When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, the name of the game is convenience, which every parent appreciates. They’re portable, and once you connect them to your phone the first time, your speakers will remember and automatically reconnect to deliver superior sound every time.
When you’re shopping for Bluetooth speakers, you want to look at whether they’re waterproof (for pool parties, of course), how long the charge holds, and whether it’s easily integrated with your smart home technology. Oh, and of course, make sure it looks good, too.
See more: Best Headphones For Your Kids
So you already know you want to go Bluetooth, but the options out there can be deafening. We’ve narrowed down the myriad choices to seven of our favorites. No matter your preferred listening situation, aesthetic taste, or budget, there’s a speaker on this list that will free you from the tyranny of wires. Just don’t show your kids how to use it unless you want to hear “Baby Shark” for the umpteenth time.
Sonos quickly became a beloved high-tech audio brand for two reasons: setting up the custom wireless configuration with a bunch of different speakers is easy, and the sound that comes out of every one of them is fantastic.
Pros: The Sonos One adds the convenience of Amazon Alexa, which means it provides you with hands-free access to all of the music services that connect to Alexa to your entire Sonos system. And if you’re a Google partisan with serious FOMO right now, don’t worry: Sonos is actively working to bring Google Assistant to the One, as well. Plus, you can pair two Sonos Ones in the same room for stereo separation and more intricate sound.
Cons: As we stated above, for now, it only works with Alexa and Apple AirPlay 2.
People love the Soundcore for a lot of reasons, among them its ability to connect to Alexa-enabled devices and sound quality that far outstrips the price tag.
Pros: A battery that lasts 24 hours means that your party can literally last through the night. Of course you’re a parent, so you’ll probably appreciate it more for its forgiveness when you forget to charge it because you have to change a diaper.
Cons: The aesthetics of the black Soundcore are just meh (honestly, the massive ANKER logo is kind of tacky) and the red and blue versions are downright hideous.
Our new favorite speaker is the Urbanears Ralis. It's water-resistant, has a handy case for toting it around, it charges your phone, and a single charge gives you 20+ hours of music.
Pros: This badass bluetooth speaker lets you connect two devices simultaneously via Bluetooth, or an AUX connection. And you can charge your phone while listening to whatever you want.
Cons: It’s basically sold out everywhere, so for now, it’s a waiting game.
The rare tiny — it weighs just 10.2 ounces — speaker that actually sounds good.
Pros: At less than four inches on each side and just 1.4 inches tall, this speaker is truly portable; it will fit in your pocket. It’s also waterproof, with a silicone strap and a soft, durable outer covering. The SoundLink Micro offers one-touch access to your phone’s digital assistant and the ability to connect to other Bose speakers to make a multi-speaker system.
Cons: Definitely pricey for its size (and power), this speaker really only makes sense for people who truly need something this insanely small.
You don't need a Bluetooth speaker that provides a customizable, music-synced 360-degree light show. But don't you kind of want one? And even if you don't, isn't it likely that your kids will get a kick out of it? That's what we thought. Luckily, this speaker has enough useful features to make the light show mere icing on the cake.
Pros: The IPX7-certified waterproof housing means that the Pulse can withstand immersion in a meter of water for half an hour, so it’s more than tough enough to make it through your next pool party. The battery lasts a solid 12 hours, and the ability to link up to 100 JBL speakers together is kind of amazing even if you’ll never quite reach triple digits.
Cons: They would probably last longer if they didn’t expend so much energy on lighting. At four pounds, it’s also pretty hefty for a portable speaker.
Bose is known for its exemplary consumer audio equipment, and the vaguely cone-shaped SoundLink Resolve is no exception. In either triple black or luxe gray, it pumps out quality sound that can fill a room thanks to the omnidirectional acoustic deflector in the 360-degree speaker.
Pros: The battery lasts up to 12 hours on a single charge. The SoundLink Revolve also comes fully equipped with access to Siri or Google Assistant through a dedicated button on the top of the unit. The Bose app makes it easy to switch between devices and set up stereo sound (left- and right-channel audio from separate speakers) or party mode (simply doubling the volume across speakers) if you decide to splurge on more than one SoundLink Revolve and want to connect them.
Cons: The Bose brand doesn’t come cheap, and this speaker will set you back almost 200 bucks. It only has IPX4 water resistance, a much lower standard than the IPX7 waterproofing that’s found on speakers on this list that don’t cost nearly as much.
The UE BOOM 2, as its commonly known, is one of the best Bluetooth speakers you can buy. It comes in a bunch of different colors, all easily recognizable by the distinct, oversized volume controls on the side of the unit.
Pros: You get 15 hours of battery life, 100 feet of Bluetooth wireless range, and IPX7 waterproofing. Speaking of waterproofing, there are plenty of other features — a camera mount that lets you attach a lanyard, durable rubber spine, stain-resistant acoustic skin — that make this one of the most rugged speakers out there. Add in the ability to play to two speakers at once from the same source, a 3.5 mm jack in case you need to plug something in, and a super-useful app that lets you tweak tons of settings, and the BOOM 2 is a great all-around speaker.
Cons: The more garish colors tend to be cheaper, so be prepared to shell out a bit more if you want to get something on the neutral side. It also lacks a voice assistant-dedicated button for activating this one on your phone.
This is the Bluetooth speaker to get if you want one that looks like it fell off the stage at a rock concert. The Stanmore II is part of the legendary amplifier company's robust line of consumer electronics. Its classic black, white, and cursive looks aside, the Stanmore II has plenty of high-end features and the sound quality you'd expect from Marshall.
Pros: RCA and 3.5 mm inputs mean it’s easy to connect wired devices to this speaker, but its wireless connection is Bluetooth 5.0, the latest standard and one that makes Bluetooth more pleasant, with a greater range and the ability to broadcast to two speakers at once. The aptX compression standard used by the speaker means that it can play high-quality audio while draining less battery from your phone. There are two standby modes, one of which is designed to use less power when your speaker is plugged in but not playing music.
Cons: For $350, it would be nice is the Stanmore came with a remote of some sort for when you’re not using the Bluetooth. And the retro aesthetic, while a great fit for some, is not exactly neutral and may not fit with every home’s decor.
Instead of a solid wall of color, the XB41 has a more subtle light running around its perimeter. There's also built-in lights on each of the speaker heads and flashing strobes on either end. It's also waterproof and dustproof, and there's a USB charging port that lets you charge your phone from the battery in the speaker.
Pros: This thing has some really different features that are pretty damn fun. Party Booster lets you use the speaker like an electronic instrument. Pick it up with the included grip and tap it in different places to add sounds like a scratch, kick drum, cowbell, and snare drum to your tunes. Depending on how hard to tap it, the sound will be louder or softer.
Cons: If you use the extra bass mode and the light show, battery life plummets from 24 to 14 hours. At three pounds and five ounces, it’s also on the heavier side.
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