The best Bluetooth speakers 2019 - as recommended by Mumsnetters
We’ve put together a round-up of the Bluetooth speakers Mumsnetters love. From helping the little ones drift off to sleep to planning a big night in, they’re bound to make your day sound a whole lot better
Things to consider before buying a Bluetooth speaker
What’s the battery life like?
If you plan on buying a portable Bluetooth speaker so you can take it out on day trips, battery life is everything. Most portable speakers have a battery life of somewhere between 6 to 24 hours. Be sure you pick the right speaker to match your needs as a sturdy 24-hour speaker could feel excessive (and will likely cost more), and a 10-hour speaker might tick other boxes (like price) but still make it through a whole day.
Where will you put it?
Maybe you’re thinking of having one speaker for upstairs and one for downstairs? Or perhaps you're just after one to soundtrack your daily shower. This is where sound quality enters the equation. A lot of Mumsnetters either recommend investing in a couple of Bluetooth speakers for different purposes or saving up to buy one that doesn’t compromise on sound.
Is it water resistant?
Many of the best Bluetooth speakers out there are now water resistant, which is great news if, like many Mumsnetters, you want to take your Bluetooth speakers away with you to listen to songs by the pool. While it might not be top-of-mind for shoppers who plan on staying at home, it’s still a handy feature to have – you could get caught in a downpour in the back garden or the kids might get splash-happy in the tub.
Which are the best voice-controlled Bluetooth speakers?
Amazon Echo Dot Smart Speaker, £49.99
No round-up of speakers would be complete without a mention of the Amazon Echo, featuring Alexa. However, it's not actually a Bluetooth speaker – it uses WiFi to stream your music, let you know what the weather is going to be like and answer all of you kids' most challenging questions. Choose between the original model (£89.99) or the smaller, more compact Echo Dot measuring 43 × 99 × 99mm (£49.99).
You can ask Alexa to read the news, set alarms, answer questions and play music, streamed from Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and TuneIn. You can even get her to make calls or send messages, turn on lights, lock doors and find TV shows (fancy, eh?). With a little help from Amazon Echo, your daily routine is bound to run more smoothly.
Mumsnetters like the Amazon Echo Dot because its petite size means it occupies hardly any precious surface space and, even though it’s just as smart as its big brother, the Dot is half the price. For keen music lovers though, don’t rule out the original, its speaker is built for blasting tunes and the sound quality can be hard to beat.
“We love Alexa for simplifying the morning and bedtime routines, it's all hooked up to our heating and lighting and several of the plugs.”
“I love the shopping list function and the timer. I listen to so much more music as there are no buttons to press like on a radio.”
“We have four in our house. They control the lights, the TV, the heating, the Christmas tree. Play stories to the kids at bedtime. Tell you the traffic, the news, plays music and answers general questions. If Alexa crashes, we are screwed!”Buy it now from Amazon
Google Home Voice Activated Speaker, £129
Google Home is a voice-activated speaker powered by Google Assistant, and just like the Amazon Echo, is designed to make everyday tasks easier. It’s compatible with iOS and Android operating systems, so all you need to set it up is an internet connection and a Google account.
Mumsnetters like it because the entire family can enjoy it. You can play music, listen to podcasts, use a variety of voice commands, catch the news and listen to the radio. The speaker itself delivers on sound quality while its pale grey and white design means it looks nice wherever it sits in your house.
Size: 14.3 × 9.6 × 9.6cm
“We have Google Home and love it. It’s so easy to use and we also stream music and radio on it.”
“I’ve just bought the Google one. Kids are six so they can ask it the questions that they ask me, and I don’t know the answer to. 'Hey Google, where is heaven?'”Buy now from Argos
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What are the best Bluetooth speakers under £50?
Anker SoundCore 2 Bluetooth Speaker, £39.99
Mumsnetters crown Anker as the ideal Bluetooth speaker for budget-conscious shoppers. Modest in price but not in ability, the Anker SoundCore 2 speaker has 24 hours of play time, and a huge 66ft of Bluetooth range.
Did we mention that it’s also outdoor and water resistant? If you’re looking for a speaker that’s all about the music (and less about virtual assistance), and is also great for music on-the-go, this is the one for you. Not only does this model come in three colours, it also delivers powerful, distortion-free sound and – according to Mumsnetters – it's one that's well worth looking into if you don't want to splash too much cash.
Size: 16.51 × 5.59 × 4.57 cm
“This Anker speaker is really good, great Amazon reviews and excellent value for money in terms of quality.”
“Anker make great speakers and have brilliant customer service.”Buy now from Amazon
Xiaomi Portable Bluetooth 4.2 Speaker, £39.53
Another powerful, yet affordable, option is Xiaomi’s portable Bluetooth speaker, featuring HD sound quality, lightweight portability and 10 hours of battery life.
While it’s not a brand that immediately springs to mind, it is considered a contender by Mumsnetters thanks to its appealing sound quality and price combination.
Size: 3 × 20 × 7 cm
“I recently bought one of these as the kids keep stealing our Bose SoundNote and was actually amazed at how good the quality is, I struggle to tell the difference between the two.”Buy now from Amazon
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Pysc Monic Wireless Bluetooth Speaker, £39.99
With the Pysc Monic portable speaker, you can flawlessly connect to any Bluetooth enabled device. It even has a bass so powerful it’ll shake crayons off a table. The metal design means it’s built to last, while the sleek exterior makes it ideal for displaying around the house.
Mumsnetters swear by this model because it’s affordable, has excellent sound quality, and is quick to set up. If you’re just looking to play your favourite songs on a no-frills speaker which looks the part, this is the one for you.
Size: 20 × 6 × 5.8 cm
“Look up Monic Bluetooth – I bought it from Amazon and it had fab reviews. It's £40 and really superb sound. I am a bit of a geek when it comes to my music. It took five minutes to set up and rivals the very expensive speakers it's sitting on top of…”Buy now from Amazon
What are the best Bluetooth speakers under £100?
Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM Bluetooth Speaker, £54.99
In the market for something more immersive? Try these Bluetooth Speakers from Ultimate Ears. They’re fully waterproof (they even float), come in multiple colour-ways and are designed to link up to each other in different rooms throughout the house.
Mumsnetters couldn’t be more excited over the UE Wonderboom. It delivers a loud 360-degree sound, features an accurate bass, and great care has been taken to balance the sound so you can hear every note of every song. Battery lasts 15 hours.
Size: 9.35 × 9.35 × 10.19cm
“UE Booms are amazing and also reasonably priced.”
“UE Boom. Then you can get several and they all link up to make one big sound system. We've got three around the house.”Buy now from Amazon
JBL Flip 4 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, £89
JBL portable Bluetooth speakers are often recommended on our Talk boards because they’re small, easy to carry around, fully waterproof and have a battery life of 12 hours on a single charge. The quality of sound is pretty swanky, too, as there's an echo- and noise-cancelling speakerphone built in. Plus, you can pick from seven different colours, including a summer-friendly teal and a more pared-back grey. Not bad for £89.
Size: 7 × 17.5 × 6.8 cm
“I have this and it's really good. And so small that you can take it on holiday.”Buy now from Amazon
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What are the best Bluetooth speakers under £150?
MINIRIG 3 Portable Bluetooth Speaker, £139.95
If you’re all about that battery life, you will love the Minirig. It comes in seven colours, is small enough to fit in your bag, and has a massive playback time of 30 hours. Mumsnetters recommend the Minirig for family camping trips or weekends away, as the mercifully long battery life means one less charger to worry about. Its most brilliant USP, however, is that you can wirelessly connect more than one speaker for double the sound (but maybe don't share this nugget of wisdom with the teens).
Size: 8.64 × 8.64 × 5.33 cm
“They're excellent quality, well priced, and you can connect them together if you want more than one for bigger sound.”Buy now from Amazon
Samsung HW-N300 Wireless Soundbar, from £113.95
The Samsung Soundbar is renowned for being all about great sound quality. With four built-in speakers encased in a compact design, it’s a speaker that doesn’t hold back.
Mumsnetters rely on this for the ultimate hearing experience. It has a wireless TV connection so you can watch your favourite films with cinema-esque 'fill the room' sound – but without any unsightly wires. Plus, if you have a Samsung TV, you'll only need one remote for both devices.
Size: 10.7 × 64.1 × 6.5 cm
“I bought a Samsung Soundbar to pair with my TV (also Samsung) and it has the added benefit that it's Bluetooth so it will pair with our laptops and phones. It's nice to be able to put on music and hear it properly as well as get proper sound out of the TV.”Buy now from Amazon
Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker, £137
Another firm favourite among Mumsnetters, this Bose SoundLink Mini is designed to be taken out and about with you. It’s got bold sound quality packed into a small water-resistant frame with a soft silicone exterior.
In terms of set up, this speaker includes voice prompts that talk you through everything so you can pair it with other devices easily. It also links up with digital assistants like Siri or Google Now. At £139 this model of the speaker is a great all-rounder, but if you’re after something bigger, there are different sizes with different sound specs available.
Size: 5.79 × 18.01 × 5.11 cm
“I have a small Bose – great sound and about 10 hours battery life.”
“Yep, I've got the Bose Mini too. It's brilliant and the sound quality is tip-top. Not inexpensive but there are bound to be discounts.”
“I have a small Bluetooth Bose one and it’s amazing. Seriously impressive sound, especially given how small it is.”Buy now from Amazon
SONOS Play: 1 Smart Wireless Speaker, £149
This is the smallest Bluetooth speaker in the Sonos range, delivering strong audio, deep bass and detailed sound. It’s compact but powerful and can easily fit on bookshelves, counters, and be mounted on the wall.
Mumsnetters like it because you can stream anything (there are 30 different streaming services available) and, if you already have an Amazon Echo or Echo Dot, you can connect the two and use Alexa through your Sonos speaker.
Size: 16.2 × 12 × 12 cm
“Save up and get a Sonos, they are fabulous. I got some Amazon vouchers for my birthday and Christmas which paid for a big chunk of it and my husband did the same, so we now have two: one upstairs and one downstairs – I love them!”Buy now from Amazon
The best Bluetooth speakers over £150
Bowers & Wilkins T7 Portable Speaker, £299
The most expensive option in our round-up is this portable speaker from Bowers and Wilkins. One Mumsnetter in particular highly recommends investing in this brand since the quality lasts years and you wouldn’t need to rush out to replace it.
The battery life gives you a solid 18 hours of premium audio, so you can take your speaker anywhere and enjoy unrivalled sound quality for days on end. There's also exceptional stability which reduces any vibrations or distortions, while the speaker's high-res Bluetooth transfer lets you wirelessly stream from your PC, tablet, or phone without interference.
Size: 11.68 × 24.13 × 14.22 cm
“B&W T7 is great – have had one for three years now and it is on constantly. No distortion at any volume and just as good quietly playing by the bed as it is blasting out at a beach party. Very solid construction and a more unusual brand.”Buy now from Amazon
Prices correct at time of publication. Mumsnet carries some affiliate marketing links, so if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale (more details here).