Skip to main content

The best Bluetooth speakers 2021: the top portable speakers for any budget

Soundcore Anker Flare
(Image credit: Future)
PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best Bluetooth speakers of 2021 are must-have devices for any music lover, thanks to their portable, durable designs and fantastic audio performances. It’s not hard to see why they’ve become the go-to sound solution for music fans looking to take their tunes wherever they go. 

These portable Bluetooth speakers are suitable for all kinds of situations be it your backyard, top terrace party, relaxing at home, or heading down to a party at the beach. The following top 10 Bluetooth speakers will be your best companion for all the aforementioned situations.  

The current list of portable speakers in India consists of three smart speakers which are in different price bands, the rest seven are Bluetooth-enabled portable speakers. We have included speakers from several brands which are popular in the audio segment. 

We have two speakers from Sony, one from Marshall, JBL, UE, BoAt, Soundcore and one smart speaker each from Xiaomi, Amazon, and Google. The current list is sorted based on the price tag in descending order. 

If you are on the lookout for a good Bluetooth speaker, here's our shortlist of some good options. Some are rugged, some are stylish, some are weatherproof and some aren't fit for the outdoors - read through and take your pick.

Marshall Kilburn II

(Image credit: Amazon)

Marshall Kilburn II

Small and mighty

Specifications
Weight: 2.49Kgs
Output: 36W
Battery life: 20 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.0
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Clear top notes+Rugged and portable+Cool retro aesthetic
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly muddy bass-Can feel heavy

For those who plan on taking a portable speaker to an outdoor party, Marshall Kilburn II will be a perfect companion. It is an update to its bestselling predecessor. You get a stunning retro amp-inspired design and a well-rounded sound. While the bass can be a little muddy at times, it’s excellent for playing guitar music, and its portability means the Kilburn II is great for taking on the road. However, you can feel the weight as it is heavy at 2.49Kgs. 

The Kilburn II delivers improved sound quality compared to its predecessor. The loudness of the portable speaker is best suited for festivals and parties as it comes with multi-directional sound and backfiring tweeters. The bass and treble controls allow you to tailor the sound to your preferences. 

If you’re looking to buy this speaker, chances are you're into rock music, which is where the Kilburn II excels. But, if you’re a bass-head or into your hip-hop you may find a slightly muddy sound. Marshall Kilburn II definitely stands out from the crowd with its retro look and portable feel, and of course, it all comes at a hefty price tag. If you have the budget and you are an outdoor party person, getting this won’t be a bad idea. 

Read our Marshall Kilburn II review

Image 1 of 3

JBL Charge 4

(Image credit: Future)
Image 2 of 3

JBL Charge 4

(Image credit: Future)
Image 3 of 3

JBL Charge 4

(Image credit: Future)

JBL Charge 4

An excellent speaker

Specifications
Weight: 544g
Output: 30W
Battery life: 20 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IPX7
Reasons to buy
+Balanced, powerful sound+Can charge your phone+Long battery life+Type-C port
Reasons to avoid
-Some distortion at high volumes-Long charge time

 JBL is one of the most popular audio brands, especially in the wireless Bluetooth segment. While it is not a big upgrade from the last generation Charge 3, the JBL Charge 4 still remains one of the best budget wireless speakers out there. If you are a fan of bass, you will be impressed by the base offering here. The speaker is available in a wide range of colours. 

The JBL Charge 4 is slightly bulky at 965 grams, but if that doesn’t bother you, it should be at the top of your shopping list. The JBL Charge 4 is a directional speaker, so the sound comes from the side with the JBL emblem. The biggest improvement of the Charge 4 over the Charge 3 is the performance with its balanced output. 

For a medium-sized room, playing music at 50% volume is more than enough to fill the space with sound. At max volume, the speaker is extremely loud for indoor use but the extra volume is appreciated in noisy environments like at the beach. It is also IP7X rated so feel free to dunk it or get it dusty.

Read our JBL Charge 4 review

Buy JBL Charge 4 on Amazon | Flipkart

Rs 11,999View Deal

UE Boom 3 (Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

UE Boom 3

Specifications
Weight: 816g
Battery life: 15 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IP67
Reasons to buy
+IP67 waterproof/dust-proof+Powerful sound+Rugged design+Light and portable
Reasons to avoid
-Audio lacks sharpness-Relatively expensive-Battery life isn’t improved

Want something that fulfils all your needs – be it a house party or you simply like your music loud? The UE Boom 3 might be just what you need. It offers thumping and loud audio without distortion at high volumes; is light enough to carry on a camping trip but remains durable enough to tumble in a bag unprotected. 

There are certainly more detailed speakers out there, but at a price that's relatively affordable to all, the UE Boom 3 hits all the right notes for the third year in a row.

Read our Ultimate Ears Boom 3 review

Buy UE Boom 3 on Amazon

Rs 10,999 

[Rs 500 coupon available for limited time]View Deal

Google Nest Audio

(Image credit: TechRadar / Truls Steinung)

Google Nest Audio

Specifications
Weight: 1.2Kgs
Battery life: Always connected
Aux-in: No
Water resistance: No
Reasons to buy
+Subtle and unassuming design+Picks up voice commands very well+Better sound than its predecessor
Reasons to avoid
-Missing detail in the mids and trebles-Can sound harsh at higher volumes

The first smart speaker on the list is from Google. The Google Nest Audio is a big jump from the usual Google Home smart speakers. In fact, this is the only Google smart speaker that actually looks like a speaker in real life. While Google promised better sound quality over the Home speakers, the Nest Audio doesn’t deliver the jump in performance we were hoping for. 

But, it does work very well as a smart speaker, thanks to the good microphones and clear voice output, and it’s certainly good enough for listening to background music. The Nest audio speaker is 75% louder and has 50% more bass than the Google Home. The overall performance is good as the Nest Audio sounds pretty good. The bass is definitely present, providing a solid foundation without being overwhelming.

However, it’s not the best when you compare it with the likes of JBL Charge 4 that deliver significantly better sound quality. As a smart speaker, the Nest Audio works very well. The voice assistant comes out loud and clear and can be easily heard even when you’re not close to the speaker. The three microphones also did a good job of picking up our voice, amid both loud music and other noise in the room.

It is also worth mentioning that this speaker is not made for outdoor usage as it needs to be plugged into a power outlet all the time. The Nest Audio is best suited for indoor usage. The Nest Audio is good enough for the kitchen or a bedroom, but it doesn't deliver enough volume to fill a bigger space.

Read our Google Nest Audio review

Amazon Echo(2020)

(Image credit: Future)

Amazon Echo(2020)

Specifications
Weight: 970g
Battery life: Always connected
Connectivity: Bluetooth BLE, Wired
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: No
Reasons to buy
+Futuristic look+Improved, adaptive sound+Alexa responds faster+Zigbee hub integration
Reasons to avoid
-Max volume isn’t loud enough-Not as clear as the Echo Studio-No Chromecast or Home Kit support

The fourth-generation Amazon Echo smart speaker has got a design makeover. It comes in a spherical design that sets them apart from most smart speakers. It is available in three colour options - Black, Blue, and White. From a distance, the Amazon Echo looks like a mini football. To make things fancier, Amazon has wrapped the new Echo in a fabric grille and light ring around the base. The smart speaker is fitted with four microphones.

As with other Amazon smart devices, Alexa will be your voice assistant. For audio, Echo will now deliver premium audio powered by Dolby. There is also a button to turn off the microphone, a nifty privacy touch. While it might not be the best sounding speaker, the additions like a built-in Zigbee smart home hub and a new AZ1 neural edge processor, the Echo provides 2x faster voice processing. 

In terms of tonal quality, you’re getting a fair amount of bass and midrange, but not a ton of sub-bass so that it rattles the walls or too much treble that the sound quality is fatiguing. 

Read our Amazon Echo (2020) review

Sony SRS-XB23

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony SRS-XB23

Specifications
Weight: 570g
Battery life: 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IP67
Reasons to buy
+Good sound quality+Competitive price+Stereo pairing and Party Mode
Reasons to avoid
-Lower peak volume-Unclear battery level alerts

Sony is one of the best rated and popular brands when it comes to Bluetooth speaker selection. The Sony SRS-XB23 is a mid-range Bluetooth speaker that comes with a new design that moves the passive radiators to the top and bottom of the speaker with promising results. 

While the Sony SRS-XB23 doesn’t have the best sound quality in its class, it seems like an affordable outdoor speaker that most people will love. Another point worth calling attention to is the speaker’s IP67 rating that makes the new XB23 completely dust and water-resistant. In terms of battery life, Sony promises about 12 hours of playback on a full charge but that’s the average when listening to music at 50% volume. 

Read our Sony SRS-XB23 Speaker review

boAt Stone 1400

(Image credit: Amazon)

BoAt Stone 1400

Specifications
Weight: 1.8Kgs
Battery life: 7 hours
Output: 30W
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IP67

BoAt is one of the fastest-growing audio brands from India and the BoAt Stone 1400 is the company’s affordable Bluetooth speaker with power-packed features and specs. The BoAt Stone 1400 offers 30W sound output with up to 7 hours of battery life. You also get easy control buttons on top of the speaker. 

As for the sound setup, you get two tweeters and two woofers. It is also IPX5 rated to protect against water and you also get a handle to carry the speaker around. It comes with a rugged design and Bluetooth 4.2 wireless connectivity. The speaker is outdoor friendly and weighs 1.8 Kgs. 

(Image credit: Future)

Soundcore Anker Flare

Specifications
Weight: ‎531g
Battery life: 12 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IPX7
Reasons to buy
+Impressive sound for the size+Waterproof+Excellent mobile app
Reasons to avoid
-Bass boost and EQ are very mild-Average battery life-Harsh at max volume

One of the best looking speakers on the list, the Anker Soundcore Flare brings the best features of its competitors into an affordable package that’s tough to beat. For the price, the Flare offers good sound, a tough waterproof build and an excellent user experience. 

The LED light on the bottom brings a bit of attention, sure, but it's certainly fun and can be disabled entirely. The sound quality of the Anker Soundcore Flare is overall balanced but highs can sound a bit harsh at times when the EQ is set to flat. Enabling the Bass Up feature helps bass response a tiny bit but the effect is very subtle. The Soundcore Flare is an amazing value in the sub Rs 5,000  wireless speaker segment. 

Read our Anker Soundcore Flare review

(Image credit: Future)

Sony SRS-XB13

Specifications
Weight: 253g
Battery life: 16 hours
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IP67
Reasons to buy
+Relatively affordable+Diffused sound+Balanced sound quality+16-hour battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Low max volume-Four-hour charge time-Awful microphone

One of Sony’s most affordable and most recent launches in India, the Sony SRS-X13 is for people on a tight budget and want to buy a portable speaker from Sony. The sound quality isn’t the best in the segment and the poor call quality, low max volume and long charging time are discouraging. 

That doesn’t mean the Sony SRS-XB13 is really a bad product. On the brighter side, you get a pretty portable design, and in terms of sound quality, the SRS-XB13 is far better balanced than it was in years past. It also shines in the battery life department offering up to 16 hours per charge. 

Read our Sony SRS-XB13 Speaker review

(Image credit: Mi)

Mi Smart Speaker

Specifications
Weight: 853g
Output: 12W
Battery life: Always connected
Connectivity: Bluetooth 4.2
Aux-in: Yes
Water resistance: Yes, IP67

Xiaomi launched the Mi Smart Speaker to take on Amazon Echo and Google Nest smart speakers. The Mi Smart Speaker comes with Google Assistant and Chromecast audio built-in. You can manage and control the device using the Google Home application on your smartphone. The speaker also comes with touch-sensitive buttons as well.

The Mi Smart Speaker comes with two mics with far-field voice wake up support which means you will be able to trigger the Google Assistant. It is paired with a 2.5-inch 63.5mm driver with 12W sound output with DTS sound support. Inside, it comes with a TAS5805M audio processor. You also get a ring strip on top with a music lighting effect. Other features include dual-band Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.2.

Buy Mi Smart Speaker on Flipkart

Rs 3,999 [Including a colour smart bulb]View Deal


Best Bluetooth speakers in India:

  1. Marshall Kilburn II 
  2. JBL Charge 4
  3. UE Boom 3
  4. Google Nest Audio
  5. Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
  6. Sony SRS-XB23
  7. BoAt Stone 1400
  8. Soundcore Anker Flare
  9. Sony SRS-XB13 
  10. Mi Smart Speaker

Want to know about the latest happenings in tech? Follow TechRadar India on TwitterFacebook and Instagram!