a while) and enable the PartyBoost feature. This allows the Charge 5 to be stereo paired to another speaker or connected to as many JBL compatible speakers as you like.

The sound from the Charge 5 is one that our reviewer found to be big, loud and powerfully. It can generate satisfying amounts of punchy bass but it doesn’t do so at the expense of overall balance or clarity. The midrange is clear and there’s good separation and definition of voices and instruments to make the listener can hear what’s going on in the track. Raise the volume up and while there’s not as much bass as there is at lower volumes, there’s notable distortion with the Charge 5 sounding louder than the bigger Sony SRS-XG300 when playing The Beatles’ Hey Jude.

The JBL is a fun, energetic-sounding speaker with a sound that’s more balanced than you may expect. It’s available at a reasonably tidy price too, around the same price bracket as the Marshall Emberton II and Sonos Roam. There is a new, better-sounding and featured model in the Charge 5 Wi-Fi that adds Spotify Connect, AirPlay 2, and Alexa Multi-Room audio support, though it is currently £60 more expensive.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: JBL Charge 5

Sonos Roam

Best Bluetooth portable speaker
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  • Excellent, neutral-sounding performance
  • Well built
  • New features are useful
  • Easy to use
  • Auto Trueplay


  • Sonos S2 little flaky with new features
  • Rather functional looks
  • Wireless charging plate an optional extra

The Roam is the true Sonos portable speaker you can take on your travels unlike the Move. Use it at home and it connects to the Sonos network over Wi-Fi, and when outside it instantly switches to Bluetooth so you can continue listening to your music.

In terms of operation we found it easy enough to use, with playback buttons on the top surface and a power/standby button that’s easily reachable further down. The 11-hour battery is enough to eke out a day’s use, but behind the likes of the Wonderboom 3 (14 hours) and A1 2nd Gen (18 hours).

It sounds great with a natural, detailed and clear sound. Bass is fine but is the weakest link in its armoury, the Ultimate Ears Boom 2 offers more presence while the Beosound A1 2nd Gen rumbles up more depth. If bass is what you’re in need of, the Roam is punchier than it is deep with its low frequency performance. It’s a versatile unit though, happy to play any type of track with confidence.

For existing Sonos owners, the Roam makes sense for taking the Sonos experience out of the home, and with the Roam SL, there’s a cheaper microphone-less version of the speaker. Sonos has also rectified one of the nit-picks we had by expanding the range of colours it comes in (olive green, rusty red and wave blue), making the Roam more eye-catching for the outdoors.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Sonos Roam

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Best Bluetooth speaker under £100
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  • Improved audio
  • Extended battery life
  • Resilient build quality
  • More sustainable design
  • Same price as before


  • Lack of USB-C charging
  • No stereo pairing with older models

The original Wonderboom was great, the Wonderboom 2 was even better and with the Wonderboom 3, Ultimate Ears has, in our view, created its best small portable Bluetooth speaker yet.

Once again it is the same size and carries the same look as before, and that helps make the Wonderboom 3 a good option for those who don’t have space in their bags for something bigger. The only real difference are the colours that the Wonderboom 3 come in, with Ultimate Ears choosing more contrasting colours this time out. It also keeps its IP67 rating that protects it from water and dust, so we can imaging this speaker being used in the garden, on a beach or even in more adventurous conditions.

On the features side not much has changed. The Outdoor Boost and Double Up continue on with the former boosting mid-range and treble performance for more extra clarity outdoors, while Double Up offers stereo pairing with another Wonderboom 3 speaker (it doesn’t work with other Wonderboom generations). Battery life has been increased by an hour to 14, while there’s no sign of USB-C charging, which may annoy those who’d prefer to rely on one cable to charge all their devices..

We felt that the Wonderboom 3’s audio was the best we had sampled yet from the series. Like the Stormbox Micro 2, it’s a much more balanced affair: smoother, more detailed and more spacious in how it sounds. It lacks the crispness, energy and dynamism of the Wonderboom 2 but we’d say the older model sounds less refined when compared to the new Wonderboom.

The speaker offers better sound and a sprinkling of new features for the same price as before, and that’s enough for the Wonderboom 3 to be one of the best Bluetooth speakers at its price point.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Tribit StormBox Micro 2

Best budget Bluetooth speaker
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  • Improved sound over original
  • Boosted battery life
  • Can charge other devices
  • Affordable price
  • Dust and waterproof design


  • May lack a sense of fun for some

The original Stormbox Micro was a very good portable speaker at an affordable price, and the Stormbox Micro 2 sees Tribit repeating the trick again with an even better performance.

The audio is a step up in virtually all regards. We found that the Micro 2 is louder than the original, the size of the sound was also bigger and projected further away from the speaker’s body and it presented music with much more clarity than the original, too.

Out reviewer felt it achieved a better balance in its sound quality, with bass bigger and better described; treble frequencies sharper and clearer, while more detail is retrieved in the midrange, helping to define instruments with more sharpness and detail.

The design has been altered, the buttons coloured white to contrast better against the fabric covering; the speaker is also bigger and can now serve as a powerbank to change any mobile devices you have on your person via USB-C charging. It keeps the useful tear-resistant strap that allows it to be attached to handlebars or rucksacks to accompany users on their journeys. It also retains its IP67 rating, so it’s insulated against dust and water for those who want to take their speaker on more adventurous outdoor activities.

Battery life has been improved from 8-hours to 12, which puts it among the likes of the Sonos Roam (11) and Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 (14). There’s also support for an app that allows for the speaker’s EQ to be adjusted along with enabling updates, which should allow the speaker to last for longer.

The Stormbox Micro 2 is everything a sequel should be, improving on the weaker aspects and making the good parts even better. It does come at a slight increase in cost to £59.99, which puts in the ballpark of speakers such as the Tronsmart T7. The T7 sounds better when dealing with treble and bass, but the convenience and versality of the Tribit gets our vote over the Tronsmart.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Tribit Stormbox Micro 2

Sony SRS-XG300

Best outdoor Bluetooth speaker for parties
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  • Rich, likable sound
  • Solid portability
  • Long battery life
  • Fun audio effects/customisations


  • Not the most detailed presentation
  • A little heavy to carry

Fancy having a party outside? There are plenty of Bluetooth speakers to choose, but our current favourite is Sony’s SRS-XG300.

It comes with retractable handle for carrying the speaker about, which found useful considering this speaker weighs around 3kg. With its IP67 rating it’s good against resisting liquids and particles such as sand and dust when used outside.

It’s not the sharpest or necessarily the clearest-sounding speaker with its warm and rich tone placing an emphasis on bass. However, that does make it a good option for outdoor parties if you like your bass assertively described, and music given plenty of drive and energy then the XG300.

B&O’s Beolit 20 can summon even stronger levels of bass but it does also cost twice as much as the Sony does. Those after a more neutral and balanced performance should give some consideration to the Sonos Move as an alternative.

Around the edges of the speaker is a Light feature – Sony calls it Ambient Illumination – that emits a halo of light at either end of the speaker that pulses in sync with the beat, although at its default setting we found it wasn’t particularly noticeable, especially during daylight hours.

Other party features include support for Fiestable app, which offers control over DJ effects, light effects and Motion Control, where playback and volume can be controlled by moving a smartphone, although this is a feature that can be hit and miss in terms of accuracy.

In terms of physical connections, the Sony comes with a USB-C for charging another device, and a stereo mini-jack (cable also included) for plugging in an external source (such as a portable music player). Battery life is 25 hours; Google Fast Pair is provided for instant connection to an Android device and there’s LDAC Bluetooth for those that want to play music from a music streaming service that supports higher quality bitrates.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full review: Sony SRS-XG300

Q Acoustics M20 HD

Best desktop Bluetooth speaker
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  • Powerful, engaging sound
  • Versatile feature-set
  • Affordable asking price


  • Could benefit from more definition, dynamic agility
  • Stands add a fair bit to overall cost

In the Q Acoustics M20 HD, you have a Bluetooth speaker that is more fitting for desktop stereo use or even connected to a TV via its other connections.

The M20 HD is an active speaker system, which means there is no need for external amplification/boxes, so you can plug it into the power port and get going with your music. AptX-HD Bluetooth ensures that the system can play files up to 24-bit/48kHz resolution, so you can get some high-fidelity performance from Bluetooth playback.

The Bluetooth support matches Edifier’s S2000MKIII, but at 10.6kg the Q Acoustics are a much lighter and smaller proposition, which makes carrying them around and positioning them on speaker stands less of a hassle. The range of connections is also better than the Edifier, so if you’re not listening to them over Bluetooth, there’s scope to connect the M20 HD to a TV or connect a USB stick to play audio files at resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz.

And in terms of their sound, we found the system boasted a fun and engaging performance, with a warm and rich mid-range performance, powerful bass and defined top end of the frequency range. They’re great with music, films and games and their price makes them better value than the similarly specified but more expensive Klipsch The Fives.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Q Acoustics M20 HD

KitSound Diggit 55

Best garden Bluetooth speaker
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  • Clear, detailed performance
  • Can be used indoors and out
  • Easy to use
  • Good looks


  • Bass lacks excitement
  • Not fully waterproofed

There’s a number of garden-based Bluetooth speakers, and the best value effort we’ve come across is KitSound’s Diggit 55.

At £50 you can buy a few to place around the garden, and if you purchase two there’s the option of stereo pairing to create a bigger sound, which we found simple enough to enable by holding the speakers together. They’ve had a few minor tweaks from their predecessor in terms of the faux wood look and placement of connections, and they come with a stake for rooting them in the ground. With their IP66 rating the Diggit 55 are water-resistant rather than waterproof; so while a light shower is likely fine, anything more and you’d need to bring them inside.

Its mid-range performance was the aspect we liked the most, with plenty of detail and clarity afforded to vocals and a soundstage described with a sense of space so instruments are separated from each other. Bass is flatly described whether indoors or out, and unlike the JBL Charge 5, it can’t reach the same volume levels or replicate that speaker’s infectious sense of energy. Walking around the unit, the 360-degree worked well enough, with only a slight change in tone noticeable.

Set it in a decent-sized garden and the KitSound offers good-value sound that belies its asking price. For garden parties multiple Diggit 55 speaker is worth considering. The Kitsound Diggit 2 is available, and we’ll be looking to review that in the near future.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: KitSound Diggit 55


What’s the best Bluetooth speaker on a budget?

We’d point to the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2. Its design allows for it to be used in many different ways, the sound is much improved over the original and it comes with app support as well as the ability to charge other devices.

What’s the best Bluetooth speaker system for the home?

With the Naim Mu-so Qb 2 it’s compact enough to occupy a small space and produces an impressive stereo image for its size.

We also considered…

We’ve reviewed


Hi-Fi & Wireless Audio

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Specs compared

IP rating
Battery Hours
Size (Dimensions)
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Model Number
Audio Resolution
Driver (s)
Audio (Power output)
Frequency Range
Audio Formats
Power Consumption
Speaker Type

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