September 2021

Portable Bluetooth Speakers: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Bluetooth Speaker rankings posted by key online experts, as of September 2021.

At a glance - September 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Bluetooth Speaker
TechRadar
TechHive
CNET
Rtings.com
Digital Trends
SoundGuys
What Hi-Fi
Tom's Guide
WIRED
PCMag
1
- $800
Sonos Move
The most versatile speaker that really does it all - but doesn't come cheap and is quite large
2
5
-
1
6
2
-
9
3
-
2
- $400
Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
A beast of a speaker that is built for parties
9
-
7
2
-
4
-
7
11
-
3
+3 $248
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen)
A good-looking speaker that produces beautiful acoustics. Compatible with Amazon Alexa and can be paired with multiple devices.
11
-
12
5
-
-
4
-
13
3
4
-1 $202
Sonos Roam
A great speaker that can be taken anywhere
1
-
16
-
-
-
17
3
6
-
5
-1 $119
JBL Flip 5
An affordable speaker that delivers great sound for an equally great price. It’s not as feature-packed as others, but it delivers where it matters.
4
-
11
-
4
3
1
-
-
-
6
-1 $95
UE Wonderboom 2
A Bluetooth speaker small in size but big in performance. It’s the perfect speaker for active users who loves the outdoors.
7
-
9
6
-
-
7
4
4
-
7
+1 $180
JBL Charge 5
A good speaker option with excellent sound quality and users can even charge other devices with it.
8
-
5
-
-
-
3
6
-
6
8
-1 $50
Tribit StormBox Micro
An attractive speaker that’s very portable and delivers an excellent listening experience.
-
-
2
-
-
-
2
12
7
-
9
+1 $149
UE Boom 3
A Bluetooth speaker good enough for any user. Portable, protected, and loud.
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
10
+1 $399
Bose Portable Smart Speaker
5
-
17
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
11
+2 $69
Anker Soundcore Flare 2
6
-
-
7
-
5
-
-
-
-
12
- $40
JBL Go 3
-
-
15
-
-
-
5
5
-
-
13
-4 $130
JBL Charge 4
A loudspeaker that ticks all the boxes for a camping trip or a car ride. A bit too heavy to take on a hike though.
-
-
-
-
-
1
6
-
-
-
14
New * $150
Marshall Emberton
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
11
15
- $70
JBL Clip 4
-
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
16
-2 $49
Tribit StormBox
-
-
13
-
-
-
-
-
2
-

We ranked Sonos Move #1 in September 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sonos Move as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Jan 2021)
The most versatile speaker that really does it all - but doesn't come cheap and is quite large
Experts Praise For:
  • Impressive performance
  • Durable
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection
  • Easy to transport
Experts Criticise For:
  • Expensive
  • Quite big
A more detailed summary:

The Sonos Move brings serious sound to the table, pumping out high-quality audio indoors and outdoors. It's known for its strong durability and resistance to dust and water, so you shouldn’t have any problems using it anywhere. This device is a Bluetooth speaker and Wi-Fi smart speaker all in one; including home network, music streaming, multi-room adjustments, and voice assistance similar to Alexa or Google Assistant. The battery not only lasts a long time but also gives you the option of replacing it. This is a big advantage if the battery is no longer in good condition or it starts draining faster than usual. Given all these great quality features, the high price could easily be justified. The biggest downside is that compared to the majority of portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, it is relatively tall and heavy.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best-sounding Bluetooth speaker

Pros
Integrates with a home Sonos speaker network
On-the-go tunes

Cons
Not as feature-rich when using Bluetooth
Cant be used as rear cinema speakers

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TechHive

Runner-up / Editor's Choice

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Rtings.com

Best Bluetooth Speaker

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Digital Trends

The best multiroom-capable Bluetooth speaker

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SoundGuys

Best Smart Speaker

Pros
Sound quality
Works with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
Charging cradle
Alexa and Google Assistant
IP56 rating
mics work well

Cons
Price
Not very portable
Distorts at high volumes

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best high-end Bluetooth speaker for outdoors

Pros
Superb audio quality
Built-in Automatic TruePlay technology
Easy WiFi-to-Bluetooth connection conversion

Cons
Pricey
No smart features in Bluetooth mode

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WIRED

Best for Home

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We ranked Ultimate Ears Hyperboom #2 in September 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A beast of a speaker that is built for parties
Experts Praise For:
  • Fantastic sound with good bass
  • Amazingly loud volume capability
  • IPX4 rating
  • Useful EQ
  • Extended battery life
Experts Criticise For:
  • Costs a lot
  • Large and quite heavy
A more detailed summary:

The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom is a massive 14-inch speaker that plays music loud enough for any social setting. Being the largest speaker in Ultimate Ear’s lineup, it can perform well both indoors and outdoors. It has absolutely no problem filling large, open spaces with high-quality sound, according to experts. It produces a balanced output that works with any track. It also allows Bluetooth connectivity, and two devices can connect to the speaker system simultaneously. With this feature, two people can control the music lineup, alternating tracks between two devices for an uninterrupted music stream. The overall product quality is excellent. It looks well-built and durable enough to withstand some abuse. On average, the battery lasts around 23 to 24 hours, which is more than enough time to spice up a party with great sounds. It comes with a shoulder strap and is also splash resistant.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

Powerful sound for parties both big and small

Pros
Excellent sound
Smart dual connection function
Stylish design

Cons
Fairly heavy

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CNET

Best party speaker

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Rtings.com

Best Stereo Bluetooth Speaker

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SoundGuys

Best for Parties

Pros
IPX4
Two Bluetooth inputs
Adaptive EQ
Good sound with big bass for parties
24 hour battery life
Optical input

Cons
Price
Not entirely waterproof, so don't submerge it
No high-quality Bluetooth codec support

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best Bluetooth speaker for parties

Pros
Big and balanced sound
Gets very loud
Good battery life

Cons
Pricey
Really, really big and heavy

Go to ranking

WIRED

Porta Party

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Portable Bluetooth Speakers.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Portable Bluetooth Speakers, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for September 2021 ranking

We ranked Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen) #3 in September 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A good-looking speaker that produces beautiful acoustics. Compatible with Amazon Alexa and can be paired with multiple devices.
Experts Praise For:
  • Stunning acoustics
  • Alexa-ready
  • IP67 rating
  • Looks sturdy
Experts Criticise For:
  • Pricey
A more detailed summary:

The Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen) is a portable Bluetooth speaker that looks as good as it sounds. It produces stunning acoustics paired with decent bass delivery. The speaker appears durable enough and also offers protection against the elements with its IP67 waterproof rating. It is also equipped with a battery that can provide 18 hours of uninterrupted operation. The device includes a speakerphone system that can be used to issue Alexa commands and can be linked to two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. It can be charged using a USB-C cable, which, luckily, comes included when purchased. A useful strap provides further convenience for transportation. Overall, the experts were quite satisfied with the Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen).

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

A Bluetooth speaker with Alexa

Pros
Crisp sound quality
Lightweight design

Cons
Flawed Alexa support
Buttons are tricky to find

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CNET

Best sounding ultra compact speaker (and speakerphone)

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Rtings.com

More portable alternative

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

The weightiest and most refined little speaker we’ve heard in a while

Pros
Expansive sound, weighty bass
Competent Alexa integration
Stunning build and finish

Cons
• Nothing at this level

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WIRED

Elegant Accessory

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PCMag

Best for style lovers / Editors' Choice

Pros
Powerful, rich, well-defined audio
Handsome design
Waterproof build
Supports Amazon Alexa

Cons
Expensive for the size
Mono

Go to ranking

We ranked Sonos Roam #4 in September 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sonos Roam as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A great speaker that can be taken anywhere
Experts Praise For:
  • Highly portable
  • Good sound quality
  • Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Connectivity features
Experts Criticise For:
  • Quite expensive
A more detailed summary:

The Sonos Roam offers an ultra-light and ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers impressive sound, wireless connectivity, automatic tuning, and some level of protection against the elements. It delivers high-quality acoustics that is crisp and clear. It offers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity to pair with devices and connect to AI assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The device’s TruePlay feature tunes the sound to better fit any environment, to enhance listening anywhere. It works great on its own, but it can also be connected to other Sonos speakers nearby for an even greater music experience. The Sonos Roam also supports wireless charging, which is another plus. It comes with water and dust protection, which makes it the perfect companion for outdoors. However, as experts pointed out, it can only offer 10 hours of continuous operation, so that’s quite a lot smaller than others on the market. Overall, it is an excellent option that will appeal to most music lovers.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best Bluetooth speaker you can buy

Pros
Powerful audio performance
Easily portable design

Cons
Fairly pricey
Bass can be overwhelming

Go to ranking

CNET

Portable Sonos portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker

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What Hi-Fi

A neat Bluetooth speaker with a punch of well-controlled bass.

Pros
Full-bodied sound
Lots of features
Portable

Cons
Clarity not exceptional
Average timing and dynamics

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best Bluetooth speaker with Wi-Fi smarts

Pros
Lightweight
Extensive connectivity
Auto TruePlay sound tuning

Cons
No Bluetooth multipoint
Middling battery life

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WIRED

Best Smart Bluetooth Speaker

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We ranked JBL Flip 5 #5 in September 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked JBL Flip 5 as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 12 Jan 2021)
An affordable speaker that delivers great sound for an equally great price. It’s not as feature-packed as others, but it delivers where it matters.
Experts Praise For:
  • Good sounding acoustics
  • USB-C fast charging capability
Experts Criticise For:
  • Lacks a microphone
A more detailed summary:

Sometimes, the best things come in simple packages, and experts say that’s true considering the JBL Flip 5. Here is a fully portable Bluetooth speaker that delivers impressive acoustics accompanied by satisfying bass sounds. The product quality is excellent, and it looks like it will last a long time, under all conditions. It offers protection against water and dust and expert-conducted tests found that the battery can last around 12 hours on average. This, however, seems to be very user-dependent. The device also comes with a PartyBoost feature, for pairing with other compatible devices. There are numerous funky color options available to match any personality. Furthermore, the price isn’t bad either. One downside, depending on how you want to use it, is that there are no auxiliary ports, meaning devices can only connect to it via Bluetooth.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

A fun,no frills portable speaker

Pros
Engaging, entertaining sound
Easy to use

Cons
No 3.5mm input
No mic for hands-free calls

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CNET

Best design

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Digital Trends

The best rugged Bluetooth speaker

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SoundGuys

Best Design

Pros
IPX7 rating
Lightweight, portable
Loud for size
USB-C charging
Price
Battery life

Cons
No Bluetooth 5 or high quality codecs
Sound quality

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

No frills and fantastic sound quality – this is the Best Bluetooth speaker for value.

Pros
Solid bass and timing
Great sense of acoustics
PartyBoost stereo pairing

Cons
No aux-in or microphone
Not Connect+ compatible
Basic app

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We ranked UE Wonderboom 2 #6 in September 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A Bluetooth speaker small in size but big in performance. It’s the perfect speaker for active users who loves the outdoors.
Experts Praise For:
  • Highlyportable due to small size
  • IP67 rating
  • Strong bass
  • Outdoor Boost
Experts Criticise For:
  • Lacks a microphone
  • Lacks micro USB charging capability
A more detailed summary:

The UE Wonderboom 2 is a durable Bluetooth speaker designed for the outdoors. It has ample protection against the elements with its IP67 rating, making it both waterproof and dustproof. It is built with durability that is essential for outdoor activities. It could survive a 5-foot fall if necessary and people can even bring it to the pool as it floats on water. Of course, the sound quality is what truly matters. The UE Wonderboom 2 can indeed boom (loudly) when needed. The sound quality is quite good and provides an equally good bass response. It is equipped with an Outdoor Boost mode for when “really loud” is required. Battery life is decent; it can provide 13 hours of uninterrupted playtime before needing a recharge. All this comes within a surprisingly small size that proves once again that looks can be deceiving.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best outdoor speaker gets a refresh

Pros
Great sound for its size
IP67 dustproof/waterproof rating
30% better battery life

Cons
Restrictive soundstage

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CNET

Waterproof and durable

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Rtings.com

Best Budget Bluetooth Speaker

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What Hi-Fi

An affordable Bluetooth speaker with a weighty sound and good battery life.

Pros
Punchy, entertaining sound
Hefty bass
Decent battery life

Cons
No wi-fi or smart assistant built-in
No mic for hands-free calls

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Tom's Guide

The best portable Bluetooth speaker below $100

Pros
Full bass for a small speaker
Waterproof and dustproof

Cons
No app
No visual battery life indicator

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WIRED

Best for Pool Parties

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We ranked JBL Charge 5 #7 in September 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A good speaker option with excellent sound quality and users can even charge other devices with it.
Experts Praise For:
  • Improved sound output
  • 20-hour battery life
Experts Criticise For:
  • No common points of criticism among experts
A more detailed summary:

The experts have many good things to say about the JBL Charge 5. Building upon the successes of previous Charge models the 5 comes with improvements that make this a good option for any consumer. It’s equipped with a battery that will provide around 20 hours of continuous operation at a moderate volume level. The device is resistant against water and dust, as it’s IP67 rated. You can charge the unit via the USB-C port, while a USB-A port is also included so users can charge other devices with it. Experts especially took notice of the improvements made to the sound quality. The 5 sounds better overall and can get louder than previous versions. It also features PartyBoost which allows you to connect it to other compatible JBL speakers for more sound coverage. It also comes in a variety of colors to suit all possible personality types.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best mid-range speaker

Pros
Balanced sound quality
Gets extremely loud
Long battery life

Cons
Long charge time
No more aux jack

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CNET

Impressive sound for its size

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What Hi-Fi

Updated specs and subtle tweaks for JBL’s fifth-generation Charge

Pros
Clearer and more detailed sound
Wider soundstage
Updated dustproofing

Cons
Nothing at this level

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

JBL's best Bluetooth speaker with full waterproofing

Pros
Full vocals
Rich bass
Good battery life

Cons
Limited app

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PCMag

Best for big sound in a small package

Pros
Powerful audio performance with rich bass and crisp, clear highs.
Gets quite loud for its size.
Waterproof.

Cons
App lacks EQ
No speakerphone

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We ranked Tribit StormBox Micro #8 in September 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
An attractive speaker that’s very portable and delivers an excellent listening experience.
Experts Praise For:
  • Amazingly powerful bass
  • IP67 rating
  • USB-C charging
Experts Criticise For:
  • Battery could be better
  • Occasional sound distortion at high volumes
A more detailed summary:

The Tribit StormBox Micro is a stylish Bluetooth speaker that’s small enough to be portable but big enough to be loud when needed. A good-looking speaker, it’s durable and well protected against water and dust. Up to 8 hours of continuous music playing can be provided by the device’s good battery. It comes with a handy strap that is useful for attaching it to bikes and bags for on-the-go. It can even be paired with a compatible speaker for an even better listening experience. The Stormbox Micro is another good example of “looks can be deceiving”. It’s small, but definitely impresses with good sound delivery and powerful bass and can even get loud if needed. However, expect some occasional audio distortion when increasing the volume to higher levels. Here, experts agree that this is a really good speaker in a small package.

Critic endorsements:
CNET

Best value micro speaker

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What Hi-Fi

A fun and bubbly Bluetooth speaker that's serious when it comes to sound

Pros
Mature, musical sound
Surprisingly weighty bass
USB-C charger

Cons
Short battery life

Go to ranking

Tom's Guide

The best Bluetooth speaker that's both cheap and waterproof

Pros
Small and lightweight
Good bass for a small speaker
Water-resistant

Cons
No app
Limited battery life

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WIRED

Handlebar Ready

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We ranked UE Boom 3 #9 in September 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked UE Boom 3 as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A Bluetooth speaker good enough for any user. Portable, protected, and loud.
Experts Praise For:
  • Can reach loud volumes
  • Highly portable
  • IP67 rating
Experts Criticise For:
  • Quality of sound is not that impressive
A more detailed summary:

Experts reviews of the UE Boom 3 found that while it is a good speaker overall, it doesn’t really compare to its competitors. The sound is powerful enough to fill a room when the volume is cranked up, with no noticeable distortion. There is decent sound output also, but it’s nothing spectacular. However, the wireless range is actually rather impressive, reaching potentially around 100 to 150 feet. The battery impresses as well as it can provide 15 hours of continuous operation. It comes with IP67 water and dust protection and additionally comes in multiple colors to suit anyone’s preference. Overall, the UE Boom 3 is a decent enough Bluetooth speaker that can get loud when needed.

Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The former best Bluetooth speaker is still great for travelling with

Pros
IP67 waterproof/dust-proof
Powerful sound
Rugged design

Cons
Audio could be clearer

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WIRED

Best Overall

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We ranked Bose Portable Smart Speaker #10 in September 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

A great Sonos Move alternative

Pros
Great design
Well-balanced sound

Cons
Expensive
Lacking in bass

Go to ranking

CNET

Best Bose wireless portable speaker

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Rtings.com

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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We ranked Anker Soundcore Flare 2 #11 in September 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
TechRadar

The best budget Bluetooth speaker

Pros
Great sound quality
Speakerphone feature
IPX7 water-resistant

Cons
No 3.5mm AUX jack

Go to ranking

Rtings.com

Customizable Alternative

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SoundGuys

Bang for your Buck

Pros
Sleek design with dual LED halo
IPX7-rated
360 degree sound
Sound quality

Cons
Buttons flush with speaker
No 3.5mm input jack

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We ranked JBL Go 3 #12 in September 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

Pocket-friendly

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What Hi-Fi

JBL’s newest soap-sized speaker sounds good – but the finish and battery life won’t wash with today’s class leaders

Pros
Sensible treble
Fuller bass
More volume

Cons
Poor battery life
Not very durable finish

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Tom's Guide

The best Bluetooth speaker for cheap weatherproofing

Pros
IP67 rating
Light and compact
Extremely affordable

Cons
Better sound elsewhere

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We ranked JBL Charge 4 #13 in September 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked JBL Charge 4 as #1.
Expert Consensus
(as of 17 Sep 2021)
A loudspeaker that ticks all the boxes for a camping trip or a car ride. A bit too heavy to take on a hike though.
Experts Praise For:
  • Long battery life
  • Good sound quality with good bass
  • Bluetooth connectivity
  • IPX-7 waterproof rating
  • Simple to operate
Experts Criticise For:
  • Takes a while to charge
  • A bit too bulky
  • Sound can get distorted at high volumes
A more detailed summary:

The JBL Charge 4’s sound is classy and surprisingly refined for a mainstream speaker. It has a fantastic balance between sound performance, price, and portability. Paired with a long battery life, this device is perfect for those who love to party outside for long hours or just blast music around the house. The Charge 4 has IPX7 waterproofing and is well guarded against bumps and knocks, being covered in with a tough fabric and rubber exterior. While there are many benefits, the long recharge time is the major downside.Also, despite the fact that it's a portable speaker, it's too big or heavy to carry, which makes it rather impractical.

Critic endorsements:
SoundGuys

Best All-around

Pros
IPX7 build
Long battery life
USB-C charging

Cons
Slightly larger than previous charge 3
Mids can sometimes be masked by bass
No built-in microphone

Go to ranking

What Hi-Fi

A fun and bubbly Bluetooth speaker that's serious when it comes to sound.

Pros
Rugged and water resistant
USB port for charging
Great sound quality

Cons
Perhaps too subtle for some

Go to ranking

We ranked Marshall Emberton #14 in September 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Marshall Emberton as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Digital Trends

The best Bluetooth speaker overall

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PCMag

Best for big sound in a small package

Pros
Powerful audio performance for the size
Cool, compact design
Waterproof

Cons
No speakerphone functionality
No aux input

Go to ranking

We ranked JBL Clip 4 #15 in September 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

Best for clipping onto a backpack

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WIRED

Adventure Time

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We ranked Tribit StormBox #16 in September 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
CNET

Cheaper alternative to JBL Flip 5

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WIRED

Best Bargain

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