A Roundup of Notable Bluetooth Speakers


Anyone who remembers what life was like in the 1980s may recall the huge, wood-paneled home hi-fi systems, and the boxy, D-battery draining boom boxes of the day. Times certainly have changed. Today, wireless technologies allow us to connect our mobile devices to ultra-compact speakers that are equipped for on-the-go sound. Following the trend of always being connected, we can now keep our music with us throughout the day and share with others without the need for headphones. When we want to listen to a playlist or hear richer sound for a video clip or movie, a Bluetooth wireless speaker can enrich our listening experience. 


Bluetooth technology was invented in 1994, allowing compatible devices to link together over relatively short distances using wireless radio-wave technology. These days most smartphones, tablets, media players, and laptops have the technology built in. Options abound for anyone in the market for a small Bluetooth wireless speaker to provide sound at home or away. Many fit comfortably in the palm of your hand, so you can take them to the park, the beach, to a ball game—pretty much anywhere. Now, more than ever, there is a wide range of shapes, sizes, and feature sets to choose from. 


In addition to Bluetooth wireless audio streaming, there are several other features you may want to consider when comparing models:


  • 3.5mm line input for making a wired connection to non-Bluetooth devices.
  • 3.5mm line output for connecting a pair of headphones or an additional speaker.
  • NFC (Near Field Communications) support lets you tap to pair with other NFC-enabled devices.
  • Integrated microphone, so the speaker can double as a speakerphone.
  • Ingress Protection Rating, which means it's either water-resistant or waterproof.
  • USB Port for charging USB-powered mobile devices.
  • A built-in rechargeable battery; some also include an AC adapter for flexible power options.
  • Wireless range—most support up to about 33 feet, although some have extended range.


In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the Bluetooth speakers available at B&H. Whether you’re putting together your own wish list or shopping for a friend or family member, these recommendations are worth keeping in mind.


Jawbone’s Big Jambox shares the design of its smaller original, with a wraparound metal grille and rubberized top and sides. The perforated grille has a textured geometric design and its rubber feet isolate vibrations while reducing movement caused by heavy bass. It has proprietary neodymium drivers with two opposing passive bass radiators. It's equipped with a built-in mic, 3.5mm line in, and line out. Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 15 hours on a charge. It’s available in Red Dot, White Wave, and Graphite Hex.

Next is the Bose SoundLink Mini, which has a 3.5mm line in, power/volume buttons and a minimalistic aluminum case. Its rechargeable battery lasts up to seven hours on a charge, and it weighs just 1.5 pounds for easy portability. Colored covers (like this one in Mint) are available to blend in with multiple color schemes.

Featuring a compact pill shape, the Beats by Dr. Dre pill 2.0 Portable Speaker has a 3.5mm line input, USB charging port, and supports NFC. You can pair a second pill speaker for increased power output or stereo sound. It’s available in Black, Pink, White, Red, or Silver.

For a low-profile speaker with a wireless range of up to 300 feet, consider the SOL REPUBLIC DECK. It has a low-profile flat design, a built-in mic, NFC support, and a stereo input and output. Up to five devices can pair with this speaker at once, so you and your friends can take turns controlling the music. Its slim-fit case is acoustically transparent, so you can listen while it’s protected inside. This model is available in Gunmetal or Lemon Lime.

The Jabra Solemate Bluetooth Speaker features a woofer and custom-designed bass slave for lows and dual tweeters for highs, with a 3.5mm line in. It’s dust and splash resistant, and has a rubber sole for durability. It also works with a free mobile device app to enhance your listening experience. The built-in rechargeable battery lasts for up to eight hours on a charge. Choose from Black or White.

Denon’s Envaya Speaker is outfitted with a high-efficiency digital amplifier and supports NFC, a 3.5mm line input, and USB charging port. The built-in kickstand lets you set it up at an angle. Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 10 hours on a charge. It’s available in Black or White, and comes with four interchangeable grille covers.

The Yamaha PDX-B11 Portable Bluetooth Speaker has a 3.5mm line in and a chrome-finished grille for an industrial look, with dust-resistant silicone button covers. It runs on six AA batteries or AC power. It also has an integrated carrying handle. It’s available in Black or Gray.


JBL’s Charge 2 Portable Stereo Speaker has two drivers and two passive radiators for robust bass. It has a mic and USB charging port. Bluetooth Social Mode allows up to three people to take turns streaming from their Bluetooth-enabled device to the speaker. The rechargeable battery lasts up to 12 hours on a charge. It’s available in Black, Blue, Purple, White, or Red.

The slightly more mobile JBL Clip Speaker has an integrated carabiner for hooking it onto clothing or a backpack. It has a mic and integrated 3.5mm audio cable. Its built-in rechargeable battery lasts for up to five hours on a charge. It’s available in Black, Gray, Purple, Red, or Blue.

House of Marley’s Get Together Bluetooth Audio System has a solid bamboo baffle and bass-reflex enclosure for added low-end response. The rear housing is covered in House of Marley’s REWIND material, which is made from a combination of recycled plastic, organic cotton, and hemp. The speaker’s two 3.5-inch woofers and two 1-inch tweeters output up to 16 watts of power. There is also a 3.5mm line input. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to eight hours on a charge, and a universal AC adapter is included.

Consider the TDK A33 Wireless Weatherproof Speaker if you’re looking for a weatherized design; an Ingress Protection rating of IP64 means it’s protected against splashing water and dust. It has two front 1.5-inch full-range drivers, two rear 3-inch passive radiators and one 2.5-inch subwoofer. Also onboard are a built-in mic and 3.5mm line input. It runs either on AC power or its rechargeable battery, which lasts up to six hours on a charge. The tilt-back stand optimizes sound direction.

Another rugged choice is Braven’s BRV-X Outdoor Speaker, with a waterproof, shockproof rubber exterior with an Ingress Protection rating of IPX7. It has a mic, supports NFC, and has a USB charging port. Choose from an indoor/outdoor listening mode and use the buttons to control volume. Pair it with a second BRV-X speaker for left and right stereo sound. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 12 hours on a charge. A travel strap is included, and you can choose from Black or Gray/Black.

For a unique design, there’s the Harman Kardon SoundSticks Bluetooth Wireless 2.1 Channel Multimedia Sound System. It has eight full-range transducers and two satellite speakers with a 6-inch down-firing subwoofer, offering 40 watts of amplification. There is also a 3.5mm line in. There is no battery in this system—AC power is required.

Harman Kardon’s Esquire Portable Wireless Speaker and Conferencing System has two integrated mics and a leather-and-aluminum finish. The speaker can be set up vertically for 1-on-1 discussions or horizontally for group conferencing. It supports NFC, and includes a three-port USB adapter so you can charge all your devices using one plug. Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 10 hours on a charge. Choose from Black, Brown, or White. For a smaller form factor without the vertical/horizontal option, there’s the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini in Black, Brown, White, or Gold.

Evoking the look of a classic Marshall guitar amp, the Marshall Audio Stanmore Bluetooth Speaker System has gold metal details, black vinyl casing, and a removable cloth grille. Inside are dual 0.75-inch dome tweeters and a 5.25-inch woofer, producing up to 80 watts of power. There is an optical digital input, stereo RCA, bass and treble control, and 3.5mm audio input. It’s available in Black, Pitch Black, Brown, and Cream.

The purple iHome Bluetooth Rechargeable Stereo Mini Speaker with Rubberized Finish features a futuristic boombox design. It has a 3.5mm line in and out, and supports NFC. Its rechargeable battery allows for easy portability. And it's purple. Really purple.

If you want a retro 1950s design, check out the Wolverine Retro Style Bluetooth Speaker with AM/FM Radio. It has a handmade wooden cabinet for optimal acoustics, with dial knobs and large buttons that add to its vintage style. Inside are dual heavy-magnet, long-throw drivers for premium audio from any source. Features include wireless Bluetooth connectivity, a 3.5mm line input, and digital AM/FM tuner.

Sing along in the shower with the FRESHeTECH Splash Shower Tunes Bluetooth Waterproof Shower Speaker. Use the suction-cup attachment to stick it to any flat surface, pair with your Bluetooth device, and you’re ready to rock. It has a mic and integrated buttons for playing/pausing music, skipping songs, and adjusting volume. It’s available in Black, Blue, Green, Pink, or Yellow.

For enjoying tunes on bike rides and in the car, there’s the Scosche boomBOTTLE Rugged Weatherproof Wireless Mobile Speaker. It’s the shape and size of a water bottle, so it will fit into a water bottle cage or a cup holder. It has a 3.5mm line input, mic, and integrated music controls. Its rechargeable battery lasts for up to 10 hours on a charge. It’s available in Gray/Black, Pink/Gray, or Yellow/Black.

These are just a few of the Bluetooth speakers to choose from at B&H, so feel free to browse our website, call 800-894-9703 or go online for a Live Chat with a B&H portable entertainment sales professional to learn more about your portable speaker options.



Can you recommend an external microphone that would plug into the 3.5 mm input of any of these speakers which would allow them to be used as a small-room voice booster, for someone who has a soft voice?

A comparison chart of all these models would be extremely helpful in the purchasing decision. Thanks!

romps wrote:

A comparison chart of all these models would be extremely helpful in the purchasing decision. Thanks!

Does anyone make a pair of stereo Bluetooth speakers that could be used for rear surround sound from high-quality audio receiver where hard wiring is impractical?  Or, as an alternative, a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver with amplifiers to use with existing speakers?


Hi Joe -

I've not run across this type of product yet.  When we do, we will be sure to post it on our website.

Please contact us via e-mail if you have additional questions:  [email protected]