May 2021

Portable Bluetooth Speakers: Aggregated Ranking Report

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

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 May 2021 ranking

At a glance - May 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Price Bluetooth Speaker
Tom's Guide
TechRadar
SoundGuys
What Hi-Fi
PCMag
Rtings.com
TechHive
WIRED
CNET
Digital Trends
#1
$495 Sonos Move
8
2
2
-
-
1
5
3
14
6
#2
Check price Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
6
9
4
-
10
2
-
11
5
-
#3
$125 UE Wonderboom 2
4
7
-
7
-
6
-
4
7
-
#4
$119 JBL Flip 5
-
4
3
1
-
-
-
-
9
4
#5
$250 Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen)
-
11
-
4
3
-
-
13
10
-
#6
$240 Sonos Roam
3
1
-
16
-
-
-
6
-
-
#7
$50 Tribit StormBox Micro
11
-
-
2
-
-
-
7
2
-
#8
$129 JBL Charge 4
-
-
1
6
-
-
-
-
-
-
#9
$180 JBL Charge 5
5
8
-
3
6
-
-
-
-
-
#10
$150 UE Boom 3
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
1
-
-
#11
$349 Bose Portable Smart Speaker
-
5
-
-
-
4
-
-
15
-
#12
$185 Marshall Emberton
-
-
-
-
12
-
-
-
-
1
#13
$100 Anker Soundcore Motion Plus
-
-
-
-
-
7
-
-
1
-
#14
$60 JBL Clip 4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
5
3
-
#15
$58 Tribit StormBox
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
11
-
#16
$64 Soundcore Flare
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
#17
$40 JBL Go 3
-
-
-
5
-
-
-
-
13
-

We ranked Sonos Move #1 in May 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sonos Move as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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

Go to ranking

TechRadar

A close second

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

Go to ranking

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

Rtings.com

Best Bluetooth Speaker

Go to ranking

TechHive

Runner-up / Editor's Choice

Go to ranking

WIRED

Best for Home

Go to ranking

CNET

Swanky portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

The best multiroom-capable Bluetooth speaker

Go to ranking

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

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

TechRadar

Powerful sound for parties both big and small

Pros
Excellent sound
Smart dual connection function
Stylish design

Cons
Fairly heavy

Go to ranking

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

PCMag

The Ultimate Party Machine / Editors' Choice

Pros
Powerful audio performance with intense bass depth
Adaptive EQ
Water-resistant build

Cons
Pricey
No audio cables included
No track backward navigation button

Go to ranking

Rtings.com

Best Stereo Bluetooth Speaker

Go to ranking

WIRED

Porta Party

Go to ranking

CNET

Best party speaker

Go to ranking

We ranked UE Wonderboom 2 #3 in May 2021 because:

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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

Rtings.com

Best Budget Bluetooth Speaker

Go to ranking

WIRED

Best for Pool Parties

Go to ranking

CNET

Waterproof and durable

Go to ranking

We ranked JBL Flip 5 #4 in May 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.
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

Go to ranking

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

Go to ranking

CNET

Best design

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

The best rugged Bluetooth speaker

Go to ranking

We ranked Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen) #5 in May 2021 because:

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

A Bluetooth speaker with Alexa

Pros
Crisp sound quality
Lightweight design

Cons
Flawed Alexa support
Buttons are tricky to find

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

Go to ranking

PCMag

Best Design / Editors' Choice

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

Cons
Expensive for the size
Mono

Go to ranking

WIRED

Elegant Accessory

Go to ranking

CNET

Best sounding ultra compact speaker (and speakerphone)

Go to ranking

We ranked Sonos Roam #6 in May 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Sonos Roam as #1.
Critic endorsements:
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

Go to ranking

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

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

WIRED

Best Smart Bluetooth Speaker

Go to ranking

We ranked Tribit StormBox Micro #7 in May 2021 because:

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

Go to ranking

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

WIRED

Handlebar Ready

Go to ranking

CNET

Best value micro speaker

Go to ranking

We ranked JBL Charge 4 #8 in May 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.
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 JBL Charge 5 #9 in May 2021 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

JBL's best Bluetooth speaker with full waterproofing

Pros
Full vocals
Rich bass
Good battery life

Cons
Limited app

Go to ranking

TechRadar

The best mid-range speaker

Pros
Balanced sound quality
Gets extremely loud
Long battery life

Cons
Long charge time
No more aux jack

Go to ranking

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

PCMag

Best for Portable Outdoor Audio / Editors' Choice

Pros
Powerful, bass-forward, bright sound signature
Gets loud for its relatively compact size
Fully waterproof design
USB-A port for charging mobile devices

Cons
App lacks EQ
No speakerphone

Go to ranking

We ranked UE Boom 3 #10 in May 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.
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

Go to ranking

WIRED

Best Overall

Go to ranking

We ranked Bose Portable Smart Speaker #11 in May 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

Rtings.com

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Go to ranking

CNET

Best Bose wireless portable speaker

Go to ranking

We ranked Marshall Emberton #12 in May 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:
PCMag

Best for Retro Design Fans

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

Cons
No speakerphone functionality
No aux input

Go to ranking

Digital Trends

The best Bluetooth speaker overall

Go to ranking

We ranked Anker Soundcore Motion Plus #13 in May 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Anker Soundcore Motion Plus as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Rtings.com

customizable alternative

Go to ranking

CNET

Best under $100 / Editor's Choice

Go to ranking

We ranked JBL Clip 4 #14 in May 2021 because:

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

Adventure Time

Go to ranking

CNET

Best for clipping onto a backpack

Go to ranking

We ranked Tribit StormBox #15 in May 2021 because:

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

Best Bargain

Go to ranking

CNET

Cheaper alternative to JBL Flip 5

Go to ranking

We ranked Soundcore Flare #16 in May 2021 because:

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

The best budget Bluetooth speaker

Pros
Impressive sound for the size
Excellent mobile app
Waterproof

Cons
Harsh at max volume

Go to ranking

WIRED

Light Bright

Go to ranking

We ranked JBL Go 3 #17 in May 2021 because:

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

Go to ranking

CNET

Pocket-friendly

Go to ranking