There are literally hundreds of various types of bluetooth speakers, along with tens of thousands of user reviews on every single product so identifying the best portable speaker for you can be tough. In addition to that, the specifications that accompany these speakers will just seem like gibberish to the ordinary users who do not have the slightest idea of what the Digital Signal Processor is, or how viable a speaker that has an output level of 90 dB is. Plus, sifting through all of this information and reading through all these bluetooth speaker reviews will simply be impossible.
If you’re concerned with all these issues, we’re here to tell you that you don’t have to be. We were very much in the same position as you a couple of years ago and so we’ve decided to consolidate all of the available information in as much depth as we can and make the process of choosing the best bluetooth speakers as easy as possible for the newbies.
|Bose Soundlink||Jawbone Big Jambox||JBL Flip||Logitech Wireless Boombox||iHOME Id50Bzc||Sony RDPX500iP||Philips Fidelio DS7700||Soundfreaq SFQ-02RB||Altec Lansing iMW725||JBL On Tour IBT|
|Quality & Features|
|Min Frequency Response||40 Hz||50 Hz||150 Hz||75 Hz||60 Hz||50 Hz||50 Hz||50 Hz||40 Hz||40 Hz|
|Max Frequency Response||20000 Hz||20000 Hz||20000 Hz||20000 Hz||10000 Hz||10000 Hz||20000 Hz||10000 Hz||20000 Hz||20000 Hz|
|Dock For Apple Devices|
|Remote Control Device Provided|
|Controllable with Phone/Tablet|
|Size & Weight|
|Buy From Amazon|
*Because the prices tend to fluctuate, we’ve used the $ signs to represent its approximate value instead. Basically, the more expensive it is, the more dollar signs it’ll have. You can check the prices by clicking on the image or the buy button and a new tab to Amazon.com will appear.
Sound quality will obviously be the most important aspect that we all will prioritize in our selection of speakers so we’ll be dissecting that particular element in more detail here.
If you’re thinking of purchasing a set of speakers, the best way you do this would be to listen to them first. Of course, if that’s not convenient for you, looking at its specifications is still a good way to do it.
Is Bigger Better?
Because some technical jargons can be mind-blowing, especially to new users, just keep this general rule in mind: the bigger the speakers’ dimensions and the heavier they are, the better sounding they will be. I’m probably going to get lot of criticism on this but as I said, it’s only a general rule and it’s not universally true in all instances.
The reason for that is simple. A bigger speaker will have more space to incorporate a larger woofer size and that in turn, produces more bass than smaller woofers. Plus, the size of the cabinet will also have a direct effect on the bass’s quality on the whole. Additional space will also allow for larger driver sizes or simply more of these drivers, all of which will have a significant boost on the sound quality too. So, now you see how bigger and heavier speakers tend to produce better sound quality.
In the above chart, you might’ve noticed how I mentioned that the higher the maximum frequency response and the lower the minimum frequency response are, the better your speakers will be able to perform. If, say you see that a speaker has a frequency response range of 50Hz to 20,000Hz, the “50 Hz” basically shows how deep the bass can be. The lower this value is, the deeper sounding the bass can be and that’s a good thing for you. Similarly, the maximum frequency response signifies the speakers’ capability to produce higher pitched sounds. However, you shouldn’t take these as the sole determinants in identifying the best portable speakers because the advertised manufacturer’s specifications tend to deviate quite a bit from the actual values.
This is an additional aspect that affects how well the speakers are able to perform. These frequency drivers consist of 3 tiers, which are the high frequency, medium frequency and low frequency. Low frequency drivers are responsible for producing low frequency sound (bass) and vice versa. Certain speakers like the Bose Soundlink (which we’ve deemed to be the best bluetooth speaker) has up to 5 frequency drivers; 1 low, 2 medium and 2 high. This generally represents the capability of the speakers in producing sound at different frequency levels.
You’ll notice that some of the more compact and inexpensive speakers will only have 1-2 frequency drivers at most. It is also likely that these drivers are not low frequency drivers because bass is less prioritized in such speakers. The more frequency drivers that a particular set of speakers has, the more likely it’ll sound better.
Finally, even if the listed specifications of a certain set of speakers score the highest in every category, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will produce the best sound quality. These specifications only make it more probable that it will be so. Different manufacturers and different speaker models will be important indicators too and the ideal way to find out which speakers are the best would be to look at both the specifications and overall ratings and reviews of their users.
To make it easier for you though, we’ve handpicked a couple of the most popular and best sounding speakers and reviewed each of them in greater depth. Take your time in picking your choice and you’ll be happy you did.
Top 3 Bluetooth Speakers Reviews
#1 Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Mobile Speaker II - The Bose Soundlink is, without a doubt, the best bluetooth speakers on the market today. Its sound quality is simply outstanding despite its compact size. Because of the 5 frequency drivers that it has, the clarity of its mid-high frequencies is amazing while the bass it produces is surprisingly deep. It almost feels as if there’s a dedicated subwoofer connected to it when you start playing songs that utilize the bass function to its fullest.
In terms of the speakers’ appearances, it looks and feels a lot like a clutch bag or a purse. It’s not the lightest bluetooth speaker around (at about 40 ounces or 1.1kg) but that can be expected for speakers that have a solid bass. If it’s portability you’re highly concerned with, I would suggest looking at the JBL Flip (reviewed below) since it’s approximately 3 times lighter but be prepared to lose out significantly on the overall sound quality.
The Soundlink II originally comes built with a black, plastic finish on the front and chrome around its edges. It also has a protective flap that can be folded back to act as a stand when you want to prop it up on a flat surface.
The original Bose Soundlink I already had a fantastic build quality but the upgraded Soundlink II version is further improved in terms of its sound quality with an even stronger bass and crisper sound at higher frequencies. The Bose Soundlink II (full review here) is certainly our top pick that combines excellent sound quality and portability features whilst maintaining a sleek and stylish appearance.
#2 Jawbone Big Jambox Wireless Bluetooth Speakers – The Jawbone Jambox is our second pick and it’s one of the higher-end speakers that matches up comparably to the Bose Soundlink simply because it is the only other portable speaker that comes with 5 frequency drivers. The Bose edges out in this regard but only ever so slightly in terms of the bass department.
It weighs equally as much as the Bose too so what distinguishes the Jambox is mostly its appearances. The Jawbone Jambox has a myriad of funky patterns that you can choose from, which was a welcome change indeed since almost every other speaker comes in the typical black/silver polish. The distinctive red colored version gets a special mention here thanks to its majestic looks. (Actually I’m just a sucker for red colored gizmos)
The top and bottom surface is made of rubber while the middle grille area has a metallic texture to it with a unique geometric pattern depending on which color you choose.
You have 3 different color options here, which they call the graphite hex, red dot and white wave. Their names are practically indicative of what the patterns on the grille will look like.
#3 JBL Flip - Compact, extremely lightweight and stylish. This was precisely how it has made its way into our top 3 picks. As one of the most portable speakers within its price range, its size is so small that you can easily lug it around in one palm like a water bottle. In fact, it only weighs 12 ounces (0.3 kg), which makes it about half as light as a full 500ml water bottle (yes, the small ones). It comes with rounded edges and if you place it on a surface standing upright, it looks exactly just like one as well.
As for its audio quality, it’s certainly no Bose or Jawbone quality but comparing it to those 2 juggernauts would be unfair since they’re really of a different tier altogether. How so?
Firstly, the JBL Flip is only priced at $119, which is essentially half the price of the Bose and Jambox. Secondly, it’s approximately 3 times lighter than the former 2 speakers so in terms of the portability factor, it tops the chart. Thirdly, it beats every other portable speaker (within its price range) in both the size and audio quality departments.
It can easily fill up a small room with a crisp booming sound too which is extremely impressive given its size. It also comes with a zippered case for transporting it around and can last a full 5-hour marathon of continuous playback. I’d highly recommend the Flip if space and portability are huge concerns for you.