The Best Bluetooth Speakers of 2019
Last updated on September 5, 2019
No one is blue over Bluetooth speakers.
What? The wireless speaker market is growing faster than the smartphone market? Who would’ve guessed? But it’s true, and portable Bluetooth speakers are leading the way. The good news: there are tons of Bluetooth speakers to choose from. The bad news: there are tons of Bluetooth speakers to choose from – and you could spend days, maybe even weeks, researching them all. Or, you could spend just a few minutes with our list below, put together by a team of speaker experts from a company with a 40-year track record for seriously great sound. (No-brainer, right?)
World Wide Stereo’s 2019 “Best Bluetooth Speakers” list below covers 9 “best” categories, from “best for kids” to “best for big parties” to “best for the money” and more. So dig in, and if you have any questions along the way – give us a call. We’re happy to help!
Here Are Our Picks for the Best Bluetooth Speakers of 2019:
1) Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker 2) Best Rugged Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker 3) Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $100: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker 4) Best Bluetooth Speaker For Kids: JBL JR POP Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Kids 5) Best Travel Bluetooth Speaker: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 Ultra-Slim Portable Premium Bluetooth Speaker 6) Best Bluetooth Speaker For The Money: Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker 7) Best Bluetooth Party Speaker: JBL PartyBox 300 Portable Bluetooth Party Speaker with Rechargeable Battery 8) Best Portable Karaoke Speaker: Bose S1 Professional Multi-Position Bluetooth PA System with Battery 9) Best Bluetooth Speaker With Lights: JBL Pulse 3 Portable and Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
#1) Best Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: JBL Charge 4 Bluetooth Speaker: Waterproof Speaker
REG PRICE: $149.99
Why it won
JBL’s Charge 4 speaker is a souped-up version of the company’s wildly successful Charge 3 speaker. At a glance, the two look almost identical, though the Charge 4 is slightly bigger all around (by less than an inch) and heavier (by about half a pound) as a result of the bigger, longer-lasting battery inside. The Charge 4 also comes wrapped in the same IPX-7 durable waterproof material and rugged rubber housing, making it an ideal choice for poolside parties, camping trips, the car – or anywhere, really. It doesn’t come with a microphone inside so you can’t take phone calls on it, but it does come with Bluetooth 4.2 and “JBL Connect,” which lets you connect up to 2 smartphones or tablets and up to 100 JBL speakers.*
Turned up, the Charge 4’s dual exposed passive radiators provide some serious punching power. Bass response is outstanding – almost miraculous given the Charge 4’s size – which is what made the Charge 3 such a runaway best-seller. Choose from a variety of colors, get up to 20 hours of playtime, and share the same Bluetooth connection with a friend – the JBL Charge 4 is a solid choice.
#2) Best Rugged Bluetooth Speaker: JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: JBL Clip 3 Portable Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
REG PRICE: $59.95
Why it won
The reason half of the speakers on our “top Bluetooth speakers” list are made by JBL? Quite simply – they’re that good. JBL was among the first to see the potential for Bluetooth speakers and they jumped in early, dedicating huge resources to developing a smart, robust, “something-for-everyone” product line – and the JBL Clip 3 is a great example.
Our opinion: the Clip 3 is the best on-the-go, small speaker you can buy – bar none. It clips to your belt or purse via a sturdy carabiner, and it can take a serious hit (yes, it even works if it falls in your beer). It also has a microphone inside which makes it a hands-free speakerphone, and it offers 10 hours of playtime between charges. The Clip 3 comes wrapped in a rugged rubberized housing (that feels nice to the touch) and you can choose from among 10 vibrant colors. Best of all, the overall sound is excellent in spite of the Clip 3’s diminutive size (5.4” by 3.8” by 1.8”) and less-than-$100 price tag.
Bottom line: if you’re still listening to the speaker in your phone when streaming music, podcasts or whatever – stop. Consider this an intervention – put the Clip 3 in your cart right now; we're confident you'll love it.
#3) Best Bluetooth Speaker Under $100: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: Bose SoundLink Micro Bluetooth Waterproof Speaker
REG PRICE: $99
Why it won
At 10 ounces and a tiny 3.87 by 3.87 by 1.37 inches, the Bose Soundlink Micro really is “micro.” This little guy fits in the palm of your hand and wins our best-sound-for-its-size prize, thanks to some brilliant engineering by Bose. Inside, a full-range custom transducer and passive silicone radiators provide surprisingly powerful sound. Close your eyes, and no – you wouldn’t mistake it for a quality bookshelf speaker – but you’d never think you’re listening to something smaller than a deck of cards.
Included: a built-in microphone, Siri and Google Assistant, and a rubber strap for attaching it to a bike or a purse... or pretty much anything. The Soundlink Micro comes in three colors and it’s IPX7 certified, meaning it’s totally drop-it-in-bucket-of-water waterproof. No wonder reviews across the board are overwhelmingly 5-star, ours included.
#4) Best Bluetooth Speaker For Kids: JBL JR POP Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Kids
BRAND & MODEL: JBL JR POP Portable Bluetooth Speaker for Kids
REG PRICE: $29.95
Why it won
Playground-durable, IPX-7 waterproof, and made for little fingers – the JBL JR POP wins our kids category hands-down. It even comes with a built-in multi-color light mode and – wait for it – STICKERS. With the strap included, kids can attach the JBL JR POP to their bike or backpack. The JR POP streams music, stories and narrated kids’ audiobooks, which makes it an ideal back seat or bedtime companion. Choose from 6 colors and get 5 hours of groovy playtime per charge. It sounds great – and amazingly so at this price. So… who has a birthday coming up?
#5) Best Travel Bluetooth Speaker: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 Ultra-Slim Portable Premium Bluetooth Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: Harman Kardon Esquire Mini 2 Ultra-Slim Portable Premium Bluetooth Speaker
REG PRICE: $129.95
Why it won
At 2.96 by 5.51 inches, Harman Kardon’s Esquire Mini 2 is about the size of an iPhone 8, though maybe 3 or 4 times thicker… which in speaker land, is still very thin. The overall design is elegant in a less-is-more way and ideal for stowing in briefcases and purses. The overall sound, on the other hand, is outright superb. Harman Kardon got it done with ultra-thin speaker drivers tuned specifically for high fidelity sound. The Esquire Mini 2 delivers 10 hours of playtime per charge and includes a noise-canceling conferencing system for crystal clear conference calls. You can choose from 5 colors. A carrying pouch, kickstand, and Type C USB cable are included.
Clearly, Harman Kardon is targeting the traveling business person with the Esquire Mini 2, and on that, this smart little Bluetooth speaker is a home run. To our ears, the Esquire Mini 2 sounds as good – or better – as many Bluetooth speakers costing 2 or 3 times as much.
#6) Best Bluetooth Speaker For The Money: Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: Bose SoundLink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
REG PRICE: $199
Why it won
When Bose set out to design the Revolve, the first planning meeting probably went something like this:
“Let’s face it, most portable Bluetooth speakers are wimpy compared to other speakers… we need to shake things up.” “What do you mean Bill? Shake things up… how?” "I’m talking old-school, raw power, the way things should be. I’m talking gut-punch bass and highs that can cut through anything – in every direction.” “But it needs to be portable Bill, no one will buy a huge Bluetooth speaker. And multi-directional??? You’re crazy.”
Okay… so maybe it didn’t happen that way, but it’s hard to argue the result. The Revolve by Bose is a cylinder-shaped, omnidirectional Bluetooth speaker (think huge pepper shaker) that can point sound in every direction - perfect for spreading sound around the room or backyard patio table with guests all around. Moreover, the Revolve packs dual-opposing passive-radiators and a powerful, face-down ultra-efficient transducer with a patented acoustic deflector… which added together = oh hell yes. If you’re a serious music lover, the Bose Revolve is your serious portable Bluetooth speaker. (See the Bose Revolve’s impressive credentials right here. And, don’t forget the charging cradle add-on if you’re planning for a late night.)
#7) Best Bluetooth Party Speaker: JBL PartyBox 300 Portable Bluetooth Party Speaker with Rechargeable Battery
BRAND & MODEL: JBL PartyBox 300 Portable Bluetooth Party Speaker with Rechargeable Battery
REG PRICE: $449.95
Why it won
How can you not love something called the JBL PartyBox 300? Just don’t let the silly name throw you, as this speaker may just be the best on our list, period. It’s a JBL, so it comes with JBL’s signature sound – big awesome bass, crystal clear highs, and overall extremely immersive. It weighs 35 pounds and comes with a built-in 10,000mAh battery that nets 18 hours playtime per charge, plus there’s a 12V DC power source as well. Inside, 2 woofers, 3 tweeters, and 120W RMS power. You can plug in a mic or guitar, and you can daisy chain additional JBL PartyBox speakers wirelessly or via one RCA port to another. And with TWS (true wireless stereo), you can use two PartyBox speakers of the same model to enjoy true stereo. The light effects are vivid, not gimmicky, available in three modes – and will put you in a trance in no time.
The JBL PartyBox 300 is a fun, very serious music machine that brings a lot of good things together. Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s JBL and it’s awesome. And guess what? There’s even a bigger version called the JBL Partybox 1000. Really.
#8) Best Portable Karaoke Speaker: Bose S1 Professional Multi-Position Bluetooth PA System with Battery
BRAND & MODEL: Bose S1 Professional Multi-Position Bluetooth PA System with Battery
REG PRICE: $599
Why it won
At 15 pounds and 13 by 9.5 by 11.2 inches, there’s no putting the Bose S1 in your briefcase or purse – this is not, in any way, a portable Bluetooth speaker. The Bose S1 is a professional level Bluetooth speaker with enough muscle to drown out the Macy’s Day Parade at Times Square. (Hence the “PA” in the name, as in “public address system.”) And yes, it’s great for pro DJs and public addresses, but it’s also ideal for serious parties at home where you want to cover a wider space with sound: weddings, big barbecues out back, karaoke throwdowns, etc. The sound is amazing – so big it made us giddy – and the feature set is all-encompassing. The speaker itself can be positioned to point anywhere or mounted high on tripod speaker stands (not included) to reach those way, way in the back.
The Bose S1 provides 11 hours of playtime per charge, or just plug in the AC power cord. You can also plug in a keyboard, guitar, microphone or any 3.5mm source through the S1’s built-in 3 channel mixer. If you’re on the fence about going big, the S1’s full spec list on our Bose S1 product page may just win you over.
#9) Best Bluetooth Speaker With Lights: JBL Pulse 3 Portable and Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
BRAND & MODEL: JBL Pulse 3 Portable and Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
REG PRICE: $220
Why it won
Most Bluetooth speakers are easy to operate – just set-it-and-forget-it. This one is easy, too, but it’s more like set-it-and-stare-at-it. Really, it’s hard to look away when the Pulse hits the dance floor in a 360° LED light show perfectly synced to the beat. The Pulse 3 is JBL’s third iteration of the Pulse, which now comes with a bigger, 12-hour battery, better-sounding audio and an IPX-7 waterproof rating. The Pulse 3 also connects up to 2 smartphones at the same time and comes with Google Now and Siri onboard.
What else? A noise and echo canceling speakerphone, plus the ability to pair with up to 100 JBL speakers via JBL Connect. (Watching a bunch of Pulse 3s all doing their own thing to the beat just makes you want to party. Somebody, please, cue up Funky Town…). Plus, the new model of this speaker, the Pulse 4, is now available for pre-order.
Still not sure? We got this.
If you're still not sure which Bluetooth Speaker is the best for you, give us a call or send us an email. Tell us about your ideal speaker, and we’d be more than happy to help you pick one that is right for you.
One more thing:
Once you pick out your Bluetooth speaker, a last word of advice: buy it from a trusted dealer, and the more experience / the longer the track record, the better. A good dealer will take care of you in the event anything happens.
Speaking of trusted dealers...
World Wide Stereo is home to some 90+ industry-leading audio/video professionals who love what they do, and talking about it, too. We opened our doors in 1979, gained a small yet diehard following, won a slew of national awards for everything from killer car audio installations to customer service, grew the business online… and today we enjoy a faithful following of like-minded TV-watching, music-listening, gear-loving defenders of fun for the whole family. Our only rule: no one leaves unhappy. We’re brutally honest when it comes to this stuff. Want to know if something is as good as advertised? Even if you're shopping somewhere else? Call us or stop by one of our showrooms — we’ll give it to you straight. We love what we do, and we love sharing that love.
With us, you get our guarantee, which includes perks like free shipping, 60-day returns, and support even years after the sale — always. Hence our rule: "no one leaves unhappy." Ever.