11 Best Bluetooth Home Speakers: The Ultimate List

bluetooth home speakers

Many music lovers are integrating Bluetooth wireless devices into their home audio setups. If you want an all-in-one sound system that can accommodate wireless streaming from multiple sources then these are the speakers for you. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth home speakers across all styles and price ranges.

What Are the Best Bluetooth Home Speakers in 2020?

sonos-play-5 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • aptX sound
  • High max volume
  • Supports lossless playback
Price: $699.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bo play beolit 17 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 360° sound
  • 24-hour battery life
  • Loud max volume
Price: $433.24 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
peachtree-deepblue-3 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bass-heavy sound
  • Plentiful connectivity options
  • Smart Volume
Price: $277.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bowers-wilkins-zeppelin Amazon Customer Reviews
  • aptX sound
  • Air Play and Spotify Connect compatibility
  • High max volume
Price: $599.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
bose-soundtouch-iii Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bass-heavy sound
  • Handy preset controls and remote
  • Lossless Wi-Fi audio
Price: $499.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
vifa-copenhagen Amazon Customer Reviews
  • aptX playback
  • Even sound signature
  • Award-winning design
Price: $799.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
marshall woburn 2 home speaker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • aptX sound
  • High max volume
  • Plentiful connectivity options
Price: $452.37 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
marshall tufton speaker Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Clear and loud sound
  • 20-hour battery life
  • IPX2-rated
Price: $352.37 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
jbl-boombox Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bass-heavy sound
  • 24-hour battery life
  • IPX7-rated
Price: $400.27 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
sony-gtkxb90 Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Custom LED array
  • 16-hour battery life
  • Bass-heavy sound
Price: $448.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
harman-kardon-go-play Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Bass-heavy sound
  • USB charge out port
  • 8-hour battery life
Price: $298.76 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Sonos PLAY:5

    • Clear and accurate aptX sound
    • High max volume
    • Supports lossless playback
    • No Bluetooth connectivity
    • Limited analog connectivity
    • High price tag

    With a fantastic sound and a useful multiroom ecosystem, the Sonos PLAY:5 has just about everything you’d want out of a wireless home speaker.

    The one exception? It doesn’t have Bluetooth support. Sonos speakers use Wi-Fi playback instead of Bluetooth, which offers several useful benefits.

    First off, wireless connections are usually more reliable than Bluetooth speakers and will work flawlessly wherever your home router reaches.

    Second, Wi-Fi speakers support lossless playback, which is one of the most important qualities for a truly audiophile-grade audio setup. Bluetooth is limited in its stream rate, which means that it cannot provide the same amount of instantaneous audio information to the speaker.

    True, a non-Bluetooth speaker goes against the criteria I set for this list, but it shouldn’t be an issue. After all, do you have any devices that support Bluetooth but not Wi-Fi?

    Plus, at a hefty 14 pounds, you won’t be taking this speaker outside of the house. At its size, it’s best suited for use in a single room, eventually to be hooked up to other Sonos speakers.

    But it also plays fine on its own. With three tweeters and three midrange woofers, it is more than capable of delivering a full spectrum sound at a high volume.

    You get crisp and clear high-frequency response, supported by a full and forward midrange. These two frequency bands work together in balance to give guitars and synths the presence they need to bring your favorite tracks to life.

    The bass is downright pneumatic, pushing an incredible wall of sound that remains undistorted even at max volume.

    Sonos doesn’t publish audio specs to support my claims, but according to a technical analysis by fellow reviewer Mark Henninger from AVSForum, the PLAY:5 has a functional frequency response of 30Hz – 20kHz.

    When positioned vertically, the speaker produces a mono sound to play on its own. However, when you position it horizontally, it becomes the driving midrange to a multi-room setup once synced with a PLAY:3 or another PLAY:5 speaker.

    If you are using it solo, you can use it in either configuration, but the horizontal mode provides a better soundstage.

    The PLAY:5 incorporates aptX technology to deliver a high-resolution audio signal. The speaker also uses Sonos’ proprietary Trueplay technology to tune the speaker according to its location in the room.

    The speaker has a simple touch control scheme that works with power, tracking, and volume. Everything else is done through the app. The speaker is Alexa-compatible, allowing it to work as a smart speaker of sorts.

    If you’re willing to leave behind the ability to take this speaker out of the house with Bluetooth connection, then the Sonos PLAY:5 will be one of your best options for pure hi-fi playback.

    Output Power: (Unlisted)
    Frequency Response: 30Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Wi-Fi, Aux
    Battery Life: N/A
    Dimensions: 14.3 x 6.1 x 8 inches
    Weight: 14.02 pounds

    VideoVideo related to sonos play:52018-10-12T20:05:38-04:00

  2. 2. Bang & Olufsen Play Beolit 17

    • Clear 360° sound
    • 24-hour battery life
    • Loud max volume
    • Inconsistent battery life
    • Limited connectivity
    • High price tag

    The Beolit17 speaker may be hefty, but it sports a quality leather carrying strap and a battery that lasts up to 24 hours. If you listen at a more realistic volume (home speakers are meant to be played loud) you might get 10 hours or so, but that’s still solid. It recharges in as little as 2.5 hours via USB-C.

    Danish audio company Bang & Olufsen first won its way to my heart with its massive sounding B&O Play M5 multi-room speaker.

    But with the recent release of their Play Beolit 17, they stand to have two of the best home Bluetooth speaker designs under their belt.

    Playback controls are found on a rubberized polymer tray at the top, which is a great place to rest phones and other playback devices.

    This Beolit17 packs a 5.5-inch long stroke woofer, and three 1.5-inch tweeters behind its aluminum grill. This speaker delivers nearly full 360° sound, which means you can place it any direction and still get an awesome sound.

    Its bass is deep and smooth without dominating the rest of the sound. Mids are pleasant and lifelike, while highs sound clear even at max volume.

    The free Beoplay app allows some simple tone controls to tweak EQ, but you’ll likely be happy with this speaker right out of the box. The sound is natural and clear, and despite being a single speaker, the Beolit17 gives off its own soundstage.

    The Beoplay app also lets you add custom commands to an extra button which sits next to the power, volume, and Bluetooth buttons.

    This can be handy for pairing your favorite streaming service. Unfortunately, this speaker doesn’t support Wi-Fi playback, as the button would be great for connecting to a service like Spotify Connect.

    Instead, the speaker is limited to Bluetooth and 3.5 mm aux connections, which isn’t much but will connect you to 90% of devices out there with an adapter or two.

    A lack of extra features might make this speaker blend into the crowd, but its sound quality is anything from ordinary when you put it to the test.

    Output Power: 100 Watts
    Frequency Response: 37Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux
    Battery Life: Up to 24 hours
    Dimensions: 9 x 7.4 x 5.3 inches
    Weight: 5.7 pounds

    VideoVideo related to bang & olufsen play beolit 172018-10-12T20:06:16-04:00

  3. 3. Peachtree Audio deepblue3

    • Clear and bass-heavy sound
    • Plentiful connectivity options
    • Smart Volume adjusts frequency response for loudest playback
    • No battery
    • Unattractive design
    • Heavy bass can cause listener fatigue

    The deepblue3 is the latest addition to Peachtree’s sought-after home speaker series. Despite being just a single speaker, the deepblue3 competes with multi-speaker sound systems in terms of its output.

    The deepblue3 puts out an incredibly powerful sound. It is backed by 440 Watts of power, with each driver getting its own amplifier.

    That includes two 1-inch soft-dome tweeters, two 3-inch midrange drivers, and a 6.5-inch bass driver to produce deep and impactful bass.

    This bass driver is much larger than you find in most portable speakers, and the amount of air it throws is almost overkill. But this is how the deepblue3 earn its name.

    Its low-end sound is expansive and serves as the driving sound for this speaker in its stock configuration.

    While a boosted low end doesn’t make for accurate playback, the sound still has a natural and clear feel to it.

    The midrange is filled with detail as well and is not cramped by the mid-low bump. The high end is smooth and rings clear without any sign of harmonic distortion.

    The Smart Volume feature is an optional EQ feature which subtracts some low end when you turn the volume down since the ear is less sensitive to bass at quiet volumes. When you turn it up, Smart Volume limits the peak signal to prevent distortion.

    This is an essential feature for those who like to listen at high volumes, as it is easy to develop listener fatigue when enjoying its bass uninhibited.

    This setting can be adjusted on the included IR remote, or a line of touch-sensitive controls on the speaker itself. These can also be used to cycle through the speaker’s plentiful connection options.

    The deepblue3 offers high-quality Bluetooth playback via aptX, which is a huge plus for the detail level of the sound.

    Bluetooth playback is easy to set up and reliable up to absurd distances.

    It also connects via 3.5 mm aux and optical, allowing you to connect several different devices into the speaker.

    It does not have a battery, and it is neither lightweight nor water-resistant. But it does have a carry handle to easily bring it from room to room.

    In the end, this is all this Peachtree speaker is missing from becoming a home audio staple. Those who crave a bass-heavy sound will love the power and detail of this speaker. With one listen you’ll know: the deepblue3 didn’t get its name from nothing.

    Output Power: 440 Watts
    Frequency Response: 40Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, optical
    Battery Life: N/A
    Dimensions: 9.1 x 14.2 x 6.5 inches
    Weight: 16 pounds

    VideoVideo related to peachtree audio deepblue32018-10-12T20:07:59-04:00

  4. 4. Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin Wireless

    • Clear and accurate aptX sound
    • Air Play and Spotify Connect compatibility
    • High max volume
    • No battery
    • No Android control app
    • Sound is directional

    This iconic speaker competes with full sound systems in terms of its sound output and quality. It even has the price tag to prove it.

    When I think of home Bluetooth speakers, the obtuse football shape of the B&W Zeppelin Wireless is the first image to pop into my head.

    Once the sticker shock wears off and you actually hear its sound, the Zeppelin Wireless leaves a solid first impression.

    It delivers a full and seamless spectrum of sound with its two 1-inch tweeters, two 3.5-inch FST midrange drivers, and its 6-inch subwoofer.

    The bass is powerful yet tight, driving the sound without stealing the show. The mids convey vocals and lead instruments with perfect clarity.

    The high end is clear and lifelike, filling out a piano note with the click of its keys. It responds to a guitar note down to the squeaking strings.

    The max volume is high, and the spacious sound can fill a room easily, but the directional drivers are positioned in a way that requires you to carefully consider speaker placement.

    This speaker’s main connection technology is Bluetooth aptX. When you listen from an aptX compatible device, the difference is clear. This speaker conveys more detail, allowing for a richer and more accurate sound.

    In addition to Bluetooth, the speaker also connects via 3.5 mm aux, Air Play, and Spotify Connect. Setting these services up is a breeze, and this allows for lossless playback to further improve listening quality.

    The B&W logo on the bottom of the speaker has input controls built-in, but it’s far easier to reach the top mounted controls for volume and play/pause.

    You can instead opt for the smartphone app, but it is iOS only. The lack of an included remote leaves Android users high and dry if they are trying to adjust audio from a source other than their phone.

    This speaker’s large form factor and focused driver positioning make it a challenge to bring from room to room, but the Zeppelin Wireless is worth keeping as a centerpiece in your personal entertainment space.

    Output Power: 200 Watts
    Frequency Response: 44Hz – 28kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, Air Play, Spotify Connect
    Battery Life: N/A
    Dimensions: 7.4 x 26 x 7.2 inches
    Weight: 14.3 pounds

    VideoVideo related to bowers & wilkins zeppelin wireless2018-10-12T20:02:44-04:00

  5. 5. Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III

    • Clear and bass-heavy sound
    • Handy preset controls and remote
    • Supports Wi-Fi audio at lossless quality
    • No battery
    • Uneven sound signature
    • Glitchy connectivity

    Bose is a scary brand to throw my name behind. Many audiophiles denounce Bose for being cryptic with their sound specs and unforgiving with their price tags.

    And these criticisms are definitely warranted. If I am expected to drop $500 on a speaker, I at least want to know its frequency response. But now that I’ve tried it, I can assure you for the worth of my word that the Bose SoundTouch 30 Series III sounds absolutely amazing.

    Bose describes their signature sound as balanced, but many listeners report that it is a bit bass heavy. The low end has some extra <em>oomf</em> to bring kick drums and synth bass to the foreground without drowning out the mids.

    This large plug-in speaker has a sizable bass port that allows it to displace more air and deliver heavier bass. The mids are mostly clear with a slight warmth that gives the sound an intimate feel. The highs are Not Forgotten, though. They balance out the sound well without sacrificing presence.

    This device connects to Bluetooth sources, although not always perfectly. When/if that fails, it has an aux cable for wired connections as well. One extra feature it offers is Wi-Fi connectivity, which can be set up with the Bose SoundTouch App.

    Once you complete this setup, you can stream audio at lossless quality, which means that you can listen to FLAC and AAC files uncompressed.
    The SoundTouch App also allows you to assign your favorite digital audio sources to six preset buttons found near the volume and tracking controls. The speaker also comes with a miniature remote.

    Another neat feature is the built-in OLED display, which shows tracking and song information. The SoundTouch 30’s combination of handy controls, varied playback options, and high-quality audio output mean that it can definitely be your do-it-all speaker.

    Output Power: 150 Watts
    Frequency Response: (Unlisted)
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, Wi-Fi
    Battery Life: N/A
    Dimensions: 17.1 x 7.1 x 9.7 inches
    Weight: 18.5 pounds

    VideoVideo related to bose soundtouch 30 series iii2018-10-12T20:08:40-04:00

  6. 6. Vifa Copenhagen 2.0

    • Clear and loud aptX playback
    • Even sound signature
    • Award-winning design
    • 8-hour battery life could be better
    • Hard to get ahold of in the U.S.
    • No tracking controls

    If you are truly particular about your audio gear, don’t be surprised if your hunt for the perfect sound takes you halfway across the world.

    You are likely to find yourself in Denmark, in particular. It is home of Vifa, an audio company that combines top of the line hi-fi audio with what they call Nordic aesthetics.

    The Copenhagen 2.0 is the pride of their collection. It is a powerful and loud Bluetooth speaker that deserves a centerpiece spot in any room. Note that it also has the hefty price tag to match.

    This speaker has an iconic upholstery-grade fabric grill which nicely complements a room adorned with modern Scandinavian décor.

    It has a convenient carry handle and a minimalist control scheme to ensure that the Copenhagen is as functional as it is stylish.

    But chances are that you’re more interested in how it sounds rather than how it looks.

    Vifa has clearly put as much thought into their sound as they have into its design. The Copenhagen is equipped with all of the audio technology that you’d want out of an expensive home Bluetooth speaker.

    It has a neutral sound signature, which allows the original studio mix of a track to ring through clearly and accurately.

    The high end is rich in detail and enhances the dynamic qualities of every little sound. The mids are smooth and deliver their own solid punch without muddying the low end.

    The bass is finely tuned and natural. It remains present and clear even at max volume. The sound is driven by two 1.1-inch Vifa tweeters, two 2-inch Vifa midrange drivers, and two 31.-inch Vifa woofers supported by four passive drivers.

    The Copenhagen is aptX compatible, allowing you a higher Bluetooth stream rate from a compatible source. Other playback sources are available too, including aux, optical, USB, and Wi-Fi playback.

    The Wi-Fi playback enables this speaker to be configured into a multiroom setup with other Vifa speakers, but it is a little more trouble to set up than similar Sonos speakers.

    This speaker is battery powered and can last for about 8 hours. Its battery could certainly be better, but I won’t complain too much since a speaker this fancy would rarely stray beyond my living room.

    It has a built-in microphone for taking voice calls, but this seems like a weird feature for a speaker as loud and powerful as the Copenhagen.

    Ultimately, in the unattainability and high price tag of a designer brand means that speakers like the Copenhagen 2.0 are only suited for the most hardcore audio enthusiasts.

    If, however, that applies to you, then the only question you’re left with is which color should you get?

    Output Power: (Unlisted)
    Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, Wi-Fi, optical, USB
    Battery Life: Up to 8 hours
    Dimensions: 10.5 x 14.2 x 3.5 inches
    Weight: 9.9 pounds

  7. 7. Marshall Woburn II

    • Clear and accurate aptX sound
    • High max volume
    • Plentiful connectivity options
    • Spotty Bluetooth
    • No battery
    • High price tag

    Marshall might be best known for producing tube amps meant to rock full venues, but they also make some respectable home audio equipment.

    Of their home audio gear, Marshall’s Woburn II speaker is most similar to what you’d find on a concert stage. It puts out about 110 Watts of power, which is more than their iconic DSL100H half stack.

    In terms of sound, you can expect lots of power and accurate reproduction from its two 5.3-inch woofers and two 1-inch dome tweeters. The high end is given its full respect in the mix, as treble is the ultimate source of rock ‘n roll power.

    Bass is deep but still maintains a neutral sound signature. The Woburn  II won’t sound as warm as bass-boosted speakers but will make for a more accurate listening experience.

    The speaker supports aptX Bluetooth 5.0, which provides even more sound detail for the speaker to process, provided you have a compatible source.

    This speaker can get outrageously loud, but its sound becomes harsh as it approaches max volume.

    The speaker’s controls look like classic amp knobs. There is one for volume, and two for EQ control. There are also buttons to connect Bluetooth and switch sources. The power switch is extra satisfying to flick.

    The speaker has a number of sources, both wired and wireless. For analog devices, you have an RCA port and an aux port. For wireless, you have aptX Bluetooth, AirPlay, Spotify Connect, and Chromecast, all of which are useful for different setups.

    Bluetooth connection isn’t always consistent, but with a large variety of other options to choose from, it’s hard to complain much.

    If you are looking for a neutral-sounding Bluetooth speaker that can put out some serious volume, the Woburn II is your pick.

    Output Power: 110 Watts
    Frequency Response: 30 Hz – 22kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux, RCA, Air Play, Spotify Connect, Chromecast
    Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
    Dimensions: 15.7 x 12.2 x 7.8 inches
    Weight: 18.8 pounds

  8. 8. Marshall Tufton Bluetooth Speaker

    • Clear and loud sound
    • 20-hour battery life
    • IPX2-rated and durable
    • No tracking controls
    • No aptX support
    • Limited connectivity

    The Marshall Tufton is yet another excellent home Bluetooth speaker option from this renown amplifier company. The Tufton may not pack as much of a punch as the Woburn II but it is a lot more portable.

    Not only is the Tufton smaller than the Woburn II but it has an internal battery that offers up to 20 hours of battery life as well. It has a fast-charging feature and uses a proprietary cable. It also has a high-quality leather carry strap that can be used to tote it from room to room. This makes this speaker a better choice for outdoor events like camping or a beach trip.

    It is IPX2-rated for water resistance, which only guarantees protection from light rain, but that is more than can be said for other speakers in its class. Its wooden cabinet is quite durable as well with its flush-mounted corner caps.

    The most striking part of this speaker’s design is the fact that it looks like a vintage amp. Its metal grille adds a nice visual touch while the volume and equalization knobs on the top help tweak your speaker’s sound on the fly. The volume knob toggles the power on while the other two knobs are strictly for balancing the bass and treble frequencies. There is also a Bluetooth connection that supports multiple Bluetooth 5.0 connections. Unfortunately, this speaker is not aptX-compatible.

    Thankfully, a Bluetooth speaker doesn’t need aptX to sound good and this speaker is obvious proof of that. I did most of my testing with the bass and treble knobs set to 5, which created a clear and balanced audio signal. The mids feel slightly warm but work great at meshing the highs and lows together for any genre.

    The low end exhibited deep extension, offering a room-filling rumble when cranked up. The highs are clear as well, even when you crank this speaker towards its (absurd) max volume.

    The only department that this speaker is truly lacking in is connectivity. It only supports Bluetooth and aux, while the Woburn II is much more flexible.

    Other than that, there is little other reason to dislike the Tufton, which demonstrates a sublime balance between portability and power.

    Output Power: 90 Watts
    Frequency Response: 40Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux
    Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
    Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 13.8 inches
    Weight: 10.8 pounds

  9. 9. JBL Boombox

    • Clear and bass-heavy sound
    • 24-hour battery life
    • IPX7-rated and durable
    • Uneven sound signature
    • Limited dynamics at low volume
    • Limited EQ settings on app

    The JBL Boombox is a modern homage to the ghetto blaster. This massive Bluetooth speaker offers the horsepower to fill the streets with music, and the portable build to take it there.

    At 19.5 x 7.7 x 10 inches and almost 12 pounds, it’s not the kind of speaker you’d take with you everywhere. But this speaker is rugged and battery-powered, so it works great outside and by the water.

    The Boombox is IPX7 rated for submersion in shallow water for up to 30 minutes. Combine this with a durable case and an easy carry handle, and you’ve got a durable and high-performing speaker.

    It has a max battery life of 24 hours and recharges in 6.5 hours. It has two USB charge-out ports stored next to its aux port and micro USB port for firmware updates. This allows it to work as a power bank.

    While these features are incredibly handy, they don’t undermine the importance of a quality sound. If you want to get to the bottom of what makes the JBL Boombox worth its $400 price tag, you must examine how it performs in a listening environment.

    The good news is that even when you take the party tricks out of the JBL Boombox package, you still have a fantastic sounding speaker.

    This speaker sounds clear and full, and with its massive array of sound drivers, it can reach high volumes without issue.

    This speaker is equipped with two 0.8-inch tweeters and two 4-inch woofers. From this metric alone, you should be able to tell that the Boombox’s low-end drivers are what truly propel its sound.

    But that means its sound signature is far from flat. This speaker’s low-end nearly dominates the sound spectrum, which is great if you like a nice bass kick, but not so great when you want to hear your favorite tracks in a way that’s faithful to their recording mix.

    The thump of the bass never pushes the Boombox to distortion, though. Additionally, the high-end frequencies still find their space to shine in the mix.

    The high end is bright, as demonstrated by crisp cymbals and sharp alto vocals. These top treble frequencies sit atop a smooth midrange, which carries lead guitar and synth sounds with ease.

    Though speakers usually sound tighter at low volumes, this massive speaker is clearly meant to be played loud. For this reason, you may hear less dynamics and a slightly muddier tone when listening to the Boombox at low volumes.

    The JBL Connect App offers the ability to switch from an indoor and outdoor sound mode, as well as disable feedback sounds and toggle the speakerphone. No further EQ settings are provided.

    The JBL Boombox may not be the absolute best sounding speaker in its price range, but its weatherproof case and huge internal battery make it a must-have for relaxing on the patio or throwing pool parties.

    Output Power: 60 Watts
    Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux
    Battery Life: Up to 24 hours
    Dimensions: 19.5 x 7.7 x 10 inches
    Weight: 11.57 pounds

    VideoVideo related to jbl boombox2018-10-12T20:28:02-04:00

  10. 10. Sony GTK-XB90

    • Custom LED array
    • Loud and bass-heavy sound
    • 16-hour battery life
    • Plentiful connectivity options
    • No aux input
    • Uneven sound signature
    • Somewhat muffled mids

    The battery-powered Sony GTK-XB90 is just the kind of speaker you would want to bring along to your next warehouse rave. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be one of the best sounding home Bluetooth speakers as well.

    It has a powerful bass-heavy sound, a rechargeable battery, and built-in LEDs to make it the perfect speaker to bring a party atmosphere wherever you go.

    This hefty 30-pound speaker has an impressive LED light array behind its sturdy metal grille. The pulsing lights can be finely tuned to match your mood.

    The Fiestable App for Android and iOS allows you to edit the colors and sequence of these lights in more ways than I even care to explore. You can also adjust EQ and activate some corny DJ controls.

    It’s hard to see the power of the GTK-XB90 on paper because Sony is notoriously vague with their speakers’ specs, but my listening test revealed a unique sound signature with nothing to hide.

    Upon first listen, you’ll notice that this speaker puts a major emphasis on its low-end sound. This only becomes more apparent once you engage the Extra Bass mode.

    Let me put it this way. If you have done all your homework and found that the GTK-XB90 is the right speaker for you, then you can expect to always have the Extra Bass mode on, because a heavy bass thud is what this speaker is all about.

    It is powered by two 7-inch woofers, and three 2.3-inch tweeters, of which only two will be used depending on if you are using this speaker in solo mode (vertical) or in party chain mode with additional units (horizontal).

    Whether you have Extra Bass on or off, the mids are just a little muffled. This is possibly because they sit at the crossover frequency between the woofers and the tweeters.

    The tweeters put out a crisp and clear high-end, but it doesn’t have the same expansive feel as the low-end.

    EQ controls built into the Sony Music Center app will help you tame this sound to your specific needs, but the best way to enjoy this speaker is to just embrace the bass.

    In terms of digital signal processing, Sony offers a proprietary codec called LDAC, which competes with Qualcomm’s aptX technology.

    LDAC offers variable levels of performance, and at its highest settings, offers a higher bitrate than aptX HD with 24-bit audio at 96kHz.

    Keep in mind that only Sony Xperia phones support LDAC at its highest levels, but if you have an Android phone with Oreo or later, you will still be able to enjoy bitrates higher than aptX.

    In a vacuum, a device’s streaming bitrate alone does not serve as a qualifier for its sound, but the numbers behind LDAC streaming are backed up by a clear and accurate sound from the GTK-XB90 speaker.

    This speaker has a number of other inputs as well, including other digital connections like NFC wireless and USB. The USB port allows playback with most non-Apple devices and serves as a power bank.

    You also have analog connections. The GTK-XB90 sports two RCA ports, plus an XLR input for a microphone. Strangely absent is a 3.5mm aux cable, which is a huge bummer considering how popular of an input that is.

    There is a full suite of controls at the top, including power, volume, tracking, source selection, and Extra Bass mode.

    The speaker gets about 16 hours of battery life, but if you use the lights and crank the volume (as you surely will), you can expect about half of that.

    As previously mentioned, you will know right away if this speaker is right for you. It doesn’t have the absolute best sound in its price range, but there are few speakers better equipped to entertain on the go like the GTK-XB90.

    Output Power: (Unlisted)
    Frequency Response: (Unlisted)
    Inputs: Bluetooth, NFC, RCA, USB, XLR mic input
    Battery Life: Up to 16 hours
    Dimensions: 13.2 x 13.2 x 26.4 inches
    Weight: 30.86 pounds

    VideoVideo related to sony gtk-xb902018-10-12T20:28:38-04:00

  11. 11. Harman Kardon GO+PLAY Mini

    • Clear and bass-heavy sound
    • USB charge out port
    • 8-hour battery life
    • Lower max volume when on battery power
    • No EQ control
    • Limited connectivity

    Despite its smaller size, this speaker has the power to fill a room. Though Harman Kardon’s GO+PLAY Mini doesn’t offer the same unique aesthetic qualities as their Aura Plus speaker, this portable powerhouse is too good to ignore.

    It competes with speakers twice its price in terms of sound quality. The speaker sounds surprisingly good, especially considering it should be compared to more portable options like the Bose SoundLink Revolve and the UE Megaboom.

    Behind the removable grill, this speaker houses two 3.5-inch woofers and two 0.7-inch tweeters.

    The sound is engineered to have a punchy and expansive bass, giving it a slightly warm feel. It handles treble smoothly, with clear highs that carry cymbal crashes and provide the head space for twinkling keys.

    And though most speaker apps are gimmicky and unnecessary, the absense of built-in EQ controls makes me want for one. After all, not every track benefits from that extra bass bump.

    This speaker is particularly portable thanks to its 8 hour battery life and easy carry handle. But one downside of using battery power is that it noticeably limits the speaker’s output.

    You get a much higher max volume when plugged into AC power. But it has a fast recharge time of about 3 hours, and offers USB charge out port, making it practical nonetheless.

    Controls are seated atop the unit, and an auxiliary port adds extra connectivity options besides Bluetooth.

    Some extra connectivity options would be nice, as would aptX support, even though neither are necessary for a quality.

    And that’s what the GO+PLAY Mini is all about in the end. It may not have the most robust feature set, but it delivers incredible sound at a competitive price. For the sake of your wallet, it’s worth considering.

    Output Power: 100 Watts
    Frequency Response: 50Hz – 20kHz
    Inputs: Bluetooth, aux
    Battery Life: 8 hours
    Dimensions: 16.4 x 7.1 x 8.3 inches
    Weight: 7.6 pounds

    VideoVideo related to harman kardon go+play mini2018-10-12T20:29:06-04:00

The Scoop on Bluetooth Home Speakers

As listener preferences move towards wireless audio streaming, Bluetooth is becoming more and more prevalent in home audio setups.

A recent survey conducted by Lux Insights reveals that 62 percent of consumers that are familiar with Bluetooth prefer technology that incorporates Bluetooth tech in some way.

So many top audio manufacturers have ported their premium sound technology over to a more portable Bluetooth form factor, that a Bluetooth speaker can practically replace a hi-fi sound system.

Take this news with a grain of salt, as larger wired speakers will always be better for critical listening because analog cables can deliver a more detailed audio signal than a wireless protocol can.

But as long as you don't need to hear every sonic detail, a mid-sized Bluetooth speaker is a great option to liven up a party or set the mood as you move room from room.

How We Picked the Best Home Bluetooth Speakers

Because of the natural shortcomings of Bluetooth, we had to establish rigorous standards on which to grade these audio devices.

Most important in our review was that the speaker had to sound great. The most important qualities of a sound system are clarity and balance. A Bluetooth speaker is capable of achieving both of these qualities, although it should be noted that Bluetooth transmission ultimately limits the detail level of the sound.

The wireless protocol compresses your audio data, thus limiting the level of audio information the signal can carry.

Speakers that use the aptX codec offer a more faithful compression method and should be favored for the best audio quality. Just make sure you have an aptX-compatible source like an Android phone.

And while aptX is a nice feature, it's not necessary for a high-quality sound. Nor does it help provide more volume, which is another important factor for a home speaker.

If you're going to spend a couple hundred bucks on a speaker, it has to seriously rock the house. Even if you don't plan on dragging anything with a subwoofer out for a pool party, you can still get some major decibels out of a portable speaker.

To that end, the ideal Bluetooth speaker should also be somewhat portable. It doesn't have to be lightweight or compact, but it should at least be easy to move into another room.

A battery is not necessary unless you want to take it outside. But it's always nice to see, as is water-resistant casing.

Last, the ideal speaker has to be Bluetooth compatible. Wired connections and Wi-Fi transmission may have a slight edge up on sound, but the people have spoken.

Bluetooth is the reigning champion in the departments of reliability, ease of use, and adoption. With all these criteria laid out, it can still be hard to find a speaker to perfectly suit your own unique demands.

Keep your needs in mind as you decide the best Bluetooth speakers for your home audio setup.

See Also

11 Best Smart Alarm Clocks: Your Buyer's Guide

12 Best Portable Bluetooth Speakers

11 Best Surround Sound Speakers for Your Home Theater

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