Whether you’re enjoying a solo disco at home, or you’ll be taking to the nearest park for a picnic with friends, no hangout is quite complete without your favourite tunes playing.
Wireless speakers not only reduce messy looking desks (those working from home already know this), but many of the top models now also have plenty of extra desirable features including waterproofing, immersive sound technology and the ability to connect with popular smart home gadgets.
With so many Bluetooth speakers available on the market, it can get confusing knowing which one will be best for your needs. Popular options include the top rated Bose SoundLink II Revolve and Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 portable speakers, but there are decent options for every budget.
For example if you know you’re going to be outdoors a lot with the device, a compact device that’s easy to transport, waterproof and boasting a good battery life is something you’ll want to look for.
If you’ll predominantly be using the speaker indoors, you can get away with a larger models that will blend in nicely with the rest of your home entertainment system set up.
We’ve rounded up some of the top picks for 2021, well worth checking out for picnics in the park, back garden parties and other special occasions upcoming this year.
Best wireless bluetooth speakers for 2021
1. Echo Dot (3rd Gen) Smart speaker with Alexa
As far as affordability goes, Amazon’s range of smart home speakers take the number one spot. Great sounds, with a host of smart features that can be controlled with the sound of your voice.
It has a cute and small look, perfect for any area in the home and won’t take up too much room wherever you decide to place it. Use your voice to play a song, artist or genre through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, TuneIn and many other platforms.
Although there is one wire for power, meaning it’s a speaker for home use only, it’s got a mighty sound that will provide more than enough sound for your next garden party as well as powerful bluetooth technology and integrated wifi. With compatible Echo devices in different rooms, you can fill your whole home with music.
Price: £39.99, Amazon – buy here now
2. Anker SoundCore 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Named one of the best value Bluetooth speakers on the market, the Anker Soundcore boasts 12 watts of enhanced, premium sound quality.
An advanced Digital Signal Processor ensures bass lovers can enjoy songs without any distortions.
The device is fully outdoor proof, so whether you’re off on your travels, enjoying a day at the beach, or are just lounging around outside – you can be sure your speaker will be fine.
Wireless stereo pairing allows you to connect easily via Bluetooth to another soundcore device for double the audio experience.
Price: £39.99, Amazon – buy here now
3. Ultimate Ears WONDERBOOM 2 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Wonderboom 2 is a small and mighty speaker with features to rival models twice its size.
The Bluetooth compatible compact device will fit comfortably in your bag, or is equally small enough to carry around in your hand.
This speaker is waterproof up to one metre, so if it rains or you happen to drop it in liquid, it won’t affect its performance.
Users can press the tree button at the base of the speaker when listening to audio outside to activate the special ‘outdoor mode’, which adjusts the EQ to give the speaker a richer sound.
Price: £69, Currys PC World – buy here now
4. Sonos Roam Wireless Smart Speaker
The Sonos Roam has a durable, waterproof body perfect for days out and for convenient transporting between locations.
You have the choice to control the device with an easy to navigate app on your smart phone or tablet, or with built in voice assistant Amazon Alexa, and Google Assistant. What’s more, you can even connect it to the internet to enjoy thousands online radio stations, podcasts and playlists.
One of the best features is the 24 hour long battery life, which we’re sure you’ll agree is hard to argue with for under £200.
Price: £159, Argos – buy here now
5. Bose SoundLink II Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
This ultra stylish design will make the perfect addition to any modern home, as well as being a gadget lovers dream. The SoundLink II Revolve is round in shape, providing a 360 degree immersive experience no matter what side of the speaker you’re on.
The compact device is waterproof and has a tough exterior to cope with the demands of being transported around and the handle at the top of the device allows for easy carrying.
A party mode feature on the speaker also lets you connect to multiple revolve speakers in the house to enhance audio quality. So you can enjoy hours partying with a battery that once fully charged, gives you around 13 hours of usage.
Price: £179, John Lewis – buy here now
6. JBL Flip 5 Portable Bluetooth Speaker
Bringing back retro boombox vibes and introducing it to 21st century sound quality.
The JBL Flip 5 is one of the newer additions to JBL’s portable speaker range. It has the ability to switch between indoor and outdoor modes, giving you rich sounds inside and immersive sound quality outside, with a waterproof body that can withstand the elements.
On a single charge, the Boombox will give you 12 hours of great sounding music, which is perfect for hosting summer BBQs and parties when the music can continually play.
The sleek design will make the perfect accent to any home but also make a great accessory for music enthusiasts on the go.
Price: £99, Currys PC World – buy here now
7. Sonos One SL
The Sonos One SL is an upgrade from its predecessor, the PLAY:1. Enjoy crystal clear sound that fits into just about any space around the home.
The Play:1 from Sonos is cute and compact design doesn’t compromise against great audio, the Sonos One SL is the perfect speaker for stereo pairing and creating a home cinema environment. You also are able to effortlessly control it with the Sonos app, Apple Airplay 2 or using the responsive touch controls.
The cute speaker features two Class-D amplifiers tuned for unique and ideal acoustics.
Price: £179, Amazon – buy here now
8. Marshall Emberton Speaker
The Emberton from Marshall has an iconic look, reminiscent of vintage times but with all of the modern features suitable for today. It’s nice and compact, in an easy to operate portable design – filled with the loud and vibrant sound only Marshall can deliver.
Emberton utilises True Stereophonic technology, with absolute 360° sound, for every spot to be the ‘sweet spot’. You’ll also have around 20 hours of playtime, which is perfect for the next day party in the park, or gathering in the garden to entertain your guests.
Price: £129.99, Marshall Headphones – buy here now
9. Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 (2nd Gen) Portable Bluetooth Speaker
The Beosound A1 from Bang & Olufsen is one of the first Bluetooth only portable speakers, with fully integrated Alexa and a refined, slimline design that is fully dust and waterproof.
This model also has a significantly improved battery life with up to 18 hours of play time, which is enough to keep your favourite tunes pumping for the whole day.
Now using Far Field technology, Alexa can be activated from up to 5m away depending on the room conditions and remain responsive for up to 3 hours after being turned off. The addition of three microphones also means the speaker has incredible call clarity when used as a speakerphone – what’s not to love?
Price: £199, John Lewis – buy here now
10. Dali Katch Portable Bluetooth Active Speaker
This stylish but durable wireless speaker from Dali is a favourite of people who love to enjoy music on the go.
With integrated Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC (near-field communication) it is easier than ever to connect your devices to the Katch for top quality sounds. For devices without Bluetooth you can also connect using an auxiliary jack.
Enjoy a full day of non stop music with a very impressive 24 hour battery capacity when fully charged. This device may be pricey, but it’s certainly one that offers premium audio features.
Price: £279, Amazon – buy here now
For more ways to keep your home smart and all of your gadgets organised, check out the best Google-home compatible devices.