Speakers you can play your music without wires are becoming more and more popular nowadays. It’s almost considered archaic if your audio device doesn’t have some type of wireless connectivity, and in our case, particularly speakers. No, we haven’t included the infamous Beats by Dre Pill or a few other popular brands we see on TV because those are overpriced. You would be surprised at how budget-friendly some of these wireless speakers are; however, if you do want to spend a few extra dollars, you can find some of the most powerful wireless speakers you’ve ever had. We review the top 10 best wireless speakers available today to help you find what you’re looking for.
Why a wireless speaker?
Music is synonymous with life. Besides when I sleep or sit in class, I usually always have music playing — it just makes life better. I remember the good ol’ days when I used to have to place my smart phone or MP3 player in a dock and have to run up to my speaker in order to skip the track. Ever since I went wireless, I really haven’t been able to go back, although very rarely have I even seen a friend with an old school dock or 3.5 mm connectivity speaker. Wireless is just flat-out better and makes life that much easier, as most of you can already imagine.
I take my wireless speaker (I currently have a Jawbone BIG Jambox) pretty much everywhere I can think of; camping, playing softball, and anywhere throughout the house such as cooking or cutting my hair. Although all are wireless, it can be connected to your audio playing device in a few ways. The first and most popular is Bluetooth and then there is the more expensive AirPlay which is rarely seen. Also, most of these have a 3.5 mm auxiliary hookup just in case you’d like to do it the old-fashioned way, or perhaps haven’t had time to charge up your speakers. Either way you go, you’re getting a wireless signal.
How to choose your wireless speakers
When it comes to choosing your speaker, your budget is obviously most important, but once you’ve got your range down there are some other questions to keep in mind. Here’s the main list of essential questions we’ve conjured:
- What is your budget?
- What shape/size would you like your speaker to be? Is portability important?
- Any color you specifically want?
- Do you need some extra features besides wireless audio play, such as a built-in mic, strap abilities or mounting? How about grabbing a waterproof Bluetooth speaker?
- How loud do you need your speaker to be?
- How far is your preferred wireless range?
The top 10 best wireless speakers
Below is our list of best wireless speakers. We give you the MSRP (must sell retail price), a brief description of the wireless speaker, main features, specs, type of connectivity, colors and versions available, as well as pros and cons to help you with your shopping endeavors. Keep the questions we’ve listed previously into consideration, and lastly let us know which speaker you end up going with! Don’t forget our best soundbars article also provides a different option for a Bluetooth speaker, especially if you’re looking for some TV audio enhancement as well.
- Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Dimensions: 5.3″ L x 2.7″ H
- No sharp edges or corners
- Up to 12 hour play time when fully charged (at around 2/3 of full volume)
- 10 hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery (can play while it charges)
- Compatible with all Bluetooth devices (even for external sound, such as watching movies on an iPad)
- Comes with a 3.5 mm line-in cable and a micro USB connector for charging (not for data)
- Audio controls: Volume and track selection (although you can do it all merely on your Bluetooth device)
- Colors available: Black, blue, red, pink
Our choice for one of the best budget-friendly Bluetooth wireless speakers, the OontZ (the sound you make when you beatbox, get it?) gives you exactly what you need at only $40 a pop, although I’ve seen prices even lower on that depending on the seller. This thing has some of the most reviews we’ve ever seen on the internet, all being within the 4 to 5 star range. t’s really the definition of essential, giving you a USB port for charging, can be easily paired up to your device, and has the 3.5 mm port for choice. The range really depends on your device, but average is about 10 feet or so, which isn’t the longest but you can make do pretty much anywhere you are.
A con may be the USB port only supporting charging and not data, but there’s no real use for that if you’re pairing it up with your phone or player. Next it doesn’t have play or pause ON the actual speaker, but again we can use our device for that. The 12 hours of battery life (at 2/3 volume) is actually pretty decent for the price, lasting you pretty much a day with whatever you’re doing. It isn’t as loud as more expensive speakers but it does the job and I wouldn’t consider it too “quiet” either. All in all, the Oontz Angle is an incredibly sufficient wireless speaker while going easy on your wallet. If you need a mic, this isn’t the one for you, so keep reading if that is the case.
- Weight: 11 ounces
- Dimensions: 6 x 2.5 x 2.6 inches
- Two 40mm drivers with “Bass Enhance Technology”
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Up to 10 hours of playtime
- Up to 30 feet range
- Built-in microphone
- Connects via Bluetooth 3.0 via all compatible devices
- 3.5mm audio line built-in
- Comes with carrying case for travel (cloth)
- Colors: Black, blue, orange, purple, red
We love this speaker because it stays cheap but also has a microphone built-in if that’s what you’re looking for. You can sync up phone calls with it so we recommend saving up a few more bucks and grabbing this one over the Oontz if you really need a mic. It’s got the same look and size (a little bigger) as the popular Jambox and has a reportedly very crisp sound especially at its price. The 10 hours of legitimate play time is a plus, which in our opinion is , although it isn’t as long as the Oontz but I’ll take it since the sound quality is a bit better. The volume is very satisfactory, and we are always a bit concerned with this as sometimes the cheaper models of wireless speakers aren’t nearly as loud as we’d like.
A lot of people have chosen the Photive Cyren over the bigger competitors, simply because the sound quality comes very close to the popular models out there and is almost $100 cheaper. It’s just not a ‘big name’ brand and the packaging/manual that comes with it is a bit cheaper, but as far as the actual speaker goes you can get away with grabbing this as opposed to something that’s $100 or even more with the same size and features (here’s looking at you Jambox!). The bass isn’t as jaw-dropping and the sound quality is technically not as good as the more expensive speakers by the way, so if you’re a bass-head I’d continue on down the list.
- Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.5 x 2.8″
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Wireless up to 30 feet away
- Up to 4 hours of sound play
- On/off switch on unit
- Colors: Green, orange, grey, blue, grape, strawberry
- USB to micro-USB cord compatible (comes in box)
This is a bit different in terms of shape and size but it’s solid for the price. It’s compatible with all devices that can handle Bluetooth, I’ve even heard of people using it for their Kindle Fires when watching movies. It’s not nearly as loud as a lot of speakers out there, but you get what you pay for. A simple but sweet speaker. It has some sturdy construction and won’t break on you if you actually drop it. Relatively clear sound for the price as it fills up most rooms without a problem.
As compared to others, the 4 hours of sound play gets a bit on my nerves. Granted I don’t think I’ve used a speaker that long (perhaps a handful of times), I still feel more confident with a wireless speaker that goes up to 10 to 12 hours at minimum. Regardless, if you can get over that and think you’ll be using it for more practical uses and can perhaps charge it while you’re using it at times, the sleek size is uncanny to most other speakers out there, not to mention the colors come in a bit better range than most, great for customization. We like the HMDX Audio JAM for those who need a nice compact, decent quality sound type of wireless speaker.
- Weight: 4.1 ounces
- Dimensions: 3.9 L x 4.7mm W x 0.7 H
- Connects via Bluetooth 2.1 to all compatible devices
- Comes with Jabra Assist App
- Talk time up to 14 hours
- Standby time up to 960 hours
- Charge via USB
- Can play music from any compatible source
- FM transmitter built-in
- Controls: volume, voice mute, auto off and on, power nap, voice guidance and motion sensor
- Two microphones and three speakers in the device
- Speaker output: 7 watts
Jabra electronics is a bit lesser known than some brands but give us some different approaches to audio listening. Here we start to get out of the budget-friendly range and into some serious wireless speakers, and in this particular case, a more specific type of model. The Freeway is made particularly for your car, and is stated to be a speakerphone but can also play music with its 3 speakers and virtual surround sound. This is the definition of hands free talking, perfectly legal for driving. What’s nifty is that you can use your voice to make and take calls so you don’t have to fumble with your car, making it even more safe (as safe as you can pretty much get). It does this with voice recognition and it works as intended. It sends sound using an FM transmitter and can also connect to two different Bluetooth devices at the same time. The sound quality is pretty dang good, especially for the price (we’ve seen it a lot lower than it’s MSRP on Amazon at times).
If you’re particularly looking for a solution to help with your car rides, this is one of the best wireless speakers to get. Not only can you never lay a finger on your phone with its voice recognition, but you can play music from it if you don’t want to use your car system for whatever reason that may be. You get up to 14 hours of talk time as shown in the specs and the standby time is almost 40 days…so this thing is solid in every way. A lovely solution for those it suits.
- Weight: 12 ounces
- Connects to all devices with Bluetooth
- Up to 10 hours of power
- Two high-powered acoustic drivers
- Ultra-small dome for a broad range of sound
- Built-in microphone
- 50 foot wireless range
- MicroUSB (charging only)
- 3.5mm jack available (comes with the cable)
- In box: microUSB cable, 3.5mm, carrying case, AC adapter
- Colors: Black, white, platinum, blue, gold, grey, orange, purple, red
This thing by Jawbone electronics is pretty well-known if you’ve kept your ears open within the wireless speaker world. Typically compared to the Beats by Dre Pill, it’s in our opinion the same quality for a cheaper price. Connects via standard Bluetooth, you’d think it was identical to the Cyren, and although stated previously that some have said to shoot low between the two, the Jambox does have some better specs. First of all, the overall build is more rugged and better made. It has two high-powered acoustic drivers so the audiophiles or those who really pay attention know that the sound quality is better than a lot of the cheaper speakers. As far as the average consumer goes, they most likely won’t be able to tell. Besides the nice build and good quality of sound, the Jambox has around 10 hours of power and is charged via USB like most others. I’ve seen it for around $100 or so on Amazon and other sites so be sure to check if it’s going under retail.
This is the wireless speaker I’ve had for about 3 years now. Although I will be upgrading (I will be going big with the Marshall that we’ve listed at the end of this article), this thing has lasted me through many, many occasions. I’ve brought this thing camping (dropped it in the sand but no real affects), to Vegas for our hotel, friends houses for parties, etc. My only complaint would be that it could be a bit louder, but take into consideration that I like my music loud! I will be honest with you that with my Jambox and having a microphone built-in I have yet to use it in 3 years. I prefer to just answer my actual phone because the music automatically pauses anyway. The ‘conference call’ thing is kinda rare, but if you do partake in that with your business that could be a plus. All in all, if you want a tank and a solid wireless speaker within the medium price range, grab a Jawbone Jambox.
Other versions: The Jawbone BIG Jambox for double the price, but double the power. Definitely something to look at if you have the cash.
- Recharges external devices via USB
- Battery charge time: 3.5 hours
- 6000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery
- Two 1-5/8-inch (41mm) JBL drivers
- 2 x 5-watt amplifier
- Automatically times out after around 20 minutes of inactivity
- Up to 12 hours of power
- rechargeable via USB
- LED indicator
- Connects via micro USB cable, USB adapter, carrying pouch
- Colors: Grey, blue, black
We all know JBL audio solutions as they made it in our ranks of the best studio monitor speakers and we’ve been very happy with most of their products when it comes to listening to music. The Charge is up there in terms of having more power than a lot of the other cheaper solutions we’ve listed. We particularly like the shape and size it gives us, almost like holding a grenade. One of the best features of this that we want to mention first is the fact that it can be used as an external charger for your other devices (hence the name Charge)! Although the more you use it for that the less juice it will hold for your music playing, this thing is one-of-a-kind. It also has a built-in bass port on the side that makes it stand out from a lot of the other wireless speakers, so if you’re looking for some more bump to your tunes, we’d go with this. A very, very impressive speaker at a medium price point.
There aren’t many cons to this one, besides perhaps the price. If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful in terms of volume or sound quality you can continue reading on, otherwise we think the JBL charge is one of the best wireless speakers out there. The external charging is great for those who travel, such as camping or any other type of trip. Very convenient, not to mention this thing can bump and has its own bass module, comes with a case, and can charge your other devices. It doesn’t lack much.
- Five drivers powered by two amps
- Built-in subwoofer
- HD Audio Codec built-in (supports aptX and AAC)
- Built-in speakerphone for conferencing
- Integrated MP3 player
- 6000mAH li-ion rechargeable battery
- “Bedtime Mode” – gradual decrease of volume
- Connect via Bluetooth
- MicroSD card reader
- Voice recorder built-in
- One-touch Siren feature
This is the wireless speaker to grab if you’re looking for something that does more than just play your music or other sounds without wires. This has some super impressive features that not a lot of the models we’ve listed come close to. To start, it has some of the best sound quality out there since it can actually support digital codecs (process the sound differently than normal drivers), not to mention it has five drivers with two amps and a built-in subwoofer, giving it its own system basically. TechRadar rated it a 4/5.
A con may be the lack of color choices, but that’s up to your taste. I mean, this thing is almost like a separate computer on its own. You can literally put a microSD card in it to play music that way, almost acting like an MP3 player. You can voice record (why not!?), press a button and you can put out a siren noise if you’re in the mood to mess with your friends or need their attention (maybe you’re planning a game or something), as well as a bed time mode if you like to listen to some Tycho while you sleep (it’ll gradually decrease the volume and then shut off). This thing is crazy packed with features, and if you’re like me and want it all, the Creative Sound Blaster Roar is something to take into consideration.
- Weight: 19 ounces
- Pair up to two Bluetooth devices at the same time at the same time
- 50 foot wireless range
- Two 1.5″ drivers and two 2″ passive radiators
- Rechargeable li-ion battery
- Up to 15 hours of play time
- Charge via MicroUSB (charge time 3.4 hours)
- Water and stain resistant
- Use UE BOOM app to pair the two devices and use alarm setting
- Colors: Red, white, blue, green, black, pink
So this particular wireless speaker gives music listening a different spin as it provides a “360-degree speaker” to play in all directions as opposed to your traditional front-facing speaker. The shape is something that stands out as well, almost like the JBL Charge in which it’s a bit more convenient than the standard blocks we’ve seen so commonly. I like the fact that you can use two at the same time and double up via Bluetooth to give it a kinda surround sound (if you place them each on different sides of a room you’re in). Another plus and price-justification is the fact that it’s water and stain resistant, although I would still be paranoid with maybe dipping the entire thing in a pool so don’t get too crazy.
Another reason it made our ranks is due to the 15 hour-life battery (asterisk applies in terms of the volume level to usage ratio). This is great for day-long trips such as to festivals or pool parties (especially with the plasma coating that makes it stain and water-resistant). A little extra spunk with an app they include, although not too necessary (you can use it for the alarm function or duo-pairing). Grab the Ultimate Ears BOOM if you plan on longer days, need something water-resistant, like color customizing and think you can combine two for some extra power and spunk.
- Weight: 3 lbs
- Dimensions: 1.9 x 10.1 x 5.2 inches
- Rechargable li-ion battery
- 14 hour battery life (medium volume level)
- 30 foot Bluetooth range (compatible with all devices that support BT)
- Remembers up to 6 past devices used for easy reconnecting
- Silicone button panel and metal grille make for durability
Bose speakers isn’t a stranger to quality gear. This is one of the best wireless speakers available that still remains portable. The next speaker we talk about is clearly the best in terms of power and quality, but it needs to be plugged in, so stick with this if you’re looking for some convenience. It’s got a solid build with curved edges and a thin profile. Especially nice about this one is the 14 hour play time (max volume probably around 8 or 9), some of the most we’ve seen besides with the UE boom previously spoken about. You also get the traditional aux input for just in case, as well as the USB port (but with this port you can use it to update software for future Bluetooth compatibility). Also an option for a power adapter (you can charge it in your car, it has an optional 12v for the road) which is a plus for travelers.
There aren’t many cons to this one. Engadget’s SoundLink III review ranks it highly among its competitors. It doesn’t come with a case which is a bit disappointing and it’s a bit heavy coming in at 3 lbs (the others are within the under a pound range), but that just means the build is better quality with the steel grille and what not. If you can sacrifice a heavier speaker for some nice sound quality, we love the Bose SoundLink III for being one of the best wireless speakers you can buy if your wallet allows. Grab it if you can.
Other versions: The Bose SoundLink mini which is about $100 cheaper.
- Weight: 11.3 lbs
- Dimensions: 350 X 185 X 185 mm
- Class D amp, 2 x 3/4″ dome tweeters and one 5 1/4″ woofer
- Bass and treble controls
- Compact active ‘loudspeaker’
- Compatible with any Bluetooth device
- Two standby modes for power efficiency
- 80 watts of power
- Extremely rugged and solid build
- RCA, optical or 3.5 mm inputs available
One of the best wireless speakers out there, I know what I’ll be getting when it’s time to upgrade (soon, soon). We’ll review it after we get it, but through research and asking around we’ve heard many, many things about this. First of all, Marshall amplifiers are world famous, particularly for guitar amps, but their audio solutions in general are high quality. It first and foremost gives us some connectivity options, being either Bluetooth, 3.5mm, RCA input, or even an optical audio input. You can use it in two standby modes (powersaver and standard). The most noteworthy feature of this wireless speaker is the sound quality — most arguably the best in terms of wireless speakers. You get something called APTX technology, which is an extremely high quality codec that increases Bluetooth compression. It’s a beast.
PCMag’s Marshall Stanmore review praises the crisp sound this speaker gives you as well, although they list the lack of portability a con, which we agree with — it has to be plugged in at all times so that will most likely be your deciding factor. However, take into consideration that this is for a reason — you get the best sound quality and power but all for the price of needing it to be plugged in. You could also call the price a con, but looking at the specs the price tag is relatively justified. This thing is a tank, will last you years, give you what you need and more. This isn’t a typical wireless speaker that you’ll see people using at a pool party — it’s one of the hottest pieces of gear out there. If you get the Marshall Stanmore, you’re getting one of the best wireless speakers available today. The only baggage is a power plug.