Bluetooth speakers have revolutionized the audio hardware scene and they have rapidly become the new must-have accessories.
They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some brands give remarkable quality and features.
There is a Bluetooth speaker out there for every kind of requirement and some provide new-age functionality, which makes them at par with smart devices. Every prominent music hardware manufacturer has their product in the market and each product has its own up and down side.
Some speakers provide a wide array of additional features. Choosing the Best Bluetooth Speaker for every need is quite difficult. So we made a list of Top 10 Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2017.
Here is the List of Top 10 Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018
Bose Soundlink Mini II (#1. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers)
Bose is a name in the music hardware business synonymous with perfect clarity and high-quality bass sound.
This model comes close the Bose speaker archetype which we all have encountered it also has a sleek and compact design.
For people familiar with Bose products they will also know that this large sound also comes at a larger price but for people who want premium quality sound, this is an option they cannot overlook.
So, in a nutshell, let us start with what all features this product offers –
Bass : Deep Bass sound with high clarity output for large spaces.
Design : It has a compact design, which is easy to carry.
Speakerphone : A speakerphone is built-in in order to take calls.
Bluetooth Pairing : There are voice instructions for Bluetooth pairing.
Battery : It has a Lithium-ion battery that lasts for 10 hours on a full charge.
The speaker has a great shape and comes in two colors. However, it is slightly on the heavier side weighing in at 1.5 lbs, which must be the key reason for those good level bass sounds, but if you are a traveller who packs in their luggage pound per pound it may be slightly heavy for you. That apart it offers one of the best sounds, which are very much worth the extra weight.
That apart it offers one of the best sounds, which are very much worth the extra weight.
The voice instructions for the Bluetooth pairing and battery charging make usability very easy but can be slightly cumbersome in the sense that every time you will get to hear which device you are connected to and your current battery charge. A voice instruction Disable button will be a good idea in future models.
For charging it has a micro USB slot same as that is used for most USB charged devices.
It has integrated phone compatibility, which allows the user to answer phone calls. A single button needs to be pressed on top of the speaker to accept the incoming call, which pauses the music.
The clarity of sound from both sides is decent and on completion, the player resumes the music.
The main trump card, however, is the sound quality this Bose speaker offers. The speaker output is high and can fill a large sized room. The audio quality is maintained throughout the frequency spectrum and the bass if not the best in the segment is quite satisfactory.
The speaker is well suited for most modern type music genres such as Electronica and modern pop and dance. These music genres also have complex sounds, which are handled very well by the speaker.
√ It can provide crystal clear sound, which can fill a large room.
√ There is a good separation in the frequency range.
√ It has a very good and sleek design.
√ There is good portability as it is light to carry.
Φ It does not provide a speaker phone function.
Φ It does not have a very powerful bass output.
Φ There is no micro USB slot for charging the speaker.
JBL Charge 3 Waterproof – (#2. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
The JBL Charge 3 packs quite a punch being a high-powered stereo sound speaker.
It is a speaker built for the outdoors, it can provide powerful sounds for parties and you don’t have to worry about it getting wet, as it is also waterproof.
It also comes with powerful 6000 mAH rechargeable battery capable of playing for up to 20 hours.
The device is quite large and resembles a stereo in design, well in many respects it does personify the classic outdoor stereo but with greater sound performance.
It has a built-in noise and an echo canceling speakerphone which gives clear call accepting and dialing feature via the speaker.
There is also a special additional feature where you can add multiple JBL speakers wirelessly and enhance the sound experience.
Let us look at the main features, which make this product quite potent –
⇒ There is wireless Bluetooth streaming with up to 3 Smartphone or tablets.
⇒ The Li-ion battery gives 20 hours of playtime and can be charged via micro USB.
⇒ It is IP X7 proof.
⇒ It is a speakerphone to take and accept phone calls with noise and echo cancellation.
⇒ You can build your whole music system by connecting wirelessly to other JBL speakers.
It has a robust built with durable fabric material and rugged rubber housing, making it capable of withstanding all weather conditions and rugged environment. The company boasts that the speakers can even be put in water due to its waterproof enclosure.
The JBL Bass radiator will give you a feel of the bass sound with the dual passive radiators.
Even though it has a powerful battery, which can go on for 20 hours the recharge time is quite short of just 4.5 hours. The bass can be
quite powerful but the speaker shows a good amount of clarity throughout the frequency spectrum of 65 Hz – 20 kHz.
The users can change the EQ settings of their Smartphone devices in order to increase the treble and compensate for the big bass sound. If you are looking for a light easy to carry Bluetooth speaker, which is sufficient for a room or for personal listening then JBL Charge 3 may be a sledgehammer to drive in a small needle.
√ It has a deep bass sound.
√ The battery life runs long.
√ It can connect with other JBL speakers.
ø The audio output does not give good clarity with a low, mid and high section.
Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker (#3. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
Music lovers will find the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth speaker giving pristine sound quality with good output. It is durable, compact and easy-to-use. There are many colors to choose from and it is a light and easy to carry speaker.
The speaker has a range of 30 feet and easily pairs via Bluetooth to Smartphones and other Bluetooth capable devices. Like in other Bose speaker models users will have voice guidance for the Bluetooth pairing process.
The speaker can connect with two Bluetooth devices at the same time, which can be switched automatically, like when the first device finishes playing the second device automatically starts.
It is lighter than the Bose Soundlink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II and weights 1.25 lbs. Even for its small size, the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth Speaker gives a high-quality sound performance.
Let us take a quick look at the main features of this small-sized speaker with great quality-
⇒ It has a clear sound which can fill a full room and maintain sound quality at all frequency levels.
⇒ Like other Bose models, it has a voice prompt for the pairing process.
⇒ The Li-ion battery provides 8 hours of playtime.
⇒ It has a wireless connection via Bluetooth to all Bluetooth capable devices.
Bose has been a leader in pristine sound quality and most of its products have been high-end and expensive but with the Bose Soundlink Color Bluetooth speaker they have a made an affordable product which is capable of the same level of sound performance. It is a great choice for someone needing a compact speaker for travelling and giving excellent sound quality.
It comes with an auxiliary input which enables it to connect to other devices. It has a micro USB charger, which is used for charging and comes with a wall charger. The speaker is meant to be carried around and it is made from durable material which can be used in outdoor locations. The Bluetooth connectivity lasts for a good 30 feet. The speaker remembers the last 8 devices it was connected to and makes re-connectivity that much easier.
√ It has a built-in MP3 player.
√ It comes with many connectivity options.
√ It can also be used as SD Card reader and a power bank.
Φ The Roar mode does not improve the sound quality.
Φ Portability can be an issue if you want to carry by hand.
UE BOOM 2 Phantom (#4. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
UE BOOM 2 Phantom is a great 360-degree designed powerful Bluetooth speaker.
It has a consistent deep bass sound and excellent clarity in every direction. It was designed for the rugged use and that is why it has been made water resistant and shock resistant.
It does measure up to the water resistance trademark IP X7, which means nothing will happen to it even if it is submerged in 1-metre deep water for 30 minutes.
It also incorporates a unique feature where you can use Siri and Google Now voice integration to directly instruct your speaker to play, which is quite a neat feature as you won’t have to search for your phone every time you have to make a change of song.
Let us take a cursory glance on the specifications and see why we included this on Top 10 list of Bluetooth Speaker and what it comes packed with-
⇒ It has a unique 360-degree sound output and has a deep bass sound, which considered a litmus test for speaker quality.
⇒ It has a highly portable and durable design, which makes it easy to carry around.
⇒ It is waterproof (as per IPX7 specifications) and shockproof.
⇒ It can use the Siri and Google Now voice integration to directly play music.
⇒ It can connect wirelessly to up to 50 devices, a huge number of supporting UE sound devices, and one can start a theatre anywhere and at any time.
⇒ It comes with rechargeable batteries which can last up to 15 hours. It also has a very good range of 100 feet.
⇒ You just need to tap the speaker in order to play, pause and skip songs.
The UE BOOM 2 is easy to carry and weighs only 1.2 lbs. This is one party speaker with the Party Up feature it can pair with an astonishing 50 UE devices and can make a party anyplace outdoor sound like a full blown concert. This powerful speaker packs in plenty of wow features, take for instance its recharge time.
On powering on the speaker it will show on your Smartphone’s list of Bluetooth devices. Once you select UE Boom 2 it will ask you whether you want to download the app. The app will let you add other UE Boom 2, UE Boom and UE Megaboom Speaker.
It also gives the option to connect to DSP (Digital Signal Processing) device from where you can change the equalizer setting.
It can be attached to 3 different Bluetooth devices at the same time.
√ It has a powerful bass sound output.
√ It is highly durable and waterproof.
√ It has a high volume range.
Φ The speakers have tap-based controls which are not very accurate.
Amazon Echo- The Next Generation Speaker (#5. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
The Amazon Echo is much more than a Bluetooth speaker device.
It incorporates the Alexa Voice Service which helps you play music, provides information, news, sports, weather etc. all with your voice command.
It has an incredible 7 microphones designed in a sleek body so that your voice command is heard from across the room and you don’t have come close and speak into it like a lapel microphone.
Furthermore, this feature of voice commands is always active even your favourite song is playing at the loudest volume and you need to check the sports updates. Saying so one may fear that it will pick up any conversation as a command, well that is not the case because before a command you have to say the magic word Alexa and the Echo feature will respond obediently.
Let’s quickly go over the features of this many in one device –
Connectivity : It supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The Wi-Fi has Dual Band Dual Antenna which gives faster streaming with fewer drops.
Warranty : It comes with a 1-year warranty and service.
Compatibility : The Alexa App is compatible with almost all mobile and desktop OS.
Weight : It weighs a little over 1 kilogram.
Power Adapter : It also has a power adapter cable and quick start guide.
Woofer : It has 2.5 in woofer and a 2.0 in tweeter.
Saying so one may fear that it will pick up any conversation as a command, well that is not the case because before a command you have to say the magic word Alexa and the Echo feature will respond obediently.
The 360-degree speaker layout makes sure that every part of your room is filled with music evenly. In terms of new age features, this product hits a home run. Let us get back to the hands-free voice control feature, the feature is provided for Amazon Music, Prime Music, Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn.
It also comes with a customary Bluetooth feature with which you can connect your smartphone. It has a powerful bass sound and crisp clarity. The seven microphones use beam forming technology and enhanced noise cancellation which helps in voice recognition even from a far distance.
It doesn’t stop there, Echo can work with smart home devices like lights, switches, thermostats etc. from companies like WeMo, SmartThings, Insteon, Nest, ecobee, and Wink.
To do all of this an app is required the Alexa app works great on Fire OS, Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS X. You can set up all the smart devices to be controlled from Echo or read from the Kindle library.
The steps to follow are quite simple – first, you need to plug in Echo, then connect with the Alexa App and give voice commands for what you require.
√ It has futuristic features, which give it a wide application.
Φ The sound quality can be uneven.
Φ The bass sound is not strong.
JBL Extreme Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker (#6. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
This is one powerful Bluetooth speaker with a huge 10,000 mAh Li-ion battery.
It has a long battery life at over 15 hours and dual USB for charging. It is a perfect speaker for rough and tough kind of use.
It goes great for outdoor locations where it may be in nature or near water, which is no problem owing to its Splashproof fabric. The design is like an old-fashioned stereo. It comes in three colors red, blue and black.
It also has a speakerphone which has noise and echo cancellation for conference calls. The JBL Connect feature allows you to connect multiple JBL Connect-enabled devices at the same time to create a whole music theater system.
It comes in three colors red, blue and black. It also has a speakerphone which has noise and echo cancellation for conference calls. The JBL Connect feature allows you to connect multiple JBL Connect-enabled devices at the same time to create a whole music theater system.
The JBL Extreme Portable speaker is all about the bass sounds, with twin passive radiators you can hear the bass, feel the bass and see the bass.
Although it is not completely waterproof like the JBL Charge 3 it is still splash proof which means even if you get some water on it by accident, no worries just wipe it off and play it on.
As far as the operational response from the device is concerned it responds almost instantly from iPhones but from Android phones, there is a response delay of 0.5s to 2.0s.
The packaging is quite neat and along with the regular add-ons like the wall adapter and the warranty guide, there is a back strap to carry your speaker around. How cool is that?
The design is similar to other JBL speaker products and this model is also splash proof. As far as carrying it along is concerned it is quite large in size and gets difficult to carry by hand, that is where the detachable strap comes in handy. On top of the speaker, all the buttons can be found like volume, Bluetooth pairing, JBL Connect and play/pause. It also comes with a hard plastic stand so that the speaker is placed horizontally. Near the stand, small battery lights are located showing how much charge is left. A small orange zipper conceals the AUX in, a power input for charging and USB outputs.
The connectivity of the speaker is quite good in terms that there is slight stuttering at far distances or if you have a couple of walls in between but on the whole it was satisfactory. The claimed battery life is 15 hours and on testing, it came pretty close to that mark. The battery itself is quite powerful and packs a big punch at max volume. The sound quality is very good and with JBL Connect one can enjoy full surround sound system without requiring any app. In terms of frequency spectrum sometimes the Lows blend into the Mids but the passive radiators keep the bass sound tight. In the Mid part, there is good clarity for vocals and string instruments. The Highs can be a bit harsh at times and you may need to lower the volume slightly to get rid of the harshness.
√ It has a powerful bass sound.
√ It can pair with 3 devices via Bluetooth.
√ It has a robust design, which is splash proof.
Φ The DSP causes a volume drop at the beginning of each track.
Sonos Play (#7. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
The Sonos Play is a speaker device which promises Hi-Fi sound.
It has one mid-woofer and one tweeter each with its own amp. This helps in delivering crystal clear sound with impactful bass.
It has an elegant design and looks good anywhere at home or in the office. It is also resistant to humidity which means it can be used in the bathroom without worrying about the water residue.
You can also add any amount of Sonos speakers around your house and connect them wirelessly.
Lets us take a quick look at the main features –
⇒ It has two drivers with separate amplifiers.
⇒ The Trueplay feature automatically adjusts the sound settings as per the music being played and the surrounding room environment.
⇒ It comes with an app which lets you control all the stream music and services.
⇒ It can connect to Wi-Fi. It is easy to setup and expansion over time.
⇒ It can withstand high humidity environments.
What Sonos is really about is giving you a smart speaker, which does all the basic functionality of a Bluetooth speaker but with smarter methods. Sonos has got built-in sensors and smart software to improve the sound quality. The system is very easy to install. They automatically get smart updates such that your system keeps evolving. The sound generated is pure and wholesome and can fill any room.
The Trueplay feature is meant to make your listening experience a tad bit better in the environment and type of song you choose to play. The system can take you to a deeper level where every sound is more vivid and dynamic.
The Sonos App brings all the services together in one place like your favourite music and streaming services. You can even choose which song to hear in which room if there is a network setup with Sonos speakers. You can play different tracks at the same time and also same track at the same time in all locations.
Sonos App helps you connect with Apple Music, amazon music, Pandora, Google play music, Spotify, Sirius XM and 100,000 radio stations. You can explore music as per your likings.
Some other features include – it is wall mountable, it has a stereo pair and can be used as home theatre speakers. The device still lacks an auxiliary jack for an output of sound to other devices.
Sonos can search your whole iTune library for a playlist and then import them into the controller. Similarly, you can pull playlists from different sources. On the top part of the speaker, you will find the play/pause and volume button. If you are using a service for example Pandora to listen to music then you do not need to open the app and just physically press the pause button. The app also creates a queue of the songs being played, like if one song is playing and you choose to play another song you will get three options either to play now or to play next or add to the queue.
√ It has a stylish design.
√ The sound quality is good.
√ It can support Spotify, Pandora and has good Bluetooth connectivity.
Φ It is unable to stream from any app on the smartphone.
Φ It is not very portable.
Infinity One Premium (#8. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
The Infinity One gives pristine sound quality at high volumes.
It can be used for indoor as well as outdoor locations.
The battery is strong and goes on for 10 hours and can even charge and an external device. It has Bluetooth connectivity. The design and body make it highly durable for use.
The body is made from ceramic coated aluminum which gives it a sophisticated sleek look.
This speaker can provide amazing sound quality from a small size, the weight, however, is on the higher side, with the device weighing in at 5 lbs. This is the reason that it is better to keep this speaker at one place and not to carry it around.
Let us quickly go through the main features of this high sound performance speaker-
⇒ The sound can fill the entire room with excellent bass from high-quality drivers.
⇒ It is built from one of the best materials it has an extruded aluminium chassis.
⇒ The Bluetooth pairing with NFC is quite simple.
⇒ It has a rechargeable Li-ion battery with a charge of up to 10 hours.
⇒ It can also charge external devices through the USB port.
⇒ It allows two devices to be connected to the speaker at the same time.
The biggest strong point of this Bluetooth speaker is the awesome sound quality. There is an array of four 1.75in active drivers along a pair of passive bass radiators. It has powerful 25-watt amplifiers. The digital sound is first processed by custom acoustic software technology. The result is an extraordinary sound quality from a compact system. The Bluetooth connectivity is simple and convenient as previously connected devices are remembered.
There is also aux out 3.5mm jack for output. The device is really simple to use and the manufacturers have kept it simple and to the sound with this product.
It is also one of the most expensive speakers in the market, the sound quality does make it worth it for people who are committed to having the best quality.
The Infinity One has drivers front and back and the treble is only produced by the front drivers whereas the back drivers are cut-off from the high-frequency spectrum. So, there is not a complete 360-degree sound from the system. The drivers are also tilted a little upwards and can aim right at the user from a normal listening distance of a table in front.
There is a little discomfort with the volume controls for the Infinity One. For iOS devices the volume is mirrored between speaker and player and the first volume position is already quite loud. The volume increases immensely till the halfway mark after which there is not much increase with a higher position. The Bluetooth connectivity distance is quite satisfactory with up to 25 feet even through a wall. Even though it is billed to be a portable outdoor speaker but the exterior radiators and aluminium body does not look like it will be able to handle outdoor conditions very well.
√ Good bass sound.
√ It can be paired with two Bluetooth devices at same time.
Φ Charging can take quite long.
Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 (#9. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
Creative has been providing some stunning audio devices for several years.
The Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2 is a small but powerful Bluetooth speaker. It is a well-designed device.
The speaker has all the ingredients of a good Bluetooth speaker device but it hasn’t really set the audio hardware scene on fire.
In terms of size, it is 20% smaller than the previous Creative model, a vast difference for portability. It has 5 high-performance speaker drivers and a 6,000 mAh battery which can run for 8 hours.
Let us go through the main features before we begin a detailed analysis –
⇒ It is powered by 2 amps, 5 speaker drivers, a woofer and 2 passive radiators, giving it clarity for a wide frequency spectrum.
⇒ The battery runs for 8 hours and can be charged via micro USB.
⇒ It has a built-in MP3 player, a voice recorder, a speakerphone, a USB sound blaster and a battery bank.
⇒ The music can be played via Bluetooth, NFC, USB cable or the Aux-in port. The songs can be even played by Micro SD card.
⇒ The speaker can be placed in two orientations. If you want the sound to fill the room you can lay out the speaker flat or if you want a more directed sound then it is better to keep it vertical.
Now, the design does offer a dual position but it is not the smartest looking device in the market and resembles an external hard disk. The two amps handle different frequency ranges. One amp produces the Low and Mid range frequencies and the other only produces a high frequency. A good way to divide the sound production so that there is no inter-conversion between bordering frequency ranges and produces high definition sound. The speaker has a good design with all the amps and radiators well-placed inside giving a strong audio profile.
It comes with high-quality wireless audio codecs such as the aptX and AAC high-definition codecs which provide high resolution for sound. You can connect to the speaker with your device in two ways, one is through NFC and the other is via Bluetooth, the speaker supports two devices at the same time and the user can toggle between them while playing.
The speaker doubles up as mp3 player where the user just needs to put in a Micro SD card with the songs and press the play button. The micro SD reader feature can also be used to read data on your computer if your computer doesn’t have that functionality. It has a 3.5 mm aux-in which helps in connecting to other analogue audio devices.
Even though the device packs in powerful audio setup, the bass quality is still not an optimum level you would expect from a sophisticated device. There also seems to be a usability bug, like after connecting with Bluetooth there is a noticeable static noise which is more at low volumes. The issue will need to be checked by future users.
√ It has a built-in MP3 player.
√ It comes with many connectivity options.
√ It can also be used as SD Card reader and a power bank.
Φ The battery is average.
Φ The Roar mode does not improve the sound quality.
Φ Portability can be an issue if you want to carry by hand.
UE Megaboom – (#10. Best Rated Bluetooth Speakers 2018)
The UE Megaboom is another speaker which has a 360-degree music design. It provides a deep bass sound and is powerful enough for different surroundings.
This speaker has the looks and quality to be an all round speaker which can be carried around outdoors or placed neatly on the living room table. The speaker comes with a host of important features and is also water resistant.
So, without further ado let us go over the main features of this thunderbolt speaker and then form an opinion after critical analysis –
⇒ It gives a 360-degree sound with deep bass.
⇒ It has a waterproof body with IPX7 rating (can withstand being in the water for 30 min at 1-meter depth).
⇒ It has a cylindrical design, which can be placed vertically or horizontally.
⇒ It can accept voice commands with the integration with Siri and Google Now voice integration.
⇒ The PartyUp feature lets you connect up to 50 UE devices.
⇒ It has a 20-hour rechargeable battery and very fast recharging with a micro USB port.
⇒ It has its own standalone app which gives additional features and control options.
⇒ It gets regular wireless updates.
After seeing all the features packed it does seem like a strong contender in the price category. It has the big sound with booming bass, which is so desired in high-performance portable speakers. It comes with a powerful battery, which can go on for 20 hours and recharges at a fast rate and it has a robust body, and design capable of handling outdoors conditions. Now, it does weigh in at a little less than 2 lbs which is not for easy portability, if you are looking for a speaker which you can carry around in your backpack this just might be a bit too heavy. For the price range of $239, it does seem like a good option to consider.
√ The battery is able to last very long if you reduce the volume to 30-40 % level.
√ It has a reasonable price.
Φ It does not create a very deep bass. Other speakers are able to produce the lower bass sounds better.
Φ The Bluetooth connectivity can be faster, it normally takes almost 5 seconds to connect the speaker.
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