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Best Bluetooth Speakers 2022: The best wireless speakers at any price

Introduction

Bluetooth speakers are an easy and convenient way to stream music and offer a more convincing performance than your mobile device will ever offer.

Bluetooth speakers are built on the short-range wireless standard that allows devices to communicate with each. Rather than having to plug into your speaker with a wired connection, Bluetooth gets around all that, which is especially useful with the growing number of devices that don’t support a wired connection or support a different version like 3.5mm or Lightning.

Bluetooth speakers come in all shapes and sizes. Whether you want a small one that you can carry around or a bigger one for larger social gatherings, this list includes portable, outdoor and desktop-based speakers to help you find the speaker that matches your needs.

We have listened to the speakers mentioned on this list with lots of music, indoors and out, to get a sense of their performance. We also compare them to similarly priced rivals to determine how well they perform and how much value they offer.

If there’s another type of speaker you’re after, check out our best outdoor speaker page, or peruse our best smart and best multi-room speaker lists.

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.

Naim Mu-So Qb 2

Best premium Bluetooth speaker
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Pros

  • Large-scale, detailed and nuanced sound
  • Extensive specification
  • That control wheel

Cons

  • Starting to look properly expensive
  • Imperfect app

The first Mu-so Qb speaker was a revelation – a premium wireless speaker shaped like a cube? We thought it was one of the coolest looking speakers when it came out, and the second-gen version is even better.

Like the original, it boasts a cubed design but features a new illuminated dial that lights up when your hand hovers over to reveal the controls. Our reviewer found it to be one of the nicest control systems we’ve used for a hi-fi speaker. The main upgrades aren’t visible on the outside with all-new driver units and digital signal processor.

The range of connectivity is wide, as alongside Bluetooth 4.2 there’s Roon-ready support, Spotify Connect, built-in Chromecast, Apple AirPlay 2, UPnP, and Tidal for other means of sending audio to the speaker, plus there’s Internet radio with via vTuner. Multi-room is shared between Google Home and the aforementioned AirPlay 2.

Compared to the original, we found the performance here to be powerful, but also nuanced, showcasing a broad and well-defined soundstage. It’s a beautifully made, fabulously exciting listen even with the increase in price to $1199 / £899 that makes it a pricey rival to either Bowers & Wilkins’ Formation Wedge or Zeppelin efforts.

Reviewer: Simon Lucas
Full Review: Naim Mu-so Qb2

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin

Best stylish Bluetooth speaker
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Pros

  • Precise sound
  • Plenty of streaming options
  • Striking design
  • Nice app

Cons

  • Rather large to accommodate
  • No Chromecast
  • Stereo ambitions overstated

If you find the Naim too dear on the wallet, the latest edition of Bowers & Wilkin’s Zeppelin speaker might turn your head at a less expensive $799 / £699, although in the UK it has dropped to £549 online.

Available in midnight grey and pearl grey (effectively black or white) to suit your room, the Zeppelin is the widest Bluetooth speaker on this list at 650mm wide, which makes it a bit difficult to accommodate in smaller spaces. Still, aesthetically we found this to be a looker, the contoured curves and high-quality fabric covering showcases the speaker’s premium feel.

Bluetooth is of the aptX Adaptive variety, which should help the speaker maintain a steady connection to the source device irrespective of any potential interference. When testing the speaker, we found the audio performance was a big and loud effort that brought plenty of fidelity to whatever we listened to.

Compared to Bluetooth speakers of similar ilk, like the Braun LE02, the bass performance is bigger and more powerful, and the crispness of the sound works well with the reproduction of vocals. Although the Zeppelin claims to offer stereo sound, we found its stereo ambitions to be largely overstated, a sense of width and stereo imaging not especially evident with the playlist we listened to.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin

Bang and Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen

Best smart Bluetooth speaker
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Pros

  • Excellent sound
  • Portable
  • Alexa support
  • Great style
  • Waterproof design

Cons

  • Pricey

B&O A1 2nd gen is the sequel to the Beoplay A1 and improves upon that speaker with an even better sonic delivery.

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 digital assistant. We found it worked pretty well using it in a local park, Alexa responding quickly to queries unless the Bluetooth signal was busy. Try not to do too much multitasking with a phone and she works more often than she doesn’t.

It ladles on the style with its aluminium top surface and waterproof leather base, as you’d expect from a Bang & Olufsen product. Its IP67 rating protects it from water and dust and the 18-hour battery life exceeds the likes of Sonos Roam and Wonderboom 2, so you can listen for longer.

What impressed us the most during testing was the audio performance. This speaker produces a detailed, clear sound, and ample amounts of bass. Compared to the portable speakers on this list, it’s the best-sounding effort.

It’s gone up in price since we reviewed it, available at $279 / £239, so it is a pricey Bluetooth speaker, but we feel it’s still worth the higher asking price.

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

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Best Bluetooth speaker under £100
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Pros

  • Big sound
  • Easy to use
  • 13-hour battery life
  • Outdoor Boost mode

Cons

  • Not much of note

The original Wonderboom was great, but Wonderboom 2 goes further with a number of tweaks that make it one of the finer (and fun) Bluetooth speakers for less than $100 / £100.

Though it’s virtually the same size as the original, its size is great for placing it in a bag for days out, the sequel Wonderboom has new features in Outdoor Boost and Double Up. The former accentuates the mid-range performance and nubs the bass, which we found helped to make vocals clearer when listening outdoors. Double Up adds stereo pairing as long as you have another Wonderboom 2 in your possession.

When it comes to its sonic signature, the Wonderboom 2 is another great showcase for Ultimate Ears’ signature sound at an affordable price. During testing, we found it could go incredibly loud for a small speaker, and it offers plenty of welly when dealing with low frequencies. If you favour an energetic performance, the Wonderboom 2 provides it in spades.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Sonos Roam

Best Bluetooth portable speaker
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Pros

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

Cons

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

The Roam is the true Sonos portable speaker that you can take on your travels unlike the Move. When in the home it can connect 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 10-hour battery is enough to eke out a day’s use, but behind the likes of the Wonderboom 2 (13 hours) and A1 2nd Gen (18 hours).

It sounds great with a natural, detailed and clear sound we felt was identifiably ‘Sonos’. 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 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

Tribit Stormbox Micro

Best budget Bluetooth speaker
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Pros

  • Clear and detailed performance
  • Dust and waterproof
  • Good, smart design
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Not the most directional sound

Before the Stormbox Micro landed in our hands, we can’t say we’d heard of Tribit before, but after listening we paid more attention to its products as the Micro comfortably outperformed its small dimensions and budget price.

Our reviewer found bass reproduction to be decent for its size, though it doesn’t offer much depth or extension. The overall delivery of its sound is detailed and clean, and in terms of the size of that sound, the UE Wonderboom 2 produces a bigger, room-filling sound than the Stormbox Micro, able to flex its volume control with more confidence.

The IP67 rating ensures it’s insulated against dust and can be dropped in water 1m deep for 30 minutes. While we don’t think you’ll be listening to music underwater, at least it’s safeguarded if it does accidentally fall into water.

The 8-hour battery life is a little under expectations given the likes of the Sonos Roam and Ultimate Ears Boom 3 hit ten hours and more, but smart decisions have been on the design, with its tear-resistant strap on its underside that allows it to be placed it on a handlebar of a bicycle or attached to a backpack.

The Stormbox Micro is an adaptable Bluetooth speaker to take with you on your outdoor adventures. We’d suggest holding off on a purchase though, as a new model is available that claims to have better sound and bass.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: Tribit Stormbox Micro

Q Acoustics M20 HD

Best desktop Bluetooth speaker
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Pros

  • Powerful, engaging sound
  • Versatile feature-set
  • Affordable asking price

Cons

  • 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 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 it has no need for external amplification/boxes, so you can plug it into the power port and go. AptX-HD Bluetooth ensures that the system can play files up to 24-bit/kHz resolution, so you can get some high-fidelity performance from Bluetooth playback.

The Bluetooth support matches that of 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 better than the Edifier, too, 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 up to 24-bit/192kHz.

And in terms of their sound, our reviewer found the system to boast 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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Pros

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

Cons

  • Bass lacks excitement
  • Not fully waterproofed

There’s a growing 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 dot 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 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 Wonderboom 2, it doesn’t reach the same volume levels or produce 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 speakers are worth considering.

Reviewer: Kob Monney
Full Review: KitSound Diggit 55

FAQs

What’s the best Bluetooth speaker on a budget?

We’d point to the Tribit Stormbox Micro. Its design allows for it to be used in many different ways, the sounds is pretty good and it only costs £42.99

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…

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