Best Bluetooth speaker 2020: best wireless speakers for audio quality AND portable speaker convenience

Stream music from any phone, tablet or laptop with the best Bluetooth wireless speakers for indoors and waterproof ones for the garden

Best Bluetooth speakers for sound : Bose, Cambridge Audio, KEF and more

If you're looking for the best Bluetooth speaker for really good audio indoors then we have the cure for your wireless blues. If you're looking for the more traditional small, portable speaker that uses Bluetooth then scroll way down… or use this handy jump link to our guide to the best portable Bluetooth speakers.

Whatever their shape, price or appearance, all of these Bluetooth speakers are here primarily on the basis of their sound quality and suitability for use at home. Bluetooth is a wonderfully easy and versatile way to stream music, and after years of  honing and improvement, the best Bluetooth speakers can sound excellent – especially when they also utilise sound quality improving technologies such as aptX, aptX HD, AAC and/or Wi-Fi, so you can stream from your device or the cloud, in higher resolution. 

Are Bluetooth and wireless the same thing?

No. All Bluetooth speakers are wireless but not all wireless speakers rely on Bluetooth, although most include it. This is going to become more of an issue as wireless speaker technology evolves. 

A lot of the best recent 'Bluetooth' speakers also feature Wi-Fi streaming from your phone or direct from the cloud for services such as Tidal, Spotify and Apple Music. Others include Alexa voice control, which can let you summon music from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and others. You need to be subscribed to these services, of course. A great example of this is the Audio Pro C3 that is #1 in this very list.

Bluetooth also turns up as an option on speakers that are really meant to be used with Wi-Fi or an analogue or digital, wired input – Bowers & Wilkins' Zeppelin, Naim's Mu-so family and so on.

However, since far more people search for 'Bluetooth speaker' than 'wireless speaker' we're going to continue to call it that.

The best Bluetooth speakers to buy

Best Bluetooth speaker: Kanto TUK

(Image credit: Kanto)

1. Kanto TUK

Bluetooth speaker disguised as a complete music system

Specifications
Power output: 260W
Battery life: none
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: Yes
Additional connections: 3.5mm input, phono, pre-amp turntable, optical digital, USB audio, 3.5mm headphone output
Reasons to buy
+Proper stereo+Good physical connections
Reasons to avoid
-No Wi-Fi streaming

If you're a Bluetooth purist – do such people exist? – looking for a great sounding speaker, TUK is one of a very small number of options right now. Most higher-end wireless speakers also include Wi-Fi and cloud connectivity to service Tidal, Spotify, AirPlay, Chromecast et al. Kanto TUK has no truck with such new-fangled notions. It supports Bluetooth 4.2 – AAC and AptX – and NO OTHER WIRELESS CONNECTIONS AT ALL!

It's also not a speaker. It's a stereo pair of attractive, compact bookshelf speakers. The right hand one contains the connections and DACs and Class D amplifiers and all that, and the right one is a slave, connected by a wire. Yes, doing 'proper' stereo Bluetooth without a wire between the speakers is a more elegant solution – but in my experience it never works satisfactorily 100% of the time. 

It's also not just a pair of speakers, either. With a pre-amped input for a turntable, a standard, line level phono input, optical digital and USB, the Kanto TUK is actually what old people would call a 'music system' or 'mini system'. 

I've been using this for some months now via Bluetooth and from a DAC attached to my iMac and after a certain amount of running in, it sounds superb – as it should for this price. Given that a stereo pair of speakers always sounds better than a one-box speaker of equivalent price, this is THE choice for those who want a music setup based around Bluetooth, with the best possible sound quality. Clearly, setup is more complicated than with a one-box but the compact size of the TUK and straightforward connectivity, make it as easy as it can be. 

I've seen reviews of this saying the bass is a bit thin, but I can assure you on a half decent pair of stands or a reasonably substantial shelf it is booming. There's a subwoofer connection as well, if you are a total bottom end fiend. A handsome and sturdy remote is included, although I can't say I've used it much. Your colour choices are the black pictured here, and its arch rival: white. The white finish looks better IMO and the casing doesn't seem to be the dirt magnet that many white speakers are. 

Best Bluetooth speaker: Sonos Move

(Image credit: Sonos)

2. Sonos Move

Best compact Bluetooth speaker

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 10 hours
Apt-X: No – SBC is supported however
AAC: Yes
Additional connections: 3.5mm input, phono, pre-amp turntable, optical digital, USB audio, 3.5mm headphone output
Reasons to buy
+Superb sound quality for a small-ish speaker+Also supports Sonos multi-room
Reasons to avoid
-Bluetooth is clearly not the main draw here

• Read our Sonos Move review

This is more like what many people would consider a classic Bluetooth speaker than the Kanto TUK. But really, it is a Sonos multi-room speaker, designed to be connected via Wi-Fi. However the Move has been ruggedised, and had a battery and Bluetooth connectivity added, so you can use it outdoors. 

Basically a Sonos One that you can take in your garden, the Move also includes Amazon Alexa or Google voice assistants (although not when in Bluetooth mode) and multi-room streaming support from a vast range of music services (although not when in Bluetooth mode). 

Sound quality is excellent, and there's some genuinely clever software that automatically optimises the sound to its surroundings every time you move it. You can have some fun with the Move putting it in the most acoustically unpromising positions you can think of – it nearly always ends up sounding good, indoors or out.

Sonos Move is not the most handsome thing, but you soon realise it's design is excellent. A massive, recessed 'handle' on the back makes it easy to transport, and as well as being rugged, the base and paint finish are cunningly designed so it doesn't get marked and scarred by a life of being hefted about and placed on patios. 

Sonos' app provides support for any music service you can think of or subscribe to, as well as allowing voice control of tunes via Alexa or Google. When you're in Bluetooth mode however, Move functions like any other Bluetooth speaker – you send music from your phone or other devices, from whatever music apps you happen to have installed. 

Audio quality takes a noticeable hit when you switch to Bluetooth, compared to Wi-Fi or cloud streaming. Even so, it sounds way better than any other portable Bluetooth speaker I can think of. The battery life of 10 hours isn't bad, but do remember to replace the Move on its elegant charging stand when you're not using it outdoors or in the bathroom – the battery continues to drain even in standby mode, which can be an annoyance. 

Best Bluetooth speaker: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

3. Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

Best waterproof Bluetooth speaker

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 20 hours
Apt-X: No
AAC: No
Reasons to buy
+Fully waterproof – and it floats!+Rugged too+Lively and loud sound
Reasons to avoid
-Playlist selection is a bit unwieldy

The Megaboom 3 is right at the opposite end of the portable speaker spectrum from Audio Pro's list-topper. It's fully focussed on the outdoors, being waterproof and very rugged. Actually it's not just waterproof – it even floats, so if it's accidentally (or deliberately) dropped in the pool, it's easily retrieved.

Unlike the Addon C3, the Megaboom 3 probably won't win approving nods from audiophiles but while it may be targeted at those who want dance, pop and rock tunes in the outdoors, its small footprint and attractive design mean it can function perfectly happily in the kitchen. The cooly muted colours it comes in are, in fact, about the only quiet things about it.

Ultimate Ears has absolutely piled on the bonus features here, with the ability to pair two in stereo as well as the option to chain anything up to 'hundreds' of them (!) for even greater volume. 

A 'magic button' on top lets you easily play, pause and skip tracks and, uh, not-so-easily control playlists. It's cool that UE has added this functionality but it has two problems: it only works with Apple Music and Deezer playlists, and you can only skip forwards through your playlists, one at a time. So if you have hundreds of playlists, this could be of rather limited use (or at least, you'll get RSI skipping to the one you want).

With 20 hours of battery life, impressive bass and volume, 360º sound, and build quality that renders it essentially unkillable, the UE Megaboom is by far the best outdoor speaker you can get. And as noted, you don't need to wait for summer to come back to enjoy it, as it does work well (for pop music in particular) in the kitchen, bedroom or elsewhere.

• If you want a very similar speaker with Alexa built in, as on an Amazon Echo device, UE also does the Megablast. This doesn't float but it it waterproof and does let you control Amazon and Spotify playlists and choons with the power of your voice (and Alexa).

Best Bluetooth speaker: Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i

4. Bluesound Pulse Flex 2i

Best Bluetooth speaker – also has Wi-Fi streaming and can be made portable

Specifications
Power output: 25W
Battery life: none (6 hours with optional battery pack)
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: Yes
Additional connections: AC Wi-Fi, 3.5mm input, USB audio, 3.5mm headphone output
Reasons to buy
+Sounds brilliant for the compact size+Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth for streaming+Well designed app
Reasons to avoid
-Quite drab looks

The winner of the T3 Award for Best Bluetooth Speaker of 2019, the Pulse Flex 2i is actually rather more than just a Bluetooth speaker. With Wi-fi and ethernet included, it's actually like a more portable Sonos. It's Airplay 2 compatible, and also works with popular streaming services including Tidal and Spotify, and internet radio.

Considering how small it is, sound quality is little short of remarkable. With a wired connection it's even capable of playing hi-res audio files, for audiophiles, but Tidal (CD quality) and even the likes of Spotify (compressed MP3) sound wonderful.

The versatility needn't stop there, as you can add a battery pack (£69) and carry it with you wherever you may roam. Although not for very long, as battery life is only 6 hours.

Compared to the Audio Pro speaker at #2, Bluesound's champ is bordering on ugly,  but since it sounds even better than the C3, has even more connectivity, and boasts an app that actually works, we'll set aside our aesthetic reservations.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Audio Pro Addon C3

5. Audio Pro Addon C3

The best Bluetooth speaker for the home – also with Wi-Fi streaming

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 9 hours
Apt-X: No
AAC: No
Reasons to buy
+Superb sound, chic Scandinavian looks+Very compact+Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth for streaming
Reasons to avoid
-No Apt-X or AAC-Audio Pro's app could be slicker

• Update: Audio Pro's iOS app is currently broken if you have the most recent iOS update, so you will have to use AirPlay and/or Bluetooth and you can only get multi-room via a laptop, not mobile, until Audio Pro can work out what's gone wrong. Android app still works fine (and older versions of iOS, if you're a tardy updater).

There are Bluetooth speakers that are more like updates to the old hi-fi mini systems – you plug them in, they're mainly for streaming but have a line in, and the emphasis is on superior sound quality. Then there are your classic portable Bluetooth speakers with battery power and go-anywhere convenience. The Audio Pro Addon C3 however – and a number of the other Bluetooth speakers listed here – are a hybrid of the two. 

The C3 looks extremely stylish, sounds superb but is very petite, has a natty carry handle, and nine hours of battery life. It also piles on AirPlay and Spotify Connect via Wi-Fi, as well as Audio Pro's own app, so you can even use it as part of a very chic multi-room setup. There's a line in as well.

Audio Pro's app is dire, but you don't actually need to use it other than for multi-room control. If you use AirPlay from a laptop or mobile you can bypass it entirely and still have multi-room. Although one thing you should definitely use the app for is to set up the 5 preset buttons on the front of the C3 – these then give instant access to your favourite web radio stations or Spotify playlists.

Slightly surprisingly when connected via Bluetooth there's no support for the audio-improving Apt-X (Android) or AAC (iOS) codecs. However music played via Bluetooth still sounds excellent. This isn't a cheap box for playing pop music in the park – although it will do that, so long as you keep it dry – it's a very musical, high quality speaker that happens to use Bluetooth.

What you've got here is a super-portable speaker with Wi-Fi streaming for higher quality and multi-room, with Bluetooth for total convenience. It's a stunner, especially if you can avoid using Audio Pro's quite crappy app.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Bose Soundlink Revolve

6. Bose Soundlink Revolve

Another great portable Bluetooth speaker for the home

Specifications
Power output: Not quoted
Battery life: 14 hours
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great sound+True 360 degree audio+Very portable
Reasons to avoid
-Resembles decapitated Dalek

If you are after a speaker with the tiny footprint and 360º audio of the UE Megaboom 3, but more refined sound and less ruggedised looks (not that the Megaboom is unattractive), look no further than Bose's Soundlink Revolve.

For its size, this is a superb sounding speaker, and Bose's excellent app makes it easy to pair two into a stereo duo. Audio quality is high and portability is exemplary although unlike the Ultimate Ears speaker, this is not waterproof, so don't chuck it in your hot tub.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Marshall Kilburn 2

7. Marshall Kilburn II

Best Marshall Bluetooth speaker, great for rock and dance

Specifications
Power output: 36W
Battery life: 20 hours
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: No
Reasons to buy
+Great sound with rock, hip-hop and dance+Long battery life+Splash resistant

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 it still rocks, and this Mk 2 model is notably better than the (excellent) first Kilburn in terms of both sound and looks.

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 bass and treble tone knobs.

The looks might still not be to non-rockers' tastes, but Marshall has toned down the 'heavy metal' styling in recent years, and this sits quite happily in any home that isn't overloaded with chintz.

The audio is still not what you'd call subtle, but there's little to beat the Marshall Kilburn for sheer room-filling oomph. The addition of basic splash- and moisture-resistance makes it suitable for bathroom use, so long as you don't leave it too near the bath.

It's part of a range of excellent Marshall Bluetooth speakers and also, nowadays, some excellent multi-room Wi-Fi speakers.

Best Bluetooth speaker: Marshall Stanmore 2 Voice


8. Marshall Stanmore II Voice

A larger Marshall Bluetooth speaker for rockin' out, my dude

Specifications
Power output: 80W
Battery life: N/A
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: No
Reasons to buy
+Great sound with rock, hip-hop and dance+Alexa built in+Attractive styling
Reasons to avoid
-Slightly odd interface

If you want a rather more serious Marshall-badged speaker in your rockin' home, this is probably the one to go for. The Stanmore II Voice takes the musical virtues of the  KIlburn II but loses battery power and a bit of moisture proofing.

Instead what you get is a very stylish, plug-in speaker with 80 combined Watts of power (2x 15W plus a 50W woofer) and Alexa built in. It is a little bit of a faff setting it up, and once that's done you have to press a button every time you want to pair it, or it defaults to a Wi-Fi setting that as far as I can see, is only needed for the aforementioned setup.

However, maybe you don't need to pair it. 

That's because Alexa, used in conjunction with Amazon Music or Spotify (with other services to follow now Amazon has opened up Alexa to third parties), makes for a great audio experience on the Stanmore II. Nobody is going to mistake it for audiophile sound, but being able to order up any tune in the world, and have it blasted out, is highly enjoyable. Eventually, Marshall reckons Amazon will also allow third-party speakers to use its multi-room system, but we'll see about that. 

Even if you don't have Amazon Music or Spotify, Alexa's usual bag of tricks and Skills is on hand, and it's excellent as an apt-X Bluetooth speaker, too. 

If you only want to use it as a Bluetooth speaker, you're better off with the vanilla, Alexa-less version of the Stanmore II..

9. Ruark MR1 Mk 2

An even more compact stereo Bluetooth speaker than the TUK

Specifications
Power output: 20W
Battery life: N/A
Apt-X: Yes
AAC: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Effortless stereo+Great sound+Optical and line inputs
Reasons to avoid
-Not entirely wireless

If you decide the Cambridge Audio YoYo (M) is both too stupidly named, and too much of a pain to setup,  this excellent offering offers full stereo, without the need to pair two speakers, as they're wired together. 

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 in line with most Ruark products, in that it's more Manilow than Metallica; more Stone Roses than Stormzy. But that's fine. In my opinion, the more upfront sound of the Cambridge Audio YoYo (M) is better – and it's cheaper too – but I know loads of older folks and acoustic heads love the Ruark sound. 

The fact the speakers are wired to each other does make setup less of a hassle, as it removes the need to turn on two speakers every time you want to listen to music. It does limit how far apart you can place them, but you could always buy a longer 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable.

• Hey, why not add a turntable while you're at it?

Rather brilliantly, you can also currently buy the MR1 Mk II with a Rega P1 (plus a Fono turntable pre-amp) for £659, or upgrade to a Rega 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. Mmm-mm.

If you don't require stereo, or lack the space for two speakers, but love the sophisticated, 1950s-esque look and sound of Ruark, you should seriously consider the Ruark R1 Mk III. With a built-in DAB radio, it might be all the speaker your kitchen or caravan ever needs…

Best portable speakers with Bluetooth

The best portable speakers turn up everywhere from fields to beaches to kitchens, or even strapped to cyclists as they pedal past blasting out Taylor Swift or Mötörhead. They're like the portable radios of the 21st century, and the best portable speakers are waterproof or at least water resistant. Right now, they are dead handy if you're working from home – specifically, from your garden or balcony. Or, if you have no garden, they could be useful for those working in the bathroom as it's the only unused space.  

With a battery and vary degrees of ruggedising and waterproofing, these are handy for moving from room to room, and also taking outside. Some are fully waterproof and can be chucked in your swimming pool or, perhaps more realistically for UK readers, stand up to sudden summer downpours.

How to buy the best battery-powered, portable, waterproof speaker

Portable speakers use Bluetooth to receive music from just about any phone, tablet or laptop in existence, and although the audio may not be lossless, the best ones do deliver decent sonics, as well as portability, versatility and toughness.

Ideally, you want aptX (usually found on Android device) and/or AAC (usually on iOS and Macs although it is starting to appear on certain Android phones too) support for better audio – these suck more bytes of information out of your music playing device, giving theoretically better sound, especially with higher bitrate music streams and MP3. 

That said, portable speakers for outdoors in particular are generally more about volume than refinement, and any kind of Bluetooth delivers perfectly adequate audio for that. They just need to be loud enough to be heard over the sizzling of your barbecue, or the drone of your electric lawnmower.

Please note these speakers are not all fully waterproof. There aren't sufficient waterproof speakers of good enough quality to make a list worthwhile. We've noted which ones you can submerge in water, and which ones will just stand up to a bit of summer showering. Although all these sound very good, most aren't of a suitable quality for 'serious' listening.

The best portable speakers, in order

Best portable speaker: Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

1. Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

Best waterproof portable speaker

Specifications
Weight: 430g
Battery life: 13 hours
Waterproof: Yes
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Awesome 360 degree audio+Waterproof and rugged+Easy and portable

The original Wonderboom from Logitech subsidiary Ultimate Ears was great. Wonderboom 2 is, as you'd imagine, one better. Better sound, longer battery life (13 hours instead of 10), cool new buttons to play with, dust- and sand-proofing (as well as the previous imperviousness to water), and still all for just £89.99. And Ultimate Ears products never retail at their RRP for long, so give it a month or so and it'll be even more of a bargain.

Unlike UE's more sophisticated Megaboom 3, there's no app to use more than one of them at once; it's just a straight-up Bluetooth speaker. It's super-portable though, and you can pair two of them either in stereo or dual mono. Strong Bluetooth means they can be placed 100m apart too – 'at either end of a tennis court', was one example given at launch. Even with just one Wonderboom 2 in play, the 360 degree audio is better than it has any right to be at the price, especially with pop, hip-hop, EDM, bro rock and other outdoor party-friendly sounds.

The Wonderboom 2 doesn't really try to straddle home and outdoors: it's clearly meant to be taken to wherever the party is. It's fully waterproof – in fact not only does it also float, but if you push it under the water for whatever reason, it'll even survive that. Being IP57 rated, it's also well protected against grit, salt water, dust and beach-side sand, so long as you keep the USB charger cover in place. It's sufficiently rugged that you can chuck it at the wall if you like, and it'll survive that too.

Another interesting new feature is Outdoor Boost. This makes the sound a bit less bassy and more shrill. This doesn't sound better than the normal mode, clearly, but  it 'cuts through' better and could be a handy addition. In an emergency, you can also still charge your phone from the Wonderboom 2.

The Wonderboom 2 is the state of the art in waterproof, outdoor portable speakers. Keep an eye out for the original Wonderboom speaker going cheap, though – it's still an excellent product.

Best portable waterproof speaker: Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

2. Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3

Best waterproof Bluetooth speaker for audio quality

Specifications
Weight: 430g
Battery life: 20 hours
Waterproof: Yes
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Fully waterproof – and it floats!+Rugged too+Lively and loud sound
Reasons to avoid
-Playlist selection is a bit unwieldy

The Megaboom 3 takes the goodness of the Wonderboom 2 and pumps everything up. 

While it may be targeted at those who want dance, pop and rock tunes in the outdoors, its relatively small footprint and attractive design mean it can function perfectly happily indoors – in the kitchen, for instance. The cooly muted colours it comes in are, in fact, about the only quiet things about it.

In contrast to the simplicity of the Wonderboom 2, Ultimate Ears has trowelled on the bonus features here, with the ability to pair two in stereo as well as the option to chain anything up to 'hundreds' of them (!) for even greater volume, via an app. 

A 'magic button' on top lets you easily play, pause and skip tracks and, uh, not-so-easily control playlists. It's cool that UE has added this functionality but it has two problems: it only works with Apple Music and Deezer playlists, and you can only skip forwards through your playlists, one at a time. So if you have hundreds of playlists, this could be of rather limited use (or at least, you'll get RSI skipping to the one you want).

With 20 hours of battery life, impressive bass and volume, 360º sound, and build quality that renders it essentially unkillable, the UE Megaboom is by far the best outdoor speaker you can get. And as noted, you don't need to wait for summer to come back to enjoy it, as it does work well (for pop music in particular) in the kitchen, bedroom or elsewhere. 

To put it simply, Wonderboom 2 is the best portable speaker, but Megaboom 3 is a better speaker overall. But seeing as this is a list of the best portable speakers, we have ranked the simpler, smaller Wonderboom 2 top. Hopefully that makes sense.

• If you want a very similar speaker with Alexa built in, as on an Amazon Echo device, UE also does the Megablast. This doesn't float but it is waterproof and does let you control Amazon and Spotify playlists and choons with the power of your voice (and Alexa).

3. B&O BeoPlay P2

Best portable speaker for audio

Specifications
Weight: 275g
Battery life: 10 hours
Waterproof: Splash resistant
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Excellent sound for the size+Feels very premium
Reasons to avoid
-Dodgy touch controls, so keep your phone to hand

A very touchable metallic lozenge in a variety of autumnal tones, the P2 is the most attractive of the current wave of small speakers that produce remarkably good sound. It's also pretty affordable for a Bang & Olufsen product.

Needless to say, it will not be of use as part of a grime sound system, but there's enough bass to underpin the sweet mids and treble, giving a very decent overall sound. For the size, which is smaller than many phones, it's pretty remarkable.

There's no full-on waterproofing, so be careful, but the P2 is at least 'splash and dust resistant'. 

You'll probably want to use your phone to skip tracks and change volume because the P2's touch controls are, to put it mildly, hit and miss. I'd also advise giving the Beoplay app a miss, other than for initial setup, and just using it as a straightforward Bluetooth speaker.

Finally, the P2 also makes a very solid speakerphone, for when the music must cease, and it's time for business.

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

If you want essentially the same speaker, but with more bass and volume, the larger, circular Beoplay A1 is also well worth considering.

4. Ultimate Ears Boom 2

Cheaper, smaller, older sibling of Megaboom 3

Specifications
Weight: 540g
Battery life: 15 hours
Waterproof: Yes
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Cheap and reliable+Solid battery life
Reasons to avoid
-Pricier than the Wonderboom 2

The Boom 2 sits somewhere between the Wonderboom 2 and Megaboom 3, and can often be had very cheaply, because it is old. 

I prefer the Boom 2 to the Wonderboom 2 for indoor use as it's just that bit bigger, and not dust/sand-proof, although it is similarly indestructible by water. You can use the UE app to link dozens of Boom 2s together, if you wish, and also link multiple mobile devices, and then have DJ wars. With 15 hours of battery life, the party can go on way past your neighbours' tolerance limits.

The audio was incredibly good for a waterproof speaker when it first appeared. Ultimate Ears have since raised the game still further with the Mega and Wonder brothers, but it still sounds good. As ever with EU, Boom 2 is best suited to pop, dance and hip-hop, but it delivers a bit more nuance than the Wonderboom 2.

Best portable speaker: Bose SoundLink Micro

5. Bose SoundLink Micro

An even smaller waterproof speaker with good sound

Specifications
Weight: 290g
Battery life: 6 hours
Waterproof: Yes
NFC: No
Aux-in: No
Reasons to buy
+Extremely compact+Semi-useful strap for attaching to bikes, etc
Reasons to avoid
-The worst sound here, although still good

Well, you would not buy this Bose waterproof number if you want really great sound quality. For its size and weight, though, which are small even when compared to the Beoplay P2 lozenge and UE Wonderboom hand grenade, you can't complain.

In a selection of bright colours, the Micro is an IPX7 waterproof (although it doesn't float), low-profile (10x10.3.5cm) square. It puts in a solidly musical performance when you take those factors into account, and the six-hour battery life is also not bad considering its size.

An integrated rubber strap makes it fairly easy to attach to tent poles, bicycle frames, backpacks and so on, although you do have to have a bit of muscle power to stretch it over thicker mounting points. In short, the Micro is the best of the really ultra-portable, all-weather speakers. I'd always go for something a size or two bigger, but that's just me.

6. Libratone One Click

Beoplay-esque style at a lower price

Specifications
Weight: 140g
Battery life: 12 hours
Waterproof: Splash resistant
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Hang and play convenience+Cheaper than the Beoplay A1
Reasons to avoid
-Doesn't sound as good as the Beoplay A1

There is only one name that everyone knows when it comes to Danish hi-fi products with an effortlessly chic, Scandiwegian-style vibe. And that name is not Libratone.

However, while the One Click is slightly inferior to Bang & Olufsen's Beoplay A1 sonically and aesthetically, it's not by a huge margin, and you can generally get the Libratone for less. Also, as you can see above, it has interchangeable handles. So that's a plus.

Add NFC pairing, the abliity to have two phones connected to it at once, a 3.5mm jack for whatever people use that for, the option to recharge your phone from the USB socket, splash proofing, a choice of three colours and some extremely sexy promotional photos, and you have a portable speaker that's well worth considering.

7. Bose Soundlink Revolve

Best portable Bluetooth speaker for the home

Specifications
Weight: 660g
Battery life: 12 hours
Waterproof: 'Water resistant'
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Great 360 degree sound+Easily portable
Reasons to avoid
-Heavier than the outdoorsy models here

The Soundlink Revolve is made primarily for home use, but with a 12-hour battery and a degree of splashproofing, you can certainly bring it out into the garden. It is a bit heavier and bulkier than the options above, but 660g is still hardly arm-breaking.

The other way the Revolve's indoor-friendliness manifests is with unusually good sound for such a small device. It supports Apt-X and radiates audio in a 360-degree arc. You can also pair two in stereo (or dual mono if you want to use them further apart), with highly impressive results.

Bose Soundlink Revolve+

The Soundlink Revolve+ is another excellent option. It's a lot bigger, but does try to get around that reduction in carry-ability by adding a handle on top.

Best portable speaker: KEF Muo

8. KEF Muo

Best 'audiophile' portable speaker

Specifications
Weight: 820g
Battery life: 12 hours
Waterproof: No
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Genuinely high quality, dare we say 'hi-fi' sound+Easily portable, at least indoors
Reasons to avoid
-Not waterproof at all, so care required outdoors

The KEF Muo isn't waterproof but it offers easy portability thanks to its 12-hour battery and very compact, Duty-Free-Toblerone-type size. However, unlike many of these speakers, the Muo has a sound that's really suited to listening to 'properly', in a quiet setting (rather than blasting out Katy Perry in your back garden). It's a very musical portable speaker, aimed at more demanding listeners. It has no water resistance, and is fairly crap for blasting out Katy Perry at your next pool party.

For the kind of 'audiophile; audience that demands a more refined sound even from a small portable, the KEF Muo is an excellent deal. It's also arguably the most attractive portable you can buy, with its metallic finish coming in a variety of hues.

9. Monster SuperStar Blaster

Best high-volume party speaker

Specifications
Weight: 7.65kg
Battery life: 8 hours
Waterproof: Splash resistant
NFC: Yes
Aux-in: Yes
Reasons to buy
+It's very powerful+Eight hours of house shaking bass battery+NFC pairing
Reasons to avoid
-Zero refinement-Outdoor mode is pointless-It's only 'portable' in the sense of having batteries

Clearly targeted at a more 'urban' music market, this is quite heavy to lift, and powerful enough to shake the foundations of your shed. Despite that it is, bizarrely, available at John Lewis and Partners, which is not traditionally the home of all bloodclaat gansta yout' mans dem. As you can see, Monster's monster is the 80s 'ghetto blaster' reimagined for the 2018. All that's missing is a big button marked 'Bass BOOST', although there is one that toggles between 'indoor' and 'outdoor' modes.

To be frank, no Bass BOOST button is required, such is the brutal bottom-end assault that fires from this thing when you push the volume up. With NFC for easy pairing (not that pairing via Bluetooth is exactly arduous), the SuperStar Blaster also has a 3.5mm input, perhaps for your DJ turntable, or to add a microphone and 'throw down some verbal foulness, yo'. If you want party rocking rather than background music, this Monster will leave you feeling bugged out by its electric boogaloo. I couldn't exactly recommend it to hi-fi enthusiasts… But I do rather like it.