The best Bluetooth speakers are a great way to untether your music collection and play it loud wherever you are. Maybe you want to find a better way to enjoy the soundtracks of your favorite video games, especially if you’re playing on the go with a laptop. PCGamesN experts have researched a range of speakers to help you find the right Bluetooth speakers for your needs.
While the best computer speakers have their place, Bluetooth speakers are more versatile due to their size, features, and battery length. They can be perfect for filling a bedroom with sound when space is limited. There’s lots of different types to choose from, including wireless Bluetooth speakers, budget Bluetooth speakers, and portable Bluetooth speakers.
Used well, they could be just as much an essential part of your gaming PC setup as one of the best gaming keyboards or best gaming monitors. Finding the right one involves considering size, design, power, weight, and features. If you need tips, check out our how to choose guide further down this article.
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Here are the best Bluetooth speakers of 2023.
- Ultimate Ears Boom 3 — best overall speaker
- Sonos Move — best premium speaker
- Ultimate Ears Hyperboom — most powerful speaker
- Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 — best budget speaker
- Bose SoundLink Flex — best portable speaker
- JBL PartyBox 110 — best party speaker
1. Ultimate Ears Boom 3
The best Bluetooth speaker overall.
UE Boom 3 specs:
|Battery life||15 hours|
|Dimensions||184 x 73 mm (7.2 x 2.8 in)|
- Simple design
- Full of features
- Rivals may beat it on sound quality
- Micro USB charging
We love the UE Boom 3’s design — its funky two-tone look is simple, unobtrusive and brightens any occasion. It also features 360-degree spatial sound and the ability to connect to two concurrent devices, while its waterproof, dustproof, and drop-proof capabilities mean it’ll take a lot of punishment before it keels over. It even floats, so it won’t need rescuing after an impromptu dip.
In terms of sound, the Boom 3 delivers plenty of punchy bass and volume to fill even large rooms with ease, even if it does lack the clarity that some high-end rivals offer.
If there’s an area where the Boom 3 drops the ball, it’s UE’s insistence on porting over the micro USB charge slot from the last-gen model. We know it’s been around since 2018, but a USB-C would have really sealed the deal.
We’ve seen Bluetooth speakers with comparable prices from audio heavyweights such as Bose and Sonos, so while the UE Boom 3 is rather expensive, it brings a lot to the table in terms of features, making it a wonderful all-rounder.
2. Sonos Move
The best premium speaker.
Sonos Move specs:
|Battery life||11 hours|
|Dimensions||160 x 240 x 126 mm (6.29 x 9.44 x 4.96 in)|
- Excellent sound
- Wireless charging
- Limited portability
- Low battery life
For a premium Bluetooth speaker, look no further than the Sonos Move. While the next-gen Sonos Move 2 is now available, the original arguably offers better value. Its design oozes quality, with touch-capacitive buttons, a metal front grille, and four far-field mics that show it means business, even if it’s on the higher end of most people’s budgets.
Those mics are used for voice control and its Trueplay feature, which automatically tweaks its sound levels to the environment, room, and audio. Clever.
The sound is excellent too, with thumping bass and clarity in vocals and the high to mid-ranges. Its bigger body highlights the problem that many smaller speakers have in delivering consistent, crystal-clear audio, and the team at Sonos has outdone themselves here.
Despite the name, the Sonos Move isn’t the most portable unit on this list. Its size means it’s more suited to carrying around the house and into the garden. Even with the integrated handle, at a hefty 3kg, you won’t want to cart it around too much.
3. UE Hyperboom
The most powerful speaker.
UE Hyperboom specs:
|Frequency range||45 Hz–20 KHz|
|Battery life||24 hours|
|Dimensions||190 x 190 x 364 mm (7.5 x 7.5 x 14.3 in)|
- It’s loud
- Great battery life
- Adaptive EQ
- Too bulky to carry for long
- Very expensive
With the UE Hyperboom, you’ll certainly frighten the neighbors. This 14-inch monolith is a pure speaker and almost imposing in its looks. However, at a beastly 6kg, carrying it around is going to give your biceps a workout.
Should you want to enjoy a long gaming session with an immersive soundscape, the Hyperboom’s impressive 24-hour battery life has you covered. And speaking of shindigs, this speaker is rated IPX4, so it’ll survive a cocktail spill. It can also output power as a charging unit, so you can blast out your tunes while juicing up your phone.
Loud is what the Hyperboom does best, and it has the power to practically reverberate your entire household. It handles treble, bass, and mid-range sound with ease, with no degradation – even when you turn it up to 11.
That’s thanks to the brains behind the brawn. Conducting its mass of woofers, radiators, and tweeters is its adaptive EQ, which literally reads the room and adjusts its sound accordingly.
Bulky and exorbitantly expensive, the Hyperboom is a serious bit of kit for parties. Ultimate Ears has shied away from revealing its power output, but trust us when we say it’s plenty loud enough. Just use it responsibly, okay?
4. Tribit Stormbox Micro 2
The best budget speaker.
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 specs:
|Battery life||12 hours|
|Dimensions||99.8 x 99.8 x 42.9 mm (3.9 x 3.9 x 1.7 in)|
- Excellent value for money
- Super compact
- Can be used as a battery pack
- Limited sound clarity with loud playback
- No wired audio output
The Stormbox Micro 2 is a Bluetooth speaker that houses a surprising amount of power and features, considering its tiny size. No bigger than the size of a palm, it’s small enough to be taken anywhere and comes with a clip and strap for attaching to a bike or backpack.
Handily, you can also charge your phone in a pinch thanks to its USB-C line out, while its IP67 rating means it’s both waterproof and dustproof. It can also pair with another Micro 2 for stereo audio.
That’s an impressive level of functionality in such a diminutive speaker. But how does it sound? Admirably, actually. For a micro speaker, there’s plenty to appreciate, with clear, punchy notes, and even the bass is surprisingly decent. Naturally, the driver isn’t large enough to deliver big room volume, and when you crank it up, it starts to struggle.
5. Bose SoundLink Flex
The best portable speaker.
Bose SoundLink Flex specs:
|Battery life||12 hours|
|Dimensions||201 x 90 x 52 mm (7.91 x 3.54 x 2.04 in)|
- Good looking design
- Light and portable
- Crystal clear sound
- Other speakers offer more power
- No EQ feature
The Bose SoundLink Flex is a classy-looking speaker backed by the company’s solid audio tech credentials.
It features a powdered steel grille with a soft silicone shell, so it can take some rough and tumble while in transport. There’s also a robust fabric loop, so it’s light enough to attach to a carabiner, clip, or hook for travel, even if its dimensions are rather chunky for proper city hopping.
It’s also IP67-rated, meaning it’s dustproof and waterproof. Handily, it also floats, so it’s fine for balancing on an inflatable or boat.
As you might expect, the Flex’s audio performance is great, with clarity at all ranges and even with bass. We do wish it was louder — some of the bigger party speakers are more than a match for it, but for a light, easy-to-use speaker you can slip into a backpack, it’s a great effort from Bose.
6. JBL PartyBox 310
The best party speaker.
JBL PartyBox 310 specs:
|Battery life||18 hours|
|Dimensions||326 x 688 x 368 mm (27 x 12.8 x 14.5 in)|
- Powerful bass and sound
- Lots of features
- Mic and guitar inputs
- Very heavy
- Very expensive
The Partybox 310’s mammoth boom box is powerful enough to bring the house down.
This party speaker stands at nearly 70cm and weighs over 17kg, so it really pushes the boundaries of portability. That said, it has plenty of practicality and features, including a retractable long handle and wheels for ease of transport.
Like many party speakers, there’s an audio-synched light show in the form of dual circular RGB lights, which helps set the ambiance. It can also keep going for up to 18 hours on a single charge, so it’s great even for extended use, while its IPX4 protection can help it survive the odd splash of drinks. There are even inputs for a mic or guitar if you feel like throwing on a solo gig, alongside physical EQ buttons so you can tweak your sound profile on the fly.
With an output of 240W, the 310 is loud enough for large parties and then some. It’s got plenty of punchy performance in its bass, which can be enhanced further with its Bass Boost mode. And while this behemoth even performs well at volume, we’d say that heavy bass songs can test its limits at high volumes, even if few speakers can deliver perfect clarity.
It’s a weighty, sizeable, and very expensive unit, but this beast is more than capable of doing justice to your favorite soundtracks.
The phrase “You get what you pay for” perfectly applies to Bluetooth speakers. There are countless boomboxes out there, with some much cheaper than the household brands.
But don’t feel tempted to go for that dirt-cheap model if you’re remotely serious about your sound. These units can typically be underpowered, tinny, and or lack bass, which will put a real dampener on your favorite tunes.
To be safe, we’d be tempted to go with a reputable audio company such as Anker, JBL, Ultimate Ears (UE), Sony, Marshall, Tribit, Bose, or Sonos rather than an imitation brand. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch, but these firms stake their reputation on putting out good quality speakers that sound great and have a decent lifespan.
There are lots of other features to consider too, including:
- Size: Most Bluetooth speakers are designed to be carried around the house, and some are small enough for a backpack. Think about where you’ll want to use it, and whether it’s sleek enough to carry to your hangouts.
- Durability: Many speakers are shockproof or drop-proof, meaning they can take some light damage, perhaps from an accidental drop, and keep going. Many also help protect against water or dust ingress. A rating of IPX4 denotes water resistance, while IP67 indicates a unit is waterproof and dustproof. That makes it highly suited for the beach, pool, or shower.
- Power output: Measured in watts, the higher the power, the louder the max volume — you’ll not want to skimp out on this if you plan on using it for parties.
- Connectivity: Do you want the ability to connect more than one device, or connect multiple speakers to form a concert? Customizable EQ also lets you tweak the audio setup so that it’s just right. Additionally, different Bluetooth versions feature longer ranges, so your phone can venture away from your speaker without a dropped connection. Bluetooth 4.2 has a max range of 60 meters, while 5.0 features a whopping range of 240 meters.
- Battery power: Larger speakers tend to last longer but take longer to charge. Twelve hours is decent, but be aware that playing on loud will eat into playback times.
Read our how we test page to find out more about how we comprise these guides. Got any more questions? Read the FAQs below:
What is the difference between a Bluetooth speaker and a wireless speaker?
A Bluetooth speaker can only connect via a Bluetooth connection. In some cases, it may require a dongle. Meanwhile, a wireless speaker can connect to other devices via your Wi-Fi connection – it connects to it, and then any other devices using it can also connect to it. Although it requires an internet connection, the Wi-Fi connection is smoother and more reliable than Bluetooth, but it is more expensive too.
Is JBL owned by Bose?
No. JBL is owned by Sony. The two are separate manufacturers.
Do you lose quality over Bluetooth?
It depends on the model. Typically, they’re as good as Wi-Fi speakers, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad. Look at the frequency range for each model for an idea of its depth of audio quality. As a standard role, the cheaper it is, the lower the sound quality you’ll get.