With so many products and brands on the market, finding the best Bluetooth speakers in 2016 can be a nightmare – especially if you don’t know what features to look for. Here are a few quick pointers and tips on what you should consider when buying a wireless speaker followed by our top 10 best wireless speakers in the UK.
How long is the battery life, and how often will you want to charge it? Some speakers have a longer battery life than others, try to get one with a large battery capacity – anything over 2,200 mAh should be sufficient to get at least 8 hours playback.
Is the bass any good, and are you going to feel satisfied with the sound quality from the speaker? Many of them are very good indeed, but cheaper ones will sound a little more tinny. Here’s a look at one of the loudest portable speaker on the market.
What’s the range on it, the size of your home will alter the kind of range you’re going to want, so bear this in mind when you’re trying to find the best Bluetooth speakers for home and indoor use. Most wireless speakers on the market today have an average range of about 10m, this should be good enough for most indoor use.
Where do you intend to use it, if you plan on using your portable speaker in the shower, near the pool or on the beach you should consider buying a waterproof Bluetooth speaker. Always check the IP code of the speaker to see if it’s truly is waterproof or just splashproof. Here are a few of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers you can buy.
Price, buying a cheap Bluetooth speaker doesn’t necessarily mean you’re sacrificing on quality. There are some top British brands that can easily rival big names and brands for half the price, Audio Dynamix speakers are an example of quality British engineering on a budget. Here are a few of the best Bluetooth speakers under £50.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a Bluetooth speaker made tougher than the Anker SoundCore Sport XL. With an IP67 rating, it’s waterproof up to one metre as well as dust-tight and shock-resistant. The two 8W stereo drivers deliver a remarkable frequency response with impressive volume, and the dual subwoofers provide a powerful, deep bass.
Boasting a 15-hour playtime on a single charge, you can play your music all day and charge your phone or tablet at the same time thanks to its built-in power bank feature. It comes with an 18 months warranty as standard so there’s no fuss or worries if something goes wrong.
Available in eight different colours, the JBL Flip 3 is a surprisingly powerful little speaker that packs a bass-heavy punch and loads of nifty features. You can connect up to three devices at the same time to take turns playing music, and the splash-proof design makes it ideal for any location, rain or shine.
It can even be cleaned using running tap water, just so long as you don’t submerge it! And if you find yourself wanting even more sound, it can be paired with other JBL Connect-enabled speakers to amplify the experience.
Designed with EDM-lovers in mind, the SRS-XB2 features Extra Bass technology to enhance the deep, punchy bass sounds prevalent in all of the newest chart-topping dance hits. Simply touch your NFC-enabled (Near Field Communication) device for a quick and seamless connection, or connect via Bluetooth to start streaming your music collection.
Its water-resistant design lets you take the party poolside and leaves you worry-free so you can focus on having a good time. Add to that the 12-hour battery life, and your party won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Mpow had one thing in mind when designing this speaker: versatility. The dual 8W drivers in the Mpow provide full-bodied stereo sound with exquisite clarity at any listening level. The exchangeable listening modes make it ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, and it can stream lossless CD-quality sound from up to 66 feet away.
Its rugged iron shell protects it from shock and splashes, so feel free to take it with you for any outdoor sports. Finally, not only does it have a 22-hour battery life, but you can also use the speaker to charge your device wherever you happen to be thanks to the built-in power bank feature.
The Sharkk Mako is a feature rich 20W waterproof Bluetooth speakers with Advanced Maxx Bass Technology that provides you with superior stereo sound. You can connect to the speakers via three different ways: Bluetooth 4.0, AUX port, or NFC (Near Field Communication) technology.
With a microphone that supports both Siri and S-Voice, the Mako makes it easy to use hands-free calling and answering, and the IP67 waterproof and dustproof rating ensure you can take this anywhere and still have full peace of mind. Featuring a user-friendly LED Power and Charging Status indicator as well as LED button backlights, you’ll never have to struggle in darker rooms or while outdoors at night.
This portable, booklet-sized speaker incorporates five drivers powered by two high-performance amplifiers to deliver great-sounding audio. The built-in subwoofer ensures you get the bass kick you crave while retaining the compact design you’ll love.
The Roar 2 is designed to be positioned either vertically or horizontally depending on your acoustic preference, and the eight-hour battery life can also be used as a power bank to charge your device. If you’d rather not use the Bluetooth capability, then the MicroSD card reader and built-in MP3 player gives you the option to play your music without the use of a phone or tablet.
The Pulse V4 has an exclusive, 25-core motor system with powerful Neodymium magnets and metal retaining rings that produce deeper, more controlled bass than most similarly priced wireless speakers on the market. Also exclusive to the V4 is the 7.4 volt – 3000mAh Lithium battery that provides an average playtime of 20+ hours from a single charge.
The top of the line CSR8645 chipset inside features Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, NFC pairing, and a stable 20-metre range. And now with an improved 3D DSP function, you’ll get the cleanest, loudest sound with excellent dynamic range and energy efficiency.
It’s clear to see that the Voombox was built to last. This rugged, water-resistant speaker uses the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology to provide a wireless experience from up to 10 metres away. The 12-hour battery life will ensure your music lasts as long as you need it to, and the booming dual speakers make sure it gets as loud as you want it.
On top of all of that, the built-in microphone allows you to easily make hands-free calls which makes this the ideal portable outdoor speaker with plenty of battery life and audio horsepower.
With a combined 20-watt output, the dual ten-watt drivers in the Anker A3143 produces crisp and clear audio with an impressive volume level that’s unrivaled within its price range. The featured MaxxBass technology and two passive subwoofers deliver deep, pounding bass to accompany the soaring highs, while the estimated eight-hour playtime will keep the sounds coming as long as you need them.
Using Bluetooth 4.0 technology, you can use your smartphone or tablet from up to 33 feet away, and the Anker A3143 automatically reconnects to the last device used in order to make things as easy as possible. See our full Anker A3143 review here.
The Jabra Solemate Max features powerful Dolby sound in a rugged and sleek design that’ll look great indoors and can handle any outdoor environment. You’ll be shocked at the loud, clear sound this small speaker can achieve as it packs two tweeters, two woofers, and a custom-designed bass slave into an extremely portable device.
The rechargeable battery can easily last for 14 hours, and it can charge your phone at the same time. Lastly, the included speakerphone capability is the perfect tool to amp up your conversations, allowing you to be wireless and hands-free from up to 10 metres away.
The 10 portable speakers listed above are just a few of the best wireless speakers in the UK we’ve come across in 2016. If you didn’t find a speaker to suit your needs form the list above, try our Bluetooth speaker reviews section for a wider selection.
Bluetooth technology is present in almost every mobile device and because every device is different, it means that ever person will have their own opinion on which maker has the best portable speakers.
The main concept behind a wireless Bluetooth speaker is portability; we all want to enjoy the best quality music without the clumsy wires and cords to trip over, although this is the main feature of a Bluetooth speaker – there are some other factors to consider when buying a wireless speaker. These include:
The difference between a good Bluetooth speaker and the best Bluetooth speaker has a lot to do with the built in features they offer, some portable speakers will offer no additional features while some other top rated Bluetooth speakers are packed with additional features to enhance your listening pleasure.
Battery life, the ability to charge your mobile simultaneously (built-in power bank feature), alarm clock and a built in docking bay are just a few common examples of a functional yet user friendly Bluetooth speaker.
Performance or sound quality should be at the top of your list when choosing a portable Bluetooth speaker, just because a speaker looks good doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best Bluetooth speaker for you.
Bear in mind that top performing Bluetooth speakers will have a wide frequency response; this ensures that you get the best sounds for both high and low level tones. Never sacrifice looks for performance.
There’s one more factor to consider before choosing a Bluetooth speaker, it might be a bit more expensive but you should always buy from a reputable brand.
Big names such as Bose, Sony and Logitech are well known for making some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market but they’re also well known for providing excellent after sale support so in the event you’re not satisfied with their product you’ll be covered by their guarantee.
All the top rated wireless speakers have one thing in common, they pack really good features and useful bits to help improve your listening experience. This itself is a really good thing, but if you’re not familiar with all the jargon and technical terms related to Bluetooth speakers it’s very likely that you’ll struggle to pick the best one for your needs.
For this section we’ll go over some of the most common Bluetooth speaker jargon you’re likely to come across and we’ll go into them a bit so you can have a fair understanding of what each means.
HFP – Hands-Free Profile – This allows you to make/take and hang up calls using the speaker instead of your mobile phone.
AVRCP – Audio/Video Remote Control Profile – This feature allows you to use the speaker itself to rewind/fast forward, raise/lower volume without touching your mobile phone. A really useful feature especially if you’re buying a Bluetooth shower speaker.
aptX – This feature allows you to stream audio in the highest possible quality, in simple terms it allows you to stream wirelessly at wired quality.
AUX – An AUX socket allows you to playback audio from a device that doesn’t have Bluetooth to your speaker using a wired connection. You’ll need a 3.5mm cable to connect them together.
IP rating – Ingress Protection – These are two number used to indicate the level of protection a speaker has against solids and liquids. Example – A speaker with an IP67 rating is saying that it’s rated 6 out of 6 for solid protection – so pretty much dust tight and the second number – 7 means it’s safe for it to be submersed up to 1m for a maximum of 30 minutes.
Subwoofer – A Bluetooth speaker with subwoofer will give you a better experience if you’re into bass heavy music. This is loudspeaker component designed to reproduce very low bass frequencies.
NFC – Near Field Communication – This feature simplifies the pairing process between your speaker and mobile phone. Just tap your phone against the speaker’s NFC point and it will connect automatically. Really good for those who aren’t tech savvy.