The best Bluetooth speakers 2024: top portable speakers for any budget

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best Bluetooth speakers have become a staple household (and travel) item thanks to their compact size and convenience for listening anywhere – whether you're in the shower, mowing the lawn, chilling in your hotel room, having a house party or cleaning the kitchen. 

We've been testing the best portable speakers for years, in all shapes and sizes – and crucially, for all budgets. Audiophile sound quality and a thumping low end is always going to be a big ask if you're looking at something the size of a coffee cup, but you can get a portable speaker that delivers balanced and clear audio outdoors. These are our priorities when testing Bluetooth speakers and obviously we balance that with battery life and price – aka value for money. 

You don't need to be an engineer to know that the smaller and cheaper a speaker is, the more compact and congested the sound can become. That said, there are some very decent affordable options these days, which we've ranked among the best of the best. 

We also have a guide to the best party speakers if you want huge sound and don't need it to be especially light or portable. Similarly, if you want a more permanent speaker for your home, check out our guide to the best wireless speakers. On the other hand, if your biggest priority is a rugged speaker design in case of being knocked and dropped, our separate guide showcasing the best waterproof speakers will show you the options that can take a proper dunking.

Written by
Becky Scarrott
Written by
Becky Scarrott

Becky is a senior TechRadar writer (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team in early 2022, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. 

The quick list

Want to cut to the chase and find out which Bluetooth speakers are the absolute best in the business? Below, you’ll find a roundup of our choices for different needs. You can also jump to a more detailed review of each product, and the best deals on them online.

The best Bluetooth speaker overall

Sonos Roam held in hand outdoors

(Image credit: Peter Hoffmann)
The best Bluetooth speaker for most people

Specifications

Weight: 0.95 pounds (0.43 kg)
Battery life: 10 hours
Wireless range: 40m - 240m
Frequency response: Up to 5kHz
Connectivity: Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5
Drivers: One tweeter, one mid-woofer
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: No
USB charging: Yes (USB-C)

Reasons to buy

+
Big, booming, room-filling sound 
+
Rugged design for max portability  

Reasons to avoid

-
Average battery life
-
Bass can be overwhelming indoors
BUY IT IF

You own more Sonos speakers: Given that you can pair multiple Sonos speakers together, the Roam – alongside the Move 2 at #9 in this list – is perfect for a home audio system.  

You like your tech to look as good as it sounds: Sonos' minimalist design aesthetic makes it standout in the crowded Bluetooth speaker space. 

DON'T BUY IT IF

You're an audiophile: The Roam's sound quality isn't flawless due to the bass being a little unruly. Instead, look to B&O at #4 in this list for the best in portable audio.    

You're often far from a plug: With only 10 hours of battery, the Roam offers a lot less than most like the JBL Charge 5 at #7 in the list, which doubles it at 20 hours. 

What you need to know: Since its release in 2021, the Sonos Roam has remained our favorite Bluetooth speaker, winning the TechRadar Choice Awards two years in a row (2021 and 2022). While there are plenty of portable speaker options around, the Roam remains our top pick for its big, room-filling sound, compact design and long list of connectivity features, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which means it can work as both a portable speaker and as part of your wider multi-room Sonos system. It also has Google Assistant and Alexa onboard (when you're on Wi-Fi) to make it double as a smart speaker too. 

Audio performance: The first thing we noticed about the Roam's audio performance is that it's bass-heavy, which makes it ideal for outdoor use. During our testing, we found that the bass was powerful enough to cut through wind noise but it was a bit overbearing while inside. Despite its small stature, the Roam delivers a powerful sonic performance – even if it does lack the rhythmic accuracy you'd expect from an audiophile speaker.

Design: Its slick design means the Sonos Roam won’t look out of place in your home. But it also has a rugged, waterproof and dust proof build that makes it ideal for listening to music outdoors. The battery life isn't huge, though. It's enough for a day out, but if that's a priority then check out either JBL Charge at #7 in the list or the B&O Beosound A1 Gen 2 at #4 in this list instead.

Value: Compared to similar priced Bluetooth speakers we've tested, you’re getting a lot of features for your money here. Sonos has also now added the Sonos Roam SL to its lineup, which is a slightly cheaper version of the Roam that lacks a microphone – but it's otherwise identical in terms of specs. If you’re concerned about privacy and want to save around $20 / £20 / AU$30, then the Roam SL could be exactly what you want.  

Read our full Sonos Roam review

The best budget Bluetooth speaker

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 held in a hand over a yellow table

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best cheap Bluetooth speaker

Specifications

Weight: 0.69 pounds (0.315 kg)
Battery life: 12 hours
Wireless range: 36m
Frequency response: 70Hz-20kHz
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3
Drivers: One
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: No
USB charging: Yes (USB-C)

Reasons to buy

+
Surprisingly big sound 
+
Doubles as a phone charger
+
Unbeatable value 

Reasons to avoid

-
No 3.5mm jack
-
Audio quality is easily beat
BUY IT IF

You love to listen to music while on the move: As the smallest and lightest speaker on this list, the Stormbox Micro 2 is by far our most portable pick.

You don't want the music to stop: At 12 hours, this doesn't have the longest battery life but it is above average. If you need 30 hours, look to the Blast at #5 on this list

DON'T BUY IT IF

You want the best sound quality: It's a small speaker, which is why it goes for such a low price, don't expect big volume and class-leading detail.

You value a good control app: While Tribit does have an app for some of its other products, this isn't one of them so you won't be able to access settings through your phone. 

What you need to know: Considering its extremely small size, the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 is the best-sounding and most fully-featured mini Bluetooth speaker we've had the pleasure of testing. It's not the most powerful or the loudest out there, but at this size and price you can't currently buy better. 

Audio performance: We particularly enjoyed the bass response here, which is where small speakers usually fall down. Tribit is keeping quiet about the exact specifications of the driver in this model but whatever it is, it delivers impressive bass for such a small footprint. And battery life is superb, up from the 8 hours of the original Micro to a travelling or beach day-friendly 12 hours.

Design: The Micro 2 is a brilliantly pocketable portable speaker that delivers a surprisingly loud audio performance, which makes it an excellent option for listening to podcasts or just watching TV shows on a mobile device. It's also a great option if you're looking for a stereo pair of speakers for a small room: you can pick up two of these for what you'd pay for one of its better known rivals.

Value: If you're looking for a speaker to toss in a bag or clip to a bike, you'll find it hard to get a better speaker for such a low price. It's superb, and its flaws are very minor – only that there's no wired connection, really.

Read our full Stormbox Micro 2 review

The best mid-range Bluetooth speaker

JBL Flip 6 held in someone's hand by a pool

(Image credit: Carlos Pedrós)
The best Bluetooth speaker at a mid-range price with no frills

Specifications

Weight: 1.2 pounds (0.54kg)
Battery life: 12 hours
Wireless range: Not listed
Frequency response: 63Hz - 20kHz
Connectivity : Bluetooth 5.1
Drivers: 16mm dome tweeter, 45x80mm bass driver and 2x passive radiators
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
USB charging: No

Reasons to buy

+
Brilliantly balanced bass  
+
Extremely easy to use

Reasons to avoid

-
Pairing restricted to Flip 6 speakers
-
No Alexa or Siri support
BUY IT IF

You're a technophobe: JBL has made the Flip 6 extremely easy to use. Just connect the speaker to your phone or laptop and that's it!

You love the great outdoors: The Flip 6 has one of the most hardiest shells, boasting an IP67 rating, which makes it both water and dust resistant.  

DON'T BUY IT IF

You want the best possible sound quality: Without Wi-Fi like the Sonos Roam at #1 in this list, the Flip 6 is restricted to Bluetooth's limited bandwidth.

You tend to run out of charge often: If this is feature you value, then we suggest looking at the JBL Charge 5 at #7 in the list as it can also charge your phone.  

What you need to know: There's not a lot that a portable speaker needs to do outside of delivering good quality audio while on the go – and if that's all you need, then look no further then JBL. The Flip 6 is a no frills Bluetooth speaker that is easy to use and sounds great. It was released in 2021 so we're expecting a new model to be announced soon but until then, it remains our top pick at this mid-range price point. Being a JBL speaker, it also offers access to features like being able pair up to 100 speakers from the brand at once to create an even larger sound system, but there is no reverse charging with this model – instead check out at #7 in the list if that's something you need.  

Audio performance: Given that the Flip 6 doesn't have a lot of features, its main focus is on delivering clear and accurate audio – yes, it does one thing but it does it very well. While we were reviewing the Bluetooth speaker, we  described its sound as warm and well-balanced, which was surprising for a speaker of this size. Its small stature does mean that the treble can sound a little harsh at times when played at loud volumes but there's still a lot of clarity and detail on offer.   

Design: Unlike a lot of other portable speakers on the market, the Flip 6 doesn't have an obscure shape to it. Rather, it comes in a classic cylinder style that fits in the side pocket of any backpack. There's also a wide range of colors to choose from so there's plenty of options to make sure it matches your gear. It is also extremely rugged, and can withstand a splash of water so you don't have to worry too much about it breaking or running out of battery with its 12 hours battery life. 

Value: The Flip 6 is an ideal speaker for anyone who wants to simply play their music, crank it up loud, sit back and enjoy for a reasonable price – no matter whether you're listening at home or on the go. It's also priced slightly lower than the  JBL Charge 5 due to it not having the extra phone charging feature, which places it firmly in the mid-range part of the market.       

Read our full JBL Flip 6 review

The best Bluetooth speaker speaker for sound

the beosound a1 2nd gen portable speaker on a beach

(Image credit: Bang & Olufsen)
The best small Bluetooth speaker for audiophiles

Specifications

Weight: 1.2 pounds (0.54kg)
Battery life: 24 hours
Wireless range: 30m (100ft)
Frequency response: 55 - 20,000 Hz
Connectivity : Bluetooth
Drivers: N/A
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
USB charging: USB-C

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptional, audiophile level sound
+
Solid but lightweight design

Reasons to avoid

-
Alexa but no Wi-Fi
-
Buttons not raised 
BUY IT IF

You appreciate a well designed speaker: Bang & Olufsen is renowned for its Scandi style and the Beosound A1 embodies that minimalist charm effortlessly.

You're an audiophile: This speaker values premium sound quality above all else and really does pull it off. It is by far the best sounding we've come across with Bluetooth.   

DON'T BUY IT IF

You want a speaker with big, powerful sound: This is better suited to a more intimate environment. For something bigger, look at UE's Hyperboom at #8 in this list.

You're known to be clumsy: Yes, it's waterproof and dust proof but it isn't as tough as say the JBL speakers in this list like the Flip 6 at #3 and Charge 5 at #7.  

What you need to know: Bang & Olufsen didn't make too many changes to the second generation of the Beosound. The A1 is quite similar in looks to its predecessor but there are some helpful improvements at the feature level. One of those features is Alexa support, although being a Bluetooth speaker without any Wi-Fi support, this does require you to connect to your phone so can be a bit slow sometimes.  

Audio performance: Despite being a small speaker, the Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) delivers an exceptionally clear and crisp sonic performance. It manages the difficult task of balancing treble with the mids and bass to produce a smooth sound. During our review, we found the sound quality to be so accurate that it was as if we were listening to our favorite songs for the very first time. The way it manages to control the bass, while still delivering a punchy and exciting sound is outstanding for a Bluetooth speaker. 

Design: Thanks to its circular shape, it can also achieve a full 360-degree soundstage that is surprisingly immersive for such a small device. It's also simply stunning to look at. It has been designed with a slick, minimalist look that makes it feels very classy thanks small details like a thin leather strap. However, although it has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, it is not the most rugged of Bluetooth speakers we've tested and didn't feel it would be best suited for say a muddy hike. 

Value: Bang & Olufsen is known for being a premium audio brand and so the Beosound A1 is a top shelf Bluetooth speaker. Despite this, it is half the price of our top premium pick, the Sonos Move 2 at #9 in this list. As a result, we think the Beosound A1 is best suited to hardcore music lovers who appreciate a beautifully designed speaker. 

Read our full Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) review

The best Bluetooth speaker for parties

Tribit Stormbox Blast on a blue table outside

(Image credit: TechRadar)
The best Bluetooth speaker for room-filling sound

Specifications

Weight: 12 pounds (5.45kg)
Battery life: 30 hours
Wireless range: 40m
Frequency response: Not specified
Connectivity : Bluetooth
Drivers: 2x 4.2-in 30W woofers, 2x 1.2-in 15W tweeters
NFC: No
Aux-in: Yes
USB charging: USB-C, plus USB-A for charging your device