Best Bluetooth Speaker

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2018

With a good Bluetooth speaker, you can listen to tunes without relying on pesky cords. You can find the best Bluetooth speaker with our helpful shopping guide.    

BEST BLUETOOTH
SPEAKER 2018

Oontz Angle 3 New Enhanced Edition Portable Bluetooth Speaker

BOTTOM LINE

With more than 80% of its more than 20,000 reviews being positive, this speaker is a great option for many. It provides solid sound quality for the price and lets you save money on a Bluetooth speaker.

PROS

Compatible with most apps and all your favorite devices, this speaker lets you stream music and audio files with ease. As it’s water-resistant, you can use it on the beach or in the bathroom.

CONS

After a few months of use, you might have some troubles keeping the battery charged. A few shoppers wished the speaker had better sound quality.

Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker

BOTTOM LINE

This portable Bluetooth speaker provides you with Bose quality in a smaller and more convenient package. The 360-degree design completely surrounds you with music to enhance your listening experience.

PROS

Not only can you use this speaker when listening to music, but it also lets you pause and accept phone calls. The battery lasts for up to 12 hours, and it works up to nine feet away from a paired device.

CONS

You may find that the sound quality is poor when you put this speaker too close to another device. Some shoppers thought it was too expensive and/or had issues with the power button.

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Waterproof Super Portable Bluetooth Speaker

BOTTOM LINE

With a small design and a waterproof case, this speaker really will go anywhere you want. It comes in multiple colors and can clip right to your bag or clothing for easy and convenient use.

PROS

Capable of working up to 100 feet away from a synced device, this speaker allows you to move as freely as you would like. It’s waterproof and comes in some great color options.

CONS

You might not get as much life from the battery as you would like. The button has a stiff design that can make you skip some of your favorite tracks too.

JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

BOTTOM LINE

Capable of working with up to three devices at a time, this speaker is great for parties and hanging out with friends. The included battery can actually charge those devices too.

PROS

Thanks to a waterproof design, this speaker is one that you can use in the shower or the pool. It can cancel nearby noises as you take phone calls over the speaker too.

CONS

You might find that this speaker produces too much bass or that it develops a cracking sound. A few customers had issues connecting the speaker.

JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

BOTTOM LINE

As the most portable Bluetooth speaker available, the Clip 2 lets you listen to music when jogging or just hanging out. It has a built-in microphone and an integrated cable for connecting to other devices.

PROS

The Clip 2 has a small carabiner attached that lets you clip it to your pocket. You can connect it to another speaker to enhance your audio quality or use it as-is with another device.

CONS

Some shoppers thought the audio produced was a little dull or choppy. You might find that the charging light stops coming on after a few months.

Shopping Guide for the Best Bluetooth Speaker

Depending on how old you are, you might remember listening to music on tapes and discs. Thanks to Bluetooth speakers and new devices, you can now carry more music than you might believe with you. The best Bluetooth speakers for 2018 are compatible with both smartphones and tablets, and you’ll find some models that you can connect to a music player too. With one of the top models, you can even sync your speaker to a friend’s device and share music. The top Bluetooth speakers for 2018 come in some great designs and from some top manufacturers, including JBL and Bose.

With the best Bluetooth speaker, you can listen to music anywhere you would like too. You’ll find models that let you set up your own surround sound system that works with your television and phone. If you love spending time outside, you can look at models that are water-resistant or waterproof that you can use around any body of water. We hope that our shopping guide will provide you with all the valuable information that you need to buy a good speaker. You can use all the same resources that we did and get a good look at the top speakers now available.

Shopping Guide for the Best Bluetooth Speaker

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Selection Criteria

With the price of a Bluetooth speaker ranging from just $5 to more than $200, you need to make sure that you buy the best one for you and the best one that you can afford. As we worked on this shopping guide to the best Bluetooth speakers, we knew that we wanted to include a range of products that would fit any budget you had in mind. We also knew that we wanted to find speakers that you could use both indoors and out as well as models that would work for more than just a few months. To find the top products, we spoke to serious audio lovers to see what speakers they used and loved. We then headed to Amazon.

Using Amazon allowed us to remove any speakers that are no longer available and those no longer supported by manufacturers. We also eliminated models that are now available with upgrades. After looking at hundreds of reviews, we feel confident in the top five models that we chose. Our top five Bluetooth speakers for 2018 are suitable for all types of music lovers. You can find a model that will work with your iPad, Android smartphone and any other devices that you own.

How We Picked the Best Bluetooth Speakers for the Year

Selection Criteria - WITH TEXT

Bluetooth Basics

As you shop for a new speaker, you’ll find that manufacturers use the words Bluetooth and wireless. While Bluetooth speakers are wireless, not all wireless speakers use Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth refers to a type of technology that allows you to create a connection between two devices over a wireless network. When you buy a new speaker, you can connect it to a music player, your smartphone, a smart TV or even a tablet or laptop computer. Most devices require that you simply press a button on the speaker itself. It will automatically search for a compatible Bluetooth device and form an instant connection.

Wireless speakers typically come with a USB that looks like a flash drive. You must plug it into your device and wait for it to scan and find the speaker. Some computers and other devices will require that you search for update or download and run software to pair the speaker to the device. Depending on the number of USB ports on your device and how many of those ports you need, you might prefer a Bluetooth speaker. Other types of products can use this same type of technology too, including headphones that you wear when playing games or a keyboard that you use when typing on your computer.

Benefits of Bluetooth Speakers Over Wireless Speakers

Bluetooth Basics - WITHOUT TEXT
  • Have a greater distance and range
  • Often have less distortion and other feedback problems
  • Suitable for use inside and outside
  • Do not require that you sacrifice a USB port
  • Are easier to connect to your devices

Thanks to its unique design, this Bluetooth speaker showers that good things can come in small packages. Despite its small size, it provides all the pumping bass and great sound that you want with little to no distortion. The pyramidal shape actually allows more sound to come from the speaker and to surround you with those tunes. Ranked as one of the top speakers for shoppers, the Angle 3 is great for use at home or on the go. You can toss it right into your car or bag to use it on vacation.

Bluetooth Speaker Review Oontz Angle 3 New Enhanced Edition Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Oontz Angle 3 New Enhanced Edition Portable Bluetooth Speaker

The Angle 3 is one of the only water-resistant speakers in this price range. While you can’t completely submerge it in water, you can use it when lounging by the beach or next to the pool. It’s also great for listening to music while you shower or take a bath. Weighing just 10 ounces, this speaker is one of the smallest and most lightweight models on the market. It comes with a rechargeable battery that lasts for up to 10 hours too. The Angle 3 is also compatible with a variety of apps and devices. You can connect it to a phone or tablet and listen to tunes via your favorite apps.

Choosing the Right Type of Speaker

Many shoppers think that they just need to decide how much to spend and then pick a speaker that they can afford. We think that you should really give some thought to the best type of speaker for you. Let’s say that you have a swimming pool that you exercise in daily. You’ll prefer an outdoor speaker that you can use in the water. If you love throwing indoor parties and playing video games or watching movies and television in addition to listening to music, you might prefer a speaker that you can connect to others to create a surround sound system. You should look at all the different types of Bluetooth speakers before looking at the top models.

Home Speaker

The first type of Bluetooth speaker that you can buy is one called a home speaker. Some manufacturers also refer to these as indoor speakers. Though most speakers feature a rechargeable battery, you’ll also get a cord that you can plug in to charge the battery. You might look for a model that comes with an AC adapter too. As long as this adapter remains plugged into the wall, the speaker will never run out of power. While you can use an indoor or home speaker outside, you risk damaging it, especially if you use the speaker around water or on a humid day.

Car Speaker

Did you know that you can now purchase Bluetooth speakers that will automatically connect to and work with your car’s stereo? If you have a newer vehicle or stereo system that uses Bluetooth, you can use one of these speakers anytime you hang out near your car. You can connect the speaker to the system and listen to music played on the radio while standing outside. These speakers are perfect for nights at the drive-in movie theater and for romantic picnics. You can even let your kids listen to music while playing in your yard.

Outdoor Speaker

When you want to listen to music while sitting outside on a nice day, you need an outdoor speaker. These models come with an outer case that surrounds the speaker. Often made from aluminum or another lightweight metal, this case protects the speaker and other components from water damage. You can actually use one right next to your swimming pool without worrying that splashes of water might damage it. If you want one that you can actually use in the water with you, you need to look for one that is waterproof. Some outdoor speakers have such a great range that you can sync them to devices inside your home.

Portable Speaker

The Clip 2 from JBL that appears on our list is just one example of a portable Bluetooth speaker. These speakers weigh much less than the other types and allow you to carry them on your body. These are great for those who like exercising outside but still want to keep an eye on their surroundings. When you wear headphones, you might not hear someone walking nearby or coming up behind you. With a portable speaker, you can listen to music and still hear everything around you. The top models in this category that we found have a clip for attaching the speaker to your body.

Benefits of a Showerhead Bluetooth Speaker

A showerhead Bluetooth speaker is a product that functions as both a speaker and a showerhead. It typically looks like a standard shower head but has one or more speakers built inside. Some of the benefits of this type of speaker include:

  • The waterproof design will last through hundreds or even thousands of showers
  • Lets you listen to music whenever you're in the bathroom
  • Compatible with most modern devices
  • Can pick up Bluetooth devices in other rooms
  • May feature some lights or other added features
Choosing the Right Type of Speaker

AC vs. Battery Power

The number one reason why so many people today choose Bluetooth speakers is that they want to listen to music without using any cords. If you want a truly wireless experience, you’ll want to pick a speaker that comes with a rechargeable battery. You can fully charge the battery before leaving the house and have hours of power at your next outdoor party. Another benefit to a speaker with a rechargeable battery is that you can charge it in different ways. If you go camping with friends or family, you can use an adapter and plug the battery via the cigarette lighter or outlet in your vehicle. It can take as little as an hour or less to completely charge many speaker batteries.

Another option is a Bluetooth speaker that uses AC power. These models are really best for those who want a speaker they can use in their homes. Since the speaker will work as long as it remains plugged into an outlet, you really only need to think about the length of the cord. A longer cord will let you move the speaker around the room and use it in other rooms. Bluetooth speakers that use AC power typically last longer than rechargeable models do.

Benefits of Hybrid Power Bluetooth Speakers

A hybrid power Bluetooth speaker is one that comes with an AC adapter and a rechargeable battery. You can use the AC adapter to listen to music as the speaker charges and when the battery is completely dead. Once the battery charges, you can take that speaker outside. Some of the top benefits of this type of speaker include:

  • Allows you to listen to music at home and when away from home
  • Gives you the chance to use the speaker when the battery is dead
  • Provides you with power during a power outage or failure
  • Keeps the battery from draining too quickly
  • Lets you enjoy music anytime
AC vs. Battery Power - WITHOUT TEXT

FM Tuner Basics

A Bluetooth speaker lets you access all your favorite apps and any music that you have on a device. If you still like the idea of listening to the radio, you’ll want to look for a speaker that has a built-in FM tuner. While many people listen to satellite radio in their vehicles, a large number of people still listen to local radio stations. You might like the idea of hearing people in your area talk about their lives and hearing songs created by local bands. A Bluetooth speaker with an FM tuner will work just like your radio does but let you listen to those stations in a more convenient way.

The tuner may look like a simple switch at the top of the speaker. Some of the more expensive models feature a digital tuner. With a digital tuner, you can scroll through stations quickly and instantly find your favorite station. Models that have a more traditional tuner may require that you go back and forth a few times before finding the right station. Once you find and select a station, you can listen to the same music that you would in your car. All the music played on the air comes through the speaker in real time.

Best Radio Streaming Apps

  • iHeartRadio
  • Pandora
  • Radio Online
  • Spotify
  • TuneInRadio
FM Tuner Basics - WITH TEXT

Anyone who loves music knows the name, Bose. While most of its speakers and sound systems are too large to take with you, this smaller Bluetooth speaker is suitable for use anywhere around your home or when hanging out with friends outside. Unlike other speakers that have a shorter design, this speaker is both larger and taller. It has a 360-degree design that allows more music to flow through the speaker and reach your ears. The sound quality on this model is nearly as good as the quality offered by the company’s larger speakers. You can pick from two different colors and get an aluminum case that is both rugged and durable. That case is also water-resistant.

Bluetooth Speaker Review Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker - OPT 1
Bose SoundLink Revolve Portable Bluetooth 360 Speaker

With a wireless range of nine feet, this speaker lets you sit or stand further away from the devices you want to use. Some even found that the quality is better when they move the speaker further away from one of those devices. The internal battery will last for a full 12 hours when you set the volume to a lower level. Bose allows you to use a single speaker or connect two together. You can also use a feature on this speaker to actually take calls to a connected phone.

Do You Need Voice Control?

Google and Amazon are just a few of the companies that now make voice assistant devices. With the Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, you can ask the device questions and do other things. A large number of speakers now come with a built-in voice assistant too. You can actually find one that uses the same Microsoft Cortana or the Apple Siri that you use on your phone. When you set a reminder via your speaker, it will automatically send that reminder to your phone. Let’s say that you come home from work and find a power bill in the mail. You can tell the speaker to remind you that the bill is due before the due date. When that date arrives, both the speaker and any other linked devices will remind you of that bill.

Manufacturers often call these models smart speakers because they can do everything a smartphone can. As these models can cost much more than you wanted to spend, you really need to decide whether you’ll use all the features of a smart speaker. You might find that you would prefer using your phone to set reminders or do a web search and save some of the cost of a new speaker.

Popular Things to do with a Smart Speaker

  • Shop for items online
  • Do simple or more advanced web searches
  • Answer and make phone calls
  • Send text messages
  • Access music saved on any linked devices
Do You Need Voice Control

Why You Might Need a Built-in Microphone

Whether you use your phone for business purposes, personal reasons or both, you should really give some thought to a Bluetooth speaker with a built-in microphone. That microphone will let you accept any phone call that comes in without fumbling around to find your phone. Let’s say that you want to listen to music while relaxing outside next to the pool but you also need to wait for your doctor to call. With one of these speakers, you can enjoy the sunshine and the fresh air while you listen to all your favorite tunes. When the doctor finally calls, you can accept it and talk to him or her, even if you left your phone inside. Some of the features you should look for when choosing this type of speaker include:

  • Sound quality: You should first consider the overall sound quality the speaker provides when using this feature. If it produces a lot of feedback and distortion, you’ll have a hard time hearing others.
  • Volume control: We recommend looking at the volume controls too. You want to make sure that you can adjust the volume as needed when your phone is not nearby.
  • Buttons: It’s also important that you look at the buttons and how you will use them. We recommend speakers that have a single button that lets you accept or reject a call and a button that lets you end the call later.

Benefits of a Speaker with a Built-in Microphone

  • Lets you make and accept phone calls without keeping your phone on you
  • Gives you the option of accepting or rejecting an incoming call
  • Automatically pauses the music when you take a call
  • Works a far distance away from your phone
  • Allows you to adjust the volume to change the way others hear you and the way you hear them
Why You Might Need a Built-in Microphone - WITHOUT TEXT

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

When you need a speaker that you can use while sitting in your bedroom or living room, you probably don’t care if it is either water-resistant or waterproof. If you want a speaker that you can take outdoors though, you really need to consider one or the other. A water-resistant speaker is one that can resistant a small amount of water. Even if you or a party guest splashes water from your pool onto the speaker, it should still work. A speaker that is water-resistant is safe to use when camping or hiking and whenever you want to sit outside.

Waterproof models are best for those who want to get as close to a body of water as possible. You’ll find some speakers that you can submerge in the water without damaging the drivers or any other components. This lets you set the speaker right on the side of your swimming pool or inside a boat when spending a day on the water. We even found some models that will float on the surface of the water. If you drop one over the side of the boat or someone knocks it into the pool, it will keep playing music without skipping a single beat.

Where Can You Use a Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker?

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant - WITHOUT TEXT
  • In and around your swimming pool, a lake and any other body of water
  • When boating, fishing and swimming
  • In campgrounds and other outdoor spots
  • When exercising during storms and rain showers
  • Around friends and family members who are clumsy with their drinks

The WONDERBOOM Bluetooth speaker from Ultimate Ears is one of the best around because it has such a great range. Unlike other speakers that require you sit quite close to a synced device, this one will work at a distance of up to 100 feet or 30 meters away from that device. No matter how close you sit, you’ll get the strong sound quality that you want. Though this model is much smaller than some of the others that we found, it has a 360-degree design that allows more music to stream through the drivers and come out through the speaker. You can hear that music clearly from any angle or distance.

Bluetooth Speaker Review Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Waterproof Super Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Waterproof Super Portable Bluetooth Speaker

With a strong frequency range and a high decibel rating, this speaker performs better than some models that are twice its size. The WONDERBOOM has a battery that lasts for 10 hours, though some shoppers found that they only got two hours of playing time because of the volume settings they used. It has just one single button on the top for syncing the speaker to other speakers or any nearby device. The WONDERBOOM is completely waterproof and comes in some great colors. You’ll also find a clip that lets you hook the speaker to your clothing or a nearby object.

Remote Control vs. Physical Buttons

Every Bluetooth speakers we looked at has physical buttons located on the top or the sides. Those buttons have small drawings or images that let you know what each one does. One issue you might have with those buttons is that the graphics can wear down over time. This is especially true of the buttons that you use the most often. Another problem you might have is that you need to actually touch those buttons to change the volume or skip a track. That is why some shoppers prefer a speaker that comes with a separate remote control.

This control will function just like the one that you use with your television. The number of buttons provided with really depends on the number of features of the speaker. Some remotes have 10 or more buttons that let you do everything from increase and decrease the volume to access certain apps and pause songs. A few manufacturers now make speakers that are compatible with remote control apps too. Instead of using a remote, you can download an app that turns your phone into a remote. You can then open that app and aim it right at the speaker before pressing any of the buttons on the screen.

What Can You do with a Speaker Remote?

  • Scan and search for different radio stations
  • Open and close different compatible apps
  • Access any saved playlists on a synced device
  • Pause, fast forward and rewind songs
  • Skip around playlists to choose different songs
Remote Control vs. Physical Buttons - WITHOUT TEXT

USB Ports and Upgrade Options

As technology constantly grows and evolves, you must know how to stay on top of those changes. If you have an old speaker or another device, you might find that it uses an older form of Bluetooth that is not compatible with any modern devices that you own. You can even buy a brand new smartphone today that uses an older form of this technology. When you attempt to sync a speaker to a phone that uses a different form of Bluetooth, you’ll receive an error message that tells you that it cannot form a connection. If you buy a speaker that has a USB port, you can prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

This port allows you to plug in a simple USB cord and run it right into your computer. You can then search for any upgrades that are available and automatically download a new form of Bluetooth. Many of the top manufacturers call this a firmware update. Once you search for and install any new drivers or other software, you will automatically update your speaker and make it work with any newer devices that you buy. Some speakers do not have a USB port and will only work with older Bluetooth devices.

How to Update Your Bluetooth Speaker

  • Run a USB cord from your computer to your speaker
  • Wait for your computer to identify the device
  • Click the button that appears, which should ask if you want to search for updates
  • Select any updates that apply to your speaker
  • Follow the prompts on your screen to automatically apply those updates to the speaker
USB Ports and Upgrade Options - WITHOUT TEXT

Fast and Convenient USB Charging

The biggest problem that you might encounter when streaming music from one device through a Bluetooth speaker is that the battery on that device can die long before you’re done. A good way to make your battery last longer and to get more out of it is with a speaker that doubles as a charger. As we mentioned in the above section, a speaker with a USB port allows you to automatically apply new updates to it. That port also comes in handy because it turns the speaker into a phone charger. We recommend looking for one that features either a micro USB or a traditional USB port because these are the more common ports.

With this type of port, you can plug a cord into your phone or tablet and plug the other end into the speaker. As long as the speaker has power, it will charge that device and keep playing music. You should keep in mind that this will drain the speaker’s battery though. This feature works best on indoor speakers that come with an AC adapter. Not only will that adapter provide the power that the speaker needs, but it will also keep your phone from dying and extend the life of the phone’s battery.

What Devices Will Sync to a Bluetooth Speaker?

  • Smart televisions
  • MP3 and other types of music players
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Computers
  • Video game consoles
Fast and Convenient USB Charging - WITHOUT TEXT

If you like listening to playlists that your friends created when hanging out together, you’ll love the Charge 3 from JBL. This is one of the only Bluetooth speakers we found that you can sync to multiple devices at the same time. The Charge 3 makes it easy to switch between those devices to keep the party going all night. It’s compatible with both tablets and smartphones as well as some music players. You can also pick from some great and unique colors, including red and teal. All models have the 360-degree design that allows you to surround yourself with music.

Bluetooth Speaker Review JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

With JBL Connect, you can actually build your own sound system too. This feature allows you to connect multiple speakers together to create a great system. One thing that really makes this speaker stand out is that it functions as a charger. You can actually connect your devices to the speaker and charge those devices as you listen to music. Its internal battery will last for an impressive 20 hours, even if you listen to music at a higher volume level. This model is waterproof and portable. It also lets you accept phone calls and will cancel echoes and other noises as you talk.

Creating a Complete System

While Bluetooth speakers are great for listening to music as you clean your home or do some homework, you may want to create a larger system. We recommend that you look for speakers that you can sync to other speakers to create a surround sound system in the middle of your living room. Not only can you connect multiple speakers together, but you can also connect those speakers to a stereo system or even your television. The next time that you sit down to watch a Hollywood blockbuster, you’ll enjoy an immersive experience that actually makes you feel like you’re in the middle of all that action.

You’ll also like connecting those speakers together whenever you throw a party. As much as we love some of the top models, you might find that they produce a dull or muted sound. That makes it hard for people to hear the music you carefully selected as they sit in the same room or move to another room. When you hook several speakers together, you can create the booming bass and vibrant sounds that get people onto the dance floor. If you want to build your own system, you should make sure that you buy compatible speakers.

How to Sync Two Bluetooth Speakers Together

  • Turn on both speakers, using either their rechargeable batteries or AC adapters
  • Press and hold down the sync button on the primary speaker
  • Wait for the speaker to scan the room and select the speaker
  • Repeat this step with each speaker you want to use to create a system that links one speaker to the next
Creating a Complete System

Bluetooth Speakers for Apple Devices

Tech enthusiasts today routinely swear by Apple or Android products. You’ll see some stiff competition between the two and enthusiasts who claim that one is much better than the other. If you have Android devices, you shouldn’t have any problems finding a compatible speaker. Most of these speakers will work with devices that use both types of operating systems. You may encounter some problems when selecting a speaker that is compatible with a newer or an older Apple device though, especially if you want to plug the speaker into that device. That is due to the fact that Apple uses proprietary hardware that will only work with its products. You cannot use an ordinary USB cord to connect the speaker to the device in the way you would an Android product.

If you have an iPad, iPod or iPhone and want to connect it to the speaker, you need to look for a speaker with the right type of connector. Older Apple products will require a 30-pin connector that you plug into the speaker before plugging into the device. If you have a newer Apple phone or tablet, you need a speaker that is compatible with one of the company’s nine-pin cables.

Bluetooth Speakers for Apple Devices

Battery Life

Though you might decide on a hybrid model or a Bluetooth speaker that works with an AC adapter, you might also decide that one with a rechargeable battery is the best choice for you. When choosing one of these speakers, you must consider the overall battery life. Some of the things that determine how long the battery will last can include:

  • How long you charged the battery initially
  • If you charged the battery for too long
  • The age of the battery
  • Whether you take phone calls as you listen to music
  • The volume level that you use

A good rechargeable battery should last for at least four hours when you use the maximum volume setting. If you turn the volume down just a new notches, that battery might last for six to seven hours or more. Some of the best Bluetooth speakers that we found can last for 10 to 20 hours or more. You may want to look at how long the battery will last when you do not use the speaker too. This lets you know whether you need to charge it before leaving the house or if the battery will still have some life left in it.

Tips for Making Your Bluetooth Speaker Battery Last Longer

  • Avoid storing in the speaker in spaces that are extremely hot or cold
  • Charge the battery only until the light on the speaker comes on to prevent overcharging
  • Turn the volume down slightly lower than you think you need it
  • Charge the battery completely each time you charge it
  • Keep a backup battery on had
Battery Life

The Clip 2 is the ultimate Bluetooth speaker for anyone who loves music. Located right on the side of the speaker is a carabiner that lets you clip it right to your jacket or shirt pocket. You can also use that clip to hook the speaker to the side of a pool or any other object you want to use. As it’s completely waterproof, the Clip 2 lets you listen to music while you’re in the water. It’s great for use in swimming pools and other bodies of water as well as on boats when you’re on the water.

Bluetooth Speaker Review JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker
JBL Clip 2 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker

Thanks to the included integrated cable, you can connect this speaker directly to another device to listen to music and to charge the battery. It features a built-in microphone that lets you accept phone calls too. Once you connect the speaker to your phone, you can actually pause the music when a call comes in and both talk to another person and hear that individual clearly via that microphone. If you want even louder and better sound quality, you can create your own system with other speakers from JBL. The Clip 2 comes in multiple colors to match your sense of style too.

IPX Ratings

Ingress protection is a term that manufacturers use when describing how well the casing on a product can block dust and other debris. A good case will do a great job of keeping dust and debris out of the inside, which will extend the life of the speaker. As you look at the top Bluetooth speaker descriptions, you’ll come across IPX, which tells you how well the case will protect the speaker against water damage. The higher the rating is, the more protection the case will offer. We recommend that you avoid any speaker with a rating of 3 or less. These cases offer so little in the way of protection that you can damage the speaker when you spill a glass of water anywhere near it.

The highest rating that you’ll see is IPX7. This rating means that the case is completely waterproof. Not only can you feel free to drink and dance around the speaker, but you can even toss it right in the water and still hear the music playing. Though we recommend that you pick a waterproof speaker for parties and those days where you want to listen to music around water, you can pick a lower rating for a speaker you’ll only use inside.

What do IPX Numbers and Ratings Really Mean?

IPX Ratings - 1
IPX Ratings - 2
  • IPX7: Can handle complete submersion in water
  • IPX6: Will withstand a steady stream of moisture
  • IPX5: Blocks any small splashes of water and more pressurized streams
  • IPX4: Will stand up to a few minor splashes

What Matters the Most When Buying a Bluetooth Speaker?

  • Design: One of the top things to consider when buying a new speaker is the overall design. You’ll want to choose one that is either waterproof or water-resistant, especially if you want to use it outside. We also encourage you to pick one that has a 360-degree design that allows sound to come from all corners and sides.
  • Weight: Though weight isn’t as important when picking a speaker that you’ll keep on the same shelf in your home, it is important when choosing a speaker that you can take with you. In addition to looking at the total weight, you may want to consider the size of the speaker in terms of how much space it will take up.
  • Bluetooth version: The age and version of the Bluetooth technology used by the speaker are also important. This tells you whether it is compatible with the devices you hope to use and whether you need to upgrade it. The technology version will also tell you how far away you can use the speaker from your devices.
  • Power source: You will also need to pick a speaker based on which power source is right for you. Though some prefer battery models, you might prefer one that works with an AC adapter. We also found some hybrid models that come with both a rechargeable battery and an AC adapter.

Bluetooth Versions and Your Range

What Matters the Most When Buying a Bluetooth Speaker - WITH TEXT

What to do When the Speaker Sounds Distorted or Poor

  • Move closer: The most common reason why you might hear some distortion or feedback coming through the speaker is that it’s too far away from the connected device. Bluetooth technology typically works best when you’re no more than 33 feet away. You may want to move the speaker and the connected device closer to each other.
  • Charge the battery: Though many of the top models we saw claim that you can charge the battery and still use the speaker, you may notice a serious change in the sound quality when doing both at the same time. As you charge the battery, the music that comes out of the speaker may sound slightly off or highly distorted. You might find it helpful to charge or replace the battery before you turn it on.
  • Too many connections: We also recommend that you take a look at the total number of connections you have and run when the sound seems off. If you have the speaker connected to many other devices, it can produce some distortion because it attempts to use all connections at the same time. You should try closing out some of those connections and/or turning off any of the devices that you used with the speaker in the past.

How to Boost Your Speaker Connection

  • Download a speaker boosting app
  • Make sure you have the right type of Bluetooth on your speaker and other devices
  • Remove any electronics between the device and speaker
  • Turn the speaker off and then back on before searching for a connection
  • Move the speaker as close as possible to the synced device
What to do When the Speaker Sounds Distorted or Poor

How to Connect a Speaker to Your Phone

  • Activate Bluetooth: Before you can sync a speaker to your phone, you must activate Bluetooth on that device. Most phones require that you enter the settings and select this feature. Some phones let you slide down the top menu and turn on Bluetooth from there.
  • Turn on the speaker: Turning on the speaker is as easy as simply pressing down on the power button. Once the speaker is on, you’ll hold down the Bluetooth button and let the speaker search for a nearby device.
  • Check the connection: The best thing about Bluetooth speakers is that they will automatically find and connect to any devices within range. To check your connection, you can select a playlist or app on your phone and see if it comes through the speaker.
  • Adjust the settings: To enjoy all your favorite songs, you just need to adjust the settings on your speaker. You can change the volume and adjust both the bass and treble.

Expert Tip:

If you have problems syncing your speaker to your phone, you should turn off any other Bluetooth connections you set up. You may want to make sure that both the speaker and phone have a good charge too.

How to Connect a Speaker to Your Phone

What is the Average Price for a Bluetooth Speaker?

It can easily cost a few hundred dollars to buy a set of speakers for your living room or family room. When you shop for a Bluetooth speaker though, you can save a significant amount of money. Some of the cheapest wireless speakers retail for just $5 to $10. These cheaper models will require that you use a USB adapter that you plug into the device that you want to use with the speakers. The manufacturers of Bluetooth speakers offer inexpensive products that retail for $30 or less. If you want a lightweight and portable model that will go everywhere with you, you’ll want to look for one in this price range. We also recommend these affordable speakers for homes with kids and pets. If they break your speaker, you can easily replace it.

The best speakers and the top of the line products retail for much more though. You might spend $50 or even $100 on a good quality Bluetooth speaker that you’ll use when watching television and listening to music in your bedroom or living room. The price can also vary across manufacturers. Bose, which has a good reputation as one of the top speaker manufacturers in the world, sells Bluetooth speakers that can cost as much as $200 each.

What Will You Pay for One of the Top Five Best Bluetooth Speakers?

What is the Average Price for a Bluetooth Speaker - WITH TEXT

Frequently Asked Questions

A: The term frequency range tells you the range of frequencies that the speaker will pick up on as it streams and plays music. Those that have a greater range can pick up both lower and higher frequencies provide better clarity and allow you to hear all the notes that you love from your favorite songs.

A: If you aren’t sure whether a wireless or a Bluetooth speaker is the best choice for you, you can choose one that functions as both. These speakers have the extended range that wireless models do but will work with Bluetooth technology, which extends the life of the battery.

A: When choosing a Bluetooth speaker that you can take camping in the wilderness and to larger campgrounds, you’ll want to look for one with a long battery life because you may not have access to electricity. You’ll also want to look for a speaker that has a rugged case and one that is lightweight. The case protects the speaker from damage, while the lightweight design won’t take up space or add weight to your pack.

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