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Best Bluetooth speakers in South Africa

Best Bluetooth speakers 2020 sonos move
(Image credit: Sonos)
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REASONS TO BUY
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REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best Bluetooth speakers are an essential accessory for any music lover, thanks to their combination of great sound and portability. Couple that with their wireless design, Bluetooth speakers have become the go-to sound solution for buyers looking to take their music with them wherever they go.

With such demand, there's now a huge swath of portable speakers to choose from – which makes it tricky to make the perfect purchase. That's why we’ve done the research and picked out the very best Bluetooth speakers you can buy in 2020.

These days many of the best Bluetooth speakers now also come with voice assistants, like Alexa and Google Assistant built-in. This means that some portable speakers can double up as smart speakers, which you can use to control your smart home devices

There are plenty of pair-and-play devices out there too, if you prefer your Bluetooth speaker to be a little more simple.

Whatever kind of portable speaker you're looking for, we hope this guide helps you to choose the best Bluetooth speaker for your needs, wants, and budget.

Our top picks

The best Bluetooth speakers you can buy

  1. Sonos Move
  2. UE Boom 3
  3. JBL Charge 4
  4. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1
  5. Bose Home Portable Speaker
  6. UE Wonderboom 2
  7. Marshall Acton II
  8. Sony SRS-XB41
  9. 1More S1001 

sonos move

(Image credit: Sonos)

1. Sonos Move

The best Bluetooth speaker in the world, Sonos Move brings the party indoors and outside

Weight: 3kg | Battery life: 10 hours | Connectivity: Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n, 2.4 GHz, and 5GHz) and Bluetooth 4.2 | Drivers: One down-firing tweeter, one mid-woofer, two Class-D digital amplifiers | NFC: No | Aux-in: No | USB charging: Yes (USB-C, and comes with charging dock)

Integrates with a home Sonos speaker network
On-the-go tunes
Not as feature-rich when using Bluetooth
Cant be used as rear cinema speakers

Here’s the thing about the Sonos Move – it’s so good, you might want to consider it not only as your on-the-go party station, but also as your main in-the-home wireless speaker too.

With two quality drivers, a solid app that unlocks playback from hundreds of wireless sources, multi-room capabilities and smart audio-tuning tech which tweaks the output based on the speaker's immediate surroundings, the Sonos Move is engineered well beyond your average Bluetooth speaker. It's a versatile speaker, one that stands solidly alongside the built-for-home Sonos speakers that the company made its name on.

It’s not perfect – it’s heavy as a byproduct of its incredible sound, it’s expensive due to its rich feature set, and it sadly can’t be used as rear channels for a home cinema set-up. But if you’ve got the money, it’s hard to fault the Sonos Move when it comes to hunting down the very best Bluetooth speaker in the world.

Read the full review: Sonos Move review

ue boom 3

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

2. UE Boom 3

The former best Bluetooth speaker is still great for travelling with

Weight: 1.2 pounds | Battery life: 15 hours | Wireless range: 30+ feet | Frequency response: 90Hz-20kHz | Drivers: Two 1.75" drivers and two 1.75" x 3" passive radiators | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: No USB charging: Yes

IP67 waterproof/dust-proof
Powerful sound
Rugged design
Audio could be clearer

While we weren't as impressed with the UE Boom 3 as we were with its predecessor the UE Boom 2, this is still one of the best Bluetooth speakers money can buy in 2020. This is a speaker that can get loud and not distort at higher volumes; be light enough to carry on a camping trip but remain durable enough to tumble in a bag unprotected. 

It's both water and dust-proof, and now has a one-touch mix button that lets you pull up your favorite playlists without ever picking up your phone. 

There are certainly more detailed speakers out there, but at a price that's relatively affordable to all, the UE Boom 3 hits all the right notes for the third year in a row. 

Ultimate Ears now lets you customize your UE Boom 3, so you have even more options when it comes to color and pattern combinations.

Read the full review: UE Boom 3 review

jbl flip 5

(Image credit: JBL)

3. JBL Flip 5

A fun, no frills portable speaker

Weight: 1.2 pounds | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: 65Hz - 20kHz | Drivers: 40mm | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No

Engaging, entertaining sound
Easy to use
No 3.5mm input
No mic for hands-free calls

The JBL Flip 5 is proof that the best Bluetooth speakers aren't always the ones with the most impressive specs.

JBL’s Flip 5 is a simple soul with Bluetooth-only playback and modest features, but if you desire a rugged, great-sounding portable speaker and can sacrifice voice control or hands-free call functionality, you won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to its neat design and IPX7 rating it's suitable for use outside as well as in, making it an ideal outdoor speaker, too – and it's not too pricey at $119.95 / £119.99 / AU$149.95. 

Read the full review: JBL Flip 5 review

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 (Image credit: B&O)

4. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

Stylish poise with punchy sound

Weight: 558g | Battery life: 18 hours | Wireless range: 10m | Frequency response: 55-20.000 Hz | Drivers: 1 x 3.5" Woofer, 1 x 3/5" Tweeter | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes

Detailed sound
Stylish finishes
Poor button positions

Despite its compact shape and low weight the A1 delivers a big and punchy sound. The soundstage is roomy but the instrumentation is still very precise so, on top quality classical recordings for example, you can actually get a feel for the positions of the different instruments. That's rare with single speakers, especially smaller ones.

The sound is particularly well balanced, but with a slight bias towards the bass so it sounds just as good with pop and dance music as with classical and acoustic. 

Being B&O it looks distinctive too, all clad in a contoured aluminium skin.

Read the full review: Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1

bose portable home

(Image credit: Bose)

4. Bose Home Portable Speaker

A great Sonos Move alternative

Weight: 2.4 pounds | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: 4.2 | Aux-in: No | USB charging: Yes

Great design
Well-balanced sound
Expensive
Lacking in bass

If 2019 was the year of the smart speaker, then 2020 is set to be the year of the portable smart speaker – and with the Bose Portable Home Speaker, along with competing models like the Sonos Move offering the smarts of Google Assistant and Alexa alongside Bluetooth connectivity, the market is already growing fast.

The Bose Portable Home Speaker isn’t the brand’s first outdoor-friendly speaker, and it shows: gorgeous minimalist design meets weather-ready robustness, with a light build and handle that lends itself to listening on the go. 

It doesn’t quite meet the sonic dexterity of the Sonos Move, or the value for money of the UE Boom 3 and JBL Charge 4 – but if you love that Bose sound and build quality, this is the speaker for you.

Read the full review: Bose Portable Home Speaker review

ue wonderboom 2

(Image credit: Ultimate Ears)

6. UE Wonderboom 2

The best outdoor speaker gets a refresh

Weight: 0.93 pounds | Dimensions: 104 x 95.3mm (H x D) | Battery life: Up to 13 hours | Wireless range: 100 ft (33 m) | Frequency response: 75 Hz – 20 kHz | Drivers: two 40 mm active drivers and two 46.1mm x 65.2mm passive radiators | NFC: No | Bluetooth version: N/A | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No

Great sound for its size
IP67 dustproof/waterproof rating
30% better battery life
Restrictive soundstage

The original UE Wonderboom has been at the top of our best waterproof speaker list since its debut and for good reason: it’s rugged, plays louder than its diminutive sound suggests, and could be paired to other UE Wonderboom speakers to amplify sound. 

And although the UE Wonderboom 2 looks nearly identical to the original, Ultimate Ears packed in a slew of upgrades that make the Wonderboom 2 even better, like the increased battery life (up 30% compared to the original), better bass response, and the new Outdoor Boost feature that helps the speaker get even louder than before.

The UE Wonderboom 2 is a fantastic rugged and waterproof speaker you’ll actually want to take with. Its small size doesn’t mean small sound, however, as the speaker gets extremely loud and sounds great. While it can’t match the bass response of larger speakers like the UE Boom 3 or the Bose SoundLink Revolve, the improved bass adds warmth and intensity to music that the original was lacking. 

All said, for $100 (£90 AU$129), the UE Wonderboom 2 is still one of the best waterproof speakers you can buy - and our recommended option for those looking to bring their speaker to the beach or pool. 

Read the full review: UE Wonderboom 2 review

Marshall Acton II

Marshall Acton II (Image credit: Marshall/Elgiganten)

7. Marshall Acton II

Rock music sensibilities

Weight: 2.85 kg | Battery life: N/A | Wireless range: 10m | Frequency response: 50–20,000 Hz | Drivers: One woofer, two tweeters | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes

Extra loud
Tone controls
Retro styling
Expensive

Marshall Bluetooth speakers do actually live up to its loud-and-proud rock music heritage, and the Acton II is our preferred model in the range balancing an excellent feature set and physical size with detailed sound and  plenty of wattage. 

We like that there are bass and treble controls, separate woofer and tweeters, and that you can stream using Chromecast or direct from Spotify. 

The sixties styling details like the vinyl coating and the chunky brass knobs  and toggle switches are a delight, but only because the eye candy is supported by an excellent, deep and exciting sound performance. 

Read the full review: Marshall Acton II

Sony SRS XB41 Bluetooth speaker

Sony SRS XB41 Bluetooth speaker (Image credit: Sony)

8. Sony SRS-XB41

Hardy party animal

Weight: 1500 g | Battery life: 14 hours | Wireless range: 10m | Frequency response: 20Hz–20,000Hz | Drivers: 2 x 2.28in drivers | NFC: Yes | Aux-in: Yes

Solid build
Long battery life
Overwhelming bass

Sony knows sound, but where did all this party bling come from? This speaker bar is unapologetically loud and bass heavy and, together with the programmable, pulsing LED rainbow lights that surround the housing, you've got a smart party starter with up to 24 hours of battery power.   

Nothing about this speaker is very subtle, especially not the price, but its extremely well built and splashproof for pool- and beach parties. If revelry and hard partying is your bag then this is your ideal wingman.

Read the full review: Sony SRS-XB41

1more portable bluetooth speaker

(Image credit: 1MORE)

9. 1More S1001 Portable BT Speaker

A luxurious Bluetooth speaker for the office and the home

Weight: 268g | Battery life: 12 hours | Wireless range: N/A | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes

Great sound quality for the size
Impressive bass response at low volume
Limited IPX4 rating
Average battery life

The 1More Portable BT Speaker sounds great for the price. It has an impressive amount of bass at low volumes but drops off at higher volumes. 

This Bluetooth speaker is good for traveling professionals who want better sound quality, a speakerphone, and some water resistance, but those who want a more rugged speaker should look elsewhere – the IPX4 rating won't really cut it if you're expecting your speaker to get wet.

Read more: 1More S1001 Portable BT Speaker

Best Bluetooth speakers at a glance

  1. Sonos Move
  2. UE Boom 3
  3. JBL Charge 4
  4. Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1
  5. Bose Home Portable Speaker
  6. UE Wonderboom 2
  7. Marshall Acton II
  8. Sony SRS-XB41
  9. 1More S1001 

Choosing your Bluetooth speaker

How to pick out the best Bluetooth speaker

Which speaker type is best for you?

There are lots of speaker styles to choose from – that's why we've put together lots of guides on the best speakers you can buy in 2020. 

Looking for some Hi-Res audiophile speakers to go with your record player? Check out the best stereo speakers. Bored of your TV's lackluster audio? Try one of our best soundbars  or Dolby Atmos speakers on for size.

If you need a speaker you can take everywhere, make sure you look at the best waterproof speakers

For total control of your smart home, invest in one of the best smart speakers, which come with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Siri built-in.

There are so many new Bluetooth speakers on the market these days with great designs and the latest tech built-in that it can be tricky to figure out which one you need. Although it may seem like the choice is endless, there are plenty with unique selling points that'll suit you.

First up, some speakers are built with ultimate durability in mind, others are weather and waterproof for camping and tunes by the pool; however, some aren't fit for the outdoors and would look pretty inside your home instead. 

If you're having trouble figuring out which is the best Bluetooth speaker for you, start by picturing where you're going to use it and find a speaker that matches that setting. That means if you're a beach person, water and dust-proofing in your outdoor speaker are key.

Or, if you're a party person, you might want the ability to connect two speakers together or a speaker with multi-point pairing that allows multiple devices to connect at a time. Battery life, sound quality, and design are paramount for all speakers, and we've done our best to take these in the utmost consideration when creating our list.

Bluetooth speaker deals

A slightly older Bose winner

Weight: 1.5 pounds | Battery life: Up to 12 hours | Wireless range: 30 feet | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: N/A | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: Yes

True 360-degree sound
Beautiful design and build
Detailed and expansive sound
Best used indoors 

The Bose SoundLink Revolve is an excellent sound speaker for folks looking for true 360-degree sound. It’s great for sharing music during a party or for moving around the room without losing audio fidelity. However, the Bose SoundLink Mini II sounds slightly better and is slightly cheaper to boot. 

On the debit side, it’s also not fully dust or waterproof so you’ll want to think twice before bringing the Revolve to the beach. 

For half the price, the Wonderboom is a great speaker that is completely dust and waterproof and while it can’t match the audio fidelity or features of the Bose, it's still great for on-the-go listening. If bass is your game, the JBL Charge 4 is an excellent fully waterproof speaker that sounds great, but is big and heavy along with it.

Read the full review: Bose SoundLink Revolve review

Denon envaya

(Image credit: Denon)

10. Denon Envaya

The most durable Bluetooth speaker

: | Weight: : 1.6 pounds | Battery life: : 13 hours | Wireless range: : 30m (100ft) | Frequency response: : N/A | Drivers: : 2 x 40mm Full Range Driver, 1 x 53x135 Passive Radiator | NFC: : No | Aux-in: : Yes | USB charging: : No | Weight: 1.6 pounds | Battery life: 13 hours | Wireless range: 30m (100ft) | Frequency response: N/A | Drivers: 2 x 40mm Full Range Driver, 1 x 53x135 Passive Radiator | NFC: No | Aux-in: Yes | USB charging: No

Powerful, rich, room-filling sound
Better balanced audio than most
Stiff buttons
Slightly larger footprint

The most recent speaker in the Denon Envaya line was one of the first speakers to absolutely blow us away in 2018 – and it's still a great purchase two years on. It offers powerful, room-filling sound that will sound great to most ears, plus comes with an IP67 rating, make it both dust and waterproof. It's also built like a tank, making it one of the most durable speakers we've ever laid our hands on.

Despite a nearly flawless performance, the Envaya isn't perfect: While sound quaity is full, powerful and rich, it doesn’t have the treble bite some like and the buttons located along the side can feel stiff and difficult to operate. These are ultimately minor complaints, however, and the Denon Envaya remains a great Bluetooth speaker – easily among the best you can buy this year.

Read the full review: Denon Envaya (DSB-250BT) review

urbanista brisbane

(Image credit: TechRadar)

11. Urbanista Brisbane

Scandi design meets decent sound

Weight: 1.5 pounds | Battery life: 10 hours | Wireless range: 30m (100ft) | Frequency response: 80-20,000Hz | Drivers: 2 x 52mm | NFC: No | Aux-in: No | USB charging: No

Great audio performance
Second speaker pairing
Could be more rugged
Unremarkable looking

The Urbanista Brisbane might not look exciting, but beneath its unassuming package lies a powerful Bluetooth speaker. Loud and rich-sounding, it's a well-priced addition to anyone's home, with a good battery life and the option to pair it with another Brisbane for true stereo sound.

For the price, the Urbanista Brisbane is ultimately a bit of a bargain. You'll find better sound quality out there, but it'll cost you a lot more. All in all, this mid-range speaker could be a great choice for anyone who wants the freedom of wireless listening without sacrificing volume levels.

Read the full review: Urbanista Brisbane review