Want to enjoy your music wherever you want without wearing headphones or earphones? The portable Bluetooth speaker is the perfect accessory for on-the-go use. Here is our comparison of the best Bluetooth speakers of the moment.
THE BEST BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS IN 2023
While it hasn’t fundamentally changed, the Bluetooth speaker remains a handy tech accessory. Compact, wireless and battery-powered, it has become a must-have for many people. Whether it’s to enjoy music in the garden, at the beach, in the shower, or to listen to a podcast, Bluetooth speakers are nomadic. They can go anywhere (especially on holiday), especially if they are waterproof or splash-proof. They can also be used in the living room, kitchen or bathroom, for example, to listen to the radio or even to enjoy better audio quality when watching a film on a laptop.
To help you make sense of the plethora of products on offer, we’ve put together a list of our favourite Bluetooth speakers (not to be confused with mains-powered speakers for your bedroom or living room).
JBL Charge 5
- Good sound reproduction
- IP67 protection
- Can be used as a powerbank
- Good battery life
- Connection with JBL Charge 4 not possible
The Charge 4 from JBL already has good sound performance and a waterproof design. Its successor – the JBL Charge 5 – goes one better in these points: the inventory includes a tweeter (20 millimetres) and a broadband driver. In terms of sound, the equipment is convincing in the test by hifi.de. The clear output of the mid and higher ranges and the excellent bass receive praise – overall, the sound seems more balanced. However, the tester points out that the treble reproduction could become annoying over time.
Outdoor enthusiasts and water rats can also look forward to an improved protection certification. Instead of IPX7, the speaker comes up trumps with IP67 and is thus not only protected against water but also dust. Perfect if you’re spending a day at the beach. If you already own the Charge 4, you should still think twice before buying it: The Charge 5 falls under a different JBL category and cannot be connected to the Charge 4. Apart from that, JBL offers an acceptable speaker with practical functions such as a power bank and a battery life of around 20 hours.
JBL Clip 4
- High battery life
- IP67 protection against dust and water
- Music playback via Bluetooth or USB connection
- Wide choice of colours
- None known yet
The Clip 4 is no longer only IPX7 certified, but IP67 protects the speaker from water and dust. Practical, considering that the speaker is well suited for your next hiking trip or visit to the outdoor pool, thanks to the carabiner. Like its predecessor, the Bluetooth speaker has a battery life of about 10 hours, according to the manufacturer. You can transfer music from your smartphone to the speaker via Bluetooth or use the integrated USB-C slot.
Bose SoundLink Flex
- Waterproof case
- Decent battery life
- Balanced sound
- High price
- Quite heavy
If it has to sound much better than directly from the smartphone speakers or the small no-name box, the Bluetooth speaker Bose SoundLink Flex is an exciting choice. The sound quality is described as consistently good. This is undoubtedly also due to the two complementary drivers adequately reproducing the different frequencies. The fact that the bass is not necessarily convincing should not surprise a mobile driver of this size. The battery life of just under 12 hours is in the safe midfield. That should be enough even for a trip of several days. The waterproof and dustproof housing, including a robust carrying strap, will easily withstand most stresses and strains on the road. Only the almost 600 grams do not necessarily characterise the SoundLink Flex as lightweight. Given the features, however, such a weight was to be expected.
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3
- Sounds clear, balanced and detailed
- Battery lasts one hour longer than Wonderboom 2
- Can connect to two Bluetooth sources simultaneously
- Sustainable materials
- Micro-USB instead of USB-C connection
The colours are more contrasting. Otherwise, nothing has changed on the outside: as with the predecessor, there are volume buttons on the front, other controls (power, play Bluetooth), and a tab hanging on the top. The fabric cover is once again very durable, and the speaker is IP67 water- and dust-resistant. Unfortunately, the micro-USB socket behind the rubber flap on the back has also remained.
Now for the differences: The battery life is 14 hours, and the predecessor had to be connected to the charging cable an hour earlier. What is new is that a good third of the box is made of sustainable plastic. Google Fast Pair” has been added for quick connection with Android devices; iOS users are left out in the cold. The most significant changes are in the sound: According to “TrustedReviews”, the Wonderboom 3 sounds clearer, more detailed, more balanced and somewhat heavier in the bass range than its direct predecessor, which is said to have more energy and dynamics. In short: In a direct comparison, you are better off with the more refined-sounding latecomer, but for owners of the Wonderboom 2, the change to the new model is only worthwhile to a limited extent.
JBL FLIP 6
- Good sound, slightly more differentiated than the predecessor
- Dust and water protection according to IP67
- Clean finish and nice feel
- Long battery life, USB-C charging port
No power supply unit included
- Plays voices and bass well
- Supports AAC and LDAC codec
- Practical accessories: power bank, multipoint, dust and water protection (IP67), support via two apps
- Light rings with adjustable light effects
- Relatively heavy
More diminutive stature, similarly good sound: the little brother of the SRS-XG500 has a mid-bass driver, two tweeters and a bass amplifier. In the “Stereo Guide” sound test, these ensure “natural, expressive voice reproduction” and powerful bass. The equipment is also positive, with AAC and LDAC codec, dust and water protection according to IP67, a power bank and a multipoint function that can be used to connect two connectable party speakers.
You can operate the device using the built-in buttons above the Bluetooth box – for more specific settings, use the Sony Music Center App or the Sony Fiestable App. These enable access to the equaliser, for example, or adjustment of the lighting effects for the light rings on the side. Practical: On the back, you will find a separate button that you can use to switch off the light. The built-in rechargeable battery, which according to the manufacturer, has a runtime of about 25 hours, ensures continuous sound on the lake. However, you must expect the Bluetooth box to transport slowly. Thanks to the extensive technology, the SRS-XG300 weighs a full 3 kilos.
Nevertheless, a retractable handle is available. In summary, the Bluetooth box with practical functions and a good sound ensures fun at garden parties or on the beach. However, with a price of around 300 euros, it also comes at a high price.