The best home Bluetooth speakers provide a compact and convenient way to fill any space with music without sacrificing sound quality. By connecting wirelessly to any smartphone, tablet, or computer, home Bluetooth speakers can receive and play audio at ranges of up to 100 feet, making them a reliable solution for controlling your playlist from almost anywhere.
Some home Bluetooth speakers feature battery power and waterproof construction that makes them well suited for outdoor use, while others can perform as compact, semi-permanent replacements for traditional stereo systems. In this article, we’ll highlight our favorite home Bluetooth speakers for every occasion and review some key points to consider when making a selection.
— Best Overall: Bose Home Speaker 500
— Best Waterproof: JBL Charge 5
— Best Bass: Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
— Best Small-Sized: Marshall Emberton
— Best Budget: Anker Soundcore Boost
How We Picked The Best Home Bluetooth Speakers
In compiling this list of the best home Bluetooth speakers, we considered the most common situations in which people listen to music, from the most solitary to the most social. Here are a few other key criteria we looked at to help us narrow down the field.
Battery Life: Besides the Bose Home Speaker 500, every speaker on this list offers battery-powered operation. We aimed to select Bluetooth speakers that strike a good balance between power and battery life, with most of the picks offering at least 20 hours of playtime on a single charge.
Brand: Selecting Bluetooth speakers from reputable audio brands is a surefire way to ensure quality control and customer service. Most of the brands on this list, from JBL to Ultimate Ears, are well-known in the audio industry and are backed by years of experience. The Marshall Emberton bears the famous Marshall brand, but is manufactured through a partnership with Zound Industries, the same company behind Urbanears headphones.
Compatibility: While Bluetooth functionality has made its way into almost every modern piece of audio-playing equipment from computers to smartphones, some users may still require their speakers to be compatible with traditional analog AUX connectors or optical connectors like those found in home theater systems. Unfortunately, support of these interfaces can raise the price of a speaker significantly, so most of the products on this list are limited to Bluetooth only. If you require analog audio support, the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom gets our vote.
Sound: We weighed this list heavily in favor of Bluetooth speakers that were able to deliver balanced tones and full sound projection in their respective ideal use environments. Wherever possible, we also opted to choose speakers that offer some type of user-controlled equalization (EQ) for extra customization.
We further explain how we test audio gear here.
The Best Home Bluetooth Speakers: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: Bose Home Speaker 500
Why It Made The Cut: The Bose Home Speaker 500 offers the perfect blend of power, sound balance, and voice-assistant compatibility.
— Single-Charge Battery Life: N/A
— Product Dimensions: 8 inches H x 6.7 inches W x 4.3 inches D
— Output Wattage: 50 watts
— Stylish and compact design to suit every space
— Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
— Robust, powerful sound with wide soundstage
— Requires wall power
— Grouping is limited to other Bose smart speakers
— WiFi support is spotty
As the best home Bluetooth speaker overall, the Bose Home Speaker 500 is a subtle and stylish speaker with smart speaker functionality that makes a great focal point for any home music system. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, offering users an elevated voice-control experience that uses a unique array of eight microphones to hear your commands over even the loudest music playback. Internally, the Home Speaker 500 features two powerful drivers that work in tandem to create a wide soundstage that aims to fill almost any space with rich, balanced sound.
Through the Bose Music app, users can access pairing settings and group multiple speakers together to bring synchronized music to multiple rooms in their space. Unfortunately, these groups are limited to other Bose-branded smart speakers, which can be severely limiting if you’re not all-in on the Bose ecosystem. The Home Speaker 500 also offers WiFi connectivity, but the connection quality can vary widely depending upon your network settings, which may limit some users to Bluetooth only. One last thing to keep in mind is that the Home Speaker 500 also requires constant wall power, so it’s best used as a semi-permanent fixture rather than a portable device. Sonos is also a good option to keep in mind. If you're environmentally conscious (or just want to save some money), look into a refurbished version of the Bose Home Speaker 500.
Best Waterproof: JBL Charge 5
Why It Made The Cut: The JBL Charge 5 is an incredibly durable portable Bluetooth speaker with good bass response and a generous 20-hour battery life.
— Single-Charge Battery Life: 20 hours
— Product Dimensions: 8.7 inches H x 3.7 inches W x 3.8 inches D
— Output Wattage: 30 watts
— Built-in powerbank functionality for charging mobile devices
— Impervious to dust and protected against brief water immersion
— Can wirelessly link multiple units together for boosted stereo sound
— Four-hour charge time somewhat limits spontaneous use
— Lacks customizable EQ settings
— Audio input limited to Bluetooth; no AUX
If you’re looking for balanced, high-powered sound on the go, the JBL Charge 5 is one of the best waterproof Bluetooth speakers for the job. Thanks to its 30 watts of output power, the speaker delivers rich, deep bass and high sound volumes. It has a dustproof and waterproof rating of IP67, which makes it perfect for taking to the beach or using in wet weather. Conveniently, the Charge 5 also has the ability to function as a power bank, so you’ll never have to worry about your smartphone or other mobile device running dry while you’re listening to music.
Despite its flexibility, the JBL Charge 5 is limited to Bluetooth only for audio input, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you want to use a traditional AUX cable or something more specialized like a USB audio input. Advanced users may dislike the speaker’s lack of native EQ controls, but its sound balance is still very good right out of the box. One other quirk to keep in mind is that the Charge 5 takes about four hours to fully fill its battery, but once it does, you’re good for up to 20 hours of playtime. You can also get all the features in a used model from Amazon Renewed.
Best Bass: Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
Why It Made The Cut: The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom combines all-day battery life and multi-device compatibility with a beefy 229 watts of output power to deliver deep bass playback anytime, anywhere.
— Single-Charge Battery Life: 24 hours
— Product Dimensions: 14.3 inches H x 7.5 inches W x 7.5 inches D
— Output Wattage: 229 watts
— Includes AUX and optical inputs
— Powerful bass response and extended high-volume playback
— Adaptive EQ microphone tunes the sound according to your space
— USB output for charging smartphones
— IPX4 rating limits protection to splashes of water
— Large, heavy design limits handheld portability
— Bluetooth pairing experience is inconsistent
The Hyperboom from Ultimate Ears is a portable and feature-rich home Bluetooth speaker that’s perfect for entertaining and filling spaces with earth-shaking bass making it the best bass Bluetooth speaker. It features several different input options, including an analog AUX port and an optical audio port, which makes it a flexible option for integrating with a wide variety of audio devices. It also sports a single USB output that allows charging of smartphones and other mobile peripherals. The Hyperboom has a built-in microphone that automatically detects the acoustics of your space and tailors its playback to deliver optimized and balanced sound. Users can further shape its sound with the Ultimate Ears app.
While the Hyperboom supports pairing of two Bluetooth devices at a time, the pairing process itself can be inconsistent. Depending on the device used, pairing time ranges from nearly instantaneous connections to delays of several minutes. To accommodate its high wattage and low-frequency response, the Hyperboom is also quite large and heavy when compared with other Bluetooth speakers, which is something to keep in mind if you’re looking for handheld portability. The Hyperboom does have a limited IPX4 water-resistant rating that helps protect it from splashes, but you’ll want to keep a close eye on it if you’re taking it on a hike or a camping trip. Check out a refurbished version, available at a lower price.
Best Small: Marshall Emberton
Why It Made The Cut: Though it’s hardly bigger than a smartphone, the Marshall Emberton delivers powerful full-spectrum sound and a battery life that can last all day making it the best small Bluetooth speaker.
— Single-Charge Battery Life: 20 hours
— Product Dimensions: 2.99 inches H x 6.3 inches W x 2.68 inches D
— Output Wattage: 20 watts
— IPX7-resistant against temporary submersion
— Palm-sized speaker weighs only 1.5 pounds
— High volume capability despite its small size
— Bass frequencies tend to diminish at high volumes
— Bluetooth requires constant playback to stay connected
— Sounds most balanced at close proximity
Weighing in at a backpack-friendly 1.5 pounds and boasting a battery life of roughly 20 hours, the Marshall Emberton is the ultimate portable companion speaker for taking your tunes on the go. While it’s not as adept at filling large areas with sound as larger Bluetooth speaker designs, the Emberton excels at delivering well-balanced tone and high volume at a close range, making it a particularly good choice for travel and workspace use. It’s also built to withstand submersion in up to a meter of water for 30 minutes, so you can even use it by the bathtub or pool without a worry.
Though the Marshall Emberton offers a very balanced sound with good bass and high detail, its bass tone tends to become obscured at its loudest volume settings. This is particularly apparent in larger spaces where bass frequencies are unable to build up, using the Emberton in small spaces is a must for the best results. The speaker also tends to disconnect from Bluetooth devices rather quickly when audio isn’t being played, which can become an issue if you’re cherry-picking songs instead of using one continuous playlist. You can also get a pre-owned Marshall Emberton.
Best Budget: Anker Soundcore Boost
Why It Made The Cut: The Soundcore Boost from Anker is a lightweight and portable Bluetooth speaker that packs frequency response and sound customization features comparable to that of speakers more than twice its price.
— Single-Charge Battery Life: 12 hours
— Product Dimensions: 9 inches H x 3 inches W x 5 inches D
— Output Wattage: 20 watts
— IPX7 waterproof rated
— Offers EQ customization via the Soundcore app
— USB charging output for your devices
— 12-hour battery life is below-average for product category
— Sound is best when limited to small indoor spaces
— Lengthy four-hour charge time
If you’re looking for a basic home Bluetooth speaker for casual use, the Anker Soundcore Boost is one of the best budget Bluetooth speakers on the market thanks to its build quality and versatility. It offers an impressive 20 watts of power for effective high-volume playback at close range, and it’s equipped with titanium drivers that work to push frequencies as high as 40,000 Hz for full-range sound reproduction. Users can also customize the speaker’s sound via the Soundcore app, which grants access to advanced EQ settings. Impressively, the Soundcore Boost is also built to IPX7 waterproof specs, which means that it can survive a dunk or two in up to a meter of water.
While the Soundcore Boost offers great value, its below-average price point is reflected in a few design limitations. Its 12-hour battery means that the speaker will require more frequent recharging than its competitors, and the number goes down further if you plan on using the Boost as a powerpack to charge your phone. The speaker charging process itself also takes up to four hours, which is significant when compared to the speaker’s overall battery life. One last consideration is that the Soundcore Boost offers a more filled out sound in small spaces, which is due to its rather small size. If you want an even more budget-friendly option, look into a refurbished Anker Soundcore Boost.
Things to Consider Before Buying the Best Home Bluetooth Speakers
Speakers are relatively delicate electronic components that rely upon their outer casings and inner supports to keep them protected. Not all Bluetooth speakers are built for resistance to environmental factors, so if you’re planning on taking your Bluetooth speaker to the pool or the beach, go with a model like the JBL Charge 5 that’s built to dustproof and waterproof specifications to ensure it remains safe from the elements.
Bluetooth is a wireless audio interface, but some Bluetooth speakers still require a connection to wall power to operate. If you want a fully wireless and truly portable Bluetooth speaker experience, double check to make sure that the unit is able to hold a charge.
Generally speaking, larger Bluetooth speakers are better at producing low-frequency sound and high volumes. For this reason, small Bluetooth speakers sound the best when used in small indoor spaces or for intimate outdoor gatherings, and large Bluetooth speakers are more appropriate for use in crowded parties or large outdoor spaces.
Q: How much does a Bluetooth speaker cost?
The best Bluetooth speakers cost on average anywhere between $50 and $400, with the price of units increasing with speaker size and amplifier wattage. Some specialty Bluetooth speakers like the Devialet Phantom cost over $3,000, but you won’t have to spend nearly that much to enjoy high-quality wireless sound.
Q: What's the best Bluetooth speaker brand?
The best Bluetooth speaker brands are well-established manufacturers that have a long history of designing a variety of audio devices and include JBL, Bose, and Sony. Some relatively newer manufacturers like Anker have also built a reputation for designing some of the best Bluetooth speakers available thanks to offering consistent and reliable customer service.
Q: Is JBL or Bose better?
JBL and Bose are two of the largest manufacturers of audio products, and their Bluetooth speaker lines are some of the most popular in the product category. In terms of Bluetooth speakers, JBL is perhaps best known for their portable and rugged battery-powered offerings like the JBL Charge 5 and JBL Flip 5. Bose also offers portable Bluetooth speakers, but their line of Bluetooth speakers leans heavily into smart home compatibility and encourages users to commit to a multi-unit ecosystem, which makes them a better choice for home use.
Q: Are Sony speakers good?
Sony’s Bluetooth speakers are very good for use in outdoor environments thanks to their portable and rugged designs. The Sony SRS-XB33 is a top contender in its category and comes in just below the JBL Charge 5 in our book due to its slightly larger size.
Q: How long should a Bluetooth speaker last?
An average-priced Bluetooth speaker should last anywhere between 1.5 and 2 years when consistently used in the correct conditions and maintained properly. This limited timeframe is especially applicable to portable Bluetooth speakers, which use internal rechargeable batteries that can lose their efficacy over time and which are more prone to being exposed to the elements or dropped in transit.
Q: Are Bluetooth speakers recyclable?
Bluetooth speakers can and should be recycled just like any form of electronic waste, but the exact process will be specific to your local community. As a rule of thumb, electronics should never be thrown out with regular trash.
Final Thoughts on the Best Home Bluetooth Speakers
Whether you’re looking for a portable boombox or an alternative to a traditional stereo system, the best home Bluetooth speakers are a fantastic way to wirelessly stream music anywhere you please. The Bose Home Speaker 500 offers well-rounded sound paired with the convenience of voice control, making it the best choice for use at home, while users who prefer a compact and travel-friendly Bluetooth speaker should check out the Marshall Emberton for lightweight applications or the JBL Charge 5 for maximum durability. For bass-heavy playback that can fill large spaces with high-volume audio, users should consider a larger unit like the Ultimate Ears Hyperboom, and if you’re shopping on a budget, the Anker Soundcore Boost offers some of the best value in its class thanks to its extended, customizable frequency response.
This post was created by a non-news editorial team at Recurrent Media, Futurism’s owner. Futurism may receive a portion of sales on products linked within this post.