Bluetooth speakers are the most popular type of speakers sold on the market these days. This doesn’t look like changing anytime soon, and Bluetooth speakers are definitely here to stay.
The latest models of Bluetooth speakers are much more powerful, and with much better sound quality than the first devices that came out on the market. The time has passed when the only reason to buy these speakers was because they didn’t need cables to connect to a computer or mobile phone. The biggest advantage of current models is that their batteries last much longer and recharge more quickly.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best Bluetooth speakers
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Bluetooth speakers
- 4 Shopping Criteria
- 5 Summary
- Bluetooth speakers are sound systems that incorporate a wireless receiver that allows them to connect to other devices without the use of cables.
- In general, the best Bluetooth speakers are able to offer a similar quality of sound as conventional speaker systems.
- Most Bluetooth speakers are designed to be used outdoors, so they are usually lightweight and compact. However, there are also larger units designed for indoor use.
Ranking: The best Bluetooth speakers
In this section, we list the 5 best Bluetooth speakers available on the market right now. These are all quality products that offer great value for money, so just pick the one that suits you best and you can be sure you’re getting a great deal.
No. 1: Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This is possibly the most popular Bluetooth speaker on the market. It offers unbelievable sound, with 12W of pure audio power with enhanced bass thundering from dual neodymium drivers. An advanced digital signal processor ensures pounding bass and zero distortion at any volume. Outdoor protection safeguards against rain, dust, snow, and spills. Get incredible sound at home, in the yard, or anywhere else imaginable.
This product is very popular with users, and it has great reviews. People love the sound quality, easy to use features and functionality. You won’t be disappointed if you choose this Bluetooth speaker that has a quality reinforced design, offering rugged durability.
No. 2: OontZ Angle 3 (3rd Gen) – Bluetooth Portable Speaker
The OontZ Angle 3 (3rd Gen) is Designed and Engineered by Cambridge Sound Works in the USA for greater clarity sound, accurate mids and clear highs from dual precision acoustic stereo drivers. The bass output is enhanced by a proprietary passive bass radiator, unique triangular design and a downward facing bass radiator to further enhance the sound quality.
This is another very popular product, although with a lower price tag. Users love this product because of all the great features it offers at such a low price. It has an incredible range of up to 100 feet, a microphone and is also water resistant.
No. 3: ZoeeTree S1 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Here we have another great option, that is even cheaper than the OontZ Angle 3. It is perfect for someone who wants as small a unit as possible, without loosing to many features. These ultra-portable speakers are perfect for travel and hiking, and are easy to fit in a bag or a backpack. Rechargeable Li-ion Batteries for up to 10 hours of playtime at 2/3 volume on a full charge.
Very positive reviews from buyers of this product. While it might not pack as bigger punch as larger (and more expensive) units it offers great value for money. It is perfect for any application, and has a built-in mic, radio and audio jack in case you want to connect your cell phone using a cable.
No. 4: Mini Shower Bluetooth Speaker
Here we have a fun speaker that is perfect for people who love to sing along to their favorite music in the shower. Designed specifically for use in the shower and outdoor sports, it is dustproof, splashproof and crashproof. This makes sure it’s suitable for camping, biking, floating and pool/beach play. It can also play audio files from TF and micro SD cards (supporting mp3 and wav formats).
This is a very popular device and users love the fact that it is a cheap way to be able to listen to music in the shower. It is so portable that it really can be taken anywhere. Buyers report that this speaker is impressively loud for such a small unit. For such a low price, you can’t go wrong with this option.
No. 5: Anker Soundcore Flare Mini Bluetooth Speaker
This awesome product from Anker is a great option for people who want to a Bluetooth speaker that is safe to use around water. It is “pool party proof”, no matter where the good times go, Flare Mini is suited up and ready. Super-safe IPX7 waterproof protection effortlessly withstands spills, rain, and even complete submersion in water.
This is the most expensive speaker on our list, and it is also the most powerful. Users love the round design and report that this unit offers loud, bass-thumping sound. It is only a mono speaker, but thanks to stereo pairing, you can just buy an extra speaker and get even louder, stereo quality, sound.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about Bluetooth speakers
What is a Bluetooth speaker exactly?
Bluetooth technology offers excellent connection quality, although unfortunately it can have a fairly limited range. Another limitation is that it doesn’t permit a high number of devices to be connected to the same device at the same time.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of Bluetooth?
On the other hand, their most important disadvantage is that they offer a reduced usage time, which is limited by the capacity of the battery. This is obviously only an issue if you are outdoors and cannot connect it to a wall outlet. Another downside is that they usually have an inferior sound quality than systems that use cables, and can occasionally be subject to interference.
Why is it a good idea to buy a Bluetooth speaker?
What should I consider when buying a Bluetooth speaker?
In addition, they must be compatible with A2DP for stable pairing, and a good quality connection between the Bluetooth-compatible devices that has a proper interpretation of stereo sound.
What type of Bluetooth speakers are available on the market?
However, there are basically two main types:
- Portable Bluetooth speakers
- Bluetooth speakers designed to remain in a fixed location.
Within the range of portable Bluetooth speakers, “mini speakers” are a very popular product. These are tiny speakers which are perfect to take anywhere, so you can listen to your favorite music on the go. Bluetooth speakers designed to remain in a fixed location can be part of a large system – like for a home cinema running 5.1 surround sound.
Next, we are going to list the most important criteria that you should keep in mind when buying a Bluetooth speaker system. We hope this will help you to decide which speaker is best for you.
The most important things you should keep in mind:
- Sound quality
- What will you be using your Bluetooth speakers for?
- Type of Bluetooth technology
- Signal range
- Battery life
- Type of speakers
- Weight and dimensions
- Is it stereo?
- Additional features: radio, hands-free, lighting.
If you want to check the sound quality of speakers, the best option is definitely to try them and see for yourself if they offer the level of quality you are looking for. However, as this is often not possible, we advise that you pay close attention to the power and sensitivity specifications of the speakers.
The wattage (W) of a speaker refers to the maximum amount of electrical power it supports. You should look at the power rating given in RMS watts, because this is the actual effective sound power of the unit. The higher the power rating, the better the sound signal, because as we all know – louder is always better! Of course, a higher power rating does not actually imply better sound quality.
Sensitivity is measured in decibels (dB), and indicates the volume the speakers can deliver per Watt of electricity. Between 80 and 88 dB is considered a low value, while over 100 dB is considered as a high value.
What will you be using your Bluetooth speakers for?
This is a super important factor to consider when choosing the system that is right for you. You need to know whether you will be using it indoors, outdoors or both. Will you be using it regularly or only from time to time? Is it for personal or professional use? Will it remain in a fixed location, or will you be constantly moving it around?
If you are going to be using it outdoors, you need to think about the type of environment you will be in. You won’t need the same system if you will be using it on the street, as at a swimming pool, at the beach, while camping or in your backyard.
Even though you are looking to buy a Bluetooth speaker system, it is a good idea to make sure that the equipment also accepts other types of connections such as WiFi. Another important thing to check is that the device has an audio jack input, in case you decide that you want to connect to the speakers using cables. Other extra features that can be useful are a USB port and even a micro SD card reader. Sometimes it’s more convenient to play your music from a USB stick or an SD card, than using your cell phone and consuming its battery.
Many models also offer NFC connectivity that works in a similar way to Bluetooth technology. The main difference is that NFC connectivity allows you to pair devices by simply bringing them closer – without having to navigate through a menu.
There are different versions of Bluetooth technology that are the result of its continuous evolution over the years. Generally speaking, the latest models usually have at least a 3.0 specification or higher. It is strongly recommended that the speakers you buy have a minimum 4.0 specification.
Higher specifications offer better connectivity performance and also require less power, meaning the battery of the device will last much longer. It is important to clarify that it is possible to connect all Bluetooth devices together, even if they have different specifications.
Depending on how you are planning to use the speakers, and the location where you are going to place them, signal range will be more or less of an important factor. In general, a range of up to 30 feet should be more than enough. However, you should be aware that there are currently speakers on the market with a Bluetooth signal range of up to 100 feet.
If you do not want to run out of battery life, just as your favorite song is starting, then we recommend that you pay special attention to the battery life when choosing the speakers you are going to buy. As a general rule, the longer the battery lasts, the more expensive the speaker will be. Also keep in mind that the battery will not last as long, if the speakers are constantly being used at maximum volume during operation.
Generally speaking, the batteries in Bluetooth speakers offer between 4 hours to 20 hours of operation.
An external portable battery or Power Bank, will let you use your Bluetooth speaker for longer.
Type of speakers
The type of speaker (or speakers) used will determine the functions that the device is capable of performing, and will have a big influence on the quality of the sound they emit.
The main types of speakers use in Bluetooth systems are the following:
The best type of speaker, and also the one that is most widespread, is the A2DP.
Weight and dimensions
The dimensions of the unit is usually determined by the use for which the equipment was designed. Currently on the market you can find Bluetooth speakers ranging in size from the super tiny, to the really huge systems used for home cinemas. As you would expect, the total weight will be influenced by the size of the unit.
However, we do recommend not being fooled by the old and often wrong assumption that a bigger size equates to more power. Larger does not mean more power, just as more power does not necessarily equal better sound quality.
Is it stereo?
Bluetooth speakers usually have one speaker (mono) or two speakers (stereo). However, you can link two mono speakers together, resulting in stereo sound, if the units allow stereo pairing. Virtually all music is recorded in stereo, so this will give you a much more realistic and better quality sound. When buying speakers, this is something that you should definitely keep in mind.
Additional features: radio, hands-free, lighting.
Just as with any electronic device, Bluetooth speakers can come with a whole range of additional features that increase their performance and offer extra functions. Some of the most common are things such as a radio, an alarm function and party lights that flash in time to the music being played. Some portable speakers even include a microphone that offers the possibility of hands-free functionality.
Bluetooth speakers are becoming increasingly popular, with more and more people preferring the features they offer over conventional speakers. The main advantages lie in the flexibility offered by the Bluetooth connection. Thanks to this type of connection, it is possible to connect several devices to a single source and to use them in places that were previously inaccessible.
There are lots of questions that you need to consider when you are planning on purchasing Bluetooth speakers. Some criteria such as price or sound quality may be more important for you, while others such as connectivity and signal range might not be. It is important that you know exactly what type of speakers you need and the different options currently available on the market, so that you make the right choice to suit your needs.
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(Source of featured image: Photodee: 82251703/ 123rf.com)