The 7 Best Portable Bluetooth Wireless Speakers to Buy in 2017

Take your music on-the-go with these portable wireless speakers

It can be hard to know where to start when buying a Bluetooth-wireless speaker, since aspects such as portability, price, audio quality, and features all need to be factored into the decision. And there is a lot to choose from out there. So we've gone ahead and compiled a list of Bluetooth speakers that are sure to please, no matter what you're looking for!

If you want to skip all the extra reading and just go for our top recommendation, it's none other than the UE Roll 2 Bluetooth speaker. This unit is highly portable, IPX7-rated waterproof, shockproof (the company encourages you to try and prove them wrong), and touts an extraordinary wireless range of 100 ft (30 m) – essentially triple that of your standard Bluetooth audio device.

Sure, the shape is different from most anything you've ever seen, but that didn't stop Ultimate Ears from packing a two-inch driver and a pair of 3/4-inch tweeters inside. Not only can this speaker blast tunes in 360-degrees up to 85 dBA, it can do so for up to nine hours before requiring a recharge. Considering the convenience of its built-in, marine-grade bungee cord, you can hang or strap the UE Roll 2 to bikes, bars, and backpacks for all-day audio.

The UE Roll 2 gains additional features with the mobile app, available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets. You can pair together two Ultimate Ears speakers, either in stereo or just for double the sound. The app also offers a 5-band equalizer (EQ controls) as well as alarm functionality. Best of all, the UE Roll 2 comes with its own inflatable flotation device so it can hang out with you in lakes, pools, or even the bathtub. And at a US$100 MSRP, most should find the UE Roll 2 quite affordable.

The Bongo Bluetooth speaker by Otis & Eleanor is one of the most uniquely-personalized portable speakers on the market. The entire device is encased in smooth, 100 percent natural bamboo with a vintage hemp linen speaker cloth. This is certainly the kind of speaker that stands out from all the other plastic-constructed ones out there.

Classic in design, the Bongo Bluetooth speaker streams music over Bluetooth for up to 15 hours per charge, via the included micro USB cable. Users can also connect devices with a 3.5 mm audio cable. Underneath the bamboo shell lies two 1.75-inch isolated passive bass radiators in the rear as well as a pair of 1.5-inch powered drivers made with "rare earth magnets." 

Like other portable Bluetooth speakers on the market, the Bongo features speakerphone functionality for hands-free phone calls. Measuring only 6.6 x 2 x 2.7 in and weighing a mere 1.4 lb, it's an easy thing to stuff in bags or carry. As for choice, the Otis & Eleanor Bongo is available in 15 different designs. Each one sports unique colors and a name, such as "Ankara" or "Oslo," that nods to the world's diversity. And at under $100, the stylishly designed Bongo  is a deal.

The VicTsing Vtin is our pick for a wireless Bluetooth speaker on a budget. It’s a deceptively powerful little Bluetooth speaker that is also waterproof and dustproof, all under $25. When it comes to design, the Vtin has a distinctive hexagon shape and is made from a combination of plastic, aluminum mesh and silicone for extra durability. The outside of the unit has buttons for power, previous track, next track, volume up, volume down and play/pause. For inputs, there’s a USB charging socket and an AUX port. The battery lasts up to seven hours on a single charge, too, so you don’t have to worry about charging it every time you use it.

But how does it sound? Amazon reviewers have been mostly happy with the device’s sound quality and said it gets plenty loud in the shower, the most common place this speaker was used. A few have complained that they received defective units, but they said they received a new, working unit quickly after letting VicTsing know about the problem. This model has a 12-month warranty, so you should be covered if you happen to get an uncommon lemon.

The Anker SoundCore Nano Bluetooth speaker takes portability to the next level. This thing is practically a keychain charm or Xmas tree ornament, given its teeny size. At 2.1 x 2.1 x 1.1 in and 2.9 oz, you could stuff one (maybe two?) Anker SoundCore Nano in a front shirt pocket and still have room to spare!

Anker is known for making some fine products; just because the SoundCore Nano Bluetooth speaker is cost-effective doesn't necessarily mean it's also "cheap." The exterior is milled out of an aluminum alloy, which is great for looks and durability. And although the Anker SoundCore Nano could hide in a cupped palm, it still manages to pack a 3 W driver, noise-cancelling microphone, and battery that can play for up to four hours per full charge.

Each Anker SoundCore Nano Bluetooth speaker comes with a hand strap, a micro USB charging cable, and a micro USB to auxiliary cable for analog connections. Although there's nothing too fancy with it, you can expect to have louder, better quality audio versus the diminutive speakers found in most mobile devices. And while not quite as economical as the VicTsing, most shouldn't have a problem affording $49 MSRP for an Anker SoundCore Nano speaker.

Although some speakers are able to go the distance in terms of total playtime, it's hard to beat the whopping 50 hours (at low volume) of the Minirig speaker. That's four days worth of nonstop music – you're more likely to put your entire playlist on repeat before having to charge the speaker back up! Most people can expect around 30 hours of audio at moderate volume levels, which is still quite incredible.

Don't let this speaker's short, cylindrical shape fool you. While it may comes across as elegant and stylish, it's actually quite tough (the company says it's nearly indestructible). The Minirig Bluetooth speaker's chassis is made out of machined aluminum and polycarbonate, It also features IPX4-rated water-resistance (splashes, no dunking), so this is definitely a speaker you can bring along outside.

The Minirig Bluetooth speaker offers a few other appreciable perks, such as USB charging (the included cable allows for passthrough charging, too), Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX support, and 3.5 mm analog input/output. You can daisy-chain multiple Minirig speakers to play together (either via Bluetooth or audio cable) by simply connecting cables from one to the next. At a $190 MSRP, the Minirig Bluetooth speaker costs a little more than others out there, but it's definitely worth the splurge.

The Riva S Bluetooth speaker may not look like much, but it's the hardware inside that counts. Those who appreciate having the best sound coming from a portable package should definitely consider what Riva Audio has to offer. This speaker features a whopping seven drivers – three 40 mm wide-bandwidth active drivers and four low-frequency passive radiators – along with a three-channel 30-watt amplifier.

When it comes to fidelity, this well-tuned speaker blows away most of the competition in similar price/size brackets. The Riva S is able to deliver full, clear, open sound that expresses a remarkable amount of texture and detail. Unlike other speakers that overly boost the bass, the Riva S maintains an even-handed balance that also doesn't sacrifice depth. However, despite its sonic strengths, the Riva S isn't the loudest or longest-lasting Bluetooth speaker out there.

Volume and battery life aside, the Riva S offers other attractive features. It has a phono mode, so you can play vinyl LPs directly from a turntable. Bluetooth with aptX support offers "CD-like quality" for those who enjoy lossless audio music. This speaker is also IPX4-rated water-resistant, able to charge mobile devices, allows hands-free voice conversations, and can even even stereo pair with another unit (via mobile app). The $249 MSRP for the Riva S may seem steep to some, but it's money well spent. Plus, you get all the accessories you need, including a nylon carrying case!

Sometimes a basic Bluetooth speaker isn’t enough. Sometimes you want it to do everything. If that sounds like you, let us recommend the Creative Sound Blaster Roar Pro, a marvelous, but somewhat expensive speaker with tons of features.

This speaker earns the “Pro” part of its name, as it includes an audio recorder, microSD card reader, battery bank, built-in MP3 player and Bluetooth speakerphone. It can even turn into a personal PA system if you also buy the Creative iRoar Mic (Buy on Amazon). Now let’s talk sound quality. The Sound Blaster Roar Pro supports standard audio codes like MP3, as well as high-quality codecs such as ptX low latency, aptX and AAC, so you can play really great-sounding tunes. And there’s a switch on the back that lets you toggle between three audio profiles: warm, neutral and energetic. The battery lasts about 10 hours on a single charge and can be recharged using an included microUSB cable. While this speaker isn’t cheap, it will satisfy those who want the swiss army knife of Bluetooth speakers.


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