There’s a lot to consider when it comes to a Bluetooth speaker. So many shapes and sizes, brands, specs, and feature sets. How are you supposed to choose? Basically, start with what’s most important to you, then work from there. Maybe you’re a music geek, so audio quality is the most important. Maybe you like going way off the grid, so a long-lasting battery is your most critical feature. Here are a few other notes you’ll want to keep in mind as you shop.
- Sound Quality: Good sound quality can be measured by its “sensitivity rating,” A.K.A. how loud a speaker will be (measured in decibels). The higher the sensitivity rating, the higher quality the speaker will be. You don’t want your Bluetooth speaker to have a lower sensitivity rating than 85 dB. Taking a look at the driver also helps—large drivers are more adept at reproducing those satisfying bass notes.
- Battery Life: You know what doesn’t sound great? A speaker that can’t turn on anymore. If you spend a lot of time outside and away from a power source, then you’re going to want to make sure your speaker can go the distance. Look for a speaker with a battery that can support 10 hours of playback at a minimum. The tops in this category can go as long as 20 hours, and some can even charge your phone in a pinch.
- Durability: If you’re getting Bluetooth speakers so you can listen to music in the great outdoors, make sure it’s as rough and tumble as you are. Look for an IPX4 certification at the very least, which should protect your speaker from rain and splashes. IPX5 can take even more, and IPX7 is where you go from water-resistant to waterproof (up to 3 feet, anyway).
Our Picks for the Best Bluetooth Speakers on Amazon
Top Pick Overall: Anker Soundcore Bluetooth Speaker
Comes in Three Colors
This has a 24-hour battery life and maintains a strong connection to your device up to 66 feet away. Anker
Runner Up: OontZ Angle 3
This is IPX7 water resistant and can be submerged up to one meter deep for 30 minutes.
Premium Pick: JBL Charge 4
IPX7 Water Resistance
This product comes in 12 different color options and has a playtime of up to 20 hours. JBL
Long Lasting Charge: Tribit StormBox Pro
Thanks to multipoint functionality, this product can support up to two devices wirelessly at once. Tribit
Also Consider: MusiBaby Bluetooth Speaker
Long Battery Life
This lightweight item can play for 25 hours and can resist splashes or gentle sprays of water. MusiBady
Interesting Things is a shopping-advice and product-review site brought to you by the publishers of Popular Science and Field & Stream magazines. We’re here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.