Best Bluetooth Speaker – 2016
Hey everyone. Jimmy with Jim’s Review Room. Here’s my buyer’s guide going through the best of the best Bluetooth speakers from small to large and I’ll go over just the major features of each. For the full details, you gotta read my other reviews. And keep in mind, these are speakers that I have personally tested. There are some that I obviously couldn’t get to by the time of this video. If there’s worthy ones out there, please leave a comment in the comments section below to help some others out there. As always, I’ll place the Amazon links in the video description below, click on my links and they’ll give you the most updated prices in real time.
Getting right into this. Starting with the small speaker category. First up is the JBL Flip 3 offering a loud performance, better bass response over most other small Bluetooth speakers, battery life is rated at 10 hours of playtime, and best of all, at the time of this review, the price has dropped down to $79. The Flip 3 is splash resistant and the bass radiators are very tough, but they are indeed exposed, if you need the best in ruggedness, the UE Roll 2 is an alternative. It is lacking bass that’s the only thing I didn’t like about them, but the Roll 2 still provides decent audio. It makes up for the lack of bass with absolute ruggedness, mud submersion, dirt, water, etc, this is the way to go for something nearly bulletproof. Battery life is up to 9 hrs on this with a price tag of $99.
For those who want something at home and not needing water proofing, the Sony X33 is next on my list. Upto 12hrs of use which is on the upper end, with the Clear Audio+ function, the X33 tunes your audio output and gives a nice and clear experience, very neutral sound signature that’s very refined and easy to listen to. This one is also priced at $99. Last and this is for those who have a much bigger budget, but absolutely requires a small size, ruggedness, waterproofing, and values the best audio performance for the small speaker category, the B&O A1 bluetooth speaker is it. Priced at $249, which is very expensive, but again, it’s about the same diameter as the UE Roll 2, but the audio performance is the best for the size. Last, if you absolutely are on a budget, don’t need the bells and whistles and just looking for audio, I reviewed the Doss SoundBox earlier this year. That’s priced at just $32. It’s clean, clear, not distorted. I know folks are weary about buying super cheap speakers, but I have reviewed this and it works great as a simple Bluetooth speaker for casual use. Again, all the updated prices will be in the video description below, click on them for the most up to date prices.
Moving onto the mid-size, the JBL Charge 3 is still one of my favorites for it’s insane battery life at upto 20hrs. Features include a charge out port to charge other devices, it’s not just splash proof, but you can fully dunk this under water. The JBL Connect feature allows me to hook up two speakers at the same time to have a much bigger audio presence, and possibly best of all, the sound for it’s price. At just $149 retail, the audio is very impressive as it gives a bass boosted signature, it’s very loud, in general, this speaker is designed to jam out with, not just casual listening. For few, the bass is a bit harsh at times, but use an Equalizer and the Charge 3 is a great bet. As an alternative, if you want absolute bass, the Sony XB3 nails it. Water resistant, upto 24hrs of battery life, very solid design. The reason why this is on this list is it provides better value over the Beats Pill Plus. The newest Pill Plus, still provides great audio, I personally like the design, but it featured only 12hours of battery performance, no water resistance (And again, thats subjective to your needs) and the Pill Plus is retailing for $230 which is quite expensive. Other mid-tier speakers to consider is the UE Boom 2, it gets super loud, but didn’t offer the bass of the other aforementioned speakers…. But again, the ruggedness, water submersion, the fact the speaker can float in water if you drop it into the pool or lake makes up for its shortcomings. Upto 15hrs of battery life and one of the newest yet most unique, UE introduced the PartyUp feature, allowing you to connect upto 50 UE speakers together, not just two speakers like the Charge 3 or Beats Pill Plus.
Last, still one of the best all around speaker for nearly every genre, the Bose SoundLink Mini 2 is still one of my favorites offering an open sound stage, which many Bluetooth speakers don’t offer, and offering one of the best in fidelity and detail versus the other models I’ve mentioned so far. Bose doesn’t provide that in your face bass boosted sound, but a neutral but very clear experience. The mini 2 retails for $200, I’ve seen them on sale for $180, and almost forgot here, battery life is sadly the shortest at 10hrs of use. Another at home mid-tier speaker, check out the Sony SRS-55 and the older Creative Roar Pro. Those two provides very similar performance, detail and fidelity if you value a more neutral and accurate sound performance.
Last up are the large sized Bluetooth speakers. Marshall Stanmore makes it on my list for it’s looks, styling, and uniqueness. This does require to be plugged into the wall, but the loud audio output, the room filling music goes a long way. Not much features on this one besides the golden knobs emulating the iconic marshall amps of the past and present, but the audio characteristics focused on genres of rock, instrumental and vocals, this one is worth a look. The stanmore is priced at $349. Now, both the Fugoo Sport XL and the UE Megaboom makes a return. Both providing full water submersion, both speakers float if dropped into water, and both providing absolute loud audio performance for outdoor entertaining. The Megaboom is simply rugged all around but the Fugoo Sport XL takes a different approach by offering an outer protective shell and more drivers on each side to give it the fullest sounding speaker outdoors. Not only that, but it offers best in class 35hrs of battery life, which no other speaker can come close that I’ve personally tested. If you asked me which one sounds better, I’d choose the Fugoo XL over the Megaboom. Both of these models retails for $300, check my links for the current sale prices.
Last but not least, the JBL Xtreme. It’s starting to show its age, it doesn’t have the best in battery performance at 15hrs, you can’t connect more than two speakers like you can with the UE products these days, and it’s only splashproof… you can’t submerge it underwater. From my testing, it’s still the best sounding large portable bluetooth speaker on the market. If you’re using this for a backyard BBQ, around the house, in the park, the Xtreme still sounds the most impressive with its Bass Boosted audio performance, loud output and simply at the end of the day, it’s immersive, more so than the other speakers I’ve mentioned so far. The Xtreme retails for $300, but lately, I’ve seen them around $250. Around the christmas season, as low as $225. Again, my links will give you all the goods.
So that’s it for this list. Hopefully it helped you in some way. Again, I haven’t tested every speaker on the market, but I have tested a bunch out there. Be sure to show your support by Liking and Subscribing and follow me on Facebook or Instagram. You guys take care, and I’ll see you on the next one. Bye