Best portable Bluetooth speakers for your iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Want a portable speaker for all your Apple devices? Look no further!
Portable Bluetooth speakers are one of the best ways to listen to your favorite tunes, podcasts, and other audio everywhere you go. As long as your iPhone, iPad, or Mac is around, your music can ring out loud and proud. There are a ton of options on the market at various price points, giving you the opportunity to find the speaker right for you. Here are some of our favorites.
Looking for AirPlay speakers instead? If you want to take advantage of Apple’s AirPlay feature, check out our picks for the best AirPlay speakers.
UE Boom 2
Living up to its onomatopoeic name, the UE Boom 2 is an impressive option for Bluetooth audio lovers, offering 360-degree sound in a truly portable package. This speaker ends up on lots of best Bluetooth speaker lists — and for a good reason.
The Boom 2 is water-resistant, allowing it to be submerged in 3 feet of water for 30 minutes and come out just fine. It’s also protected against dirt and mud, but won’t repel those substances — though you can hand wash the speaker if it gets too messy.
Asking around on Twitter, I got plenty of responses from people telling me the UE Boom 2 was there favorite purchase of all time.
— Peter Nõu (@dkmj) January 17, 2017
UE Boom 2’s battery will last you approximately 15 hours of playing time and has a Bluetooth range of 100 feet outdoors, giving you more than enough time and space to enjoy all the sounds you want to hear. Plus, if you find yourself lacking the volume you want from just one UE Boom 2, you have the option to set up another to make a stereo pair and raise the roof.
The UE Boom 2 also has the added pleasure of a controller app that can you can use to skip songs, adjust volume, and pause music — all without having to touch the speaker.
Fugoo’s portable Bluetooth speaker is designed for multiple environments, offering three different casings you can use to hide its inner workings — but it’s the Sport sleeve that offers the most versatile experiences.
What separates the Fugoo from its competition is its 40-hour battery life: This little speaker will keep jamming for days, whether you’re sitting by the pool or on a camping trip. And speaking of the pool, the Fugoo has an IP67 water- and dust-resistance rating, allowing you to play music near (or in) water. (Of course, it won’t sound great under water given the whole physics of sound waves, but it’s doable.)
When it comes to sound quality, the Fugoo has six drivers inside its chassis: two 28mm tweeters, two 39mm mid/woofers, and two 43mm x 54mm passive radiators spread out across all four sides; this construction gives you clear, well-balanced 360-degree sound from a small speaker.
Sony has a whole line of Bluetooth speakers that vary in size, but when noting the best portable speakers, it would be a shame to forget about the SRS-X55.
Let’s get to the most important part of any speaker: sound quality. It works on a 2.1 channel system, offering a dedicated driver for bass to deliver clear lows without muddling the rest of the soundscape.
Sony had functionality on the brain when designing the SRS-X55: Not only does it work with Bluetooth, but it also has NFC compatibility and a standard 3.5-millimeter jack for AUX input. On top of that, Sony has also thrown in a USB port to let you charge your phone or tablet on the go: This makes the SRS-X55 one of the more versatile Bluetooth speakers out there. Combine that with 10 hours of playing time, and you have a portable Bluetooth speaker that keeps pumping out the jams well into the night.
Riva Turbo X
The Riva Turbo X is often overlooked due to its slightly higher price point, but fans of the Riva Turbo X will tell you to look twice.
When it comes to portability, the Riva Turbo X is a tad on the big side; however, when it comes to power, the Riva Turbo X is the real deal. The Wirecutter was quick to mention how sleek and sturdy the design is, citing it as “refined and elegant-looking.”
If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker to blow the doors off your place, the Riva Turbo X will have you smiling — and probably covering your ears.
Bose Soundlink III
Bose has always focused on excellent sound quality in its speakers, and that mantra continues with the Soundlink III. Whether you listen to your music directly from your iPhone via AUX input or you send audio wirelessly via Bluetooth, the sound quality is truly impeccable. And, at only two pounds, the Soundlink III feels very light for its size, so it’s not a pain to lug around.
Although the Soundlink III doesn’t have the ability to charge via micro-USB and lacks fancier features you might see in other portable Bluetooth speakers, the sheer performance in regard to sound quality is excellent. The bass that pumps out of this small speaker is incredible: The low-end tones always sound warm and full — even at high volume, which can typically be a problem for speakers this size. Also, if you love blasting your music as loud as possible, the Soundlink III delivers in spades, perfect for keeping the party bumping!
You’ll get about 14 hours of playing time from the Soundlink III before needing to charge it. Carrying the Bose name is usually reflected in the price, but the quality you see in the Soundlink III makes the price tag of $299 a little easier to swallow.
UE Roll 2
The UE Roll 2 has a neat orb-style design meant to follow you wherever you go — even, thanks to its water-resistance rating, the shower. Plus, it also comes with a little life preserver that allows it to float if you plan on bringing it to a pool party.
The sound on this tiny guy is impressive, even moreso if you pair another UE Roll 2 to it for surround sound. It has an app you can download to completely control playback, letting you control it from afar — and with an outdoor Bluetooth range of 100 feet, you may want it.
This is Wirecutter’s top pick in their portable Bluetooth speaker roundup, citing its versatility and portability as key selling points.
“The UE Roll 2 sounds full, with smooth reproduction of everything from bass notes to cymbals, and it plays loud enough to fill a hotel room or a spot at the beach with sound.”
Make no mistake: The UE Roll 2 won’t stand up in sound quality to some of the other more expensive entries here, but for only $99 you get a great little speaker that you can take with you everywhere.
The VTIN Royaler is a personal favorite: I’ve been using it for three months for all my office audio, and I’m pleasantly impressed — both by its quality and $59 price tag.
The Royaler looks and feels great, which can be a concern due to price. Its aluminum alloy housing feels sturdy and well-constructed, and it gives the whole speaker a nice polished look that looks great sitting next to my Mac.
Secondly, the sound quality is reliable: The VTIN Royaler comes equipped with two 10-watt drivers and a passive radiator for the bass, and while it won’t outperform the higher-end speakers on this list, it still delivers great everyday sound. The bass is impressive as well, sounding warm and controlled in tone even through the heaviest of metal, though at its highest volume setting you may find a slight buzzing from the low-end tones.
I couldn’t leave the Amazon Tap off this list because you’re not going to find a more useful Bluetooth speaker.
On top of being powered by Dolby Audio and offering 306-degree sound, the Amazon Tap has Alexa. You simply have to tap the speaker and ask Alexa to play Spotify, Pandora, iHeartRadio, you name it, and it starts playing instantly. Plus, if you’re using the Tap at home (or anywhere with a Wi-FI connection) Alexa becomes even more useful.
The Amazon Tap will give you nine hours of playback time on a single charge, and it comes with a nice charging cradle that keeps it upright and looking great even when it’s refilling its tank.
What do you use?
Do you have a bluetooth speaker you love? Tell us in the comments below!
Updated August 2017: I’ve added the Riva Turbo X to the list for people who want a portable speaker with lots of power.