Best Bluetooth Speakers Buying Guide: Welcome to TechRadar India’s round-up of the best Bluetooth speakers in 2019.
Bluetooth speakers have come a long way from being tinny and weak. They are now good enough to be used for your personal needs as well as a house party. All you need to worry about is charging them up, connecting them with your phone and tapping that play button.
Improvements in Bluetooth technology meant that they’re able to offer a very capable audio experience in their own right. Further, improvements in the battery technology and capacities means that you don’t have to worry about charging these speakers for days.
In addition to this, there are several good Bluetooth speakers in the market that come integrated with Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can actually do more than just listen to songs now.
If you are on the lookout for a good Bluetooth speaker, here’s our shortlist of some of good options. Some are rugged, some are stylish, some are weatherproof and some aren’t fit for the outdoors – read through and take your pick.
1. UE Boom 3
Simply the best cordless speaker
Weight: 544g | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 90Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.75″ drivers and two 1.75″ x 3″ passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes USB charging: Yes
Want something that fulfils all your needs – be it a house party or you simply like your music loud? The UE Boom 3 might be just what you need. It offers thumping and loud audio without distortion at high volumes; is light enough to carry on a camping trip but remains durable enough to tumble in a bag unprotected.
There are certainly more detailed speakers out there (see: Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin down below), but at a price that’s relatively affordable to all, the UE Boom 3 hits all the right notes for the third year in a row.
Read the full review: UE Boom 3
2. JBL Charge 3
A near-perfect balance between sound, features and price
Weight: 798g | Battery life: 20 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 65Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.7″ drivers and two passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 3.0 | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Kicking bass response
JBL is a very well-known name when it comes to audio accessories, and the company maintains its reputation with the Charge 3. As a package, the JBL Charge 3 offers a compelling set of features and excellent sound quality to boot. It punches well above its weight, playing it loud and distortion-free.
The Charge line of speakers have been on our shortlist of recommendations for a long time and the latest iteration maintains JBL’s dominance in the portable Bluetooth speaker market.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 3
3. Bose SoundLink Mini II
Slightly dated, but still one of the best sounding wireless speakers
Weight: 667g | Dimensions: 2 x 7.1 x 2.3 inches (H x W x D) | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Wireless range: 30 ft (10 m) | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: No
Built like a tank
Compact form factor
No NFC or multipoint Bluetooth
The Bose SoundLink Mini II is more than four years old now, making it ancient by modern standards of consumer electronics. However, writing off the SoundLink Mini II because of this would be a mistake, given the fact that it still is one of the best sounding wireless speakers.
The SoundLink Mini II punches way above what its size would suggest, offering deep bass, fizzy highs and a lush midrange. It proves that small speakers don’t always have to compromise on the sound quality.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Mini II
4. UE Wonderboom
One of the best-sounding waterproof speakers you can buy
Weight: 425g | Dimensions: 102 x 93.5mm (H x D) | Battery life: Up to 10 hours | Wireless range: 100 ft (33 m) | Frequency response: 80 Hz – 20 kHz | Drivers: two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1mm x 65.2mm passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No
Slightly confined sounding
Another entry from UE in our list, the UE Wonderboom is a great option if you are looking for a quality Bluetooth speaker that you can carry outdoors. UE has taken the Roll 2 and fixed most of the flaws that you could notice.
In our eyes, the UE Wonderboom bests the Roll 2 in just about every way. If you’re looking for one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers on the market today, it’s hard to do better than the UE Wonderboom.
Read the full review: UE Wonderboom
5. Bose SoundLink Color II
A vibrant Bluetooth speaker that packs impressive sound
Weight: 544g | Dimensions: 5.25 x 5 x 2.25 inches (H x W x D) | Battery life: 8 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: N/A | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
Fun, curvy design
Average battery life
The SoundLink Color II is slightly easier to carry around when you’re out and about. Combine this with Bose’ excellent audio mastery, you have a great, easy to carry Bluetooth speaker on your hands.
If you’re looking for something from Bose to take with you on your next hike, the SoundLink Color II is the company’s only splash-proof speaker that can stand up to the elements with an IPX4 rating.
Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Color II
6. Marshall Kilburn
Vintage looks with excellent sound
Weight: 3kg | Battery life: Up to 20 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: 62 – 20,000Hz | Drivers: two 3/4-inch dome tweeters, one 4-inch woofer | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes
Bass and treble controls
No playback controls
Not as portable as competition
One of the important aspects that most buyers tend to focus on while buying a Bluetooth speaker is its portability and durability. Skip the Kilburn if you cannot compromise on these two aspects – the Kilburn is heavy and doesn’t offer any sort of water resistance.
However, if your primary concern is sound quality, you cannot go wrong with the Kilburn. It might seem a bit pricey, but the audio performance and the retro looks are worth it.
Read the full review: Marshall Kilburn
7. JBL Flip 4
A life-friendly speaker that doesn’t skimp on sound
Weight: 515g | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Wireless range: 40 feet | Frequency response: 70Hz – 20kHz | Drivers: 2 x 40mm | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
Decent, rugged design
Plenty of bass
Underwhelming mid-range sound
Slightly basic looks
As the name suggests, the JBL Flip 4 is an outdoor-friendly, rough-and-tough speaker that lets you focus on enjoying your moments without worrying about the speaker.
While its easy to carry the Flip 4 around without worrying too much, its sound quality isn’t really up to scratch, all things considered.
Read the full review: JBL Flip 4
8. boAt Stone 1000
A rugged, idiot-proof speaker
Weight: 1.5Kg | Battery life: Up to 8 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 2.1 + EDR | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
boAt is another well-known name when it comes to accessories. Its 14-watt stereo speaker and 8-hour battery life means you don’t have to worry about performance. Its rugged design and water resistance mean you can be carefree and live in the moment without having to worry about its safety.
Weight: 259g | Battery life: Up to 16 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Weatherproofing: Yes | Charges devices over USB: No
The Sony Extra Bass SRS-XB10 is another tumbler design entry in this list. It looks minimalist and gets out of your way, with extra bass and punchy sound. You also get NFC connectivity in addition to Bluetooth.
Sony claims that these speakers can last for up to 16 hours, so you can go on a day long listening spree without reaching for the charger.
10. Google Nest Mini
Bringing the smarts to speakers
Weight: 181g | Battery life: NA | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz | NFC: NA | Aux-in: No | Bluetooth version: 5.0 | Wi-Fi: 802.1 b/g/n/ac dual-band
The Google Nest Mini is slightly different when compared to other options in this list. It is a smart speaker that offers more than what a regular Bluetooth speaker does – you can connect it to the internet, use your voice to control it and have other smart home devices hooked up to it wirelessly.
Google has made some audio and feature improvements over the original Mini – the company claims that the Nest Mini offers bass that is up to two times stronger than the original Mini.
11. Amazon Echo Dot 3rd gen
Weight: 300g | Battery life: NA | Wireless range: NA | Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz | NFC: NA | Aux-in: Yes | Bluetooth version: NA | Wi-Fi: 802.1 b/g/n/ dual-band
The Echo Dot 3rd gen is easily one of the best, and most affordable smart speakers in the Echo line-up. It may not have fancy features that other expensive Echo speakers have, but it does two things well – the sound and the smarts, courtesy Alexa.
The Echo Dot 3rd gen is also more affordable than the Google Nest Mini which has been launched in India. Plus you also get 3.5mm audio out and Bluetooth support, which allows you to extend the power of the Echo Dot to a more powerful source, if you would like to.
Note: Not all the speakers listed here are tested by the Indian team. Some of them have been recommended by our global team, but all are available in India.