The 5 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers of 2022

Our choice

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2

The Wonderboom 2 has a natural sound and a cool design, and it’s built to survive almost any outdoor adventure.

The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is as euphonic as Ariana Grande but as tough as Lara Croft. In our concealed-by-brand testing, our panelists picked this Bluetooth speaker as the most versatile choice. With clear vocal reproduction and a decent amount of bass for its size, it delivers satisfying sound for a small area, like over a picnic table or a few lounge chairs on a patio. It has an IP67 rating and is one of the toughest Bluetooth speakers we’ve tested, able to survive a 5ft drop and a dip in 1m of water, but because it floats, it will probably never dive that deep. The only downside to the Wonderboom 2 is its battery life, which at 8 hours in our tests is adequate but not impressive. We like the compact design of the Wonderboom 2, although the almost spherical shape makes this model a bit more difficult to fit in a suitcase pocket or laptop bag.

Choice of upgrade

JBL Xtreme 3

The Xtreme 3 plays loud enough for outdoor parties while sounding smooth enough for relaxed listening, and it’s built to withstand rough handling.

The JBL Xtreme 3 is a great choice if you want a Bluetooth speaker that sounds bigger and bolder than our top pick while still being portable enough to take to the beach or tailgating. The Xtreme 3, which replaces its predecessor, the Extreme 2, as our upgrade pick, is the best performing portable Bluetooth speaker we’ve tested, as our panelists praised it for sounding clear on vocals, guitars, and pianos (although its bass did tends to get a bit quiet at maximum volume). This speaker is built for adventure: the IP67 rating means it’s waterproof and dustproof, the strong carrying strap makes it easy to carry anywhere, and in our tests , the Xtreme 3 ran for 17 hours on a single charge. But it is much bigger and more expensive than UE Wonderboom 2.

Budget choice

Tribit XSound Go

The Tribit XSound Go is the best speaker we’ve heard in its price range, and it’s compact and waterproof to boot.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $37.

If you want to spend the bare minimum for a good portable Bluetooth speaker, the Tribit XSound Go is an excellent choice. Its sound is obviously clearer and louder than almost any other budget Bluetooth speaker. The XSound Go is small enough to slip into an already packed laptop bag or suitcase, and it runs 10.5 hours on a charge. Plus, it has an IPX7 rating, which means it’s waterproof enough to survive half an hour of soaking in 1 meter of water, and it has a speakerphone function. Tribit recently upgraded the XSound Go with USB-C charging and stereo pairing.

Also awesome

Sony SRS-XB33

The SRS-XB33 has clear, detailed sound, with a rugged design and plenty of features.

If you need something that sounds a bit louder and fuller than the UE Wonderboom 2 but is more portable and affordable than the JBL Xtreme 3, the Sony SRS-XB33 find a happy medium. It’s powerful enough to fill a 20-by-15-foot room, and it gave us about 16 hours of battery life in our tests. With an IP67 water and dustproof rating, it’s also built to withstand punishment, and it features multi-color lights and strobes, plus speakerphone functionality. However, it’s about two and a half times bigger and heavier than the Wonderboom 2, so it’s nowhere near as portable.

Also awesome

Ultimate Ears Hyperboom

The Hyperboom plays loud enough to fill a yard while delivering sound quality comparable in many ways to that of a good little stereo system.

Purchase options

*At the time of publication, the price was $450.

The Ultimate Ears Hyperboom might be the closest thing we’ve found to a portable Bluetooth speaker that does everything right. It plays nearly twice as loud as the JBL Xtreme 3, so it’s great for pool parties and tailgating. It also sounds gorgeous, with smooth, natural vocals, deep bass, and surprising ambience for a one-piece speaker. So you’ll probably want to use it indoors as well. At 14.3 inches tall and 16.6 pounds, it’s not practical for air travel, but it’s compact and light enough that most people can easily carry it around. It also has an IPX4 rating, so it can survive all the splashes that happen around a pool. In our tests, it played at a fairly loud volume for 27.5 hours on a single charge.

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