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

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Looking for a convenient and rockin’ way to play your music on your phone at your next party, in your kitchen or on vacation? Look no further! Bluetooth speakers are appealing because they 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!

What Should I Expect From My Bluetooth Speaker?

To make sure you know what to look for when buying speakers, we’ve created a FAQ section below so 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 and Water-Resistant?

Most of these devices can be used around sand and water – think beach! 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.

What Are the Best Bluetooth Speakers?

Below are our top picks for the best Bluetooth speakers with pros and cons for each. All the brands we recommend below 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. There’s a speaker for everyone’s lifestyle and budget.

JBL Charge Review

JBL Charge#1

View on Amazon

There are tons and tons of reviews on the JBL site raving about the Charge and the Charge 2. Customers are pleased with the relatively lower price point and the performance of the speaker. The biggest complaint about the Charge speakers are that some of the chargers stop working after a short time (ironic given the name!). However, if you keep your receipt, there’s a one year warranty. So hopefully you can get the charger replaced should this happens to you. This device is true to its battery life and will play for up to 12 hours with its 6000mAh 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 2 as our #1 pick for best Bluetooth speakers.

Pros

Cons

  • Pairs easily with mobile devices
  • Great sound quality with two 1-5/8-inch full-range drivers and a built-in bass port
  • 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)
  • Amazon bestsellers
  • Some reports of the electric chargers stop working
  • No speakerphone capabilities to take voice calls

Price and Tech Specs: JBL Charge Vs JBL Charge 2 vs JBL Charge 3

These speakers both have auxiliary and micro USB ports and come with a 1-year warranty. Below is a comparison of the two speakers’ tech specs. The major difference between the two is the size and the Charge 2+ is splashproof while the Charge 3 is waterproof, slightly larger and has a longer play time.

 JBL ChargeJBL Charge 2JBL Charge 3
Buy NowView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Price (at Time of Writing)$89.98$95.99$299.90
Color OptionsBlack and Silver, Green, Blue and GrayBlack, Blue, Purple, Red and WhiteBlack, Blue, Red, Grey, Teal
Length7.5 in4 in9 in
Height3.5 in6.75 in3.5 in
Weight2.27 lb1.7 lb1.76 lb
Battery LifeUp to 12 hoursUp to 12 hoursUp to 20 hours
Charge Time3.5 hours4 hours4.5 hours

Learn more about the JBL Charge 2 by watching this short video.

Beats Pill Review

Beats Pill#2

View on Amazon

Beats by Dre (as in Dr. Dre) is part of the Apple family of products and offers two different Pill Bluetooth speakers: Beats Pill 2.0 and Beats Pill+. (Previously they had a Beats Pill XL, but it was recalled due to overheating problems).

The major difference between the two models: The Pill 2.0 is about half the size of Beats Pill+. And the Beats Pill+ can play music a bit louder (because of its larger size). Although most customers are pleased with their purchase, they are on the pricey side which can be a tough pill to swallow. 😉 However, if the price isn’t a problem, then the Pill is the way to go for superior sound. The performance is great on these speakers and the only con we could find was price, making it our #2 pick.

Pssst…wondering why it’s called Pill? Well, it’s quite obvious since it’s shaped like a pill!

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
  • Limited warranty included
  • More expensive

Price and Tech Specs: Beats Pill 2.0 vs Beats Pill+

Both speakers have a 1-year limited warranty, audio in and out ports and a USB charging output. Below is a table comparing the two devices further.

 Beats Pill 2.0Beats Pill +
Buy NowView on AmazonView on Amazon
Price (at Time of Writing)$139.98$169.99
Color OptionsBlack, Red, White, Silver, Nicki Pink, Blue and GoldBlack, White,
Length7.5 in12 in
Height2 in8.2 in
Weight0.71 lb1.28 lb
Battery LifeUp to 7 hoursUp to 12 hours
Charge Time3.5 hours3.5 hours

Bose Soundlink Review

Bose Soundlink#3

View on Amazon

There are three different Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speakers: SoundLink Mini II, SoundLink Color and SoundLink III. With all three models, the power and volume controls are on the speaker itself, so you don’t have to depend solely on your smartphone or other paired device. The Soundlink III plays the loudest and has the best bass making it good for sharing music with others. The Mini is best for personal listening. The Color is 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

  • SoundLink Color has voice prompts
  • Take phone calls with 2-way speaker (on Color and Mini II)
  • Adjust volume from speaker itself
  • Bose has a good reputation for superior sound quality
  • Comes with a limited warranty
  • Pairing can be tricky sometimes
  • Most expensive

Price and Tech Specs: Bose Soundlink Mini II vs Soundlink Color vs Soundlink III

All three Bose SoundLink speakers have a limited warranty, auxiliary input and micro USB port. Below is a table comparing the three further.

 SoundLink ColorSoundLink Mini IISoundLink III
Buy NowView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Price (at Time of Writing)$116.00$179.00$299.00
Color OptionsBlack, White, Blue, RedBlack/Copper, Carbon, PearlSilver (colored cases available - sold separately)
Length5 in7.1 in10 in
Height5.3 in2 in5.18 in
Weight1.25 lbs1.5 lbs3.03 lbs
Battery LifeUp to 8 hoursUp to 7 hoursUp to 14 hours
Charge Time3 hours3 hours3 hours

Jawbone Jambox Review

JamboxView 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 this year.

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
  • 1-year warranty
  • Poor Bluetooth streaming/pairing
  • Average audio quality
  • Low bass for Mini Jambox
  • Disconnects and reconnects randomly

Price and 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. The table below includes a comparison of the three devices.

 Mini JamboxJamboxBig Jambox
Buy NowView on AmazonView on AmazonView on Amazon
Price (at Time of Writing)$44.99$51.80$139.99
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

Other Bluetooth Speakers

There are many other Bluetooth speakers on the market today including the Play from Sonos which you can read about in our Wireless Surround Sound System review.

What speaker are you considering and for what purpose?

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Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.
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3 Comments on "Best Bluetooth Speakers: Bose Soundlink vs Beats Pill vs Jambox vs JBL Charge"

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Dani
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Dani

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.

Kimberly Kurimski
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Kimberly Kurimski

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!

Jumpintimmy
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Jumpintimmy

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.

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