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Best Overall: JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker at Amazon
"It’s small and has IPX7 water resistance means it can be dropped in up to 3 feet of water and survive."
Runner-Up, Best Overall: Tribit MaxSound Plus Bluetooth Speaker at Amazon
"The sound quality is high and better than you might expect at its mid-range price point."
Best Splurge: Bose Home Speaker 500 with Alexa Voice Control at Amazon
"It fills the room with wall-to-wall stereo sound, despite it being a single speaker."
Best With Lightning Dock: iHome iPL24 Radio and Speakers at Amazon
"Listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts from your Apple device with loud and pristine sound."
Runner-Up, Best With Lightning Dock: iHome iPL8XHG at Amazon
"It can play FM radio stations, six of which you can program for easy access."
Best Party Speaker: Sony SRS-XB41 Portable Wireless at Amazon
"Lets you connect it to up to 100 other speakers of the same model."
Best Budget: Soundance SDY019 Wireless at Amazon
"Can play FM radio stations, has a 3.5mm audio line in, and has a USB port you can charge from."
Best for Portability: Tribit 24W Portable Waterproof Speaker at Amazon
"Compact, completely waterproof with an IPX7 rating, and can play for 20 hours continuously."
Courtesy of Amazon
The JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth Portable Stereo Speaker has a classic “pill” speaker design that is wide and narrow, plus it’s small and has IPX7 water resistance, which means it can be dropped in up to three feet of water. Music plays in crisp stereo sound that can fill an apartment or one section of a house. You can connect two iPhones (or other phones) to the speaker via Bluetooth, so you can take turns playing music, and if you’re feeling really ambitious, you can connect multiple Flip 4 speakers together to create an even bigger sound.
Its 3,000 mAh lithium-ion battery capacity means you can charge up and have up to 12 hours of play time no matter where you bring it. If you need to personalize the device for you, you can get it in black, blue, camouflage, gray, red, ocean blue, and teal.
We’re fans of the Tribit speaker brand, and one of the newest and most powerful models they offer is the MaxSound Plus Portable Bluetooth Speaker. It looks similar to other black “pill” Bluetooth speakers, but this model will catch your ear before it catches your eye. The sound quality is high here and better than you might expect at its mid-range price point, with clear treble, warm mids, and loud bass when you push the XBass button.
It offers up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge, so you can probably host multiple parties with it. One other selling point is the great wireless range, so when you pair your iPhone or iPod touch with it via Bluetooth, it can continue to play uninterrupted with lossless wireless sound at a range of 100 feet. All in all, the speaker is affordable and well suited for just about anyone, whether you’re an audiophile or a casual music fan.
The most high-end option on our list is the Bose Home Speaker 500, one of the best home speakers you can buy today. Bose has been making high-quality audio products since 1964 and the Home Speaker 500 follows in that tradition. It fills the room with wall-to-wall stereo sound, despite it being a single speaker. It can connect seamlessly with iPhones or iPods via Bluetooth or it can alternately play music directly from many music and radio services including Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and more.
Additionally, it has Amazon’s Alexa service built-in, which means you can ask Alexa to play millions of songs from various streaming services. Finally, you can connect the device to your iPhone by downloading the Bose Music app, where you can sort and control all the music in your life.
Only a handful of speakers these days have an Apple lightning port attached to them, which lets you dock your iPhone or iPod on top of the speaker. These units were all the rage in the past but not so much today, with simple Bluetooth speakers and smart speakers being the hot items. While the iHome iPL24 Radio and Speakers might represent the past in a way, they are one of the best speakers that can dock iPhones and iPods. You can listen to music, audiobooks, or podcasts from your Apple device with loud and pristine sound. There’s a clock on the front face that lets you know what time it is, so you don’t have tap your iPhone all the time. These speakers have an alarm clock and can program 6 FM stations if you’re not feeling your iPhone jams. Another nifty thing about the iPL24 is that it charges your iPhone or iPod while it plays (or doesn’t play) music, meaning the device is perfect for the bedroom.
Like other speakers with an Apple Lightning port, the iHome iPL8XHG is part of a dying breed due to the popularity of cheap Bluetooth speakers and smart speakers full of bells and whistles. But if you’re part of the crowd that wants both a speaker and alarm clock that can dock your iPhone or iPod, the iPL8XHG is one of the best you can get. On top of connecting to your iOS device to play music or other audio entertainment, it can also play FM radio stations, six of which you can program for easy access. On of the front of the device, you’ll find a clock that has its time synced to your iPhone to make sure it is super accurate.
Its twin speakers deliver as much sound as you need, whether it’s soft tones for getting you to sleep or loud volume to help you get moving. The iPL7XHG also has an extra bass boost, so if you love hip-hop, dance, or other bass-heavy tunes, this speaker has you covered.
When it comes to rocking the party, the Sony SRS-XB41 Bluetooth speaker has little competition. This party in a small package has lots of features to rival most other Bluetooth speakers, including that is it waterproof and dustproof (meaning you can take it just about anywhere including the pool) and that it has flashing strobe lights (so you can turn any room into a fun scene). The outside design makes it clear that this speaker is meant to bring to a party as well from its playful color schemes, with all four models featuring at least three colors.
Battery life is good and you can get up to 24 hours of sound with no lights on or up to 14 hours with “extra bass” and lights on. The coolest thing that the Sony SRS-XB41 lets you do is connect it to up to 100 other speakers of the same model so you can create an immersive club anywhere via your speakers.
The Soundance SDY019 Wireless FM Radio and Bluetooth Speaker can connect your iPhone or iPod touch to via Bluetooth. Despite its price, the Soundance has a premium and unique look with a trapezoidal shape. On the front face is an LED display that shows the time and the top of the device has six control buttons. It comes in three color schemes — all black, all red, and black with touches of red — so you can pick one that suits your personality.
On the inside, there are two powerful speakers to provide clean sound with deep bass that can fill a room. When it comes to functions, the SDY019 can do a lot — on top of Bluetooth connectivity, it can play FM radio stations, has a 3.5mm audio line in, and has a USB port you can charge from. It can also go portable if you want to as well, with eight hours of battery life when unplugged from the wall. All in all, this speaker does a lot in a little and well-priced package.
When portability is your top priority in a Bluetooth speaker for your iPhone or iPod touch, the Tribit 24W Portable Bluetooth Speaker should be one of the top items you consider. First, the speaker prides itself on its sound quality, with a 360-degree auditory experience with “crisp treble, detailed mids, and resonating bass” and you can get even more bass by pressing the XBass button.
Second, we love the simple black design, which looks like an upright cylinder that resembles popular smart speakers, but then add in nylon coverings and strong fabric to add durability. But the thing we love the most is the portability and versatility, as it is compact, completely waterproof with an IPX7 rating, and can play for 20 hours continuously thanks to its 5,200 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery.