Top five best home Bluetooth speakers for 2020
Bluetooth and wireless speakers are a great way to listen to your favourite music, radio, audiobooks or podcasts stored on or streamed via your phone, tablet or laptop. You can even listen directly through the speaker if you have a smart speaker with voice control. Many are designed specifically for your home, with mains power, durable design and sound quality to fill a room.
Home speakers with Bluetooth mean any music source with a Bluetooth wireless connection can be linked up to the speaker, whether it's a smartphone, MP3 player, tablet or laptop. Home Bluetooth speakers are usually bigger than portable speakers with battery power, and can have higher maximum volumes and a fuller bass as well.
Below, we've listed five Bluetooth and wireless speakers that have excelled in our expert lab tests. Our listening panel of music industry professionals have decades of experience between them, and have listened to hundreds of speakers to select the very best for your listening pleasure.
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at March 2020.
And here are three to avoid
Portable Bluetooth speakers can get an easy ride. They may be used less often than home speakers and people tend to be more forgiving if the sound isn't exemplary. A home Bluetooth speaker sat in your living room tasked with being the primary music source in the house will face more scrutiny.
There used to be a clear divide between Bluetooth speakers and multi-room speakers that instead work over wi-fi and allow you to connect multiple speakers in different rooms together to spread sound throughout your home. However, now many of the latest speakers, especially those that you can control with your voice, give you the choice of connecting via Bluetooth or wi-fi.
Bluetooth always has simplicity on its side. Thanks to near-field communication (NFC), connecting your phone can be as simple as holding it up to the speaker you want to connect to. Wi-fi connections are usually more complex to set up, but are worth the effort as they can produce better sound than Bluetooth, although the gap is narrowing. See our for more on the differences.
We've tested hefty speakers that look the part and should be more than adequate for bringing music to your living room, but come a cropper once your favourite songs start ringing out. These are speakers with distorted sound that compensate for their lack of clarity by pumping out pounding bass, or have a distracting echo that will have you reaching for the mute button.
Below we've highlighted three inferior home Bluetooth speakers that you should steer clear of to avoid a costly mistake, even if you see them discounted.
Buying the best home Bluetooth or wireless speaker
Home speakers with Bluetooth can be a doddle to use, so many people who aren’t looking for battery-powered portable models will choose them over wi-fi-only speakers as some multi-room models can be more fiddly to use.
Bluetooth connectivity should be simple, either with one-button pairing or, for even easier set-up, look for a speaker that uses near-field communication (NFC). If your phone or tablet is compatible, as most are, you only need to hold it up to your speaker to connect with it.
Bear in mind that you'll need to keep your connected device, whether that's a laptop, MP3 player, tablet or phone, close to the speaker (say, within 10 metres) or the music will cut out, but you won't be dependent on your wi-fi signal so you can even plug it in the shed.
Some Bluetooth speakers also have a built-in microphone for calls – these used to be more common on portable models, but with the rise of voice-controlled speakers, they are now common on home speakers as well. Read our guide to for more on models with voice control.
If you like to tinker with the sound of your speaker, look for one with a built-in equaliser that allows you to tweak the levels of bass or treble. This is a welcome addition to any speaker, but these sound adjustments won't save a bad speaker from mediocrity. If it sounds average, or worse, you might be able to improve the sound to your taste a bit, but it won’t work miracles.
Some speakers aren't easily put into either the portable or home speaker camp. Some bulky speakers have batteries, which means they're technically portable, but their weight will give you sore shoulders if you sling one in your backpack.
These heavier speakers may not be good for use on the move, but you can carry them from room to room, which is useful if you're doing a bit of spring cleaning and you want to keep your music playing in the same room as you. They can also be great for taking on holiday or to a campsite in the car, using for a garden party, or when you’re out of range of a mains plug to avoid messy extension cable trip hazards. To choose one of these models, visit our .