Everyone loves a Bluetooth speaker. Take it from a team who have probably tested more of the portable powerhouses than we'd care to imagine. The versatile, mobile music-makers are everywhere these days, and they're better than ever.
That's fine by us. Quite the opposite of being snobbish about the correct form a speaker should take, we love a decent portable, wireless model. They're fun, convenient and bring the joy of music wherever they go.
"But aren't they colossally expensive?", we hear you ask. Not at all, and with Amazon Prime Big Deal Days in full swing today and tomorrow (October 10th to 11th), you're in the perfect position to nab a nifty bargain.
Below are five superb operators that, while good at full price, are transformed into super-valued steals when a nice juicy discount is added into the mix.
JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi
JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi
was £250 now £200 at Amazon (save £50) One of the best portable speakers we've tested recently, the JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi adds more streaming options, Alexa Multiroom and slight sonic enhancements to the original five-star Charge 5 model. A significant discount on a speaker that only came out a few months ago.
The five-star JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi is a tweaked version of the excellent JBL Charge 5, taking the foundations laid by the esteemed Award-winner and adding an extended arsenal of very welcome features. More wireless streaming options are now available courtesy of the new model's wi-fi capabilities, and you'll also receive Alexa Multiroom for when you want a hands-free assistant.
The sound, too, is improved, with more refinement at the edges and just a little more drive and punch, especially when played over AirPlay 2. Everything else about the Charge 5 Wi-Fi is a continuation of the original model's charms, with a strong IP67 rating, rugged build and 20-hour battery life all passing over to the new model.
If you thought the Charge 5 Wi-Fi's original asking price of £230 was a bit steep, a £30 discount has really taken the edge off. That's not a discount to be sniffed at, especially when you consider the fact that the Charge 5 Wi-Fi only came out a few months ago.
Read the full review: JBL Charge 5 Wi-Fi
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2
Tribit Stormbox Micro 2
was £60 now £48 at Amazon (save £12)
This adorable yet sonically significant five-star budget Bluetooth speaker has been reduced by £12 and remains a steal. It's a dinky but powerful speaker with 12 hours of battery life, an IP67 water-proof rating and is ultra-portable. A palm-sized speaker that punches well above its weight.
Everyone here at What Hi-Fi? agrees: we all love the Tribit Stormbox Micro 2. There's just something so adorably simple yet endearingly punchy about the plucky little fella. If all you want from a decent outdoor speaker is portability and affordability, I can't think of many better than the excellent Micro 2.
It's cheap as chips, too, only made more attractive by a significant discount that knocks more than £10 off the original £60 asking price. Building on the success of the original Stormbox Micro and featuring an all but identical woven design, the Micro's sequel trumps its predecessor when it comes to delivering enjoyable audio and massively improved battery life. We easily coaxed 12 hours of listening out of a single charge, while an IP67 rating lets one of our reviewers use it in the bathroom/shower daily without any issue or damage.
Audio is really strong, too, for its size and budget price: bigger, punchier and louder than you’d expect from such a small box. Voices in particular are relayed in a clear, more appealing manner than anything else we’ve heard at this price. The only issue is that it can start to suffer from distortion at louder volumes, but we found it to be one of the best-value options if you’re really on a tight budget.
Read the full review: Tribit Stormbox Micro 2
Audio Pro Addon C3
Audio Pro Addon C3 wireless speaker
was £280 now £125 at Amazon (save £155)
The C3 portable speaker has it all, combining multi-room skills, solid build and excellent sound quality in an impressively well-priced package. Now that said price has fallen dramatically (nearly half, in fact!), it could be the best time to buy.
What Hi-Fi? Award winner
Tested originally at around £250, the Award-winning Addon C3 has plummeted in price to just £115, although that supreme discount only applies if you're happy to have the multi-room speaker in a rather pleasing grey finish.
Featuring wi-fi as well as Bluetooth, the C3 is capable of linking up to all of the major streaming services, including Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music, with playback controlled via the Audio Pro control app.
There’s plenty of bass for a unit this size, as well as startling detail and a sense of life, expression and fun. Rhythms snap with precision, with instruments expertly organised and dynamics effortlessly contoured. It might be an elder statesman, but with such a whopping discount taking that price through the floor, you really should consider going back in time a little for such an incredible deal.
If you're interested in having a voice-assistant model, the fantastic Audio Pro Addon C5A with Amazon Alexa is also heavily discounted from £280 all the way down to £120, nearly 60% off at Amazon!
Read the full review: Audio Pro Addon C3
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd gen)
Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd gen
was £239 now £169 at Amazon (save £70)
The Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) delivers a pleasing yet authoritative performance that you'd be happy listening to all day. Throw in its extremely classy design plus the bonus of Alexa, and you're looking at a top-notch Bluetooth speaker with a great £70 off most finishes.
Read our B&O Beosound A1 2nd gen review
While this gorgeous little speaker has been heavily discounted before, that doesn't stop this drop from £239 to just £169 at Amazon being any less of a great deal. £70 off a five-star Bang & Olufsen speaker that consistently ranks as one of our finest-sounding portable models – surely there's a catch?
Not as far as I can see. The Beosound A1 (2nd gen) has been around for a few years, but it's a long way from outdated. The stylish, effortlessly cool and lovely-sounding A1 holds its own superbly, and with support for Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive Bluetooth 5.1 codec and in-built Alexa, it's nowhere near becoming "out of touch".
It works a treat, too, delivering a pleasingly comfortable yet authoritative performance that I'd be happy listening to all day. There's detail and texture, too, something you don't always find in a speaker of this size. Throw in its classy, well-made design, easy-to-use operation and the bonus of Alexa, and you're looking at a Bluetooth speaker sequel that has very much been worth the wait.
Read the full review: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen)
was £179 now £134 at Amazon (save £45)
Sonos is known for its well-made, balanced and full-sounding speakers, and while the portable Roam doesn't quite hit the heights reached by the likes of the Era 100 and Era 300 smart speakers, it's still a nicely made, robust unit full of musical muscle.
Read our Sonos Roam review
The Sonos Roam is an off-roading, deep-diving speaker with dimensions and a feature set to rival portables from JBL and Ultimate Ears. Given Sonos’ run of superb-sounding products, one we can drop in our backpack and take on a ramble was highly anticipated, and the Roam did a good job of fulfilling its much-hyped brief.
In terms of sound, this is a speaker that's impactful, surprisingly loud and full of confidence, with a strong bass flavour that can be tweaked via the EQ in the Sonos app. The high frequencies aren’t overly rolled off, but we’re definitely on the easier side of listening. Deeper voices, meanwhile, can be lusciously full and are placed well enough forward in the mix for this kind of outdoor and party speaker.
Yes, we'd like a more microscopic, forensic attention to detail, but that's far from a deal breaker. If you like Sonos and its excellent ecosystem, you'll find the Roam to be a worthwhile companion on your travels, or when you're just pottering around the garden.
Read the full review: Sonos Roam
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