If you’re planning on buying a Bluetooth speaker, there are a couple of things that you should consider before making that final decision. First, you should think about the design. Several speakers that I’ve seen come in eye-popping colors; some opt for colder hues. Some speakers even light up as you turn them on.
Some of the other considerations are durability, portability, sound quality, compatibility with other devices, speaker features, and water resistance. Most important of all is the price; it is important to choose something that will bring value to your money. It doesn’t necessarily have to be cheaper; it just has to be worth it.
In a nutshell, all this can be summed up in one question: “What do you want out of a Bluetooth speaker?”
My Top Pick: UE Megaboom 3
The UE Megaboom 3 is quite colorful and well-designed and, as its name suggests, it is rather very loud. Yet, what’s really interesting about it is how amazing it sounds even in a modestly-sized package. In addition, it is surprisingly light, at just over 2 pounds, and it is IP67-rated waterproof.
With regard to design, the UE Megaboom 3 has the same cylindrical shape and design with other speakers in the Boom line although with a few changes. The volume buttons are made a bit larger and designed to make a visual statement rather than to serve a practical purpose. The charging port has been repositioned to the side so that the speaker can be played and charged at the same time.
Syncing is still quite straightforward, and you can also use a mobile app with a built-in equalizer or UE’ PartyUp feature in order to sync several speakers together. However, what really cements Megaboom 3’s superiority is the richness and bass response in its sound, which makes it the best-sounding and most well-rounded portable speaker today.
The only drawback is that the Megaboom 3 doesn’t have voice assistant support, which is a feature of other speakers. It also uses Micro USD instead of USB-C, which is a minor concern. It still does not change the fact that the Megaboom 3 is still the best Bluetooth speaker right now.
My Second Choice: JBL Charge 3
Although it’s been outshined by UE’s Megaboom 3, the JBL Charge 3 is still considered a fantastic, well-rounded speaker at an affordable price. For about $80 less, you get an IP67-rated waterproof speaker that sounds really well and lasts for about 20 hours in just a single charge.
The Charge 3 doesn’t really look as chic and flashy as the Megaboom 3. The design of the speakers gravitates more toward functionality than form; it functions really well in virtually every situation. If you’re on a budget but still want a Bluetooth speaker that sounds really good, then you will likely love the Charge 3.
As a side note, JBL has announced that it will release a new model for the Charge series, namely the Charge 4, which is said to have better battery life, better sound, and will include a USB-C port. So, you may want to wait for a couple of months to get your hands on the Charge 4 instead.
My Third Choice: Sony XB41
If you want a Bluetooth speaker that is durable, loud, and will last the entire day, then the Sony XB41 is the speaker you should buy. Despite its imperfection, the XB41 is still an excellent choice to bring to any party; it comes with blingy lights surrounding the speakers and is IP67 certified, which means it is dustproof, waterproof, washproof, as well as shockproof.
There are also lots of fun features to try, such as the Party Booster and Live Sound, and its battery can last long enough, getting 12 hours of battery life from music playback with the lights on. Sony states that it can last for 24 hours with the lights off and in standard mode. After all, not everyone is partial to all things flashy.
Other Great Bluetooth Speakers to Try
- UE Boom 3
- B&O Play Beoplay A1
- Anker Flare+
- UE Roll 2
- Sony XB40
- JBL Flip 4
- Bose Soundlink Color II
Bluetooth speakers are indeed nice to have, especially if you frequently throw parties at home. It will be too much to say that they are a necessity, but they do provide some form of benefits, so long as you have a smartphone and have some access to any digital music.