The best Bluetooth speaker 2017: wireless audio for the home, made simple

Stream music from any phone, tablet or laptop in an altogether superior way with the best Bluetooth wireless speakers for hi-fi sound

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If you're looking for the best Bluetooth speaker for really good audio indoors (mainly, although a number of these are battery-powered and so can go outside), then we have the cure for your Bluetooth blues.

Our current favourite is the Cambridge YoYo M (all of the new Cambridge YoYo range looks good, actually). It offers full stereo – remember that, old timers? Most of these speakers are mono, or even if they are technically stereo, the sound stage is pretty narrow… 

If setting up two speakers seems like too much hassle, our current favourite one-box Bluetooth speaker is the Sonos Revolve.

How to buy the best Bluetooth speaker for you

The great thing about Bluetooth is that it is compatible with just about everything short of your garden shears. 

Pairing is far easier than with Wi-Fi-based wireless speakers, too. It's simple, quick and practically always painless, these days. It's also platform agnostic. Google Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal… It makes no odds.

These are the best Bluetooth speakers for phones, tablets, PCs and Macs that money can buy. Pricing is from about £100, because to be honest, if you want seriously good sound quality, you won't find it at a sub-£100 RRP. 

This is a very diverse branch of tech, so there are also picks at different price points and for different musical styles and settings. 

And let us tell you, readers, the number of truly dreadful Bluetooth speakers you have to listen to, in order to pick out the 10 best ones, is quite something.

If you want something like CD-quality audio from Bluetooth, you should opt for a speaker with support for the Apt-X and AAC codecs. 

However, while Apple mobile devices don't support Apt-X, and many speakers don't incorporate AAC, which Apple does support, it's perfectly possible to get decent sound via Bluetooth from an iPhone. 

You can draw your own conclusions from that, but I feel that the inherent audio limitations of Bluetooth speakers actually tend to mask rather than emphasise imperfections in the source material. They don't give a true 'hi-fi' sound, but they do give an enjoyable one.

The overall audio quality of Bluetooth speakers seems much more influenced by how well they process and amplify your music files, than the state they arrive in, so long as they're reasonably high bitrate (obviously, rubbish in, rubbish out). 

Despite not being hi-res or even CD quality most of the time, when put through a speaker made with skill, and top-drawer components, music beamed via Bluetooth can sound great. 

Some other issues to be aware of: you'll probably want to take your phone out of your pocket for uninterrupted streaming – your body can block the signal if you're moving around. 

And if someone calls you on your phone while you're streaming from it, the music is gonna stop. There's no way around that with Bluetooth, although on the plus side, some of these speakers double as speaker phones.

The best Bluetooth speakers to buy today

1. Cambridge Audio YoYo M

Best Bluetooth speaker/s you can get

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 24 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Brilliantly punchy audio+Proper, wide stereo 'sound field'+Very attractive styling
Reasons to avoid
-Kinda pricey-Have to pair it every time
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In our brave new world of one-box, wire-free audio solutions it's easy to forget that music is still generally recorded in stereo. 

A lot of wireless speakers make a decent fist of giving a wide 'sound field' (apologies for the use of a term redolent of too many nights spent listening to Yes whilst overly relaxed, there) but Cambridge Audio's splendid YoYo M doesn't have to try too hard, because it's a pair of stereo speakers. 

You can use just one of them if you like, but that's a bit like buying a pair of chopsticks and only employing one. Fire them both up, by pressing the Pair button on the second unit and you get a brilliantly big, w-i-d-e, musical performance.

The only problem is, you have to do that every time you use the YoYo M, which is a bit irritating, for the reason mentioned above – there's no reason to buy a pair of speakers if you only intend to use one, so why can't you turn them both on with one button? No doubt some nonsense to do with, "You can't do that via Bluetooth, so you'd have to use a wire and then they wouldn't be wireless, you idiot." I dare say.

That aside, the YoYo M is a nigh-on perfect (pair of) Bluetooth speaker(s), and devilishly handsome to boot, dolled up as it is in Marton Mills' worsted wool, Birds Eye fabric. This is acoustically transparent, and resistant to dirt, water and 'unnecessary' wear and tear, whatever that means.

2. Bose Soundlink Revolve

Best portable Bluetooth speaker

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 14 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great sound+True 360 degree audio+Very portable
Reasons to avoid
-Resembles decapitated Dalek
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Being a huge hi-fi snob, I didn't usually expect to like Bose's stuff in the past. 

It's obviously turned some sort of corner, or I've become irredeemably middle-aged, because I really liked its QC35 headphones and this is just a cracking Bluetooth speaker.

Despite its handheld dimensions, the Revolve puts out a furious sonic assault in a full 360 degrees, although it's also comfortable in a more traditional near-wall position. 

Bass and overall clarity are exemplary and it sounds consistently exciting, but it can also dip down into a sweeter mode with less upfront tunes.

Battery powered and robust, it is also perfectly portable and sounds great outdoors. It's water-resistant rather than -proof, so stay away from the pool, mind. 

There's the option to pair two of these in either dual mono 'party mode' or as a stereo pair. In the latter case, results are even more impressive than Cambridge's YoYo M, although a pair of these will set you back £100 more, so that's to be expected.

The styling is less bland than the Bose norm, too. Although unfortunately, in a certain light, the Revolve does look a bit like a Dalek that's had its head and plunger lopped off. You could view this as a plus point too, though.

3. Marshall Kilburn

Best Bluetooth speaker under £200

Specifications
Power output: 70W
Battery life: 20 hours
Apt-X: No
Reasons to buy
+Great sound with rock, hip-hop and dance+Long battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Audio lacks subtlety-…As does the look
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This speaker is badged as a Marshall, but obviously it doesn't come direct from the same sweat-stained factories as its legendary guitar amps. But my gosh, it still rocks.

Audio is loud and proud, rich and powerful with plenty of bass, and cleverly processed with a strong 'faux-analogue' sound. Built as a compact speaker for small to medium rooms, it is nonetheless still battery-powered, and portable via a natty strap.

Pairing is swift and the audio, while coloured so as to sound 'rocky', can be tweaked all over the place using the old-skool tone knobs.

Clearly the looks won't be to non-rockers' tastes, and the audio is not subtle by any stretch of the imagination. However, for the price there's nothing to beat the Marshall Kilburn for sheer room-filling oomph.

4. Monitor Audio AirStream S150

Best Bluetooth speaker under £150

Specifications
Power output: 40W
Battery life: N/A
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Superb sound from a small box+Excellent value
Reasons to avoid
-Questionable looks, especially in faux gold-No battery option despite size
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This one sits around the midpoint between the booming Marshall and the more audiophile KEF, but is cheaper than both.

The sound quality, bolstered by Apt-X, is truly excellent for the price, and pairing is easy.

Monitor Audio's wonky funnel of a speaker is also highly portable. However, despite having a USB input that I initially assumed was for charging its batteries – oops – the S150 turned out to actually be mains powered only.

The look is just not great, let's be honest, especially in the gold finish. Other than that, it's an impeccable Bluetooth speaker.

5. Kef Muo

Best 'audiophile' Bluetooth speaker

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 12 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Sophisticated audio+Sophisticated style
Reasons to avoid
-Sophisticated price-Too sophisticated to ROCK
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After the exact opposite of the Marshall? This looks gorgeous, has far more subtle, nuanced sound and less shit-kicking bass. It's also more expensive, but there we go.

One for the connoisseurs, the Muo is a solid yet sinuous, metal speaker in a choice of five colours. Able to stand upright or on its base, the Muo offers less bottom-end oomph than similarly priced rivals, but compensates with a more melliflous mid and treble.

It's not true to fair that it lacks bass as such, so much as it can't really pump it out. Therefore, if you're a lover of more acoustic sounds, classical and spoken word, this is a fine choice. If you want to rock party jams and are big into dub reggae and EDM, maybe not so much.

With Bluetooth speakers this small, such attention to sonic detail seems beyond the call of duty, but those who want the best sound from the smallest and most convenient receptacle should look no further. If you want to go really mad, you can also shell out for two and use them as a stereo pair.

6. Minirig

Best ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker for home use

Specifications
Power output: 15W
Battery life: 80 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Super portable +Great sound for the size+Mammoth battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof
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Made in Britain, this hardy little metal cylinder is simple to carry around, and sounds fantastic for its size. 

If you want something totally portable, a fully waterproof UE Boom might be a better bet – the Minirig is only water resistant (IPX5). However, few Bluetooth speakers are as easy to move around as this one and with an 80-hour battery life at low volume (40 with 'average use', 15 at top whack) , you won't be constantly on the lookout for plug sockets, either.

If you find yourself addicted to the Minirig's tiny size and (relatively) massive sound, you can buy two and use them as a stereo pair, or even add a 30W Minirig subwoofer to complete your cylindrical setup, which by now will sound very impressive indeed. By this point you'll have spent just shy of £370, but it's unlikely you'll find a system that sounds bigger, yet is so portable – basically like carrying around 2 cans of (admittedly quite heavy) lager. 

If you're after something that can go anywhere yet has sufficient quality to also use at home, Minirig is definitely worth a go.

7. Ruark R1 Mk III

Best Bluetooth speaker with a DAB radio

Specifications
Power output: 9W
Battery life: N/A
Apt-X: No
Reasons to buy
+It's also a DAB and FM radio+Looks and sounds timelessly elegant
Reasons to avoid
-Rocking parties not part of its remit-Despite looking portable, it's not battery powered
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It's probably fair to say this is pitched at a more mature clientele. Check out its Amazon reviews and you'll find a number of people who don't even appear to know what Bluetooth is.

That's fair enough, as this is primarily a high-class, walnut-clad DAB radio. However, it also performs creditably with Bluetooth music sources. 

For gentler sounds in the kitchen or bedroom, it's nigh on perfect, although clearly you're not gonna be wanting to rock Skrillex through it.

8. Ruark MR1 Mk II

A cracking stereo Bluetooth pair

Specifications
Power output: 20W
Battery life: N/A
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Effortless stereo+Great sound+Optical and line inputs
Reasons to avoid
-Not entirely wireless
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Oh, and here's Ruark again with another excellent offering, this time in full stereo. 

With a 3.5mm input and an optical digital one and an output for an active subwoofer, this could be the basis of a neat little system, but it's also mighty fine as a Bluetooth-only setup.

Audio is pretty similar to the Ruark R1, in that it's more Manilow than Metallica; more Stone Roses than Stormzy. But that's fine. Really, my only reservation about it is that it's a lot like the Cambridge Audio YoYo M, but that is slightly cheaper and has a more upfront sound that I happen to prefer.

Where it does score over the Cambridge Audio effort is that stereo is achieved via a wire from the active receiver/speaker to a passive one. This might make setup a little more tricky in terms of positioning, but it also removes the need to turn on two speakers every time you want to listen to music.

Rather brilliantly, you can also currently buy the MR1 Mk II with a Rega P1 (plus a Fono turntable pre-amp) for £659, or with a P2 for £789. As you can see, they make an exceedingly handsome couple – and let me tell you, readers, they're a couple who make sweet music together.

9. Monster SuperStar Blaster

Best Bluetooth speaker for party-rocking

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted but presumably quite a lot
Battery life: 8 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Ridiculously loud and bassy sound+Quirky, retro-futuristic styling
Reasons to avoid
-Lovers of Bach's string quartets won't be enthused-Portable in that it's battery powered, but my gosh it's hefty
Today's best deals

After that brief diversion into understated tastefulness, we're back in crazy town with Monster's contemporary twist on the ghetto blaster. And it is indeed a monster.

With self-explanatory "indoor" and "outdoor" modes, this thing generates an awe-inspiring racket with rock, hip-hop, dance and Wagner. Lovers of anything more subtle than that need not apply. It's the kind of speaker that leads to neighbourly feuds.

Hilariously, it is, however, available at John Lewis. Where all the old skool electro breakdance warriors and bloodclaat dancehall yardies head to for their shopping, no doubt.

Seriously, if it's power with portability (as long as you have strong arms and/or a car) you're after, nothing else comes close to this.

10. Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Mini II

Second best Bose Bluetooth speaker

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 10 hours
Apt-X: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Excellent sound for the size+Typically solid Bose build
Reasons to avoid
-Battery life is a little disappointing-Not waterproof
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This sounded pretty marvellous for its size and weight (68g) when released. It's also portable, being battery-powered, but maybe not portable too far from home, as it isn't really water-resistant at all. 

It's still a solid option, but Bose's Revolve beats it in every department, so expect to see retail availability over the next six months.