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Bluetooth speakers have come a long way since they were first introduced two decades ago, and have become a staple device in many households, as they are perfect for any outdoor party or even just listening to music at home without the hassle of laying out cables everywhere.
Things to Consider before buying a Bluetooth Speaker
There is a tremendous amount of brands and models available, which might make choosing the right one for your needs seem complicated, but it’s actually not that hard. Choosing the right BlueTooth speakers can be boiled down to a few factors:
Size and Portability
The main benefit of a BlueTooth speaker is obviously that it’s portable, and of course the smaller it is, the easier it will be to take along, but that has drawbacks too. Larger speakers will usually also have a larger battery, which will keep the music playing for longer.
Larger speakers will also offer you a lot more audio power, so if you are planning on using yours for larger gatherings, you might want to sacrifice some portability for the extra decibel. It all comes down to the purpose you need it for.
This is one of the most important factors to consider because there is no real point in having a wireless speaker if it needs to be attached to a charger all the time. The battery power of a speaker depends on two things: the size and of course the quality.
Most of the time a larger speaker will provide you with more hours of playback, but premium brands offer a lot of smaller speakers that have amazing batteries, thanks to their smart and space-saving design.
If you, however, do not want to spend a fortune on a premium speaker, but also need something small and portable, you should opt for a speaker with a USB-C charging port, because this way it’ll at least be fast to charge.
Audio Quality and Power
Audio quality is one of the most important factors to consider when buying any output device. If you are on a budget and need to cut back on some of the features, do so on any other but the quality. There is not much point in having a really loud speaker that can play music for days if you won’t like the sound of it.
Most manufacturers will highlight the frequency response of the speaker. The human ear can detect frequencies between 20 and 20.000 Hz, so that’s basically all you need. You will however notice frequencies below 20 Hz as sub-bass which will provide more depth to your experience.
Some speakers come with bass radiators which provide a more robust sound, but those are usually a bit larger or in the higher price range. If you are an audiophile, you might still want to invest in those, as the bass is a major part of every song and sound.
How powerful a speaker is, aka. how loud it can get, you’ll know by taking a look at its wattage – the higher the wattage, the louder the speaker. A speaker with 100 W will meet most needs, even if you like to play your music extremely loud, but more expensive models will offer more than twice that power.
1. Aiwa Exos-9 – The Most Powerful Speaker
When power is more important than portability
If you are looking for top levels of power and dB then it is sometimes necessary to buy a large speaker to give you the boost you need. Bigger cones and drivers can mean more power. If you don’t mind carrying around a bit of a heavier model of speaker, the Aiwa Exos-9 could be a great option for you. The sound quality, as well as the volume, make this a fantastic option.
The Exos 9 is often referred to as the boombox of the 21st century and with good reason too – It does not only look like one but is also as loud. With a power of 200W, it’s loud enough for outdoor parties, while still delivering a high-quality sound with powerful bass. That kind of power will of course be draining the battery, but it can still last for up to 9 hours which is quite average. However, the battery of the Exos-9 is replaceable, which means that you can get a spare one (or even two) if you need a speaker that will play for days.
|Image credit: Aiwa Check Price on Amazon||
- Power: 200 watts
- Battery Life: Up to 9 hours of playtime
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2, NFC, 3.5mm audio jack
- Dimensions: 7.5 x 11.7 x 19.4 inches
- Item Weight: 13.00 lbs
The Aiwa Exos-9 Bluetooth Speaker is good for putting in the garage or an outdoor party, but it isn’t quite as portable as some other Bluetooth speakers. The power is not to be questioned, though! And if you invest in an additional battery, you’ll be able to host a party wherever and for however long you like.
2. Bose SoundLink Mini II – Clean Sound Quality Bluetooth Speaker
Exceptional sound quality comes at a price
Some people love to stick to the bigger audio brands. When you buy a product from Bose you can basically guarantee that years of research have gone into the technology. Bose is known all around the world for the quality their speakers and headphones offer, as well as the continuous evolvement of their products. Same is true for the SoundLink Mini II – Compared to its predecessor, the SoundLink Mini, the newer version offers around 80% more battery life and it also charges faster.
Even so, we like to take speakers at their merit rather than worry too much about what brand they are from. The SoundLink Mini II is not just on the list because of the brand that produces it, but because of the quality of the product itself – The sound quality is exceptional.
Not only is the SoundLink Mini II exceptionally loud for its size, but also one of the best-sounding wireless speakers out there. It won’t distort the sound even on the loudest settings and the bass it creates with that little body is astonishing. Rarely you’ll come across a wireless speaker that offers superb audio quality, power, and portability with just one little downside: the battery life of 10h is average at best.
|Image credit: Bose Check Price on Amazon||
- Power: 50 watts
- Battery Life: Up to 10 hours of playtime
- Connectivity: Bluetooth, USB
- Dimensions: 2.1 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches
- Item Weight: 1.5 lbs
Are you an audiophile? If you’re looking for a model from a brand that has a reputation of satisfying those who have a thirst for high fidelity audio, Bose might be the answer for you. This speaker packs a real punch considering the size, and even with its average battery life, it’ll still be able to offer you hours of playtime in superb audio quality.
3. Anker SoundCore 2 – Light Weight Bluetooth Speaker
Champion of the lightweight division
This makes our list partially due to the fact that it is so incredibly light. The 12 W of power is not suitable for big parties, but for a couple of people listening to music while grilling and camping, the SoundCore 2 will have enough audio power. Plus, it is absolutely tiny and lightweight. It weighs just 0.79 lbs and can fit in even a small backpack. If you don’t want to add bulk to your camping gear then the SoundCore 2 could be worth considering.
Compared to it’s predecessor it offers twice the power and a newer Bluetooth version while retaining the amazing battery life of 24 hours of playtime. The new version is even water-resistant so you can easily take it to pools or the beach.
This little power pack will become your best friend on any trip. Thanks to the small and robust design, it can be carried in any bag, wherever you go. The sound quality is naturally not quite as good and as in larger and more expansive models, but if you need a speaker to casually listen to music while hanging out with a few friends, then the SoundCore 2 is all you need.
|Image credit: Anker Check Price on Amazon||
- Power: 12 watts
- Battery Life: Up to 24 hours of playtime
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
- Dimensions: 6.6 x 1.9 x 2.2 inches
- Item Weight: 0.9 lbs
The Anker SoundCore 2 makes our list mainly because of the incredibly small size and light weight, and the fact that it still manages to be a loud Bluetooth speaker. Well, certainly loud enough for solo use or using for small groups and gatherings. It’s definitely one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can get for under 100 bucks.
4. JBL Boombox – Retro Designed Bluetooth Speaker
A blast from the past
We all remember the old-fashioned boomboxes blaring out on street corners playing cassettes or CDs, but now they can be used with your device. There are a few brands making boombox designs out there, but the quality offered by JBL makes theirs a fantastic option.
It’s not the smallest or most easily portable, but the handle design makes it simpler to take out and about, and the bigger size means that the battery can be larger and more powerful. You get up to 24 hours of playtime out of this baby and that at blazing 40 watts audio power. If you plug it into a power source, it can blast you with even 60 watts of power.
|Image credit: JBL Check Price on Amazon||
- Power: 40 watts on battery / 60 watts when connected to powersource
- Battery Life: Up to 24 hours of playtime
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
- Dimensions: 20.55 x 9.53 x 13.39 inches
- Item Weight: 6.25 lbs
JBL have a rich history of creating some amazing speakers, and this is not an exception. It doesn’t have ultra high fidelity or stereo, but for a portable Bluetooth design, it is hard to argue with the quality. It’s loud, durable, water-resistant, and actually quite portable thanks to the handle – definitely one of the best boomboxes currently available.
5. Soundcore Rave Mini – Loudest Mini Bluetooth Speaker
A tiny speaker with lots of power
Soundcore (by Anker) is an audio brand that has grown a lot in recent years. The ‘Rave’ name of this product may give you some clue that they’ve gone for power, but that doesn’t mean they’ve sacrificed portability. The Soundcore Rave Mini packs a good level of power into a relatively small speaker – you could chuck it in your backpack and take it around with you all day.
Sure, it ain’t that “mini”, but it’s still portable enough for any kind of outdoor event you might be planning. It’s perfect even for pool parties, as it has a water-resistant shell, that will protect it from splashes or even rain showers – as long as you do not throw it directly into the pool, you should be good.
The audio quality is not quite as good as in some premium models, but it’s still amazing considering the price tag of this speaker. When it comes to the bass, the speaker even punches way above its price range. Well, it is a party speaker after all.
|Image credit: Soundcore Check Price on Amazon||
- Power: 80 watts
- Battery Life: Up to 18 hours of playtime
- Connectivity: Bluetooth 5
- Dimensions: 7.09 x 7.09 x 13.46 inches
- Item Weight: 7.72 lbs
All-in-all, this is a great speaker for those who are looking for something small enough to carry around with them on a day-to-day basis but still need some power and booming bass. It might have just half the power of its “big brother”, the Anker Rave, but it also weighs just a third while still offering more watts than a lot of larger speakers out there.
There are many different options on the market for Bluetooth speakers and brands are developing new ways to keep them both small and portable and loud. Our list of the loudest portable Bluetooth speakers should help you find the perfect audio companion for taking out and about with you.
If however you want a really loud speaker, with extremely good audio quality, that does not need to have Bluetooth connectivity, then check out our review of the Presonus Eris E5: