Bluetooth speakers are some of the most popular speakers on the market, and the number of people using them grows daily. With major audio brands launching new designs and essential features, it's getting harder to decide which Bluetooth speakers might be the best option for your device. Especially since most Bluetooth speakers are compatible with just about any device you could own.
Top names in Bluetooth Speakers Comparison Table
Bose SoundLink Color Bluetooth Speaker
UE BOOM Wireless Bluetooth Speaker
Here are a few of the top names in Bluetooth speakers. You can't go wrong with any of these.
JBL (James Bullough Lansing)
James Bullough Lansing (JBL) has been one of the top brands when it comes to portable speakers. Most of their models are on the top list of best Bluetooth speakers reviews like CNET, TechRadar, and The Verge. Their best selling models include JBL Pulse, JBL Charge, and JBL Flip.
Bose Corporation has been extensively manufacturing professional audio quality for quite some time. Back in 2012, the company ranked as the third top-grossing sellers of portable speakers. Their speakers are at the top of the review list in both the Telegraph and CNET. Their top models are Bose Soundlink Mini, Soundlink Revolve, and Soundlink Color.
Ultimate Ears (UE)
Ultimate Ears (UE), a rising star in the world of portable and beast-mode speakers, have 360-degree surround sound and the Alexa feature (a voice command software) on their speakers. Since they are particularly new in the industry of making speakers, their line-up always amazes tech gurus with what features they can offer on the market. You can check their top products like Wonderboom, Megaboom, Boom, Roll, Megablast, and Blast.
Wireless speakers have improved the music streaming experience since day one. And with the continuing enhancement of the technology, we developed uses for these mini speakers beyond just listening to songs. Using voice commands, you can search online, or enhance your audio conferencing and more.
However, a Bluetooth speaker is not the only wireless speaker that provides portability. Among other wireless connections, there are Wi-fi, NFC (Near Field Communication), Airplay, and WDNA (Wireless DNA) that are available as well.
Are Bluetooth Speakers Superior to Wi-Fi Speakers?
Wi-Fi speakers and Bluetooth speakers are the top competing category regarding compact speakers. That is because most devices have this technology. Both offer the same portability as well. However, they do differ in many ways.
Based on Griffin's comparison between Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Wi-Fi covers a broader range of connection compared to Bluetooth. Wi-Fi may be better than its counterpart in its audio quality, as Bluetooth technology has to translate data into sound differently than Wi-Fi does, but newer Bluetooth speaker models have enhanced audio quality and are already on par with Wi-Fi.
Additionally, not all Wi-Fi speakers are battery operated and would need an AC adaptor. Wi-Fi might be more complicated to setup compared with Bluetooth since some home networks are password protected. Another downside with Wi-Fi networks is their accessibility. Connecting your speakers requires aWi-Fi network, and this may only be suitable if you use them indoors or where there is an available home network. Compatibility can also be an issue like pairing an Apple device with Android. Additionally, most Wi-Fi speakers cost more than Bluetooth speakers.
If portability and budget-friendly are your primary criteria, then choosing a Bluetooth speaker is the best option.
Purchasing a Bluetooth speaker requires some research, especially if you want to use the best Bluetooth speakers. And pairing them down takes time because the same features are available on many different models, in addition to each one having its unique features.
To save you time, first, you need to assess the primary reason why you opt to buy a Bluetooth speaker. What activities do you want to do with your wireless speaker? Where do you regularly use it? These are important questions for you to consider, as are some of the cool add-on features, as well as the looks, and its sound quality.
For instance, outdoor Bluetooth speakers may seem cooler than the indoor speakers. Having a speaker, you can submerge in a pool and it still works well would be a plus. You can't opt out on a few indoor Bluetooth speakers if they offer superior sound quality and if you usually will use them indoors. Or perhaps, you use portable speakers for your yoga class, and your venue is generally near a beach. You probably should opt for a speaker that produces a higher volume, and the loudest Bluetooth speakers you usually find are on the outdoor Bluetooth models.
To choose the best Bluetooth speaker, you should use these features as your guide.
So how do you know if the speaker has good or excellent sound quality? There are several key factors to measure quality sound.
First, you need to know the speaker’s signal-to-ratio or SNR value. SNR measures the signal’s strength compared to its interfering signals like microwave, Wi-Fi, or mobile phones. These signal interferences create a static sound or a hum. S/R gives you the idea of how loud of a sound your wireless speaker can produce. The lower the number in decibels (dB) the poorer sound quality it provides, and a higher value creates an excellent sound. In Spinditty’s post, an 85-90 dB gives an impressive audio quality, while 84 dB and below provides lower quality sound.
Next, the frequency response will tell you on how high or low a wireless speaker sound will go. If you want to know the bass quality, it is measured in Hertz (Hz). High pitch sound or high treble is measured in kiloHertz (KHz). According to Cedia, a human ear can normally hear 20Hz to 20KHz of frequency.
Since Bluetooth speakers are compact and made to be small, you may also want to consider how much power they can handle, which is specified in Watts (W). The Watts value in a Bluetooth speaker’s specification identifies the volume capacity it can process before the speakers get damaged. Good quality Bluetooth speakers can handle 10-20 watts.
Bluetooth speakers are made to work wirelessly. When looking at Bluetooth speakers, you must consider the battery life. Nowadays, manufacturers can produce wireless speakers that can last eight to 12 hours of playback time, and some up to 24 hours.
Its battery capacity differs primarily in the type of battery a wireless speaker has. Depending on your preference and its availability, you can choose from the traditional AA or AAA battery to lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
With built-in batteries, a typical wireless speaker can charge from one and a half hours up to three and a half hours. You can charge them with a USB port so you can plug them into a laptop or a power bank. In newer technology, Bluetooth speakers support wireless charging technology.
Connecting Bluetooth speakers to other devices should be hassle-free and easy. Knowing the best Bluetooth technology saves you the hassle of troubleshooting to pair these devices.
Bluetooth connectivity has power classes that range in the strength it can connect to your device. The most reliable connection has a capacity of 100mW (20dBm) that usually reaches as far as 100 feet. On the other hand, 1mW (0dBm) is the least and can only reach up to one foot.
An additional tip, most Bluetooth speaker users, also buy a Bluetooth splitter and transmitter so they can use two Bluetooth speakers at the same time.
Weight and size
Depending on how you want to use your Bluetooth speaker, for some, size and weight matter. Portability is one of the major factors why you want to choose Bluetooth speakers in the first place. And when it comes to portability, it may mean how easy and comfortable it is to carry these anywhere you go. However, no matter how light you want to consider your Bluetooth speakers to be, checking on its audio quality should still be the topmost priority on your list.
Outdoor Bluetooth speakers
Another item to consider is whether you need outdoor Bluetooth speakers compared to indoor Bluetooth speakers.
If you like to use wireless speaker outdoors, the best outdoor speakers are not just the loudest Bluetooth speakers, but they should also be crafted for durability. Most outdoor wireless speakers are also weatherproof or water resistant. They come in handy when you use them near a beach or pool, and even if they get wet, they still work well.
Smart Bluetooth speakers now come with voice recognition technology. You can operate your Bluetooth speakers with voice control. Paired with an app on your smartphone, streaming music, checking news updates, and even ordering online has been made easy with its voice control feature.
Tap gestures are also available on some Bluetooth devices. These wireless speakers respond to different gestures for you to control your streaming experience. The best way to use this gestured-feature on speakers is usually indoors.
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