5 important factors to consider when buying a Bluetooth speaker


Key Takeaways

  • The Bluetooth speaker market continues to evolve and improve as manufacturers are refining speaker designs, improving audio quality, and adding new features to meet consumer demands.
  • Portability and durability are key, so choose water-resistant, shockproof designs for outdoor use.
  • Battery life matters; opt for ample capacity and consider charging methods impact on battery lifespan.

Initially, Bluetooth speakers were initially characterized by fairly basic functionality, limited audio quality, and relatively low battery life. However, as the technology has improved and evolved, some of the biggest names in audio have developed speakers to meet consumers’ lifestyle needs with improved audio performance, longer battery life, and rugged, portable designs suitable for outdoor use, including waterproof speakers.


The powerful speaker packs a punch in terms of sound and battery life.

The proliferation of wireless connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.0 and advanced codecs, has contributed to better audio quality and seamless connectivity experiences. As this category continues to evolve, there are several key factors to consider when purchasing a Bluetooth speaker to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Here are the top 5 I consider most important.

1 Audio Quality

Consider driver size, output, and frequency

When you consider the simple fact that the primary function of a speaker is to produce high-quality sound, it’s obvious why this was at the top of our list. When evaluating Bluetooth speakers, pay close attention to the audio performance. Look for speakers that deliver clear, balanced sound across different frequencies, including bass, midrange, and treble. Consider factors such as driver size, power output, and frequency response range, as these can significantly impact audio quality.

A wider frequency response range means the speaker can reproduce more of the music’s highs and lows, resulting in a fuller and more balanced sound.

For example, the driver size. Think of the driver in a speaker like the engine in a car. It’s responsible for creating the sound you hear. In portable Bluetooth speakers, larger drivers can move more air, producing richer and more detailed sound. So, the bigger the driver, the better the potential sound quality.

Similarly, the power output is like the fuel that powers the speaker’s driver. More power means the speaker can produce louder sound without distortion. Higher power output can result in clearer and more dynamic audio, especially at higher volumes.

Speaking of higher volumes, the frequency response range is also crucial. Imagine sound as a range of notes on a piano, from low to high. The frequency response range of a speaker tells you how much of that range it can reproduce accurately. A wider frequency response range means the speaker can reproduce more of the music’s highs and lows, resulting in a fuller and more balanced sound.

Additionally, listen to the speaker in person if possible or read reviews from trusted sources (like Pocket-lint) to gauge its sound performance accurately.



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2 Portability & Durability

Environmental factors should be top of mind

One of the key advantages of Bluetooth speakers is their portability, allowing you to enjoy music wherever you go. Consider the speaker’s size, weight, and design to ensure it suits your lifestyle and intended usage. If you plan to use the speaker outdoors or in rugged environments, opt for models that are water-resistant, shockproof, and built with durable materials such as rubberized exteriors or metal grilles. Additionally, look for features like carrying handles, straps, or carabiner clips for added convenience during travel or outdoor activities.



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You’d be surprised how much more frequently you’ll reach for a portable speaker for outdoor usage when it offers a shockproof and water-resistant exterior. The occasional case of the dropsies and sudden changes in the weather happen often and it’s a great relief when neither cause a stoppage in the music.

3 Battery Life

Long battery life is a key feature

Another crucial factor to consider when purchasing a Bluetooth speaker is its battery life. Since Bluetooth speakers are designed for wireless operation, long battery life is essential for extended listening sessions without the need for frequent recharging. Look for speakers with ample battery capacity that can provide several hours of playback on a single charge. Factors such as battery size, power efficiency, and playback volume can all affect battery life.

Additionally, some speakers offer features like power-saving modes or fast charging capabilities for added convenience. However, be aware that the charging method and speed can impact the longevity of the speaker’s battery over time. Fast charging methods may provide quick recharge times but could potentially degrade the battery’s lifespan if used frequently. Check to see if this is the case with the brand you’re considering purchasing from.


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4 Connectivity Options

Bluetooth speakers that offer versatile connectivity options are a wise choice

While Bluetooth connectivity is a standard feature in most speakers, it’s essential to consider other connectivity options as well. Look for speakers that offer versatile connectivity options such as auxiliary (3.5mm audio) inputs, USB ports, or microSD card slots, allowing you to connect various audio sources such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, or MP3 players.


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Additionally, consider speakers with advanced Bluetooth codecs such as aptX or AAC for improved audio quality and lower latency when streaming music from compatible devices.

5 Additional Features & Functionality

Hands-free calling, voice-controlled playback, and music-streaming access

Finally, consider any additional features or functionality offered by Bluetooth speakers that may enhance your user experience. Perhaps foremost on that list would be if the speaker is “smart” — providing access to virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and thus can be controlled using your voice. This essentially depends on the ecosystem you currently have, as Amazon’s Alexa is available in the company’s Echo line of speakers, while Google offers its Nest series. There is a wide variety of wireless Bluetooth speakers beyond Amazon and Google products that support one or the other or both, so look into whichever makes the most sense for the smart speaker ecosystem you currently live in.


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Additional features to consider include built-in microphones for hands-free calling, integrated voice assistants (e.g., Siri or Google Assistant) for voice commands, or multi-speaker pairing capabilities for stereo or multi-room audio setups. Additionally, some speakers offer customizable EQ settings, LED light shows, or companion apps with advanced controls and customization options.

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