March 2021

Portable Bluetooth Speakers Rankings Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Portable Bluetooth Speakers rankings posted by key online experts, as of March 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 March 2021 ranking

#1. Sonos Move

We ranked Sonos Move #1 in March 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Portable Bluetooth Speakers” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Sonos Move as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Tom's Guide

The best 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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TechRadar

The best Bluetooth speaker in the world

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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WIRED

Best for Home

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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

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Rtings.com

Best Bluetooth Speaker

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CNET

Swanky portable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth speaker

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TechHive

Runner-up

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Digital Trends

The best multiroom-capable Bluetooth speaker

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#2. Ultimate Ears Hyperboom

We ranked Ultimate Ears Hyperboom #2 in March 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

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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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WIRED

Porta Party

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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

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PCMag

Best for booming bass for parties / 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

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Rtings.com

Best Stereo Bluetooth Speaker

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CNET

Best party speaker

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#3. UE Wonderboom 2

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

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

The best portable Bluetooth speaker

Pros
Full bass for a small speaker
Waterproof and dustproof

Cons
No app
No visual battery life indicator

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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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WIRED

Best for Pool Parties

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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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Rtings.com

Best Budget Bluetooth Speaker

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CNET

Waterproof and durable

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#4. JBL Flip 5

We ranked JBL Flip 5 #4 in March 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

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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

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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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CNET

Best design

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Digital Trends

The best rugged Bluetooth speaker

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#5. JBL Charge 4

We ranked JBL Charge 4 #5 in March 2021 because:

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

The best mid-range speaker

Pros
Balanced, powerful sound
Can charge your phone
Long battery life

Cons
No 360-degree sound

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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

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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

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PCMag

Best for outdoor power / Editors' Choice

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

Cons
No Speakerphone function
Mono audio output

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#6. Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen)

We ranked Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen) #6 in March 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

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WIRED

Elegant Accessory

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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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PCMag

Best for 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

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CNET

Best sounding ultra compact speaker (and speakerphone)

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#7. Tribit StormBox Micro

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

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

The best waterproof Bluetooth speaker

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

Cons
Limited battery life

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WIRED

Handlebar Ready

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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

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CNET

Best value micro speaker

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#8. UE Boom 3

We ranked UE Boom 3 #8 in March 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

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WIRED

Best Overall

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#9. Bose Portable Smart Speaker

We ranked Bose Portable Smart Speaker #9 in March 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

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Rtings.com

Best Portable Bluetooth Speaker

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CNET

Best Bose wireless portable speaker

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#10. JBL Clip 4

We ranked JBL Clip 4 #10 in March 2021 because:

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

Adventure Time

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Rtings.com

Clip-On alternative

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CNET

Best for clipping onto a backpack

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#11. Anker Soundcore Motion Plus

We ranked Anker Soundcore Motion Plus #11 in March 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

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CNET

Best under $100 / Editor's Choice

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#12. Amazon Echo (4rd Gen)

We ranked Amazon Echo (4rd Gen) #12 in March 2021 because:

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

The best Bluetooth speaker with Alexa

Pros
Sleek spherical design
Good audio for price
Great smart home skills
Audio in/out port

Cons
Audio not as good as Sonos One

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PCMag

Best for Best for most Alexa users / Editors' Choice

Pros
As powerful as the Echo Plus
Strong bass for the size
Built-in smart home hub

Cons
High frequencies don't get quite as much finesse as they could
Alexa can still be awkward to talk to

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#13. Soundcore Flare

We ranked Soundcore Flare #13 in March 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

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WIRED

Light Bright

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#14. Tribit StormBox

We ranked Tribit StormBox #14 in March 2021 because:

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

Best Bargain

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CNET

Cheaper alternative to JBL Flip 5

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