The best portable Bluetooth speakers for any budget

Want to take your music everywhere? You’re going to need to invest in a portable Bluetooth speaker. But while that used to mean taking a hit on sound quality, the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy now don’t like to compromise.

Pick wisely and you can get great sounding speakers with good battery life and stacks of extra features, including things like waterproofing. We’ve picked our favourites, at various prices, to help steer you in the right direction. You may also like our guides to the best headphones and best wireless headphones.

WIRED Recommends is your definitive guide to the best technology. Read our best gadgets guide for our no.1 picks in every category we've tested.

WIRED Recommends: AudioPro Addon T3

Pros: Excellent sound, USB port for charging devices, solid build quality
Cons: Size isn’t for all situations

AudioPro might not be a brand you’ve heard a lot of, but the Scandinavian company has a 40-year heritage in hi-fi products that’s resulted in a stellar line-up of powered wireless speakers.

The Addon T3 is the only portable option in the range, and is perhaps a little on the chunky side for throwing in your case to go on holiday. It is, however, a great size for moving around the house, taking into the garden or chucking into your car for a beach trip or picnic. Its battery life is great, too, offering up to 30 hours at moderate volume.

Its extra size helps with its sonic ability as well, sounding solid in the low end, expressive through the midrange and clear and open in the treble. It’s a very natural performance – one that is balanced and dynamic, but also hugely engaging. It's one of the best sounding Bluetooth speakers around, especially at this price.

It’s just at home with slower, brooding music as it is an upbeat dance track, too, so whatever you throw at it will sound superb.

Price: £180 | Check price on |

Outstanding sound for the price and it even charges your phone
Price: £180 | Check price on |
Great all-rounder and it has Alexa built in
Price: £219 | Check price on |
Fantastic speaker for the shower, the beach and poolside
Price: £90 | Check price on |
You won't find better sound for under £100
Price: £90 | Check price on |
Looks and sounds the business
Price: £289 | Check price on |
Loads of bass for a wallet-friendly price
Price: £120 | Check price on |
Incredibly loud and refined. The Rolls-Royce of Bluetooth speakers
Price: £449 | Check price on |
Enjoy great sound no matter where you're standing
Price: £260 | Check price on |
This pair of speakers give you proper stereo separation
Price: £300 | Check price on Richer Sounds |
Best portable smart speaker: UE Megablast

If your portable Bluetooth speaker is missing a touch of smarts, the UE Megablast comes with all the things we’ve come to love from the Ultimate Ears Bluetooth speaker line, but now with added Alexa.

The cylindrical design comes in a range of bold colours, and isn’t just striking but hardy too, being fully water resistant to IP67. It’ll also offer a respectable 16 hours of playback from a full charge.

Alongside its Alexa capabilities (which you’ll need to be connected to wi-fi to use, of course), this Bluetooth speaker also offers outstanding sound. It’s a confident, bold and enthusiastic performance, but one that doesn’t do that at the expense of precision.

In fact, it’s perhaps surprisingly precise for a speaker of its kind, and shows a real handle on rhythm and dynamics without sounding uptight or restrained. Don’t worry if you want to push the volume either, there’s plenty to spare here.

Its smaller UE Blast sibling is equally talented at its price, but the UE Megablast is arguably more capable for its £70 premium and certainly packs more of a punch.

Price: £219 | Check price on |

Best waterproof speaker: UE Wonderboom

Pros: Rich and authoritative sound, ultra-portable design, weatherproof
Cons: A touch bass-heavy for more neutral ears

The UE Wonderboom is a small speaker with a big personality. For a start, its styling is as bold as they come, with oversized statement volume controls and a plethora of bright colour options. But more importantly, its sound packs the punch of a speaker twice its size.

Small and light enough to throw in any bag, yet capable of a large 360-degree sound, it will throw your music to the whole room, instead of concentrating on a traditional stereo "sweet spot".

That helps it to sound much bigger than its diminutive dimensions would suggest, with volume to spare and more rich bass than you’d think it could muster.

Add in waterproofing as well as a drop-proof design, and this affordable speaker is quite the all-weather party animal.

Price: £90 | Check price on |

How far you can take your device away from your speakers without the sound dropping out will vary from model to model, but most decent speakers have a range of at least 30 feet, and the best can extend as far as 100 feet.
Wireless is the way forward, but you'll need a speaker with a 3.5mm input if you want to plug a jack in and play music the old fashioned way using a device with a headphone jack but no Bluetooth connectivity. This 3.5mm cable will connect your device to your speaker with no problems.
Best budget Bluetooth speaker under £100: Jam Heavy Metal

Pros: Great build quality, big solid sound, well priced
Cons: Some harshness at volume, bass could be a little tauter

We’ve tested enough Bluetooth speakers to know that, at the price of the Jam Heavy Metal, there’s often more tat than talent. Luckily this smart-looking speaker bucks the trend to offer a hugely enjoyable sound on a budget.

It doesn’t even cut corners on design, with a sturdy aluminium body and a 3.5mm aux in for hardwiring devices – not a given at this price.

Most surprising, though, is how good it sounds. It’s a solid, authoritative sound for the money, but also one that doesn’t hold back on detail.

A good clear midrange means it does an impressive job with vocals, and it’s also not shy at picking up the pace with more upbeat tracks. In fact, it does a good job with pretty much every genre we throw at it.

You’ll notice a bit of harshness if you push the volume too much, but it has a good enough reach that you shouldn’t have to. A great – and rare – budget buy.

Price: £90 | Check price on |

The premium option: Dali Katch

Pros: Well-built, superb sound, good battery life
Cons: Pricey for its size

You might have heard of Dali from its more traditional dealings in proper hi-fi speakers, and that experience shines through here in its first Bluetooth offering.

For its size, its price tag might seem a little on the heavy side. But that’s all put to rest with your first listen. It’s a full-bodied, yet subtle listen, fully aware of any intricacies in a recording that other speakers of its type might gloss over.

It’s a bigger sound than its size might suggest it capable of, too, with plenty of space for dynamics to have a field day.

All that, and it looks the part – slim, portable and sturdy, with a handy slide out leather carry handle and a 24-hour battery life to boot.

Price: £289 | Check price on

Best for bass lovers: JBL Flip 4

Pros: Rugged design, fun, upfront sound, can be paired with other speakers
Cons: Bass a touch on the rich side for some tastes

The JBL Flip has always been a go-to in the company’s portable speaker line-up, but now in its fourth iteration it finally ticks all the boxes for a chuck-it-in-your-bag speaker, for music wherever you are.

The big addition here is waterproofing, which allows the Flip 4 to be fully submerged in water without issue. That only helps to strengthen its rugged rubber design, which won’t be upset by a knock or two, either.

The party trick here is powerful bass. The ends of the Flip’s cylindrical design double as vibrating bass radiators, moving as much air as possible to get real oomph into the low end.

That really helps it be heard when used outside, but means it can sound a little bottom heavy when used in the house.

Price: £120 | Check price on |

The loudest Bluetooth speaker (that's good): B&O Play Beolit 17

Pros: Huge sound, well built, tweakable EQ
Cons: No waterproofing, expensive

If you’ve got a big budget and want the loudest speaker possible, the B&O Play Beolit 17 has to be on your shortlist.

To produce so much noise (70W in fact), this is definitely on the larger size of what you’d consider to be portable. But it does come with a picnic basket-like handle – in leather, of course – for you to lug it around.

Being a B&O product, it looks the part elsewhere, too. Every last detail is thought of in its mostly metal design – even down to its rubberised top section for safely placing your phone.

It has a 24-hour battery life from a short 2.5-hour charge, and charges via USB-C. There’s also a 3.5mm input for hardwiring devices.

As for its sound, it goes as big as you’d expect it to, but is also hugely articulate, keeping even the most complicated recordings in line. If its balance doesn’t quite work for your tastes, the B&O app is worth a download, where you can tweak the EQ to suit.

Price: £449 | Check price on |

Best for 360-degree sound: Bose SoundLink Revolve+

Pros: Excellent spread of sound, good battery life, stylish design
Cons: Can be a touch bright at volume

Bose has proved itself time and time again when it comes to its audio prowess, and its new Revolve range of wireless speakers only helps to reiterate that once more.

The two speakers in the line-up have a near identical range of features, but the Revolve+ would be our pick of the duo for its bigger, bolder sound and improved battery life (up from 12 hours to 16 hours). It also has a carry handle for easier portability.

The Revolve range’s raison d’être is its 360-degree sound – Bose’s first omnidirectional speakers – which is helped along by the Revolve’s stylish cylindrical design.

As you’d expect from Bose, build quality is solid and every detail has been accounted for – there’s even a microphone so you can activate the Siri or Google Assistant functionality on your phone.

The spread of sound is great and effective through its 360 degrees. The sound is warm but not boomy, and there’s plenty of detail, too. To give it its lively, upfront sound, the treble is a touch on the bright side, so try to feed it good quality music so you can hear it at its best.

Price: £260 | Check price on |

Best for stereo sound: Cambridge Audio Yoyo (M)

Pros: Big spread of sound, flexible usability, good battery life
Cons: Sound could have a bit more punch

If you like a touch of the traditional, the Cambridge Audio Yoyo (M) brings just that to the more modern world of portable Bluetooth. As a pair of stereo speakers, they work together seamlessly – without wires – to give you a much more spacious sound than a one-box speaker could.

This gives you the ultimate flexibility when placing them around your home, plus their 24-hour battery life means they won’t need to be recharged too often, either.

They look the part, too, with their modern styling and British wool finish. There are even gesture controls for hands-free playback when your phone isn’t nearby.

As for portability, if you only have room in your bag for one, they can be used independently of one another on the go. When you get home, they’ll re-pair automatically for minimal faff. Even their sound is laid back, for hours of easy listening.

Price: £300 | Check price on Richer Sounds |

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