Update: We've recently added the excellent UE Boom to our list. This option is great if you're in the market for a vibrant Bluetooth speaker that is jam-packed with functionality.
The bazooka-sized boomboxes of yesteryear are no more, and haven't been for a while now. They have made way for portable, wireless speakers that are more capable, and sometimes, are as small as a soda can.
But the path to glory for the Bluetooth speaker hasn't always been strong. In fact, it's been downright shaky at times, as innovation in design flew past the actual execution of reliably streaming music wirelessly in its early years.
Most of the bugs have been shook loose, and the Bluetooth speakers arriving on store shelves today are better and more affordable than ever. What with long-lasting battery life, stunning audio reproduction and other useful features, these speakers can turn any trip away from home into a tune-filled party.
We've done the digging to present to you our picks for best Bluetooth speakers.
Harman Infinity One
For a heavy-hitting option, look no further than the Harman Infinity One. After all, Linkin Park helped develop it, so you know it has got to be good. (*wink)
In all seriousness though, this Bluetooth speaker can fill the room with rich sound from top to bottom. A slouch, the Harman Infinity One is not. You'll find all of the important features here, like speakerphone and NFC capabilities, as well as a solid battery life.
At $300, it's quite a steep investment for most just looking to pipe sound wire-free. But if you're looking for a stellar-looking option that boasts enough good qualities to justify its price, your search ends here.
Get this if your entertainment center is longing for a bold-looking and powerful companion.
- Read our Harman Infinity One review
One look at this speaker might make you think that it costs a small fortune. Coming in aggressively at $149, the Fluance Fi30 loves defying expectations and the act doesn't stop at its shockingly low price. It also sounds great. With room-filling audio, we've got a value-packed speaker that can bring down the house.
Unlike the others on this list, the Fi30 isn't portable at all. Not just for its size, but also because it requires being plugged into an electrical socket for power. Minor negatives aside, this makes for the perfect porch companion or boombox-sized speaker for your pad.
- Read our Fluance Fi30 review
TDK TREK Flex
Looking at the TREK Flex, it's clear that the design is one of this speaker's strongest suits. What's more, it yields some nifty functionality too. Whether you stand this speaker vertically or lay it on its sides, you'll be pleased with the performance here.
The TREK Flex can stand up to the elements with dust and water resistance. It may not look like it, but this speaker can take a beating, which makes it perfect for camping trips.
At $129, TDK made a speaker that follow you through your adventures, rain or shine.
- Read our TDK TREK Flex review
Ultimate Ears Boom
There aren't that many Bluetooth speakers out there with as much "pop" as the UE Boom. Actually, I can't think of one. This speaker's "superhero" color scheme bleeds style, but that's not it.
For $199, the UE Boom packs in a ton of functionality – much more that your standard Bluetooth speaker – thanks to the companion app for Android and iOS. With it, you can customize your own equalizer and even join it up with another Boom or with it's little bro, the UE Mini Boom, for a surround sound effect.
- Read our Ultimate Ears Boom review
Harman/Kardon Esquire Mini
While this chic Bluetooth speaker is marketed to the on the go business professional, always catching flights to go catch more flights, the Harmon Kardon Esquire Mini is an easy recommendation.
It's hard not to be partial to such a good-looking speaker, but thankfully, its performance ranks just as high in our book. Albeit a tad expensive for its size ($150, £129.99), it makes up for the financial burden with great battery life and fantastic style.
If size is of utmost importance, you'll be pleased with the Esquire Mini, as it's about the thickness of two smartphones. Of course, you wouldn't guess that the voluminous sound would be coming out of such a small device.
Get this if want a pocket-friendly Bluetooth speaker that's fashion-savvy.
- Read our Harman Kardon Esquire Mini review
Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20
Just like people do, some Bluetooth speakers try to do everything. And just like people, some Bluetooth speakers can do this gracefully and some cannot. The Creative Sound Blaster Roar SR20 succeeds at being a multi-functional speaker that rings it at the pleasing tune of $129 (about £104, AU$155).
Compared to other speakers on this list so far, its design stands out, for starters. It's about the size of a hard-cover book and can compliment a bookshelf, if you please, or just a table top.
This speaker houses a bunch of cool features, even some you may not use. The 'aux in' port allows it to amplify beyond what your computer is capable of. Its internal microphone can even record audio to a microSD card.
Get this if a cool, novel-sized Bluetooth speaker packed with premium sound and fun features (recording audio, "Roar' volume boost) appeals to you.
Bose SoundLink Color
Sound performance isn't something that's new to Bose. When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, they've nailed down a full-bodied sound in a small form-factor. There's something that's been missing though: Color.
With the Bose SoundLink Color, you have 5 options available to match your taste, each of which can power your listening experience for 8 continuous hours. At $129, Bose performance comes cheap with this portable Bluetooth speaker.
- Read our Bose SoundLink Color review
The grille is usually an afterthought in a Bluetooth speaker, just a fancy cover to protect the speakers inside. But with the Denon Envaya, the grille reveals a whimsical splash of color underneath.
At $199, it's a bit expensive for its desk-friendly size, but it makes up for it booming sound, NFC pairing and 10 hours of battery life. It can also be oriented to lay on its back or propped up on the stand to find that perfect listening angle.
UE Mini Boom
Big Bluetooth speakers are known for their loud, full sound performance. You'd think that small Bluetooth speaker are doomed to lackluster, tinny sound performance. In the case of the Ultimate Ears Mini Boom, that's simply not the case.
For $99, UE packs an impressive amount of "oomph" into the Mini Boom. Just as we were, you'll likely be surprised and impressed. Packed into a fun, durable form-factor, the UE Mini Boom is a fantastic value for music lovers.
- Read our UE Mini Boom review
Riffing off of the trend set by the UE Mini Boom, the Koss BTSi looks to take the idea of a value-packed, miniature Bluetooth speaker to a new level.
For $59, Koss makes a convincing argument with the BTSi. While it isn't the bass-heavy juggernaut that the Mini Boom is, it's capable of a sound that is more rich.
We'll update this page as we review more speakers, so stay tuned. Let us know if you have suggestions for us to check out in the comments below.