Feel the bass: the best Bluetooth speakers for sound quality of 2024

True sound at the touch of a button: unleash the music with our ten favourite Bluetooth speakers with exceptional sound quality...

The best Bluetooth speakers for sound quality

by Ryan Houghton |
Updated on

With a low bassy rumble and sharp, stunning clarity, the best Bluetooth speakers for sound quality offer true sound replication at its finest. Hundreds of brands offer what could be the best speakers of the year, sporting enclosures of varying sizes, made of impressive materials and utilising the very best Bluetooth speaker technology. But sifting through them and endlessly scanning technical specifications and Amazon reviews can be tricky.

Don't worry; we've taken the turmoil out of internet shopping and given you our favourite Bluetooth speakers for the best sound quality of the year, made by well-known, trustworthy, and excellent-value brands.

The best Bluetooth speakers for sound at a glance:

Best overall: JBL Charge 5 - Portable Bluetooth Speaker - View on Amazon
Best budget: Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker - View on Amazon
Best high-end: Marshall Acton II Speaker - View on Amazon
Best for portability: Bose SoundLink Flex Speaker - View on Amazon

Offering unbeatable sound, magnificent designs and countless dazzling features, our favourite Bluetooth speakers for sound quality are made to stir your soul into movement.

Regardless of whether you're unwinding after a long day's work with some melodic beats, you're eager for some heart-racing drum and bass to pump your energy, or you're looking to give your home cinema setup some added oomph, we have the perfect Bluetooth speaker for you.

Best Bluetooth speaker for sound quality overall

Quite easily one of the best speakers of the year, let alone one of the finest Bluetooth speakers ever made, the JBL Charge 5 delivers spectacular sound in a remarkably small speaker enclosure, which manages to house a sizeable 20 hours of battery life, too.

With 40W of audio output and a terrific 65Hz - 20KHz frequency response, JBL's Charge 5 offers major sound without distortion, keeping crystal-clear clarity even at high volumes. Built to last, in large part thanks to its IP67 resistance rating, JBL's Charge 5 is perfect for battling the unpredictable British weather and its sudden torrential showers.

Slightly weighty but not overly large, the JBL Charge 5 is ideal for taking along on a hike, barbecue, or even to a friend's house easily. The Charge 5 is made even more convenient thanks to its Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, which allows up to 100 devices to simultaneously connect and stream music, giving you the potential to create a mindblowing sound throughout your home all at once.

You might be slightly disheartened if you're looking for a dedicated charging device for your smartphone. Though the JBL Charge 5 has charging capabilities, some users have complained of slowness in bringing their beloved technology back to life, so be warned.

This minor blemish on what is a staggeringly good speaker is an afterthought - the JBL Charge 5 is a beautifully balanced, bassy Bluetooth speaker that should undoubtedly be your first choice this year.

Pros

  • Excellent, well-balanced sound
  • Up to 20 hours of battery life
  • Pairs with up to 100 speakers simultaneously

Cons

  • Fairly slow charging features

Best budget Bluetooth speaker for sound quality

Anker Soundcore 2 Portable Bluetooth SpeakerAnker
Price: $39.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$27.99View offer

For listening to music from dawn to dusk, Anker's Soundcore 2 portable Bluetooth speaker packs a surprising punch despite costing less than £50. Lightweight yet sturdy, the Anker Soundcore 2's metal grille and speaker sides encased in protective rubber give plenty of protection from the inevitable drops and falls this speaker is bound to face on the open road.

If you find yourself traversing the countryside this year, however, be warned - although the Anker Soundcore 2 will endure the pummelling of an outdoor adventure, it won't fare as well against debris and dust.

A 12W speaker with an impressively wide frequency response range, sound from the Anker Soundcore 2 is rich and full, having ample bass to immerse you with its uplifting clarity. There isn't a resonating boom from the Soundcore 2 that you might experience with costlier Bluetooth speakers. Still, it's hardly unreasonable - for its price, there's plenty to enjoy from the Anker Soundcore 2.

A brilliant Bluetooth speaker for under £100, Anker's Soundcore 2 is without question a bargain at its price, and with its sublime battery life, excellent sound and terrific build quality, there's no denying its brilliance.

Pros

  • Solid bass-filled sound
  • Rugged build quality
  • Superb 24-hour battery life

Cons

  • Lacking water resistance

Best high-end Bluetooth speaker for sound quality

Marshall Acton II Wireless Bluetooth Speaker - BlackMarshall

A stunning masterpiece of sound engineering and design, Marshall's Acton II is the ultimate Bluetooth speaker for music lovers. Comprised of a beautifully designed, retro wooden enclosure and metal grille adorned with Marshall's proud logo, Marshall Acton II oozes quality in every corner.

Moreover, the Acton II is equipped with dedicated bass, treble and volume dials on top for precise sound control, an option rarely afforded to Bluetooth speaker shoppers. Combining the ability to customise your sound to an impressive degree and the Acton II's already sensational sound, the overall sound experience of Marshall's Bluetooth speaker is marvellous.

Rich sound complete with a deep, harmonious rumbling bass and accurate clarity, Marshall Acton II is nothing short of stunning in its frequency response range and its sheer volume whilst rarely distorting.

If, however, you're looking for a speaker to lug around with you on your journeys, to fit in your backpack with room to spare tidily, Marshall Acton isn't it. Not only is this speaker mains powered, it's also significantly heavier than our other options. As we've mentioned in our Marshall Acton II review, however, a heavy build tends to mean great quality and a speaker that'll last a long time, so take it only as good news that this speaker might not be suitable for your backpacking adventures.

Pros

  • Gorgeous 60W sound
  • Beautifully designed and built to last
  • Includes customisable treble and bass for the perfect sound

Cons

  • Isn't portable and is quite heavy to move

Best Bluetooth speaker under £30

Anker Soundcore mini, Super-Portable Bluetooth SpeakerAnker
Price: $24.99

The mighty Anker Soundcore mini is a mainstay of roundups and articles worldwide. Though small and cheap, the Anker Soundcore mini brings plenty of performance for its mini size, delivering what is surprisingly solid sound.

Incorporating a 360-degree design which plays music in each direction, Anker's Soundcore mini pumps up the bass for such a small unit. Whilst clarity isn't exemplary, there isn't a speaker on the market at a similar price that can offer a similar sound.

And then there's the lack of water and dust resistance that the Anker Soundcore mini has, which isn't uncommon in cheaper speakers but would've taken this already excellent speaker to new heights.

Needless to say, the Anker Soundcore mini is a magnificent speaker for its price - it's designed beautifully, it's robust, offers solid battery life and brings plenty of volume for such a tiny speaker. Easily one of the best speakers on Amazon, the Soundcore Mini is a marvel of a deal.

Pros

  • Perfectly portable Bluetooth speaker
  • Incredibly cheap
  • Solid 360-degree sound quality

Cons

  • Doesn't offer the impactful volume and depth that pricier speakers offer

Best Bluetooth smart speaker for sound quality

The convenience of simply speaking aloud and playing a song cannot be over-appreciated. Sonos's Move: an incredibly powerful 45W speaker with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, offers tremendous, earth-shattering sound, all without a single press of a button.

Brilliantly designed for listening anywhere, even with many guests, the Sonos Move bursts with 360-degree sound with depth and complexity that is otherwise lost on lower-end Bluetooth speakers.

If you plan on hosting a packed gathering, you can even connect the Sonos Move with other Sonos devices, giving you the ultimate party-going experience.

For those who like to connect to their speaker as fast and as lag-free as possible, the Sonos Move does indeed lag behind speakers with the later Bluetooth 5.0, yet this is hardly an issue compared to the sheer audio experience that the Sonos Move offers.

For one of the greatest smart speakers of the year so far, you cannot go wrong with the Sonos Move, a tremendous choice for those who value sound quality above all.

Pros

  • Breathtakingly rich sound
  • Incredible build quality and design
  • Useful and intuitive smart features

Cons

  • Bluetooth 4.2 doesn't offer the best connection speed

Best waterproof Bluetooth speaker for sound

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) - Premium Wireless Portable IP67 Waterproof Bluetooth SpeakerBang and Olufsen

Rrp: $299.00

Price: $218.99
Alternative retailers
Walmart$249.99View offer
Neiman Marcus$299.00View offer
Saks Fifth Avenue$299.00View offer

A shockingly powerful speaker for its size, Bang and Olufsen's small but mighty Beosound A1 is an utterly brilliant pocket-sized speaker that's perfect for getting great sound on the go, without a back-breaking speaker brick to lug about.

Instead, Bang and Olufsen's smartly designed, neat and beautiful disc-like speaker slips easily into a pocket offering all the sound you want, even in its tiny enclosure. With a breathtaking 60Hz-24KHz frequency response range, we adore the Beosound A1's absolutely precise sound, replicating music the way it was meant to be heard.

The result of its clarity? Bang and Olufsen's brilliant little speaker is perfect for many music genres, not just dance music. Its precise, crisp sound is perfect for those who enjoy the sharp shred of an electric guitar or the harsh whistle of a harmonica; it's a truly impressive speaker that's difficult to beat for sound quality.

Of course, for its size, sacrifices have to be made. Namely, the Beosound A1's smaller size means that large bass isn't possible - you're simply not going to get the boom and rumble from the A1 in something of its size, which is a fair and honest trade-off for what is gorgeous sound.

Tough, rugged, marvellously designed and staggeringly accurate in terms of sound, Bang and Olufsen's Beosound A1 is a worthy entry amongst our favourite Bluetooth speakers for sound quality this year.

Pros

  • Out of this world sound at its size
  • Gorgeous simplistic and small
  • Terrific battery life

Cons

  • Isn't as bassy as larger speakers

Best heavy bass Bluetooth speakers for sound quality

If bass is your primary concern, and you're looking for the be-all-end-all option for huge, gut-punching sound, the JBL PartyBox 310 is your all-in-one party unit.

Clocking in with a whopping 240W audio output, along with a truly impressive frequency response range, the JBL PartyBox 310 stands alone regarding absolute power. Feel the bassy vibrations in your soul, and dance the night away. Thanks to its 18-hour battery life and array of flashing colours, the PartyBox 310 is everything you'll need for a next-level party experience.

How can a portable speaker have so much raw power, you might ask? It's all down to size, where the JBL PartyBox 310's faults lie. This speaker is massive. This isn't going to fit in any backpack any time soon; in fact, it comes with its handle and wheels, a thankful relief from having to pick up this 17.4kg speaker.

Yet, if truly brilliant sound is what you're looking for, the JBL PartyBox 310 is worth the bulk, warn your neighbours ahead of time.

Pros

  • Enormous 240W sound
  • Brilliant light effects and design
  • Fantastic 18-hour battery life

Cons

  • Extremely large, perhaps too powerful for most shoppers

Best TV Bluetooth speaker for sound quality

MAJORITY Everest | Bluetooth 5.1 Surround Sound SystemMajority

Gone are the days of toying with amplifiers, boundless copper cables and the organising challenge of a lifetime: Majority's Everest, a completely Bluetooth surround sound system, gives television enthusiasts the setup they've dreamed of at a reasonable price.

Not short of absolute raw power, this 300W speaker setup packs plenty of performance because of its satellite speakers, subwoofer and soundbar combination. The setup is as simple as using a regular Bluetooth speaker, but the immersion undoubtedly stands out from the crowd.

With any great TV speakers with 5.1 speaker channels, there's bound to be some cabling and a slightly frustrating ordeal concerning cables. For those who prefer the ease and simplicity of a portable Bluetooth speaker, Majority's Everest simply isn't for you. If, however, you're not planning on a fortnightly rearrange of your lounge, the Majority Everest surround sound system is a brilliant choice for any home.

Pros

  • Incredible surround sound
  • Easy to connect and install
  • Great options for connectivity

Cons

  • Not suitable for those who would prefer a portable setup

Best battery life Bluetooth speaker for sound quality

Finding a speaker who can keep up with your erratic sleep schedule and occasional forgetfulness when charging can be a challenge. And whilst many long-lasting Bluetooth speakers are pricey, there are some brilliant exceptions.

Tribit's splendid BTS30 Bluetooth speaker is an exceptionally good choice, not only for budget buyers but also for those desperate for a speaker with great endurance and even better sound. We love the Tribit BTS30's warm, inviting sound, which draws in the ear thanks to its impressive frequency range.

At the cost of its less demanding performance, the Tribit has a slightly weaker, more passive bass unit. That isn't to say that bass isn't present in the Tribit BTS30, but it's certainly outmatched by pricier speakers on our list.

In terms of design, performance and overall build quality, the Tribit BTS30 is a fantastic choice for any home, especially considering its price. For those inclined towards some slight audio snobbery, don't turn your nose up too quickly; the Tribit BTS30 is an excellent option.

Pros

  • Solid sound
  • Well-designed 360-degrees sound
  • Impressive 20-hour battery

Cons

  • Slightly passive bass isn't as impressive as other speakers

The best Bluetooth speakers for sound: buyer's guide

Key terms you should know:

Bluetooth: Bluetooth is a method of short-range wireless communication between devices which can be used to transfer audio, amongst other data, without the use of cables.

Bass: Bass refers to the lowest pitch sound in music, it is a low and deep sound used rhythmically and is typically recreated by a subwoofer in a speaker.

Frequency response: Frequency response measures how well a piece of audio technology can recreate sounds. The wider the frequency response, the more sounds a speaker can accurately recreate.

Impedance: Impedance is the measure of a device's electrical resistance capabilities. A low impedance makes a device easier to power, but, overall more likely to distort and become damaged. A high impedance suggests a device is more protected against distortion and damage but is also more difficult to reach higher volumes due to the need for more power.

Audio output power: Audio output power indicates how much sound power an audio device can generate. The higher the audio output, the more powerful and louder the speaker will be.

IP rating: IP rating is a system used to deem a product's ability to resist both water and dust damage. The first number indicates (out of ten) a device's ability to resist debris and dust. The second number indicates a device's ability to resist liquid damage (out of ten). A device's IP rating may look like this: IP67, suggesting that the device can resist dust and water well.

If a device is listed as IPX7, for example, the manufacturer has not tested the speaker against dust and debris, so whether the speaker will survive is unclear.

Does Bluetooth version make a difference?

A speaker's Bluetooth version tells users how new the Bluetooth technology is in their speaker. There are a few popular technologies available online:

Bluetooth 4.2: Introduced in 2014, Bluetooth 4.2 offers data transfer speeds of up to 1MB/s and a connectivity range of up to 60 metres.

Bluetooth 5.0: Released in 2016, Bluetooth 5.0 has a data transfer speed of up to 2MB/s and a connectivity range quadruple that of Bluetooth 4.2 at up to 240 metres.

There have been more Bluetooth releases since then, such a Bluetooth 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3, but these changes are largely incremental and don't show the dramatic difference between Bluetooth 4.2 and 5.0.

How can I tell if a speaker has a good frequency response range?

The spectrum of human hearing is around 20Hz-20KHz, and is pretty much all a speaker needs to cover, so great speakers will aim to try and cover this range also.

Lower frequencies make for bassier speakers, and higher frequencies give clarity to all those sharp intricacies in music, so having coverage of both low and high frequencies is a must.

FAQs: your questions answered

What's the best-sounding Bluetooth speaker?

Of course, there's no definitive answer to this question: there are hundreds of brilliant brands with terrific speakers. If we were to choose a seriously great-sounding speaker, however, we'd choose JBL's Charge 5, which has a great frequency response, amazingly powerful bass, and a gorgeous design that'll endure life's mishaps.

Is Bose better than JBL?

Again, picking between brands is largely personal preference, but for our money: Bose offers amazing bass-heavy sound, some of the most stunning speakers on the market and incredible technological innovations. JBL, however, offers considerably more balance to its sound, with better frequency responses and less artificially inflated bass for our taste.

Do Bluetooth speakers have good sound quality?

Bluetooth speakers have quality that is almost exactly the same as wired speakers with modern-day technology.

You're more reliant on wireless data transfer, which can be unreliable, and there is some loss of quality that the best wired speakers don't experience, but these losses are, for most users, negligible. So fret not, audiophiles, Bluetooth speakers can (and do) have exceptional sound quality.

Ryan Houghtonis a commercial content writer for What’s The Best, known best for his expertise in gaming, with a particular soft spot for PC gaming, audio tech, televisions and smartphones.

Diligently writing for What’s The Best for almost two years, there are very few tech products Ryan hasn’t had his hands on to review; televisions, headphones, folding phones and even LEGO, if it’s nerdy, he’ll be there.

His well-versed history as one of the resident techies at What’s The Best has kept him keen to uncover the very best deals, savings and offers for those in need of a cracking deal to upgrade their setup.

In his downtime, Ryan most likely has his nose buried in a fantasy book, or his eyes glued to a screen whilst playing a tough-as-nails Soulslike or leisurely RPG, indulging in most forms of escapism where possible.

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