Finding the best Bluetooth speaker can be tricky. The market is awash with models, as every consumer electronics manufacturer from Apple to Ultimate Ears tries to get a piece of the action. We've rounded-up the best wireless speakers across all shapes, sizes and prices to give you the best chance of picking a product you'll be over the moon with.
Before you pick the first Bluetooth speaker that takes your fancy, it's worth considering what you actually want from it. Will it mainly be used at home? In that case you'll want something that's mains-powered. Do you want to be able to build a multi-room system around it? A smart wireless speaker might be something to consider. If you want flexibility from your wireless speaker and the ability to withstand the elements, then it sounds like a rugged, portable Bluetooth speaker with a built-in rechargeable battery is your best bet.
The best Bluetooth speakers don't sacrifice sound quality, either. Some offer stunning 360-degree sound while other models can be connected together and used in a stereo pair for a more traditional listening experience.
With prices starting at under £100 and going right up to £1000, there should be a wireless speaker saving for everyone.
Compact, portable and easy to use – this is what a Bluetooth speaker under £100 should be. The UE Roll 2 is big enough to improve upon your phone's speaker and will keep going for over five hours. It's also small enough to slip into a bag. Considering its size, you get a full-bodied performance that's clear and offers plenty of detail. But if you're after more bass, you might want to consider a pricier option.
The UE Blast offers not only a portable Bluetooth connected speaker for the price but also crams in wi-fi and Alexa smart assistant voice controls too. The 360-degree sound is powerful and has the bass you'd expect from a higher priced speaker. The far-field voice recognition makes the smart assistant and hands-free work well. IP67 water-proofing is a nice bonus for peace of mind too.
The UE Megablast takes the performance of a portable Bluetooth speaker at this price to a new level. The result is a Bluetooth and wi-fi connected speaker with Alexa smarts which offers pounding bass and an enthusiastic sense of rhythm. It isn't quite as pocketable as some rival speakers but they can't match the UE for bass quality.
The Audio Pro Addon C3 isn't just the best Bluetooth speaker under £250, it's a stylish, wi-fi connected, multi-room capable centrepiece. The sense of refinement from such a small speaker is stunning. The Audio Pro is focused yet open and airy, meaning you can fill a decent sized room with immersive, weighty sound.
Audio Pro currently makes some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market and the Addon C10 is another impressive Award-winning model. Connectivity is among the most thorough you can expect at the money, with wi-fi, Bluetooth and AirPlay, plus aux and RCA inputs. It has all the major music streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz. The Addon C10 sounds big and bold, but is equally able to capture the subtler, more nuanced tracks as it is firing out big bassy numbers.
Better known for its traditional loudspeakers, Dali's Katch is a weighty, portable and attractive design, with 50W of total power. The speaker boasts buttons for power, volume and pairing which is made easier with the option of NFC. There are also two EQ presets: one for freestanding play and one for positioning on a shelf. Just two hours of charge will get you around 24 hours of music playback via Bluetooth – and a sound that defies its dimensions with immense weight and dynamics.
B&W's airship-shaped speaker is something of a design icon. For £500 you get a significant splash of B&W engineering, including metal dome tweeters, and a pair of midrange drivers which borrow FST technology from B&W's flagship Diamond speakers. AirPlay, aptX Bluetooth and Spotify Connect all feature, with the set-up process handled by the Bowers & Wilkins control app.
The elegant, stylish look is backed up with excellent sound quality that fills even large rooms. Tight and well-defined bass are the Zeppelin's biggest charms, and though it's been around a while, the B&W style and sound quality has stood the test of time.
The Naim Mu-so Qb is a stylish speaker with a small footprint but a big personality. Smaller sibling to Naim's full-width Mu-so (see below), the Qb boasts a striking minimalist design and the same impressive touchscreen dial that debuted on the original Mu-so. It doubles as a control panel, with illuminated icons for selecting inputs and handling playback.
There's a raft of streaming features, including Apple AirPlay, aptX Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, Tidal and internet radio. You can stream tunes located on a home network, and there's file support all the way up to 24-bit/192kHz hi-res tracks in WAV, FLAC and AIFF. The Qb delivers size and scale that belies its compact dimensions and one of the best performances you'll hear from a Bluetooth speaker.
The Drumfire is a departure from Audio Pro's compact, and koala-faced wireless speakers. It's actually a multi-room speaker and subwoofer combination in faux-leather and fabric. The bottom part houses a 20cm subwoofer powered by a 200W amp, while the top contains two 11cm woofers and a 25mm tweeter. The Drumfire plays a range of formats and features Bluetooth, wi-fi connectivity and Spotify Connect. Connecting devices is straightforward, although Audio Pro's app is rather clunky when it comes to navigating streaming services.
We've no issue with the sound quality, though. It delivers an expertly balanced sound with the speaker and subwoofer integrating perfectly. There's a dynamism and sense of expression on display that other Bluetooth speakers struggle to convey.
KEF has shrunk its multi-Award-winning LS50 Wireless streaming system down to make a miniature, half-price version, the KEF LSX at £1000/$1100. The LSX shares its successful sibling’s blueprint as an all-in-one hi-fi system: a network streamer, Bluetooth receiver and amplification within a pair of compact stereo speakers.
And KEF has managed to squeeze much of its innovative system’s performance and feature set into a more modest stature, offering the convenience and versatility of the tried-and-tested package at a much more accessible price that is relatively budget for an all-in hi-fi system.
Indeed, the LSX is a scaled-down, carefully crafted copycat of its sibling, and for that is just as triumphant. Take heed, rival systems, these miniature marvels are going to take some beating.
If you want a taste of proper hi-fi from a compact stereo pair of wireless speakers, the Ruarks deliver the best Bluetooth speaker experience of its kind. They produce a a wonderfully musical sound, communicating detail and dynamics on a level that rivals just can't match. There's loads of space between instruments in an airy soundstage which helps breathe life into the most congested of recordings. Voices sound spectacularly rich warm and agile.
The handcrafted wooden cabinets add to their charm, and features such as the optical input for connecting to a TV are handy. A rotary dial allows you to switch inputs without any hassle. Overall, these Ruarks really are superb speakers.
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