If you’re simply looking for something to throw in your backpack before you head out the door or a speaker that’s a little more special, there’s plenty to choose from this summer.
From £50 to a few hundred pounds, we’ve reviewed portable Bluetooth speakers from Bose, Sony, Ultimate Ears and more. Here, we take a look at the latest speakers at a range of price points, most of which promise rigorous, waterproof design and portability, without compromising on sound quality.
Our panel of expert ears has carefully listened to every wireless speaker, judging sound quality across a range of genres. Our rigorous lab tests uncover the easiest speakers to use and those that will last the longest, with one speaker playing for a remarkable 29 hours.
Wireless and Bluetooth speaker reviews – see lab results for all the models we’ve tested
Best portable Bluetooth speakers under £100
Sony SRS-XB10, £50
Despite its diminutive size, this Sony speaker bears the ‘Extra Bass’ branding that promises a bigger hit at the lower end. For a palm-sized speaker, the claimed 16-hour battery life is impressive. But did it last that long in our tests? And was sound as punchy as promised? Read our expert Sony SRS-XB10 review to find out.
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom, £80
Ultimate Ears has become well known for its durable, lightweight portable speakers. The Wonderboom is one of the smallest yet, but with all the same hallmarks as its bigger brothers, it’s set to impress. The 10-hour battery is more modest than the Sony’s, but is sound quality better? Find out in our full Ultimate Ears Wonderboom review.
Sony SRS-XB20, £100
Officially the slightly larger sibling of the Sony speaker above, looking at the shape and style of the SRS-XB20 you’d hardly realise they were related. This one comes in a more traditional oblong shape but with an unusual flashing light-show effect. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but is it worth seeking out for sound quality alone? Our Sony SRS-XB20 review reveals all.
Best portable Bluetooth speakers under £150
JBL Flip 4, £120
The cylindrical shape is a staple of the wireless speaker market now, promising a better spread of sound around a room. This one from audio specialist JBL is its latest offering. Available in a variety of eye-catching colours, the Flip 4 certainly stands out from the crowd. But did it stand out for sound in our tests, too? Find out in our JBL Flip 4 review.
Bose SoundLink Color II, £130
The second crack of the whip of a popular Bose wireless speaker, the SoundLink Color II arrives amid huge expectations. It now comes with an easier-on-the-eye waterproof design. Despite its great reputation, the American audio stalwarts have missed the mark on occasion. Find out if this is a hit in our expert Bose SoundLink Color II review.
B&O Beoplay P2, £135
You know you’ll get a well-made piece of kit from B&O, but sometimes it’s style over substance. However, the Beoplay P2 seems to have put style to the side. Although it still has a touch of B&O’s signature design, this is a compact, understated Bluetooth speaker. It’s more expensive than most in this size, but is it worth the extra cash? Take a look at our full B&O Beoplay P2 review to find out.
Sony SRS-XB30, £150
Another Sony Bluetooth speaker from the ‘Extra Bass’ line-up, the SRS-XB30 has the same flashing light show as the SRS-XB20, but promises a bigger 24-hour battery to accompany the louder sound. It’s big enough to produce some proper power but it’s not all about the bass. Is this the perfect portable wireless speaker you’re looking for? Find out in our expert Sony SRS-XB30 review.
Best premium portable Bluetooth speakers
Bose SoundLink Revolve, £200
A new addition to the Bose wireless speaker line-up, the SoundLink Revolve sees it finally jump on the cylindrical-speaker bandwagon. Designed to spread sound all around a room, this Bluetooth speaker promises great party sound, whether that’s indoors or out. But will it have your friends dancing or leaving? Find the full results of our independent tests in our Bose SoundLink Revolve review.
B&O Beolit 17, £400
A big and bulky speaker, the B&O Beolit 17 promises hi-fi quality sound in a handy battery-powered form. But at £400 this is one of the most expensive portable Bluetooth speakers we’ve put through our lab tests. So is it worth splashing out on this high-price speaker, or are you simply paying a premium for stylish design? Read our expert B&O Beolit 17 review to find out.