Compatible with virtually all smartphones, Bluetooth speakers offer a convenient way to enjoy music and other media hands-free. In the past, wireless speakers were limited by sound quality shortcomings and other drawbacks compared to their non-Bluetooth counterparts, but today’s speakers offer rich, room filling sound along with other features such as rechargeable batteries for added portability and speakerphone functionality. These 5 models all bring something unique to the table, making them some of the most popular models on the market today.
JBL CHARGE 2 PLUS
The JBL Charge was one of the most well-received devices to come to market last year, and 2015’s follow-up, the Charge 2 Plus, improves on the original with a longer 30 foot broadcast range and enhanced waterproofing. The Charge 2 Plus has full speakerphone support, USB charging for other devices, and can tether with up to three devices simultaneously in Social Mode.
UE BOOM 2
The original UE Boom was widely received as one of the best devices in its category, and the UE Boom 2 brings several improvements to this already successful platform. The UE Boom 2 is now fully waterproof, rated for submersion in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes, and also enjoys an upgraded battery life spanning 15 hours. It features gesture control that allows input via taps and shakes, can be paired with a second UE speaker such as the previous generation’s Boom or the Boom Mini for a surround sound effect, and you can get the UE Boom 2 at any Harvey Norman for immediate delivery.
HARMAN INFINITY ONE
The Harman Infinity One showcases sound quality and a 30+ foot wireless range as its premier features, utilizing a unique 360 grille design that turns the entire exterior surface into a speaker and delivering a 10 hour battery life on a full charge. It lacks the rugged weatherproof treatment of the UE Boom 2, but it does include a mobile power source option via its USB port. The Infinity One can also be used with an associated app, which allows access to speaker controls as well as firmware updates.
CREATIVE MUVO MINI
Although its list of premium features may be relatively short, this tiny powerhouse packs a 32 foot wireless broadcast range and 10 hours of playback time into a package that weighs just over half a pound. It also features weatherproofing that gives it some protection against moisture and debris, making it one of the best basic options available.
The Fluance Fi30 is an outstanding value option, featuring the robust broadcast range and advanced features of premium models in a capable, inexpensive package. Unlike the other models on this list, it does not have an internal battery and must be plugged into a power source, but where the Fluance does deliver is in class-leading sound quality and a polished look that is at home in any room.