Tech Tuesday / The Best Bluetooth Speakers of 2016

Best Bluetooth Speakers 2016

Now that almost everyone has a smartphone capable of playing almost any song ever recorded with the help of a music app like Google Play Music or Spotify, the challenge many of us face becomes: “how can I play this music in the best way possible?” The answer: by using one of the best bluetooth speakers of 2016

It’s an essential item for anyone wanting to add music to their surroundings without having to bother with wires or electrical outlets. Luckily, there are dozens upon dozens of Bluetooth speakers on the market. But now that you’re spoiled for choice, your dilemma is, what do I choose?

Not to worry. Let this list be your guide to the best Bluetooth Speakers available. Whether you are going for value for the money, top of the line, or want something with a big style factor, you are sure to find your dream speaker here, in our list of the best Bluetooth speakers of 2016.

Libratone Zipp

libratone zipp

Sure, it looks like the thing you use to carry around a yoga mat, but make no mistake. This is one capable device. First and foremost, its audio performance is simply fantastic. Libratone didn’t just put great parts in the box to give nice deep bass and wonderful clarity. They also designed it to project that sound in a full 360 degrees. Its cylindrical design means that sound will project to all corners of whatever room you decide to put it in. Evenly transmitted sound is something which elevates the Libratone Zipp to being one of the best Bluetooth speakers.

This Bluetooth speaker also has great portability, with a built in strap which allows you to hang it in the middle of the room if you so desired. Another fantastic feature is its accompanying proprietary app, which allows for connection to your home Wi-fi network via Apple Airplay. The app also directly streams internet radio stations so you don’t even need to provide your own music to use it. Like many Bluetooth speakers, this device will also enable you to connect your phone to it via USB and will act as a portable phone charger in a pinch. The battery life is also a respectable 8 – 10 hours, more than enough time for a day at the beach or picnic in the park.

To top it all off, the Libratone Zipp has a lot of style to complement its substance. It comes in a variety of colours, so be sure to get one that matches the décor of your patio furniture.

UE Boom 2

ue boom 2

Similar to the Libratone Zipp in aesthetics, is the UE Boom 2. It’s a little smaller in size but you wouldn’t know it to hear it at full power. It blasts out bass heavy tracks at full volume with minimal distortion.

Fans of Bluetooth speakers may remember the original UEBoom. While that one was quite fantastic, this sequel of sorts has a number of additional features. Most impressive of these, is its ability to be completely submerged in water and still be good as new. It can also act as a speakerphone . So if you do a lot of chilling in and around the pool, this is one of the best bluetooth speakers for that activity.

JBL Pulse 2

JBL

This speaker is for the impromptu partiers, the people who like to bring the night to another level, wherever they happen to be. Not only does it put out great sound, it’s contains dynamic LEDs upping the wow factor substantially. Naturally, the lights try to match the mood of the music being played, and can be set to a number of different pre-sets to set best contribute to whatever atmosphere you’re trying to cultivate. You can even customize the exact color of the lights by taking an object of the color you want to produce and holding it up to a sensor on the speaker. That’s pretty neat and makes the JBL Pulse one of the best Bluetooth speakers for parties.

Itss features even make it capable of helping people sleep. The app enables you to download various ambient sounds like rain and waves, and play it while filling your room with a calming blue glow. With its lightshow capabilities and customization, this speaker elevates itself above the rest as the ultimate mood setter.

Marshall Kilburn

marshall

For those of you nostalgic for the glorious rock concerts of the 70’s, you’re going to love the Marshall Kilburn. Modelled after the iconic Marshall amps of the era, the Marshall Kilburn will take you right back to your first Led Zeppelin show. This speaker is great for those who want a conversation piece in addition to great sound. And to top it off, you can get it in black or cream colored models.

The cool retro design isn’t the only thing to write home about with the Kilburn. These speakers are beastly in the audio performance category. And audiophiles will be especially impressed with the inclusion of bass and treble knobs, which enable users to completely customize the sound output to their liking. This is one of the best Bluetooth speakers for both style and substance.

JBL Flip 3

jbl flip 3

The JBL Flip 3 is one of the best ultra-portable mini speakers you can get right now. The key to these is to combine the small size with decent sound while also boasting respectable battery life. We’re happy to report that the JBL Flip 3 hits all these targets.

The Flip 3 is highly portable. Its smooth cylinder shape will fit easily into the palm of your hand, and you’ll have no trouble throwing this thing in your back pack or purse when you are on the go. It doesn’t sacrifice good sound to be so small either. You’ll get nice deep bass out of this thing, although at its highest volume you may notice some cracking. Still, in a taken all together, the package you get with the JBL Flip 3 makes it one of the best Bluetooth speakers.

It’ll last for around 10 hours, which is perfect for most applications. Also, it’s splash proof, so don’t be afraid to use it in the first three rows of a Sea World show.

Polk Boom Swimmer JR.

polk audio

It’s small. It’s cheap. It’s waterproof. It’s the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr. While the sound quality is not quite as good as some other speakers on this list, this speaker excels in areas where most do not. Let’s start with the design. This thing is tiny, so bring it anywhere you want. You can probably even fit it in your pocket. But what makes it stand out is its little tadpole like tail it sits on. This isn’t just a weird design choice. You can use that tail to wrap it around things like railings and other objects so the places you can put it are pretty much endless. At under $40 and under, this speaker is a great value.

This is one of the best Bluetooth speakers for people on the go. We recommend fastening it to your bike and rocking out to some tunes while you ride.

Bowers and Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless

wilkins and bowers

If you’re looking for a cheap Bluetooth speaker, skip this entry. If you want incredible audio performance and you’re willing to pay for the privilege, read on. We’ll start with the styling. This Zeppelin’s appearance is unlike anything you likely have in your house right now. Its shape, like a flattened sphere, is a remarkably unique design.

It is also quite versatile. This speaker enables you to send music through it in several different ways. Yes, you can use Bluetooth, but you can also connect to Apple Airplay or Spotify over Wi-fi if you prefer. And if you’d rather have a dedicated internet connection, you can connect it to your network via Ethernet cable.

Where the Zeppelin really shines is its audio performance. You will find no distortion even at the loudest settings. All throughout, you will enjoy nice crisp sound and deep bass if that’s your flavor. This speaker is especially good for listening to classical music, where lower register instruments can sometimes get lost in the shuffle. The Zeppelin brings you into the front row of the symphony, allowing you to hear all of the instruments in the way they were intended to be heard. For audio quality, this is one of the best Bluetooth speakers.

Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker III

bose

You know Bose for having superb quality home audio speakers and they have not let their high standards slide for their portable speakers. This is a no-nonsense highly capable Bluetooth speaker you can crank without sacrificing sound quality. This is especially impressive considering its small size. With its impressive sound for its great portability, the Bose Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker III is a great buy.

UE Roll

ue roll 3

OK, this is the weirdest Bluetooth speaker we have ever seen. But don’t let that dissuade you from giving it a chance because it is actually pretty fantastic. It actually has a lot in common with the Polk Boom Swimmer Jr. It is shaped like a flat disc and can be controlled by giant plus and minus buttons on the face of the speaker itself. You can lay it down flat or hang it from wherever you want. This is another great pool companion that even comes with an inflatable platform to put it in the pool if you buy it directly from UE’s website.

The Bass and volume isn’t quite what you would get from a heavyweight on this list, but the UE Roll is a great background music generator to be played whole you lounge at the pool or bake on the beach.

EcoXGear EcoCarbon

exogear

If you like getting outside and roughing it, this is the speaker for you. You can do almost whatever you want to this thing, and it’ll continue to blast out fantastic sound. It is fully and completely waterproof, so feel free to run it during your next white water rafting trip. It has a lot of other bells and whistles too, including speaker phone, and mobile device charging. It’s even got a flash light to remind you that this is the optimal Bluetooth speaker to take camping.

The sound is decent, though other more domestic style speakers will offer you a greater range of good sound. But it does sufficiently suppress distortion, and the sound is full and satisfying.

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