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The best Bluetooth speakers: Price, battery life, and waterproofing compared

Bluetooth speakers let you listen to your favorite music anywhere. And with water-resistant speakers, you can jam out poolside or at the beach without worrying about damage.
Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Emery Wright

Bluetooth technology has brought a lot of benefits, especially where speakers are concerned. Now, you are able to take your tunes with you on the go, no matter where you are going. As long as you have an internet connection, you can listen to your favorite albums and podcasts freely without the constraints of wires and cords. You just need the right Bluetooth speaker, which is where we come in. 

We survey the market to find the best quality, pricing, and performance to help ensure a fantastic investment. If you are in the market for a speaker, these are the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy.

Also: The 5 best speakers 

Pros & Cons
  • IP67-rated
  • 360° sound
  • Floats
  • Requires a flat surface
  • Mediocre battery life
More Details

Tech Specs: Dimensions: 2.9 x 2.9 x 7.25 inches | Weight: 1.8 lbs | Battery life: 15 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

Ultimate Ears has made a name for itself with portable, waterproof speakers, so it makes sense that it is the number one pick for the best Bluetooth speaker. The 360-degree sound can be amplified when you pair other UE speakers, as well. It is all managed by easy, user-friendly controls. Encased in a waterproof cover, this speaker floats, as well, with an IP67 rating. That does not mean you sacrifice battery, however. The UE Boom 3 receives an impressive battery life, the longest of any on our list, with 15 full hours of listening.

Read the review: UE Boom 3 review

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent clarity
  • User-friendly
  • Waterproof
  • App can use some work
  • Lacks auxiliary input
More Details

Tech Specs: Dimensions: 2.06 x 7.93 x 3.56 inches | Weight: 1.3 lbs | Battery life: 12 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

The Bose SoundLink Flex is a soundbar-style speaker that is easily portable and can be used outdoors. There is a built-in microphone paired with a custom transducer that gives a superior audio experience. You also receive the added benefit of Bose's PositionIQtechnology, which detects the position of the speaker and automatically adjusts the audio accordingly. Plus, the entire speaker is waterproof with a rust-resistant and UV-resistant design that is made for the outdoors.

Pros & Cons
  • Elegant design
  • Wireless options
  • Powerful amplifier
  • No smart technology
  • Lacks app
More Details

Tech Specs: Dimensions: 9.2 x 15.6 x 13.1 inches | Weight: 27.2 lbs | Water-resistant: No

The Fluance Ai61 speakers are the best bookshelf speakers with their 120-watt amplifier and sleek design. These are wired speakers, so there is no need to worry about a dead battery, but it also means that these are not portable speakers you can tote just anywhere. Still, the audio is phenomenal, thanks to 6.5-inch woven glass fiber drivers and advanced tweeters. Both Bluetooth and USB connectivity is available for easy use, and a two-year warranty secures your purchase. 

Pros & Cons
  • Portable
  • Powerful sound
  • Voice assistant
  • Not ideal for stereo pairing
  • Bass can be too much at times
More Details

Tech Specs: Dimensions: 3.94 x 0.79 x 1.06 inches | Weight: 7.1 oz | Battery life: 10 hours | Water-resistant: Yes 

Sonos Roam offers excellent versatility, allowing you to use the Sonos app, Apple AirPlay2, or your own voice to control the speaker. Both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are incorporated for greater ease. It is a durable model, too; its waterproof and dustproof design is also drop-proof, making it fantastic for portability. There are ten hours of battery life, which isn't great, but it still gives you plenty of listening time with either a WiFi or Bluetooth connection. Pair with other Sonos speakers for a whole-home experience.

Read the review: Best Sonos speakers

Pros & Cons
  • Excellent audio
  • IP67-rated
  • Charges your phone
  • Average durability
  • No wired connection
More Details

Tech Specs: Dimensions: 4.1 x 3.9 x 1.6 inches | Weight: 1.08 lbs | Battery life: 12 hours | Water-resistant: Yes

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 comes fully stacked with phenomenal audio technology, including a custom 48mm NdFeB driver and passive radiators with proprietary XBASS technology to better improve the sound. Still, this is meant to be used as a portable speaker that is ready for the outdoors with 12 hours of battery and an IP67 rating. It is both Bluetooth- and USB-compatible and features a built-in power bank in its water-resistant design so you can still charge other devices when you are away from home.

Read the review: Tribit Stormbox Micro 2 review

What is the best Bluetooth speaker?

The best Bluetooth speaker is the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 speaker, offering incredible battery life, a water-resistant rating, and superior audio at an affordable price. To see how it compares, this is an overview of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy today.

Best Bluetooth speaker


Battery life


Ultimate Ears Boom 3


15 hours

Bose SoundLink Flex


12 hours

Fluance Ai61



Sonos Roam


10 hours

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2


12 hours

Which is the best Bluetooth speaker for you?

Not sure which Bluetooth speaker is best for you? Consider our expert recommendations based on our study.

Choose this best Bluetooth speaker...

If you want...

Ultimate Ears Boom 3

The best sound with 

Bose SoundLink Flex

An easily portable speaker

Fluance Ai61

A pair of attractive speakers for your bookshelf

Sonos Roam

Smart technology incorporated into your speaker

Tribit Stormbox Micro 2

A budget-friendly Bluetooth speaker

How did we choose these best Bluetooth speakers?

In addition to overall audio, there are several other factors we consider when choosing the best Bluetooth speakers.

  • Battery: A Bluetooth speaker is hardly worth the trouble if it does not have the battery to work regularly. We look for the best Bluetooth speakers that offer a prolonged battery life that can stand up to life's demands.

  • Design: Many of the best Bluetooth speakers offer a water-resistant or even waterproof rating, making them suitable for the pool on those hot summer days. However, it is important to also consider durability so your speaker can withstand a couple of bumps and bruises when you are on the go.

  • Connectivity: Many Bluetooth speakers also incorporate smart technology, allowing you to access Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple's Siri. Be sure to consider whether you will need a WiFi connection, as well, so you can find the appropriate speaker for your streaming needs.

  • Cost: Budget is a leading concern for many shoppers, so we look for the best Bluetooth speakers that span a number of different budgets so there is something for everyone.

What does an IP rating mean?

IP means "Ingress Protection" and is a type of rating used to evaluate electronic devices. Each number following IP has a specific meaning, with the first number representing dust resistance and the second measuring water resistance. The higher each number, the greater its resistance will be.

How much does the best Bluetooth speaker cost?

Bluetooth speakers can run the gamut in price based on the features, model, and manufacturer that you choose. The best Bluetooth speaker costs between $60 and $300, depending on your budget and your specific needs.

What are the best brands for Bluetooth speakers?

There are many familiar, well-respected brands that manufacture Bluetooth speakers, but not all of them are the best. Based on performance and design, the best Bluetooth speaker brands include Ultimate Ears, Bose, Fulance, Sonos, and Tribit. 

Are there alternative best Bluetooth speakers worth considering?

In our search, we also found these best Bluetooth speakers that may suit your fancy.

For other options, check out our picks for the best speakers, the best stereo speakers, and the best smart speakers!

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