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We Found The 10 Best Bluetooth Portable Speakers To Use At Every Party

December 7, 2023

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As someone who owns a JBL Boombox 3, I often get asked if it’s truly worth the investment. Spoiler alert: it absolutely is. But this question sent me on a path to find other comparable Bluetooth speakers that could fit different budgets and needs. With the holiday season upon us, what better gift than a speaker that brings music and memories into our homes? Whether it’s for lively parties with friends or a cozy night in, a good Bluetooth speaker can be a game-changer. So, I’m here to share a carefully curated list of the best Bluetooth portable speakers that promise to be the perfect holiday gift for your loved ones or even a treat for yourself.

Study Sources | JBL Boombox 3

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Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker | $28

With over 98,000 4.6-star reviews, this small but mighty speaker offers a powerful sound-to-size ratio, making it ideal for every dinner party. This speaker is water resistant, offers 24 hours of playtime, and is drop-proof, ensuring durability. Plus, with its ability to connect with Alexa-enabled devices and instant setup, it’s as convenient as it is reliable.

Tribet XSound Go Bluetooth Speaker | $34

Coming in with another lightweight budget option! The Tribet seems almost identical to the Anker. It has a slight edge with a higher waterproof rating, safe for bringing in the shower! It also has a built-in microphone for hands-free calls, plus Siri support. According to reviews, the sound quality is better on the Anker device, but this is ideal for on-the-go listening.

JBL Charge 4 | $100

This is where we transition away from the lightweight backpack-friendly sized speakers to a more substantial size and quality ideal for parties and large gatherings. You’ll also notice an increase in budget but for a good reason. JBL is renowned for the durability and quality of its speakers, and the Charge 4 is no exception, with a 4.8 average star rating. Reviewers say the sound is crystal clear at both loud and quiet volumes, with the perfect amount of bass. One stand-out feature is its built-in power bank, allowing you to charge your phone and devices. Plus, you can wirelessly connect with other JBL speakers, creating a surround-sound experience.

Bose SoundLink Flex Bluetooth Speaker | $119

This speaker distinguishes itself with its PositionIQ technology, which adjusts sound output based on its orientation, whether upright, hanging, or flat. This waterproof speaker with a built-in microphone is perfect for rugged outdoor environments like camping and even surfing (it floats), which kind of blows my mind. However, it’s worth noting its limitations: a 12-hour playtime and a Bluetooth range of only 30 feet.

Ultimate Ears Boom 3 | $129

While this has an average star rating of 4.5, many people say that the audio quality is good but not sensational. However, it’s another seemingly indestructible outdoor use speaker that’s completely waterproof and even floats. It has a Bluetooth range of 150 ft and can pair with other Ultimate Ears spears, but my favorite part is the minimalist design. There’s no logo in sight! Somebody on our team has had this one for five years and said it still works like new!

Skullcandy Boombox Bluetooth Speaker | $134

I would say this is the most comparable to our JBL Boombox speaker and at a fraction of the cost. Key features include Bluetooth 5.3 for stable connectivity and range and a clear, crisp audio experience with a rich, punchy bass. Similar to the other JBL speakers, it has a charging output for keeping devices powered and can connect wirelessly to other Skullcandy devices for a surround-sound experience. Unlike all the other speakers on this list, this one has an adjustable carrying strap for easier transport and an LED light bar that syncs with the music. The only downside is the shorter battery life of 12 hours, and while it’s water resistant, it’s not fully waterproof like some other others on the list.

Retro Leather Bluetooth Speaker | $139

Perfect for those who value aesthetics in home decor, the retro leather speaker combines style with functionality. It’s technically portable—and it certainly is with over 20 hours of wireless playtime—but I would honestly find a permanent home for it styled on a shelf because of its charming design. The downside is it’s not waterproof or suitable for outdoor use, and the Bluetooth range isn’t as strong as some others.

Sony XG300 | $198

This speaker wins for longest play time at a whopping 25 hours! In fact, you can get 70 minutes of playtime from a 10-minute charge, so you won’t ever be without sound for too long. If having an auxiliary cord is important to you for karaoke nights, this speaker has one, and surprisingly, almost all of the others don’t, which was a common complaint in reviews. It also has a built-in microphone with echo-canceling technology, which I guarantee your co-workers will compliment you on during Zoom calls. Oh, and it has an LED light strip similar to the Skullcandy speaker, which is fun! Lastly, it has a charging output for powering devices and can connect wirelessly to other Sony speakers for a surround-sound experience.

Soundcore X600 | $199

This stands out with its theater-inspired sound and innovative design, emitting audio vertically and horizontally for an immersive listening experience. With Bluetooth 5.3, it has an impressive 328 ft range for stable and extensive connection. The high-res audio capability contributes to a cleaner, clearer, and richer sound, with many Amazon reviews noting its superior audio quality compared to even JBL speakers. However, it offers 12 hours of listening time, which is still a lot, but not as much as some of the others.

JBL Boombox 3 | $499

Last but certainly not least is the JBL Boombox 3, which we have and love! Right off the bat, you can see it’s double the price of the next expensive one on the list, but the exceptional sound quality has completely blown us away. It’s completely waterproof, perfect for summers by the pool. If I’m doing the girl’s math correctly, this purchase is actually saving us thousands of dollars since it saved us from installing an outdoor sound system. With JBL’s PartyBoost technology, you can connect multiple speakers for an even more immersive sound. Fair warning! This speaker is bigger than you’d think, making it quite large and heavy. Overall, I would recommend it to anybody looking to invest in a high-quality, durable speaker.

My sister Andi makes the best playlists, and her Holiday Playlist has all my favorites, so grab your Bluetooth speaker and give it a listen!

The comparison chart below offers a quick glance at the 10 Bluetooth portable speakers reviewed above, juxtaposing key features such as battery life, waterproof capability, size, and weight. From budget-friendly options to high-end audio powerhouses, reference this chart to help you find the best speaker for your lifestyle and needs!

Our Pick: JBL Boombox 3

It’s certainly an investment, but if you want a speaker you can use for both backyard pool parties and intimate gatherings, then I highly recommend the JBL Boombox.

Best Double Take: Skullcandy

If you want a speaker that’s similar to the JBL boombox at a more affordable price, then this is the speaker for you! The only downside is the shorter battery life of 12 hours, and while it’s water resistant, it’s not fully waterproof like some other others on the list.

Best Audio: Soundcore Motion X600

For the audiophiles out there who want the highest quality audio experience and don’t have an issue with a 12-hour battery life, this is the speaker for you!

Best Budget: Anker

Priced at just $28, the Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker is a standout in the budget category. The Anker SoundCore is the perfect blend of affordability, quality, and durability for music lovers on a budget.

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What do you think?

  1. Gary holt says:

    I will just have to check out the jbl boombox maybe I have 2 charge 5 s right now for my shop I pretty much take them everywhere I bet they sound great .

  2. stacie youngblood says:

    really surprised you didnt include marshall in your grouping. wayyyyyyy more aesthetically pleasing than any of the above and great sound and so easy to use! It would look much better on your shelf than the jbl.

  3. Sunny says:

    We have the smaller JBL on this list and LOVE it! We use it all the time. We also have the Marshall Stanmore and love it as well. I prefer the JBL for ease and size, but the Marshall is lovely on a shelf. Both have great sound.

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