The best Bluetooth speakers still have a place near and dear to our hearts, even as we’ve seen better (and more portable) smart speakers creeping into the universe.
It’s fun and easy to ask an Amazon Echo or Google Nest speaker to play your favorite track or tell you the weather, but smart speakers have a few crutches—first and foremost, stable Wi-Fi. By (mostly) forgoing voice assistants and Wi-Fi radios, Bluetooth speakers gain portability, with the ability to venture outside of your house and withstand rugged conditions like the sandy beach or the steamy Airbnb jacuzzi. They’ll also work with any smartphone, and they sound as good as their smart-speaker equivalents.
We’ve tested hundreds of models in the past few years, and we can happily say they are still some of the best small devices you can listen to. Here are our favorites right now.
Updated June 2022: We’ve added the Positive Grid Spark Mini, and information about the upcoming KEF LSX II Wireless.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you’d like). Subscriptions help fund the work we do every day.