Best Bluetooth speakers in 2019: review and buying tips

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Best Bluetooth speakers in 2019: review and buying tips 1

There was a time when Bluetooth speakers were like jelly beans: they were cheap, they all looked the same and they always had dubious qualities. The time has changed. All the major audio manufacturers have at least one model on the market today, and most have several. If you don't listen to the Bluetooth speakers lately, you will get a very nice surprise.

Bluetooth Speaker Cheat Sheet

Industry progress does not mean that every Bluetooth speaker justifies the price, no matter how cheap it is. There are still a lot of rickshaws hanging around. Don't worry, we're here to help you avoid junk and direct you to the best speakers at a price range that fits your budget.

  

For this reason, we have selected the best Bluetooth speakers (and runners-up in some cases) in six categories: Budget, Midrange (up to $ 300), Outdoor, Shelving, High-end (up to $ 750), and: Yes, there are Bluetooth speakers from ultra high-end: the price does not matter. Some of our options can be used inside and outside, but we have also named our favorites that were designed especially as an external speaker.

Updated September 3, 2019 to add to our review of the Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation all-in-one audio system. This high-end device is more than a Bluetooth speaker, but if you're on a budget, it's the best Bluetooth speaker we've evaluated to date.

The best cheap Bluetooth speakers

Second place winner

Aukey SK-S1 Bluetooth Speaker

These Bluetooth speakers are designed to look good on your desk, not in a pool. This also sounds pretty good at low volumes. Considering the price and function of the speaker phone, it is the perfect audio equipment for the workplace.

Aukey SK-S1 doesn't have all the features, nor the audio power, our best choice in this category, but it is a designed and attractive short-range speaker that is mainly made of metal, where you are likely to find ABS plastic. And that sounds really good, at least until you push it to the limit. It was not the right option to fill the room, and it was completely unprotected from the weather, but it was a big problem for the money,

The best mid-priced Bluetooth speaker

The best Bluetooth speaker for bookshelf

The best high-end Bluetooth speakers

The best outdoor Bluetooth speaker

Second place winner

The best prices for Bluetooth speakers are unlimited

Naim Mu-so Generation para-2

Naim Audio Mu-so 2nd Generation is an expensive home audio solution, but it is very capable, very flexible, and sounds like heaven.

Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation is, of course, more than just Bluetooth speakers. Naim Mu-so has a dual-band Wi-Fi adapter, so you can use it in a multi-room audio system with other Naim components, all speakers that support the technology Apple AirPlay 2, or whatever supports Chromecast. You can play music on a connected USB storage device and you can connect to a UPnP server on your network. This is Roon Ready too. Finally, it is compatible with Spotify Connect and you can stream music from Tidal without leaving the Naim app. Oh, and it's capable of decoding high-resolution music that's encoded with up to 32-bit resolution and at sampling rates of up to 384 kHz. All of that and that sounds amazing.

Second place winner

Features to look for in a Bluetooth speaker

Not sure if the option we mentioned above is right for you? This guide will help you sort through facts, figures, and specifications to determine which speaker best suits your needs. Your first decision is to choose between cellular and stationary factors. Most Bluetooth speakers are portable because they are paired with mobile phones, but more and more manufacturers are introducing models designed to stay indoors.

Choosing a portable model offers you the best of both worlds in some ways, but stationary speakers are best suited to match your home décor. And while we've heard some pretty spectacular portable Bluetooth speakers, plug-in models are more likely to produce the sound you're looking for if loyalty is a priority in your book.

These are the characteristics that you want to evaluate in the Bluetooth speakers:

IOS and Android apps give you additional functionalities like EQ, alarm clock mode and pairing

Application support: Companion apps can provide many additional speaker features that are not possible with the physical speaker buttons alone. This application allows more than one person to DJ, queue songs to play on the speakers. An app can let you create special EQ curves for various styles of music, create a wake-up alarm, or turn the speaker on and off remotely.

aptX support: Bluetooth audio must be pressed to flow over the airwaves, and the default codec uses lossy compression that removes some of the music data. The Qualcomm QualX codec is lossless, so no musical details are lost in the process. But aptX must be on both ends of the stream, on the playback device and on the speakers. However, most Android devices are aptX compatible. Apple The device does not.

aptX HD support: This version of Qualcomm codec supports high resolution audio files, but now it is difficult to find even in high-end Bluetooth speakers. Like its siblings, codecs must be compatible with audio sources and speakers for them to work.

Battery: In addition to loyalty, the most important characteristic of a portable speaker is how long it can work when it is not plugged into the wall. You should expect the battery to last 10-20 hours, but remember that the bigger the battery, the heavier the speaker.

Sound Blaster Roar 2

Loading options: If your speaker has a battery, it must be charged. Speakers that charge their batteries through a USB port are more comfortable than models that require an AC adapter, but larger batteries may not offer that option. Some speakers also allow you to plug in a USB cable to take advantage of your batteries and charge your smartphone.

DSP: The built-in Digital Signal Processor (DSP) allows you to electronically change the way speakers are pushed to compensate for speaker placement or the acoustic properties of your room, among others.

Installation options and accessories.: Portable speakers should be easy to transport. While some Bluetooth speakers depend on their size for easy holding, others provide lanyards, carabiner clips, or straps. This is even more practical when the manufacturer provides standard plugs and accessories to connect speakers to an object, such as the handlebars of your bicycle.

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Some portable Bluetooth speakers are small enough that you can hold them in your hand, but this provides a thread holder for you to connect it to

Speaker: Some Bluetooth speakers have an internal microphone that allows you to use the speaker as a speaker along with your smartphone. The sound quality will be much better than what you will get from your cell phone, and you can turn up the volume much louder. This can be very useful for conference calls.

Stereo pair: Some speakers allow you to make a left / right stereo pair with two speakers (this works best, of course, when both speakers are identical).

The weather: Portable Bluetooth speakers can be used inside and outside, so the best model provides protection against its elements. Ideally, the manufacturer will tell you how much protection you can expect by giving an IP (International Protection) mark. The first digit classifies the protection of the enclosure against the particle (for example, dust) and the second digit classifies the protection against the liquid.

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The IP64 code, for example, shows that the speaker is completely protected from dust (6) and splashed water (4). The higher the number, the more protection an expert can have. If one of the digits is replaced with X – IPX4, for example – the code shows that the speaker is not rated for protection against particles (this does not necessarily mean that it is do not protected from things like dust, it's just that the manufacturer doesn't judge your protection.)

Wifi: The higher priced Bluetooth speakers also offer the option to connect to your Wi-Fi network, so you can stream music from the NAS box. Wi-Fi streaming will offer greater loyalty than Bluetooth, even if the speaker supports aptX codecs. A speaker that provides a default network connection is even more flexible.

Wireless range: The range of a Bluetooth speaker depends on the power class of the radio, and can vary greatly and depend on the environment in which it operates. Radio class 1 offers a range of approximately 100 meters, but the number of walls between the Bluetooth source and the speaker and the type of material on the wall will have a significant impact on the range. Radio waves are much easier to get through drywall than rocks, for example. Objects in the signal path, such as large metal equipment, will further reduce that range.

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