I tested some of the best Bluetooth speakers on the market — here are my favorites broken into 8 categories

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The purchase options for Bluetooth speakers have expanded in recent years. Established brands have released updated versions of their classic products, and newer brands have made modern contributions to a technology industry that is becoming smarter, leaner, and easier to use.
As a lover of all things tech and a collector of vintage speakers, I've made it my business to test out a few products in my arsenal to simplify your shopping experience for your first or next bluetooth speaker.
Whether you're looking for an option that is ideal for everyday use or that strikes the perfect balance between chic home decor and powerful performance, I've rounded up eight of my favorites for you, divided into the following categories:
Overall best: Marshall Action II Bluetooth speakers
Most portable: Tribit StormBox Micro bluetooth speaker
Most stylish: Urbanears Rålis Bluetooth speaker
Best for Daily Use: JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker
Most Affordable: Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Best vintage speaker: Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth
Best for parties: Ultimate Ears Hyperboom
Best voice-activated option: Sonos Move
1. Best Overall: Marshall Action II Bluetooth Speakers, $ 249
Image credit: Marshall
Also available from Marshall for $ 249
Top features:
Compact form factor
Classic Marshall design
Three dedicated amplifiers
Small package with a big sound
No wires
Why i like it:
This speaker offers the luxurious, iconic Marshall aesthetic and premium stage sound quality at a relatively affordable price. Marshall speakers in particular are more than just audio gems - they are works of art. Show this off on your entertainment center or end table. It will lift any room slightly, both acoustically and visually.
2. Most portable: Tribit StormBox Micro bluetooth speaker, $ 49.99
Credit: Tribit
Top features:
Pocket size
Big sound in a small package
Attachable (thanks to the included silicone strap)
Why i like it:
If you're looking for a simple, no-frills listening experience that can be easily enjoyed both at home and on the go, this is the speaker. While the sound quality certainly can't compete with that of the Marshall Action II, this option from Tribit has a charm that can't be overlooked. You can find a more detailed evaluation of this speaker here.
3. Most Stylish: Urbanears Rålis Bluetooth Speaker, $ 199.99
Image credit: Urbanears
Also available on Amazon for $ 199.99
Top features:
Stunning design and craftsmanship
Easily accessible control buttons
Front and rear speaker grilles
Robust handle
Water resistant
Dual host game
Twice as a power bank
Why I like it:
This beautiful bluetooth speaker is packed with features, but its layered features don't overwhelm its performance. The Urbanears Rålis is not only one of the most elegant and trendy loudspeakers I have ever seen, but also offers a powerful sound quality with crisp highs and rustling bass.
The only downside I've noticed with the Rålis is that the annoying low battery notification sounds regularly until it is plugged in to charge. Other than that, this is absolute madness. You can find a more detailed evaluation of this speaker here.
4. Best for Daily Use: JBL Charge 4 Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker, $ 119.95 (Orig. $ 179.95)
Photo credit: Amazon
Top features:
Long lasting battery life
Multiple color options
Multi host game
Why I like it:
When it comes to portable bluetooth speakers, you really can't go wrong with JBL. The brand offers some of the most reliable, easy-to-use products out there, and the Charge 4 is no exception. In addition to its decent sound quality, this speaker is completely waterproof and can even survive when completely submerged in water (I've tried).
However, please note that a wall adapter for the JBL Charge 4 must be purchased separately.
5. Most Affordable: Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, $ 43.99
Photo credit: Amazon
Photo credit: Amazon
Top features:
Compact and travel-friendly
Bass heavy
24 hours of playtime
Water resistant
Built-in microphone
Why i like it:
Anker is known for making quality products at affordable prices and the Soundcore 2 is the perfect example of that philosophy. The sound of this speaker is surprising given its size. While it is definitely not groundbreaking and not as crisp as high-end options, it does well enough for both price and size. In fact, this is possibly one of the best palm-sized speakers I've tried so far.
6. Best Vintage Speaker: Marshall Stanmore II Bluetooth, $ 338
Photo credit: Amazon
Also available from Marshall for $ 349.99
Top features:
A piece of art
Top notch craftsmanship and sound quality
Booming bass
Special volume controls, bass and treble controls
Aux cable compatible
Multi-host functionality
Why i like it:
In case it wasn't already clear, I'm quite a fan of Marshall's Bluetooth speakers - both for their sound quality and their design quality. The Stanmore II has a luxurious and high quality professional exterior design with a textured vinyl cover and brass coating.
Outside aesthetics aside, this is a monster. It's perhaps the most versatile speaker I've ever used, as it effortlessly perfectly reproduces both larger-than-life room-shaking sound and softer, more restrained emissions.
However, the only downside I have for the Stanmore II is that it is not portable as it has no battery. However, this is perfect for stationary use in your apartment or home. I would describe this one as a stunning show stopper.
7. Best for parties: Ultimate Ears Hyperboom, $ 399.99
Credit: Ultimate Ears
Top features:
Epic, room-shaking sound
Comfortable building construction
Perfect for gatherings
Well-rounded app for easy wireless control
Customizable equalizer
Surprisingly portable (thanks to the hidden strap)
One-touch music control
App sync with Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and other music services
Why i like it:
The name says it all - this speaker is explosive. If you are hosting your next meeting (after COVID-19 of course) this technology is a must as it can be easily and wirelessly controlled via the Ultimate Ears app. Just put the speaker in a corner and operate the device from your phone. This is arguably the strongest sound of any device on this list.
8. Best voice-activated option: Sonos Move, $ 385
Photo credit: Amazon
Also available on Sonos.com for $ 399
Top features:
A customer favorite
Minimalistic design
10 hours of continuous playtime
Weather resistant
Integrated voice control functions from Amazon Alexa
Why i like it:
While the Sonos Move is on the more expensive end of the spectrum, it's a high-quality speaker that, as several customers say, "ticks all the boxes" - and I have to say I'm fine with that. The high quality sound from Sonos products is to be expected (nothing short of outstanding) and with thousands of Amazon buyers calling it "the best Sonos speaker ever," it is clearly a winner among people.
However, for those in need of portability, this may not be the best choice as not only is the speaker a bit large, but it also doesn't offer a specific method of easy portability. You can find a more detailed evaluation of this speaker here.
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The post I tested some of the best Bluetooth speakers out there - here are my 8 favorites that first appeared on In The Know.

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