The Best Long Lasting Bluetooth Speakers 2021: JBL, Tribit, B&O, Sony - Rolling Stone
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Keep the Party Going — These Portable Bluetooth Speakers Last up to 43 Hours

Take your music with you everywhere, but leave any battery anxiety at home

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 2nd Gen

Amazon

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Bluetooth speakers are the easiest way to play and share your music when you’re not home, but you always have to be mindful of their battery. If your speaker runs out of juice in the middle of your playlist, the party will come to a screeching halt.

Until recently, having a long-lasting Bluetooth speaker meant giving up portability. Bigger speakers have bigger batteries that last longer, right? That’s still true, but breakthroughs in battery technology have led to the rise of ultra-portable speakers that offer all-day music playback.

For the purposes of this guide we’ve defined “all day battery” as 18 hours or more. Your listening volume will determine how long the speaker will actually last, so keep that in mind if you get the urge to crank it up.

What Are the Longest Lasting Bluetooth Speakers?

There are many factors to consider when choosing the longest-lasting Bluetooth speaker for you; below are the most important ones, which we considered while we were researching this list.

Weight: While all of these speakers are portable, they span a range between 1.6 pounds and 6.8 pounds, which is a big difference if you plan on carrying it around everywhere you go.

Durability: An electronic device’s resistance to dust and water is measured on the IP (Ingress Protection) scale. Every Bluetooth speaker below has either an IP67 or IPX7 rating, which means they’re dustproof and waterproof.

Multi-Speaker Pairing: A relatively new feature to Bluetooth speakers is the ability to pair two or more of them together to create a multi-room wireless audio system. All of the Bluetooth speakers we’ve researched for this guide support this feature.

USB-C Charging: All of the speakers we’re recommending charge using a USB-C cable, which allows you to plug them into a portable battery pack to extend their life if you’re not near an outlet. We recommend Anker’s PoweCore Slim 10000, which is small and light, but will coax a few extra hours from your speaker.

1. Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1

Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1

Bang & Olufsen’s Beosound A1 is the best-sounding ultra-portable Bluetooth speaker, and it has offers an impressive 18 hours of music playback per charge at “typical listening levels”. That number jumps up to 43 hours if you listen at low volumes.

That’s less than the other speakers in our guide, but significantly more than you’d expect from a speaker this size. The circular speaker weighs a little over a pound, and measures just 5.2-inches long. It comes with a strap, which makes it easy to carry, or hang on a nearby tree branch, fence post, or beach chair.

The main reason we like this speaker is that it sounds excellent — offering a great blend of treble, midrange, and bass. Music sounds clear whether you’re blasting it at maximum volume, or listening quietly at home. You’ll have no problem filling a mid-sized room (or campfire area) with music.

As a bonus, the Beosound A1 works with Amazon’s Alexa, which you can use to operate the speaker totally hands free.

Buy: Bang & Olufsen Beosound A1 at $219.00

2. JBL Charge 5

JBL Charge 5

Amazon

The Charge 5 is the latest long-lasting ultra-durable speaker from JBL, offering up to 20 hours of playtime per charge.

We’ve tried a few speakers from JBL’s Charge line, and they’ve never failed to impress. This speaker doesn’t come with a strap, but its textured finish makes it easy to grip. We’ve submitted the speakers we’ve tried to grueling durability tests (like total submersion under water for several minutes), and it passed them with ease. Drop the speaker, and it’ll bounce back.

JBL designed the Charge 5 with powerful bass radiators, which pump out enough low frequencies that you’d swear it was connected to a subwoofer. This hardware fills out the Charge 5’s sound, which has a respectable amount of midrange and treble, too. Speakers in JBL’s Charge series typically sound great on their own, but you have the option to pair two or more together to listen in true stereo, or create a large, wireless audio system.

Two extra features help the JBL Charge 5 stand out: It’s available in multiple colors, including a fun camouflage print, and it has a full-sized USB-A port, so you can use the speaker as a power bank.

Buy: JBL Charge 5 at $179.95

3. Sony SRS-XB43

Sony SRS XB43

Amazon

Sony’s SRS-XB43 is the latest speaker in its Extra Bass line, and it can keep the party going for up to 24 hours.

The rectangular-shaped speaker has similar audio hardware to JBL’s Charge 5, but sounds different thanks to Sony’s “Live Sound Mode,” which uses its woofers and tweeters to create a more surround-sound like experience. We’ve used this mode with other Sony speakers, and it does make a difference.

While they’re designed for bass, we’ve found speakers and headphones in Sony’s XB (“Xtra” Bass) series don’t go overboard. Bass frequencies are definitely boosted, but never enough to overpower a track. If you want to tweak the way the SRS-XB43 sounds, you can use Sony’s Music Center app on your smartphone or tablet.

Sony’s app also lets you control this speaker’s color-changing light strips, which can pulse to the beat of your music. The lights aren’t bright enough to be distracting, and add some fun ambiance to a party. You can turn the lights on or off using a button on the speaker if you’d like to use them sparingly.

Finally, the SRS-XB43 can be connected to up to 100 compatible Sony speakers using the company’s Party Connect feature. If you and your friends all have the right gear, you can create a gigantic battery-powered sound system.

Buy: Sony SRS-XB43 at $248.00

4. Soundcore Trance Go

Soundcore Trance Go

Amazon

Soundcore’s Trance Go is a PA-like speaker that pumps out high-volumes music for up to 24 hours.

At 6.6 pounds and 11-inches tall, this is by far the largest speaker in our guide, but it reaches a peak volume of 98dB (decibels). That’s enough power to recreate the experience of going to a club in a mid-sized room.  Soundcore outfitted the Trance Go with a handle for portability, and an array of buttons that let you enable its BassUp setting, or pair it to other speakers for stereo sound. You also have the option to pair two devices to the speaker at once to share DJ duty.

If you want to make more adjustments to the speaker’s sound, you’ll find custom EQ settings in Soundcore’s mobile app. Soundcore’s speakers sound great out of the box in our experience, but it’s nice to have the option to customize the Trance Go to your taste.It may be big, but you won’t find a louder, long-lasting portable Bluetooth speaker than the Soundcore Trance Go.

Buy: Soundcore Trance Go at $89.24

5. Tribit StormBox Pro

Tribit StormBox Pro

Amazon

In terms of raw audio performance, Tribit’s StormBox Pro is the most impressive Bluetooth speaker in our guide, and it lasts up to 24 hours per charge.

This is a “360-degree” speaker, which uses a pair of woofers, bass radiators, and an downard-firing transducer to fire music in every direction. There’s no “sweet spot” you need to sit in to get great sound, which makes this a great choice if you listen to music outdoors.

If you’re moving around during a party, you (and your guests) won’t have to worry about having a poor listening experience.  If you have a big place, pair two StormBox Pros together for stereo sound.

The StormBox Pro doesn’t have many extras — an XBass button for more bottom end, and a convenient carrying strap — but that’s not an issue given its hardware. If you care deeply about how your music sounds, and want a long-lasting Bluetooth speaker that keeps up with your active lifestyle, Tribit’s StormBox Pro should be your first choice.

Buy: Tribit StormBox Pro at $129.99

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