Roam bluetooth headphones. Sonos Move 2: What we know so far

Sonos Move 2: What we know so far

A new version of Sonos’s portable Move speaker is on the way, but when will it arrive, and what will it cost? Here’s what we know.

It’s been about four years since Sonos unveiled the Move, the the wireless speaker manufacturer’s first Bluetooth portable speaker, and we’re pretty confident that a new version of the Move is just around the corner.

Word of the Sonos Move 2 began dribbling out in March 2023, while documents that appear to detail the second-generation Move hit the FCC in June, meaning a release is likely imminent.

So, when exactly will the Sonos Move 2 arrive? Will it offer new features, or come with a new design? And how much will the Sonos Move 2 cost? Here’s what we know so far:

Sonos Move 2: Your questions answered

What is the Sonos Move 2 release date?

We still don’t know precisely when the Sonos Move 2 will make its debut, but we can make an educated guess.

Sonos generally serves up two big product announcements a year, in the spring and early fall. We already got our Sonos speakers for spring: the Sonos Era 100 and Era 300, which both arrived in March.

That means we’re still waiting on the Sonos product reveal for the fall, which typically happens in the September time frame.

Now, documents detailing wireless testing procedures and results for a speaker that’s most likely the next-gen Sonos Move were discovered at the FCC in June, and that usually means a release is only a few weeks or months away.

That leads us to believe that Sonos will unveil the Move 2 at the company’s fall 2023 product event, sometime in late August or early September.

How much will the Sonos Move 2 cost?

We’d be surprised if the second-generation Sonos Move ended up costing more than the original, but don’t count on it costing any less than the pricey first-generation version, either.

The current Sonos Move is priced at 399–lofty by Bluetooth speaker standards, but par for the course when it comes to Sonos, which generally charges a premium for its wireless speakers, which can also operate as part of a multi-room audio system.

So yes, we’re guessing the Sonos Move 2 will arrive with a similar 399 price tag to the first Move.

What will the Sonos Move 2 look like?

The first-gen Sonos Move is short, cylindrical, squat, and quite hefty, tipping the scales at roughly 6.6 pounds. That’s about the weight of a bowling ball, so it’s not a speaker you’d want to tote in a backpack (unlike the much lighter Sonos Roam).

We haven’t heard many rumors about the Sonos Move 2’s form factor, so all we can do is guess.

It’s difficult to believe that the Sonos Move 2 will arrive with any sonic compromises versus the original, so don’t expect the new Move to be any smaller or lighter than the first one (physics is physics, particularly when it comes to speaker cabinets–and batteries).

Our money is on a next-gen Sonos Move that looks almost identical to the original, but again, that’s just a guess.

Will the Sonos Move 2 have new features?

One of the biggest rumors about the new Sonos Move (and later bolstered by the filings discovered at the FCC) is that it will support simultaneous transmission from its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios, a feature that was notably lacking in the first Sonos Move.

The original Move has a physical button in the back of the unit that allows it to switch between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. So, while the first-generation Move can connect to your Wi-Fi network at home or your phone’s Bluetooth radio when you’re out and about, it can’t seamlessly switch from Bluetooth to Wi-Fi, or vice versa.

The Sonos Move 2, on the other hand, is said to share the simultaneous Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities of the Sonos Roam (Sonos’s other portable speaker) and the new Sonos Era 100 and 300 speakers. That means the Move 2 would be able to smoothly hand over any on-the-go tunes it’s playing via Bluetooth to your Wi-Fi-enabled Sonos speakers at home.

Will the Sonos Move 2 work with both Sonos S1 and S2 software?

Back in 2020, Sonos released a new version of its wireless software that supported a number of new features, most notably high-resolution audio, “room groups” of speakers, and immersive sound formats such as Dolby Atmos.

The move was controversial, as it meant leaving behind a number of older Sonos speakers, such as the first-generation Sonos Play:5 and Sonos Connect.

While the original Sonos Move worked with both the current Sonos S2 app and the legacy S1 app, the Sonos Move 2 is rumored to only work with the Sonos S2 software. If that’s the case, you won’t be able to group it with aging Sonos products that are only compatible with the S1 app.

Will the Sonos Move 2 deliver stereo and/or Dolby Atmos sound?

The first Sonos Move was a mono speaker, albeit a very good-sounding one. Could the Sonos Move 2 make the move to stereo, or perhaps even Dolby Atmos?

roam, bluetooth, headphones, sonos, move

Well, Sonos did go the stereo way with the new Sonos Era 100, the speaker that replaces the mono-only Sonos One. Meanwhile, the larger Sonos Era 300 is a full-on Dolby Atmos speaker, Sonos’s first aside from its soundbars.

Given the design of the Sonos Era 100, it’s certainly possible that stereo sound is on tap for the (likely similarly sized) Sonos Move 2.

Dolby Atmos? Perhaps, but Atmos on the Sonos Move 2 is more of a stretch.

Put another way, stereo audio on the Sonos Move 2 is a definite maybe, while Dolby Atmos is probably a no.

Will the Sonos Move 2 support wireless charging?

The original Sonos Move shipped with a nifty proprietary dock that offered wireless charging for the speaker. Again, we don’t know for sure, but there’s no reason to believe Sonos would drop the wireless charging dock for the Move 2.

Speaking of charging, word is the Sonos Move 2 will support in-line audio via a USB-C adapter that could also deliver power.

The 11 Very Best Bluetooth Speakers

By Jordan McMahon. a technology and gadgets writer at the Strategist. He’s been covering technology since 2017 and previously wrote for Wired, Wirecutter, and

In this article

The joy of a good Bluetooth speaker is that you can listen to music anywhere without sacrificing great sound quality. But not all Bluetooth speakers are good. Some are so fragile that you’re nervous to actually take them out of your house, which defeats the purpose. Others sound great — with deep bass and clear vocals — but they have a short battery life or an overly complicated setup process. And the market is saturated with different shapes, sizes, and sounds, giving you hundreds of options to choose from at a variety of prices.

I’ve been using Bluetooth speakers for nearly ten years and have tested several models over the last year. Based on my testing and that of former Strategist writer Jordan Bowman, combing through our archives for recommendations, and feedback from other Strategist staffers about their favorite speakers, I’ve rounded up the best options for anyone who likes to jam out at home, takes their tunes on the road, or enjoys a more old-school gadget without losing the latest features.

What we’re looking for

The speaker’s weight will help determine how easy it is to carry around and varies widely; many models come in under one pound, but some can weigh up to about three pounds. Rugged speakers tend to weigh more, and smaller home-office speakers weigh less, though the smaller size may also result in a slight drop in sound quality. I’ve found that the ideal weight is about one pound; that’s big enough to project a good sound in a variety of spaces but small enough to throw into a bag for a trip. If you’re planning on not moving the speaker around much, or don’t mind hauling around the extra weight, bigger speakers may be worth the trade-off for better sound.

Most Bluetooth speakers have an IP rating, which tells you how protected the device is against water and dust. The first number indicates dust resistance and the second tells you how waterproof the speaker is — in both cases, the higher the number, the better the protection. To learn more about how IP ratings work and what they tell you, check out our explainer.

The way a speaker sounds will lure you in, but the battery life will determine whether you continue to use it. Nothing is worse than hearing the low battery warning go off while you’re mid-jam session or just as the podcast you’re listening to is getting interesting. I looked for speakers with anything between a ten-hour and 20-hour battery life. Every speaker on this list can clock more than ten hours with decent recharge times. Naturally, larger speakers will have larger batteries, but even small speakers should offer over ten hours of battery life.

Best overall Bluetooth speaker

Weight: 0.94 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IP67 | Battery life: 14 hours

UE’s Wonderboom speakers have long been a Strategist favorite, and the Wonderboom 3 is no different. Pairing is simple: All you have to do is hold the pairing button and it shows up in your phone or tablet’s Bluetooth menu immediately. It will connect immediately when powered back on. You can easily pair two Wonderbooms together for a stereo experience with a couple button pushes.

For its size, the Wonderboom sounds surprisingly good, even at lower volumes. At louder levels, usually around 80 percent or higher, sounds can start to feel muddled, especially with genres like hip-hop or metal (I tested with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter II and Lamb of God’s Sacrament), and the vocals can drown out instrumentals. It’s not enough to detract from how good the Wonderboom sounds, though. When kept below that threshold, songs sound as clear and vibrant as on other UE speakers such as the Boom.

The Wonderboom 3 is larger than the Clip 4, so it’s slightly less portable, and its elastic loop is less effective than the JBL Clip 4’s metal clip for attaching it to things, but the speaker also produces clearer sound, likely owing to its larger size. Like the previous versions, the Wonderboom 3 is waterproof, so you can use it in the shower or even float it in the pool. It has a plastic door that covers the charging port when not in use to prevent water from sneaking in and mucking things up. It’s rugged enough to withstand the rough and tumble of being carried with you on your next vacation, or just getting moved from room to room.

Best (less-expensive) Bluetooth speaker

Weight: 0.81 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IPX7 | Battery life: 24 hours

Former Strategist writer Jordan Bowman, who tested this speaker, says that despite its budget price, “the Tribit XSound can almost compete with the JBL Clip 4 and the UE Wonderboom 2,” the previous version of our best overall pick. He notes that at higher levels there may be some distortion, but that concession will save you a few bucks. The XSound Go features a plastic shell that resembles the old Beats Pill rounded speaker, with simple controls for powering on and off, playing and pausing, and connecting with Bluetooth.

While the XSound Go doesn’t sound as good as the slightly pricier Wonderboom 3, it’ll give you a battery life of up to 24 hours, which is higher than that of any other speaker we’ve tested.

Best portable Bluetooth speaker

Weight: 0.53 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IP67 | Battery life: 10 hours

Most of these Bluetooth speakers are portable, but the Clip 4 is the lightest and smallest speaker we’ve tested, coming in at just over a half-pound. Despite that fact, its battery still lasts up to ten hours. It’s easy to underestimate the sound quality of a speaker as small as the Clip 4, and granted, it doesn’t sound quite as good as the Wonderboom 3, but it does the job adequately. In our testing, it managed to sound clear and vibrant even with outdoor sounds like waves and wind in the background. The clip design allows you to attach it to nearly anything — it holds on just as well to a hiking pack as it does a bike basket or shower rod. The speaker has rubber ribs on the back that allow you to place it flat on smooth surfaces without having to worry about it sliding all over the place. This makes sense because at peak volume, the Clip 4 is prone to significant shaking. The speaker is waterproof and dustproof, and it can withstand a few knocks against a hard surface.

Best Bluetooth speaker with manual controls

Weight: 1.51 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IPX4 | Battery life: 20 hours

Like most Marshall products, the 1.5-pound Emberton speaker has manual controls, but it also adds a circular joystick control to the mix. Move it to the right or left to skip songs, nudge it up or down to raise or lower the volume, or hold it down to power on or off. This might not seem like a game changer, but the delight that comes with this approach shows that good controls shouldn’t be an afterthought.

If you like the way old-school guitar amps look, the Emberton will be right up your alley. The speaker is shaped like a brick, feels about as tough as one, and is covered in thick, protective silicone. It produces a full, immersive sound across all genres, whether it’s punk rock, reggae, or even a podcast. This is a great speaker with a 20-hour battery life (and a convenient LED that always displays how much battery is left) that’ll appeal to any music lovers who prefer a more retro aesthetic.

Best Bluetooth speaker for sound quality

Weight: 1.23 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IP67 | Battery life: 18 hours

The Beosound has a battery life of up to 18 hours, and supports USB-C charging for an up-to-date cable setup (many like the Wonderboom still use micro-USB). It weighs just over a pound, but that’s mostly thanks to its tough metal shell and rubber base. Additionally, this speaker supports Alexa, if you like to keep your smarts with you wherever you go, but Bowman notes that in his testing, the voice assistant was a bit tedious to set up.

Best Smart Bluetooth speaker

Weight: 0.93 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IP67 | Battery life: 10 hours

If you want a Bluetooth speaker that’ll seamlessly integrate into your home-theater setup, the Sonos Roam is a great option. It’s about as portable as many of the other speakers we recommend, while also being able to pair to other Sonos devices like the One or Arc for a more full stereo sound. It supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, so you can control it and the rest of your Sonos gear all with your voice.

As for sound quality, Bowman notes that its sound quality was the crispest of any speaker he tested, with the best balance of bass and treble. Strategist senior editor Winnie Yang says, “We prefer the sound of the Roam with its flatter response to that of the similar-sized Bose Mini Soundlink, which we used previously and found was much more bass-heavy.” Additionally, Sonos has packed some nifty software into this speaker that will adapt its sound to your environment, so it’ll spread sound out more evenly when placed outdoors or tone down the bass in a smaller room so the rest of the sound doesn’t get drowned out.

Paired with other Sonos devices, you can also quickly swap sound between two devices, like the Roam and a Sonos soundbar. Bowman says that its battery life is weaker than many of the other speakers we tested, but it’s also Qi compatible, so you can charge it wirelessly.

Best Bluetooth speaker with a built-in radio

Weight: 1.75 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IPXX | Battery life: 12 hours

The Tivoli Pal BT was seemingly designed in defiance of the modern Bluetooth speaker, trading low-profile buttons for three protruding knobs that you can twist and turn with surgical precision. And don’t bother calling Alexa or Siri or any other digital assistant — the Tivoli Pal isn’t compatible with them. Inspired by Tivoli’s classic Model One, a tabletop AM/FM radio, the Pal has been chopped and screwed and flipped vertically to combine a radio and a Bluetooth speaker in one sleek package. It is a beautiful machine that can be placed anywhere in your home.

If you’re streaming music from a phone, it’s easy to pair to the speaker by pressing and holding a discreet Bluetooth button on the back. If you’d rather hear live radio — a feature that really sets the Pal apart — use the knobs on the front to find your desired station. No matter what you’re listening to, the Tivoli Pal produces a smooth sound with clear vocals and distinct bass and drums. It’s also capable of maintaining that wonderful sound at high volumes, where the output from lesser speakers can become a distorted mess. Bowman tested this speaker by playing the soulful leanings of Billy Preston, the matter-of-fact rapping of Vince Staples, and the laid-back pop of Benny Sings, and he says it always delivered excellent sound quality. It has a 12-hour battery life, a headphone jack, and a tiny antenna that is hidden in the back for better radio reception. While the Pal is one of the most expensive speakers on this list, it’s a worthwhile two-in-one purchase for anyone who loves listening to the radio or their music or podcast library in equal measure.

Do note, though, that unlike the other speakers we recommend, the Tivoli isn’t rated for dust or water resistance, so it’s not an ideal model for taking along on adventures.

Best Bluetooth speaker with built-in LEDs

Weight: 3.2 pounds | Dust and water resistance: IP67 | Battery: 12 hours

If you want a speaker that looks as good as it sounds, JBL’s Pulse 5 looks like a modern take on a lava lamp and sounds great. It’s notably bigger than most of our other picks, standing at 8.5 inches tall, but that’s to its benefit: its bright, cylindrical array of lights play a variety of animations. It’s packed with options as far as lighting, including spinning rings of different colors, lights that look like clouds moving through a blue sky, and pulsing dots. You can also change the tempo of the animations to better match the vibe of your room, though every tempo syncs to your current song automatically.

It goes beyond just being a nice bit of decoration; it’s a solid speaker, too. In my testing, it performed well across a variety of genres, including classical, electronic, hip hop, and rock, with minor discrepancies on higher frequency notes, but nothing too noticeable.

It’s not as portable as the Wonderboom, Clip, or Flip, but it’s notably louder and its sound is richer, plus that extra size makes for a better light show, which is the main attraction.

The 7 Best Bluetooth Speakers. Summer 2023 Reviews

If you like to wirelessly stream music, podcasts, and audiobooks from mobile devices, you’ll want a speaker that supports Bluetooth connectivity. Unlike speakers with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth-compatible speakers don’t rely on an Internet connection to stream audio. As a result, they tend to be more portable, and many also have an outdoor-oriented design with carrying straps or water-resistant bodies. However, finding the best speaker comes down to what matters most to you. With so many Bluetooth speakers on the market, you have many options for finding a device that meets your unique needs.

We’ve tested over 115 speakers, and below, you’ll find our recommendations for the best wireless Bluetooth speakers. If you want more options, check out our picks for the best Alexa speakers, the best-sounding Bluetooth speakers, and the loudest Bluetooth speakers.

Best Bluetooth Speaker

Sonos Move

The best Bluetooth speaker that we’ve tested is the Sonos Move. Thanks to its portable design, this speaker is a great choice for listening to your favorite tunes while on the go, and it comes with lots of extra features to make the most of your listening experience. Connect your phone or other mobile devices to the speaker via Bluetooth, and you can stream everything from music, podcasts, and audiobooks to the device. Its built-in voice assistants offer hands-free control, so you can check the weather, adjust the volume, and more from the comfort of your couch. Plus, if you own other Sonos products, you can integrate this speaker into your ecosystem to amplify audio across the room or to spread sound throughout multiple rooms in your house. This speaker’s sleek design makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use. At your next backyard party, use the built-in handle to carry it outside, and its IP56 rating for dust and water resistance means that it’s protected against some exposure to the elements. This speaker gets loud and can easily fill your backyard with sound. There’s even a room calibration tool built into the speaker to improve its audio reproduction based on the unique acoustics of your listening space. If you prefer to adjust the sound manually, you’ll find bass and treble adjustments in the Sonos S2 app, too. Thanks to its built-in Smart features and stellar sound, this Bluetooth speaker is a great fit for lots of different listeners.

Best Upper Mid-Range Bluetooth Speaker

Tribit StormBox Blast

If you’re inclined towards a boombox design or want to spend less on a speaker, check out the Tribit StormBox Blast. It has customizable RGB lights on the front for added flair and a built-in handle for easy carrying. You can stream your favorite tunes over Bluetooth wherever you go, including your next pool party, since it’s rated IPX7 and floats in water. It also lasts over 32 hours on a single charge, so you can keep it playing all day and night before needing a top-up. Sound-wise, this speaker has more than enough bass to fill a room. It’s great for genres like EDM and hip-hop, but vocals and instruments get muddied due to the boosted bass response. Thankfully, it has a companion app with a graphic EQ and presets to give you control over the mix. It also features multi-device pairing, so you can let a friend DJ without losing connection. Despite being a solid speaker with good dynamics, it lacks some extra features that come with the Sonos Move, like a built-in voice assistant and multi-room connection with other speakers. If you prefer speakers without a voice assistant or built-in microphone, the cheaper Tribit speaker is likely a better choice for your dollar.

Best Mid-Range Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a cheaper, wallet-friendly Bluetooth speaker with great performance. This mid-range pick has a cylindrical design and is available in many color variants to meet your unique style needs. Each comes with a built-in hook, too, so you can easily clip the speaker to your bag or backpack while on the go. It’s portable by design and lightweight enough to carry in your hand. There’s also an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance in case you want to bring it to the pool or use it near the kitchen sink. With impressive sound quality, this device is a great pick for those who love to listen to music while out and about. Since it’s Bluetooth-compatible, it’s easy to stream your favorite tunes from your devices to play on the speaker. Its default sound adds some extra boom in the bass, bringing genres like EDM and hip-hop to life. Voices and lead instruments remain clear in the mix, too, which is great if you prefer other genres like pop and rock. It can also create a more spacious soundstage than the pricier Tribit Stormbox Blast due to its 360-degree design. However, the Ultimate Ears’ smaller size means it doesn’t last as long on a single charge, a little over 17 hours compared to the Tribit’s 32 hours. You also get some extra features from the Tribit, like customizable RGB lights, and it can produce a louder sound with slightly less distortion at max volume. However, if you’re looking for a simpler speaker for small gatherings or individual use, you may find that the Ultimate Ears is the better value overall.

Best Budget Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 3

We Tested The Best Bluetooth Speakers To Take Everywhere This Summer

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

The best Bluetooth speakers are portable and offer excellent sound quality. You can even find speakers that are waterproof so you can play your favorite tunes by the water (or in the event of inclement weather). From hosting dinner parties to working out to lounging in the sun, these handy devices let you play background music any time, anywhere. To help you find the best Bluetooth speaker for your needs, I thoroughly tested 10 different devices that cater to a variety of budgets and use cases.

After my comprehensive testing, I chose the Bose Portable Smart Speaker as our pick for best Bluetooth speaker overall. Its performance is so good, we also featured it in our best portable speaker, best waterproof Bluetooth speaker and one of best outdoor speakers round-ups. But if you want a lot of performance on a budget, I found the Marshall Willen to be the best value-priced Bluetooth speaker of the bunch.

In my hunt for the best Bluetooth speakers, I evaluated dozens of models before narrowing down the five featured here. All the speakers I tested for this guide are battery-powered, portable and either water resistant or waterproof. Each also pairs wirelessly with your Bluetooth devices to stream music, podcasts and more. Some speakers can stream directly from services like Apple Music, Amazon Music or Spotify, while others work as a speakerphone when paired with your smartphone. Read on for all the details.

  • Best Bluetooth Speaker Overall: Bose Portable Smart Speaker
  • Best Mini Bluetooth Speaker: Marshall Willen
  • Best Bluetooth Speaker For The Pool:Ultimate Ears Boom 3
  • Best Value Bluetooth Speaker:Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3
  • Best Bluetooth Speaker For Entertaining:Sonos Move

Best Bluetooth Speaker Overall

Bose Portable Smart Speaker

Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Weight: 2.3 pounds | Size: 7.5 x 4.7 x 4.1 inches | Mobile app: Bose Music (iOS/Android) | Water rating: Water-resistant (IPX4) | Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

  • Filling a small to midsize indoor space with rich, 360-degree audio
  • Music, podcasts, audiobooks or hands-free calls
  • Streaming audio directly from the internet via Wi-Fi

Right out of the box, I fell in love with the aesthetics of the Bose Portable Smart Speaker. Its modern, visually unobtrusive design fits into any room’s décor. It looks like a handheld lantern, but instead of emitting bright light, this speaker fills small to mid-size rooms with loud, clear and rich 360-degree audio.

The Bose Portable Smart Speaker is lightweight and water resistant (with an IPX4 rating), but it’s not meant to be taken into a bathtub or swimming pool, and it may get damaged by solid particles like dirt and dust. However, you can still place it outside for a small group to enjoy music during an outdoor gathering. This speaker doesn’t produce stereo sound, but it does dramatically enhance mono audio in a way I found impressively pleasing—even when listening to highly produced pop music with subtle elements that got lost when played on other models.

The app lets you adjust treble and bass. Even so, I found the speaker’s default settings worked well with music, podcasts and audiobooks. It made lead vocal fluctuations resonate throughout the listening space without overly crushing the music’s other vocals and music production elements.

Bonus points go to the speaker for being Wi-Fi-ready, meaning you have voice-activated controls through Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa readily available. It’s also able to stream audio directly from popular services without having to pair the speaker with another device, and it supports Apple AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and Spotify Connect. Setup was super easy, and I especially liked that the speaker’s main controls are all easily accessible from the top—though you can also use voice commands and the mobile app.

This speaker easily outperformed the others I tested, which is why it’s my no-brainer pick for best Bluetooth speaker overall.

Best Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Marshall Willen

Battery life: Up to 15 hours | Weight: 0.7 pounds | Size: 4 x 4 x 1.6 inches | Mobile app: Marshall Bluetooth (iOS/Android) | Water rating: Waterproof (IP67) | Connectivity: Bluetooth

  • Listening to music while hiking, camping or sitting at a desk
  • Enjoying audiobooks or podcasts
  • Attaching the speaker to a backpack, belt loop or tent

I chose the Marshall Willen as the best value Bluetooth speaker because what you get for the price is a high-quality and rugged device that sounds surprisingly good—indoors or outdoors.

This mono speaker is small enough to fit in your hand; you can also set it on a surface or clip it onto your belt using the built-in rubber strap. Despite its small size, the Marshall Willen produces high-quality, clear and rather loud sound (it goes up to 82 decibels). The music sounds vibrant and rich, even though you don’t get true stereo or even 360-degree audio.

The basic square design of this speaker mimics the look of other Marshall products, albeit in a smaller package. The Willen is waterproof (with an IP67 rating) and very durable. Battery life is up to 15 hours, which is impressive for such a small speaker.

What I love about the Marshall Willen is its small, joystick-like button on the front, which controls seven functions. The interface is super simple and intuitive. And no matter how you position the speaker, it maintains consistent audio quality, clarity and volume.

Streaming music or audio from a smartphone is a straightforward process. You can also use the Marshall Willen as a speakerphone for hands-free calls. While listening to audio, the mobile app does not offer fully adjustable audio EQ, but it has three audio presets I found made my music sound better. The “Marshall” preset, for example, is ideal for music. Besides being able to select presets, the mobile app’s functionality is rather limited.

The Marshall Willen is the best pick if you’re looking for something smaller and more affordable. It has a winning combination of iconic Marshall black and brass design, a broad soundstage for its small size and overall great sound quality. No matter what I listened to, the Marshall Willen sounded terrific—especially considering it’s a mono speaker.

Best Bluetooth Speaker For The Pool

Ultimate Ears BOOM 3

Battery life: Up to 15 hours | Weight: 1.3 pounds | Size: 7.2 x 2.8 x 2.8 inches | Mobile app: BOOM | Water protection: Waterproof (IP67) | Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

  • Using by the pool or on a boat (it floats)
  • Durability during outdoor activities
  • Connecting to a device at a distance (it has a 150-foot range)

This is a portable, waterproof and extremely durable Bluetooth speaker. It has up to a 15-hour battery life and does a good job playing music with strong bass, despite its compact size. The onboard controls are large and easily accessible, and you can stream music from a device up to 150 feet away (not just 30 feet, like most Bluetooth speakers with a similar form factor). With 360-degree audio playback, music sounds clear and robust in most situations, wherever you stand. It weighs a mere 1.3 pounds and easily clips to a belt loop or backpack. You can use it on any flat surface, either horizontally or vertically.

But one of its best features for pool or boat days is the fact that it floats, a big plus if it happens to fall overboard (its IP67 rating means its completely waterproof). While this model is larger than the aforementioned waterproof Marshall Willen—making it less convenient to carry around—it sounded the best out of all the pipe-shaped speakers I tested.

Best Mini Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3

Battery life: Up to 14 hours | Weight: 0.9 pounds | Size: 4 x 4 x 3.7 inches| Mobile app: None | Water protection: Waterproof (IP67) | Connectivity: Bluetooth

  • Packing light
  • Days by the water, since it’s waterproof and floats
  • Anyone shopping on a budget
  • You want a Bluetooth speaker that’s app-compatible
  • You need to fill a large space with sound

The Wonderboom 3 is the BOOM 3’s little cousin that offers more portability thanks to its compact ball shape. While it’s smaller and lighter than most speakers (note: It’s slightly larger and heavier than the Marshall Willen), it’s just as durable and waterproof as its competition. In fact, it’s also built to withstand drops up to 5 feet, and yes—this one also floats.

The Wonderboom 3 produces 360-degree audio for up to 14 hours per charge. It also has an impressive wireless range of 131 feet. What I liked best about this speaker is how well it handles both music and dialogue. It’s worth noting that, unlike the BOOM 3, it does not sync to the brand’s app or connect to Wi-Fi. But, that’s a small sacrifice if you’re on a budget: Priced at around 100 (or less when on sale), it’s affordable to purchase, plus you can pair two of these speakers together to create genuine stereo sound.

Best Bluetooth Speaker For Entertaining

Sonos Move

Battery life: Up to 11 hours | Weight: 6.61 pounds | Size: 9.4 x 6.3 x 5 inches | Mobile app: Sonos | Water protection: Waterproof (IP56) | Connectivity: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi

  • Indoor/Outdoor entertaining
  • Durability in inclement weather
  • Excellent sound quality

In terms of design and power, the Sonos Move is like the Bose Portable Smart Speaker, although it’s a tad larger. It’s also a bit more durable, as it’s completely waterproof with an IP56 rating (as opposed to the water resistant Bose), plus it has a drop resistant design. Because of its bulkiness, it’s not the most portable pick, but it’s ideal for a patio area if you plan to make it a consistent fixture in your outdoor living or entertaining space. However, you can still easily move it about while enjoying its cordless function and 11-hour battery.

In terms of versatility, the Sonos Move is excellent for in-home use, too. During testing, it sounded great in a midsize room. It made music sound full and robust, with deep bass and clear mids and highs. It did a good job virtually upscaling mono sound to make it sound more immersive with 360-degree audio. I heard no dead spots (even though the speaker has a solid piece of plastic on its back) and it sounded best when I was several feet away from it.

Other Bluetooth Speakers I Tested

I tested five other products, many of which have strengths of their own, but ultimately didn’t rank at the top of the best Bluetooth speakers list.

Sonos Roam (179 at Sonos): This handheld, pipe-shaped Bluetooth speaker is waterproof and durable and weighs just 1 pound. Its battery life is up to 10 hours. In addition to recharging via a USB Type-C cable, Roam supports Qi wireless charging. This speaker missed top honors on this list due to its sound quality not quite living up to similar speakers from competing companies. Pop music sounded flat and tinny, which I found disappointing for a Sonos speaker. However, it sounded just fine for spoken dialogue content, and the Roam’s ability to connect directly to Wi-Fi is mighty convenient.

Bang Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen (280 at Best Buy): This Bluetooth speaker looks like an oversized hockey puck. On the plus side, it’s waterproof and has a long-lasting battery, which runs up to 18 hours. What I didn’t like, however, was its sound quality—especially when listening to music. The audio sounded thin, tinny and at times muddy. It did fine with podcasts and audiobooks, however. Weighing just 1.2 pounds, its circular design made it easy to carry around. The Beosound A1 did not garner a top pick because I expected a more powerful and robust sound from a Bang Olufsen product. The speaker has control buttons on its side, but it’s much easier to control from a mobile device or computer. When paired with a smartphone, you can use the Beosound A1 as a speakerphone—a task I found it handled well.

JBL Flip 6 (100 at Best Buy): Jumping on the trend of handheld, pipe-shaped speakers, the JBL Flip 6 stood out because its two-speaker system, with a separate tweeter and a bass radiator on either end, helps it produce loud audio without distortion. When you pair two Flip 6 speakers together using JBL PartyBoost, you achieve true stereo sound on an expanded soundstage. The speaker has a solid build and pleasing design, and it can produce impressive audio. It is safe for use near water, with an IP67 rating. I preferred how the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 made pop music sound compared to the JBL Flip 6; they were close, but the Boom 3 had an edge.

Treblab HD77 (90 from Treblab): This handheld, pipe-shaped speaker sounds good on its own, but when paired with a second speaker, it offers more immersive and authentic stereo sound. I liked this speaker’s aesthetic, with thin LED light bands on both ends of the speaker and a conical waterproof design (with an IPX6 rating). The HD77’s 360-degree audio with rich bass made it stand out whether I was enjoying music or dialogue. I preferred the audio quality from the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 (which has a similar design), but the clear sound and music produced by the HD77 came close.

Bose SoundLink Flex (149 on Amazon): After listening to the Bose Portable Smart Speaker, the smaller and less expensive Bose SoundLink Flex was less impressive. Its music sound quality didn’t come close to the larger Portable Smart Speaker, and it lagged behind other similarly sized models I tested. One convenient feature: No matter how you position the speaker, it automatically adjusts the audio to optimal settings. The battery lasts up to 12 hours. For listening to audiobooks or podcasts, the SoundLink Flex was fine, but I found better options for music.

How I Tested The Best Bluetooth Speakers

Many Bluetooth speakers—including ones reviewed here—produce audio in mono, not in stereo. Some use 360-degree audio technology to fill a room with richer sound. But unless you use two Bluetooth speakers together (a feature found in some of the models I reviewed), you’re not hearing genuine stereo—even though the audio may sound immersive and clear, with extra bass thrown in for good measure.

My testing included pairing each speaker with an Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max and streaming music from Apple Music and Spotify. To see how they sounded indoors, I evaluated the sound quality of each speaker from both five and 10 feet away. For those that produce 360-degree audio, I walked around the speaker as well. I also performed similar tests outside to see how they handled outdoor environments. Finally, for speakers that include a speakerphone mode, I tested factors like call clarity and volume.

My testing revealed that most of the smaller Bluetooth speakers fumbled when it came to playing music, sometimes becoming distorted and muddled (especially at higher volumes). Even so, these speakers were more than capable of audiobooks and podcasts.

Singer-songwriter and music producer Drew Ryan Scott sums up the role of these wireless speakers this way. “A Bluetooth speaker is a great option for a group of people who want to listen to music together within a room or outdoor space. But you’re going to miss out on some of the music production elements that the artists intended you to hear. I personally prefer this type of speaker for listening to audiobooks or podcasts.”

How To Choose A Bluetooth Speaker

With Bluetooth speakers, the key features to consider are size and weight of each speaker, its battery lift, durability (is it water resistant?)—and, of course, the audio quality.

Volume And Sound Quality

When choosing a Bluetooth speaker, think about the type of music and spoken audio you regularly listen to and how large of a space you need to fill with sound. Will you be using the speaker for solo listening sessions, or does it need to output enough volume for a large group?

Racy explains, “It’s important to consider how you will use it. For most people, portability is a big consideration, as is durability, water resistance and battery life. Just as important, however, is making sure that the speaker has the power to comfortably fill the space it will be used in.”

Furthermore, “As most speaker systems are pushed to their limit, they suffer from increased distortion,” Racy confirms. “This reduces the quality of your music. Make sure the speaker you purchase is loud enough to fill your space, without having to turn the volume all the way up.”

For example, while the Bose Portable Smart Speaker can easily fill a room with rich, 360-degree sound, the Marshall Willen—my other pick—cannot.

Size And Portability

Similar to volume, it’s also important to consider how you plan on using your Bluetooth speaker when deciding what size is best for you. How large of an area do you want to fill with sound? Are you planning on traveling with your speaker? Where are you hoping to take it? Choose a Bluetooth speaker with a size and weight that best fits your requirements.

Generally, the heftier the speaker, the more power it has to play loud music in large spaces. But if you’re willing to forgo stereo sound in favor of portability, a smaller and easier to carry speaker may be best. And if you plan to take a speaker into the pool or bathtub, the Ultimate Ears Boom 3 actually floats. All to say, it’s important to match the speaker’s features and functions with your primary intended use for it.

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Battery Life

Bluetooth speakers are battery-powered, meaning you don’t have to be tethered to an outlet to use them. Although this is great for portability, it adds another layer of complexity to consider when buying one. Our advice is to look for a Bluetooth speaker that lasts at least 10 hours between charges. Also, pay attention to how long it takes to recharge and if you can use it while recharging.

As for the ones on this list, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker lasts for up to 12 hours, while the Marshall Willen holds up a little longer at up to 15 hours on a single charge. If you’re looking for something that sports an even longer battery life, take a look at the Bang Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen. It runs up to 18 hours.

Durability And Waterproofing

Are you planning on using your Bluetooth speaker outside in the rain? What about by the pool? Either way, it’s best to take a look at the speaker’s IP (ingress protection) rating before you buy. We’ve provided a full explanation below, but for reference, the Bose Portable Smart Speaker is rated IPX4, indicating it’s water resistant to sprinkles and splashes; the Marshall Willen, Ultimate Ears Boom 3 and Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 3 are rated IP67, so they’re fully particle-proof and waterproof. The Sonos Move is also waterproof with an IP56 rating, but it’s not quite as durable as the aforementioned IP67 rated speakers.

My Expertise

I’m not new to testing audio gear: I’ve been covering consumer technology for more than 25 years for publications like AARP The Magazine. During my testing, I consulted with two experienced music industry professionals—Drew Ryan Scott (a singer-songwriter and multiplatinum music producer) and Eric Racy (a mixer and engineer who’s worked with artists like Katy Perry, Troye Sivan and Kelly Clarkson). We discussed what key features they look for when choosing a Bluetooth speaker and what to expect from the listening experience.

Aside from myself and the industry professionals I spoke with, the Forbes Vetted team are experts in gear and consumer technology. This testing was overseen by deputy editor Dave Johnson and consumer tech editor Rebecca Isaacs. Dave Johnson has been a technology journalist since the 1990s, testing and reviewing a ton of gear during his tenure, including everything from the best wireless earbuds and headphones to the top electric bikes. And, Rebecca Isaacs has robust experience writing about all things tech.

What Are Bluetooth Speakers Really Good For?

A Bluetooth speaker is a good choice for listening to music with other people or alone in a wet environment—like in a bathtub—when listening to high-fidelity audio in stereo is not essential. You can tote these speakers almost anywhere and don’t need earbuds or headphones to hear your favorite tunes.

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These speakers take seconds to set up and allow you to stream music from your mobile device, computer or a popular music streaming service. While some can handle music better than others, all the Bluetooth speakers I tested did well with streaming podcasts or audiobooks, and most filled a small indoor or outdoor space with clear audio for a small group to enjoy together.

What Is The Best Bluetooth Speaker For Sound Quality?

Any of the Bluetooth speakers I tested will do an impressive job playing audiobooks or podcasts. However, if you plan on listening to music, consider a portable Bluetooth speaker capable of producing either 360-degree or stereo sound. Another option is to consider a speaker that you can pair with a second speaker to achieve true stereo. Also consider if a speaker gives you full control over its audio EQ, or if it has audio presets to make whatever you’re listening to sound better.

Again, the best Bluetooth speaker for you depends on where you plan to use it, what type of audio you plan to listen to and how loud (and clear) you need the audio to be.

What Are IP Ratings?

This rating is a standard created by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) to evaluate a product’s ability to withstand dirt, dust and water. Here’s a breakdown of what these ratings mean.

In a two-digit IP rating, the first number refers to the speaker’s protection against solid objects like sand, dirt and dust, while the second number indicates the protection against water. When it comes to protection against solid objects, the score goes up to six. The higher the number, the more sand, dirt and dust the speaker can withstand. You’ll notice that some ratings show as IPX. This means that the speaker wasn’t tested against solid objects.

Now for the second number (or the first after “IPX”). This score can fall between zero and eight. A “1” means that the speaker has protection against water drops, so it’s water-resistant (not waterproof), while an “8” means the speaker can be temporarily submerged in water up to 13 feet without causing damage.

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