The best portable Bluetooth speakers in 2022

With the post-pandemic world slowly, haltingly returning to normal, there’s no reason to be without great audio, especially when you’re at the beach, at a party, or on any other outing. That means it’s time to invest in the best portable Bluetooth speakers. You don’t have to spend a lot for that great musical experience, either.

Whether you’re looking for smaller speakers that can clip onto a backpack or larger ones to help start that backyard party, you can find an ideal option in this guide. And, we’ve kept that price tag low, so you can splurge a little more on snacks. Or, you can take the savings and put them towards some of the best wireless headphones for when you want great sound on the go but don’t want to carry around 2022’s version of a boombox.

You don’t need to break the bank for an excellent-sounding speaker or a Bluetooth speaker this small. The Bose SoundLink Flex is impressive in more than one way. It’s also waterproof, so it can keep up no matter where you take it. The beach, the pool, or camping during an unexpected downpour? It doesn’t matter. You can enjoy your great audio no matter the conditions.

And, since it will give you 12 hours of use before needing a charge, you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet halfway through that picnic. It also comes with useful extras, such as making and receiving calls and using Google Assistant or Siri. If you prefer accessories with a little extra flair, you’re in luck; the Soundlink Flex is available in four colors.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 4.2
  • Dimensions: 3.6″ H x 7.9″ W x 2.1″ D
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: Button access to Siri, Google Assistant
  • Battery: 12 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67
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If you’re willing to spend the money, you will be impressed with the Beosound A1 2nd Gen portable speaker. Not only is it a sharp-looking speaker with eight colorways and a honeycombed aluminum shell, but it can go anywhere you want it to, thanks to its IP67 rating. You can take it to the beach or the pool without concern for water damage.

It’s also a fantastic sounding speaker, as it should be considering the price. It sounds so good that you may use it at home instead of more traditional speaker setups. It also comes with features that make the price tag worth it, such as voice assistant compatibility and built-in mics, so you can actually make calls. That’s right. This portable Bluetooth speaker can double as a speakerphone if you so choose.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Dimensions: 5.24″ W x 1.81″ H x 5.24″ D mm
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: Voice Access to Alexa
  • Battery: 18 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67
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Whether you get the Sony SRS-XB13 in black, blue, pink, or taupe, you’ll have a waterproof speaker that can go anywhere with you. Its small size and shape hide a surprisingly decent amount of volume. And, unlike most small speakers, you can get plenty of bass.

Since it’s the size of a mug and comes with a very reasonable price tag, it should be no surprise that there are plenty of compromises. It’s a slow charger. It can distort at its highest volumes. And, like most speakers with this kind of form factor, you won’t be getting a lot of stereo separation. However, it comes with an impressive 16 hours of use, sound quality that punches above its weight (as long as you don’t max out that volume), and a price tag that makes this portable Bluetooth speaker hard to ignore. Oh, and beachgoers should appreciate its waterproof IP67 rating.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dimensions: 3.42″ x 3.42″ x 4.41″
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: No
  • Battery: 16 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67
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The JBL Flip 6 has a lot going for it. Like many options these days, it’s waterproof and dustproof with an IP67 rating. It’s also ruggedly built, ready for any wear and tear from use on the road. You can choose from several color options and use an app to fine-tune your listening experience, including customizable EQ settings.

Though you can only get stereo sound when paired with another JBL Flip 6 for stereo mode, it sounds excellent, retaining a lot of the low-end that many portable speakers sacrifice. It does come with a somewhat disappointing 12 hours of battery life, considering its slightly larger size. But, unless you’re looking for something for an extended wilderness camping trip, that should be more than enough for most people. Pretty impressive for less than $150.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Dimensions: 7″ x 2.6″ x 2.8″
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: No
  • Battery: 12 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67
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Sometimes portability is the most critical feature of a portable Bluetooth speaker. Maybe you’re backpacking through the wilderness or biking down a dirt path and want a little musical accompaniment, and a portable speaker is the only way. Most options are too bulky for such a situation, but something like the JBL Clip 4 is perfect.

True to its name, it has a large clip that will let you clip it onto a backpack or luggage without fuss. It’s also waterproof and durable, so it will hold up no matter how tough the terrain. Of course, its diminutive size means that you only get 10 hours of battery life, so you might want to bring a good portable USB-C charger for the trip.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.1
  • Dimensions: 3.4 x 5.3 x 1.8
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: No
  • Battery: 10 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IP67

For most portable Bluetooth speakers, portability is key; However, for some, it’s power. While smaller speakers are great for the road or smaller gatherings, sometimes you need more volume to keep a larger crowd engaged. And, if you need a little more power, the LG XBoom Go PL7 should be at the top of your list. Even though it’s still small enough to fit into a backpack, it blasts out 30W of audio, making it perfect for situations where other portable speakers can’t quite keep up.

Since it has 24 hours of battery life, it will keep that party going all night long. Even if you’re ready for bed. It’s also waterproof and has fun LED rings on either end for a little mood lighting. And, though it’s not the most feature-filled, the XBoom app gives you a little more control over the

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dimensions: 9.7″ x 3.9″ x 3.9″
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm
  • Voice Assistant: Google Assistant, Siri
  • Battery: 24 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX5
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LG is not the only company putting out speakers that can power a party. The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 not only looks the part with its rings of LED lighting, waterproof (though not dustproof) IPX7 rating, and cylindrical shape that allows for bigger drivers, but it pumps out a good 20 watts of power. While it does have a habit of distorting at the highest volumes and a less than stellar 12 hours of battery, it comes at such an affordable price that it was almost chosen as our value pick.

It’s cheap enough that you can get more than a few for the price of a Chromebook. What’s more impressive is that you can link them together for an even bigger party. If you’re so inclined, the Anker’s PartyCast Technology lets you sync the audio and lighting of up to 100 Soundcore Flare 2 speakers for a display so overwhelming that your guests will forget to ask why you didn’t just rent a PA.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth Rating unspecified
  • Dimensions: 3.50 x 3.50 x 6.31 in
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth
  • Voice Assistant: Button access to voice assistant
  • Battery: 12 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX7
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The Tronsmart Force is among the more affordable options on this list. But, despite being firmly in the budget range, it’s quite powerful, providing 40W. It also comes with an extra bass mode that smacks you in the face with a booming bottom end, offsetting one of the biggest issues with smaller speakers. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fix all the issues those speakers deal with, such as good stereo separation, even though it comes with a 3D stereo mode.

Considering its small size, though, like most of the choices here, that’s to be expected. Its battery life might not be the greatest, but it’s more than adequate at about 15 hours of use. More impressive are the added features such as NFC, a 3.5mm audio jack for non-Bluetooth devices (something you don’t find on a lot of portable Bluetooth speakers), and a micro-SD slot.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Connectivity?: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Dimensions: 8.03″ x 2.51″ x 3.14″
  • Power: USB-C
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, 3.5mm Aux, Micro SD/TF
  • Voice Assistant: Button Access to Voice Assistant
  • Battery: 15 Hours
  • Waterproof Rating: IPX7
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Form factor should be your first consideration. Do you want something to approximate a boombox-type experience for more volume, such as LG XBoom Go PL7, or do you need something small like the JBL Clip 4 that’s easy to use while walking or bike riding?

Once you’ve decided, make sure it can handle the conditions you plan on putting it through. All the speakers on this list are water-resistant, if not waterproof, and won’t be affected if they get a little wet at the beach or the pool.

Sound quality is obviously critical. While you might sacrifice some bass in smaller speakers, and most won’t have good stereo separation, the better quality ones will still have a balanced or at least fun sound that won’t be fatiguing when listening for extended periods.

Battery life is also essential, though most will last long enough for most people’s needs. However, if you plan on using a portable speaker in a situation where you have limited access to power for more than a few days – say, a camping trip – then make that battery life a priority or at least bring a battery pack.

Our top picks

Though there are plenty of good speakers, the Bose SoundLink Flex is our top pick thanks to its excellent sound, decent feature set, and reasonable price. If you’re willing to splurge, the Beosound A1 2nd Gen can do everything the SoundLink Flex can in an even more attractive package. And while quite a few budget models are included here, the Sony SRS-XB13 is our top pick for its size and bass response (as well as overall sound quality) for a surprisingly low price point.

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