Best Bluetooth Speakers: Bose Soundlink vs Beats Pill vs Jambox vs JBL Charge

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JBL logo
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Beats Pill+ logo
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Bluetooth speakers deliver quality sound while being portable and compact. However, some of these speakers can get pretty pricey. So you should learn more before deciding where to spend your hard-earned money. We’ve reviewed the best Bluetooth speakers on the market with consideration of product features, pricing, pros, cons, and more so you can compare to know which is the best fit for you to keep the party going.

Article Overview

What Are The Best Bluetooth Speakers?

All the brands we recommend are recognized for making high-quality speakers and headphones. We should also note that all come in a variety of models (and colors), so you have quite the variety from which to choose.

JBL Charge Review

JBL Charge 3#1

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Customers are pleased with the lower price point and the performance of the JBL Charge speakers. This device is true to its battery life and will play for up to 20 hours with its 7500mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery. Other devices sometimes say they play for a certain amount of time, but really only play for half the time. These are among the many reasons we’ve rated the JBL Charge 3 as our #1 pick for best Bluetooth speakers.

Pros

Cons

  • Pairs easily with mobile devices
  • Great sound quality
  • Good bass
  • Can recharge your media device on the go using USB port
  • Small enough to fit into a large cup holder (see dimensions below)
  • Waterproof
  • Some reports of the electric chargers stop working

Price & Tech Specs: JBL Charge 2 vs JBL Charge 2+ vs JBL Charge 3 vs JBL Charge 4

These speakers have auxiliary and micro USB ports and come with 1-year warranties.

 JBL Charge 2JBL Charge 2+JBL Charge 3JBL Charge 4
Price$39.95$129.77Check on Amazon$119.95
Color OptionsBlack, Purple, Red, WhiteBlack, Blue, Grey, Orange, Pink, Red, Teal, YellowBlack, Blue, Gray, Red, TealBlack, Blue, Forest Green, Grey, Mustard Yellow, Pink, Red, Sand, Teal, White
Length7.24 in7.29 in9 in8.66 in
Height3.1 in3.11 in3.5 in3.74 in
Weight1.7 lbs1.32 lbs1.76 lbs3.2 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 12 hoursUp to 12 hoursUp to 20 hoursUp to 20 hours
Charge Time4 hours4 hours4.5 hours5.5 hours
WaterproofSplashproofCheckmarkCheckmark
Voice Assistant IntegrationCheckmark
SpeakerphoneCheckmarkCheckmarkCheckmark

Learn more about the JBL Charge 3 by watching this short video.

Beats Pill+ Review

Beats Pill+#2

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Beats by Dre is part of the Apple family of products and offers the Beats Pill+ Bluetooth speaker. It has exceptional sound quality, but not great for taking on your outdoor adventures since it’s not waterproof. However, if that isn’t a problem, then the Pill is the way to go for superior sound, making it our #2 pick.

Pros

Con

  • Tap 2 Beats Pills together for twice the amplification via Beats Bond
  • Can read texts aloud (depending on your phone), receive calls and respond to texts
  • Known for high-quality bass
  • Beats Pill app for additional features (iPhone only)
  • USB lightning cord and aux cable included
  • Not waterproof

Price & Tech Specs

The speaker has a 1-year limited warranty, audio in and out ports and a USB charging output.

 Beats Pill 2.0Beats Pill XL
MSRP$199.95$299.95
Color OptionsBlack, Red, White, Silver, Nicki Pink, Blue and GoldBlack, Pink, White, Metallic Sky and Titanium
Length7.5 in4.1 in
Height2 in13.3 in
Weight0.71 lb3.3 lb
Battery LifeUp to 7 hoursUp to 15 hours

Bose Soundlink II Review

Bose Soundlink II#3

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The Bose Soundlink II has the power and volume controls on the speaker itself, so you don’t have to depend solely on your smartphone or other paired device. It plays loud and has the excellent bass making it suitable for sharing music with others. It is also water resistant, making it good for the outdoors. This speaker is pretty expensive, and pairing can be tricky. But, once it’s connected, it performs great, making it our #3 pick.

Pros

Cons

  • Adjust volume from speaker itself
  • Bose has a good reputation for superior sound quality
  • Can only play up to 8 hours

Price & Tech Specs

Bose SoundLink II speakers have a limited warranty, auxiliary input and micro USB port.

 SoundLink MiniSoundLink ColorSoundLink III
MSRP$199.95$129.95$299.95
Color OptionsSilverBlack, White, Blue, Red and MintSilver and NFL Themes
Height2"5.3"5.18"
Weight1.5 lbs1.25 lbs3.03 lbs
Length7.1"5"10"
Battery LifeUp to 7 hoursUp to 8 hoursUp to 14 hours
Charge Time3 hours3 hours3 hours

Jawbone Jambox Review

Jambox MiniView on Amazon

Jawbone Jambox offers three Bluetooth speakers: Mini Jambox, Jambox and Big Jambox. Jambox has many features that make it appealing to include in our review. Similar to the Pill, Jambox’s multiplay feature connects two Jambox speakers together to give you more sound. And, like the Soundlink, you can play, pause, change the volume level and pair the device all from the buttons located on the speaker.

The LiveAudio feature delivers sound in a three-dimensional optimized style to bring the audio to life. There’s a built-in microphone that allows you to answer calls and hear voices more crisply. The Jawbone app lets you update your Jambox, so you have the most up-to-date technology. While this speaker has many of the same features as our top picks, its lower quality knocked it out of our top three.

Pros

Cons

  • 60-day money back guarantee
  • Can combine multiple speakers to create louder sound
  • Speakerphone capabilities
  • Mini and Jambox models super lightweight (compared to other speakers)
  • Big Jambox has considerably good bass
  • Poor Bluetooth streaming/pairing
  • Average audio quality
  • Low bass for Mini Jambox
  • Disconnects and reconnects randomly

Price & Tech Specs: Mini Jambox vs Jambox vs Big Jambox

All three Jambox speakers have a 1-year limited warranty, auxiliary input and micro USB port.

 Mini JamboxJamboxBig Jambox
PriceOut of stockOut of stockOut of stock
Color Options9100+100+
Length6.06 in5.94 in10 in
Height2.28 in2.24 in3.6 in
Weight.57 lb.5 lb2.7 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 10 hoursUp to 10 hoursUp to 15 hours
Charge Time2 hours2 hours2.5 hours

What Should I Expect From My Bluetooth Speaker?

Make sure you know what to look for while shopping around and how to get the best bang for your buck from your Bluetooth speaker.

Is My Speaker Sand & Water-Resistant?

Most of these devices can be used around sand and water. However, this does not make them all sand and water-resistant. So be careful and don’t go kayaking or topping your sandcastle with your new Bluetooth speaker.

Will The Speaker Distort?

With speakers this small, the technology isn’t quite there yet for crystal clear sound quality. So when you crank the volume up all the way along with the bass level, it probably won’t sound as good as a “normal” speaker because sound distortion may occur.

What Is The Bluetooth Range?

The typical Bluetooth range for these devices is about 30 feet. That means your Bluetooth-enabled device (iPhone, Android, iPod, etc.) can be up to 30 feet from your speaker and the sound will still work. However, there are times when walls, shelves and other objects may interfere with the connection. So the distance may vary depending on your surroundings. You can also use an auxiliary cord to plug your device into an electrical outlet but then it’s not truly wireless.

Is It Possible To Get Wireless Surround Sound?

It is, and the audio quality has arrived as well. You’ve probably heard of Sonos, but there are several other companies including Heos, Bose, and others that have brought bluetooth surround sound systems to the market. Read our Wireless Surround Sound System review to learn more and find our top picks.

What speaker are you considering and for what purpose?

About The Author:

Kimberly is always up for an adventure. She’s used to living out of a suitcase and travels consistently. Her first time out of the country was to Thailand, where she spent 4 1/2 months traveling throughout southeast Asia. Kimberly enjoys exploring new places and diving into new cultures. While Kimberly isn’t traveling you can find her trying a new recipe in the kitchen, spending time outside or just lounging at home.

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Jeff Butler (Admin)
Harman Kardon Onyx Studio is portable/rechargeable, big, heavy and loud with plenty of bass. Strictly Bluetooth input and around $150. We love ours because now we can take the “good sound” to any room or out in the yard or garage.
Jeff Butler (Admin)
What about the iBox XC? 200 watts RMS, 6.5 inch drivers aptX HD bluetooth, solid hard woods and a 51 hour lasting rechargeable battery for those outdoor parties best choice imho.
Jeff Butler (Admin)
I’ve never heard of the iBox XC. Perhaps we can look into adding it during our next audit. Thank you for bringing it to our attention!