Cheap Bluetooth speakers are pretty good these days but will never match the sound quality, build quality and features of premium models. We’ve reviewed and ranked the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy from a range of different brands.
You might be looking for the biggest speaker for your house party or the smallest one to travel everywhere with you. Some offer a reasonable balance of the two and there are plenty of other options, too.
As mentioned, we’re looking at the more expensive premium Bluetooth speakers here from the likes of Bose, Bang & Olfsen, UE and Marshall. So if you’ve landed here but your budget is tight, head over to our best cheap Bluetooth speakers chart for something more affordable – they are all under $100/£100.
With so many models on the market and loads from each brand, we could never test them all, but here are the best that we’ve reviewed with a wide range of choices.
Best Bluetooth Speakers 2023
1. Marshall Emberton II – Best Overall
- Stylish, durable & sustainable design
- Big, balanced sound
- Very long battery life
- Stack Mode
- No AAC or aptX
- More expensive
It still relies on the standard SBC codec and has received a small price increase but the Emberton II is a fitting encore for one of our favourite Bluetooth speakers.
While it looks identical to its predecessor apart from the casing pattern, Marshall is now using 50% recycled materials, upped the durability to IP67, and without increasing the weight, has added 50% more battery life so it’ll now go over 30 hours.
Sonically it’s the same as before and to most people will sound surprisingly powerful for such as small speaker, but it still distorts at higher volume levels. The new Stack Mode means you can pair other compatible speakers into a party and there are some EQ presets in the app now, although still no custom option.
Just bear in mind that the original Emberton is now cheaper if these new features don’t float your boat.
2. Sonos Roam – Best for Multi-Room
- Amazing sound
- Wi-Fi for multi-room
- Smart features
- Battery life
Sonos has hit a decent price-point with the Roam and there’s a lot to like about this stylish, compact and clever speaker.
It’s IP67, can be used in either orientation and has something rarely found on a speaker in the form of wireless charging. As you’d expect from Sonos, the sound quality is excellent too.
This is really a purchase for existing Sonos users or those who plan to create a multi-room system. Bluetooth is limited to streaming so you’ll only get the most out of the Roam by using it over Wi-Fi as well with digital assistants and Sound Swap features.
Battery life is behind rivals, too, at up to 10 hours.
3. JBL Charge 5 – Best for Parties
- Link countless speakers
- Durable design
- Also a power bank
- No smart features
- Basic app
JBL hasn’t added smart features to the Charge 5 like some rivals, so there are no microphones to use your digital assistant or take calls.
But this is a speaker designed primarily for parties with its portable and robust design. An IP67 rating means it’s fully dust and waterproof, and chunky buttons make it easy to use.
Importantly, the sound quality is great and you can link up almost endless amounts for even the biggest parties.
Battery life is long plus, as the name hints, the Charge 5 can be used as a power bank to top up devices like your phone to keep the tunes flowing.
4. Bose SoundLink Revolve II – Best 360 Sound
- 300 design
- Aux input
- Old USB port
- Middling battery life
There’s not a huge amount of upgrades here but that doesn’t stop the SoundLink Revolve II from being an excellent Bluetooth speaker.
It looks the same, so it’s a well-made attractive compact cylinder with buttons on top but Bose has boosted the durability to IP55. It’s a shame that this still has Micro-USB and you can’t tweak the EQ but those are minor downsides.
Sound quality is excellent for a small speaker with a true 360-degree experience and battery life is much longer than the quoted 13 hours. Furthermore, the Revolve II has things others don’t like an aux input and the ability to take phone calls and use your phone’s digital assistant.
5. B&O Beosound A1 (2nd-gen) – Best Build Quality
- Stylish & durable
- 360 sound
- Alexa & useful app
- Awkward buttons
The Beosound A1 2nd Gen is an almost perfect portable Bluetooth speaker with a luxurious design and high-end build quality. It’s also durable with an IP67 rating for full dust protection and water submersion.
While the buttons are better than the original, they are still more tricky than many rivals and we’d like more LEDs to get volume and battery info.
Still, you can get that from the app which, when it connects properly, has some useful extra features headlining with a customisable EQ. Even without adjusting the tuning, the sound quality is excellent, there’s plenty of power and a 360-degree experience.
Battery life is solid and support for Amazon Alexa (via your phone anyway) is a standout feature but then, in a negative way, so is the high price. It’s also a shame you can’t stereo pair with the original A1.
6. Creative Stage 360 – Best Soundbar
- Great sound
- Dolby Atmos
- USB can't power streaming stick
- No 3.5mm input
Not many soundbars come with Bluetooth but the Stage 360 from Creative does and it’s still a lot cheaper than many rivals at under £200/US$230.
So if you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker for a room where there’s a TV or a PC then this soundbar will kill two birds with one stone.
The sound is great and it has a whole host of features including Dolby Atmos, HDMI ports, remote control and even comes with a subwoofer. The lack of an aux input shouldn’t be an issue here but note that the USB port won’t power a streaming stick.
7. Sonos Move – Best for Outdoors
- Big sound
- Smart features
- Middling battery life
The Sonos Move really achieves what it sets out to by being both an indoor part of the Sonos system, but also something you can take outdoors (or around the house) when needed.
The addition of Bluetooth means that you can go even further than your garden but the Roam is better for that.
The design is robust albeit heavy, but sound quality is excellent and very powerful. Auto Trueplay makes sure the Move sounds good wherever you put it.
The price might put some off and it’s not the Sonos speaker for everyone, but it’s certainly the Sonos speaker we’ve been waiting for.
8. Huawei Sound Joy – Best for Android
- Impressive audio, particularly bass
- Stylish, premium look
- 26-hour battery life
- No app support for iOS devices
- Vocals can be sharp at high volume
- No custom EQ
Huawei’s wired Bluetooth speakers like the Sound X were tricky to recommend but the joy is much easier.
It’s still a collaboration with Devialet and so great sound quality is not a surprise. But this model is portable and more akin to others on the market in terms of design and features.
It also hits an affordable price point with solid battery life and things you might not find elsewhere such as an LED ring light. It’s just a shame about the lack of iOS support and elements like no EQ even on Android.
9. Soundcore Motion Boom Plus – Best Rugged Design
- IP68 dust and waterproof
- Long battery life
- Incredible sound
- Power bank
- Much larger than rvials
Those looking for a rugged and powerful speaker for outdoor usage such as gardens, camping and the beach should consider the Motion Boom Plus.
For starters it’s IP68 dust and waterproof, completely buoyant and comes with a handy shoulder strap. It’s also got a USB-A port to charge devices like a phone as well as aux input and a long 20-hours of battery life.
The device is a bit chunky and weighs 2.4kg so isn’t ideal for a long hike but it makes up for it in audio performance, both in terms of quality and volume.
10. UE Hyperboom – Best Battery Life
- Huge sound
- Long battery life
- Connectivity options
- Bulky & heavy
So the Hyperboom isn’t exactly portable in the traditional sense but this chonky speaker can still travel around with you if you’re not planning to lug it too far.
Expensive and heavy, sure, but if you perhaps want a speaker to use inside and then transport a short distance to the garden then it’s great. And you’ll be rewarded with serious sound so it’s great for parties where smaller speakers will struggle to provide enough oomph.
If the booming bass isn’t enough, you can pair up more speakers and UE offers 24 hour battery life and wide range of connectivity options so you’re not limited to Bluetooth.
What to look out for when buying a Bluetooth speaker
So, what kind of things should you watch out for when on the market for a high-end Bluetooth speaker?
There are many different types of Bluetooth speakers so if you want to easily take one around with you then make sure it’s small and portable. And that it has a battery to power it rather than needing mains power.
Although you’re likely to connect your phone or tablet to the speaker over Bluetooth, having other connections can be really useful. For example, you might have an mp3 player like an old iPod which still works fine but doesn’t have Bluetooth. If so, look for a speaker with a 3.5mm jack (some have them but it’s getting rarer).
Whereas Bluetooth used to be a primary way of connecting to a speaker without wires, some now feature Wi-Fi on the spec sheet which is useful for various reasons. It might mean you can connect your device to it over Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth – this is how Apple’s AirPlay works (although not exclusively).
Having Wi-Fi might also add the ability to use the speaker directly with music streaming services like Spotify or internet radio stations so you’re not limited to what tunes you’ve got on your device.
Note: Where we mention pairing up devices as a stereo pair or multi-room capabilities, this is not something we’ve been able to test every time as we’ve only been sent one of each speaker.
Find out how we test audio.