Quick Buyers Guide on Bluetooth Speakers

Have you ever been listening to music on your phone or watching Netflix on your tablet and wished for better sound?  Me too. And that’s where Bluetooth speakers come in.

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My favorite Bluetooth Speaker:

Several years ago, I got a JBL Charge 2 as a gift for Chris and promptly claimed it as my own! It was small and compact and had great sound. And it was red, my favorite color!  I think I got it for about $100 at Best Buy. I loved it!  Then suddenly last year it just stopped receiving a charge. Talk about giving up the ghost! I needed to find something else.

So, I did a little research and decided on the JBL flip 4.  It’s smaller than the Charge 2, but that’s fine because it fits perfectly in the cupholder.  It has excellent sound, and the battery lasts forever.  I mostly use it in my Sprinter (camper van).  On road trips, I use it primarily to listen to audiobooks (during the day while driving), and watching Amazon Prime Videos at night. It lists for about $100. though Amazon has it for $90 and Best Buy has it for $100.

JBL Flip 4 Bluetooth SpeakersChris has fallen in love with the JBL Pulse 4. It’s a light show in a speaker!  You can change the color scheme in an app, and you can hook up several of these speakers together.  It is also waterproof.  Frankly, I find the pulsing light distracting, and I’ll stick with the Flip 4.  This one lists for around $300. Best Buy has it for $230 and Amazon has it for around $250.  Here’s the review that turned Chris on to this speaker.

Bargain Bluetooth Speakers:

Both of those bluetooth speakers are a little pricey. If you’re looking for a speaker that is under $25, you’re in luck because I’ve done a little sleuthing on Amazon for you. Remember though, that excellent sound quality requires expensive electronics. If you’re an audiophile, these are not good choices for you!

(You might wonder how I can recommend a product that I haven’t used myself.  I head over to Amazon and look for a specific product. Then I refine the results to only look at items rated 4 stars or higher. Then I look at the number of ratings. So a product with 1000 reviews and 4.8 stars gets more credence than a product with two reviews and 5 stars. Finally, I look at the 1-star reviews and see if any of those are deal-breakers for me.)

Here are two bluetooth speakers that I feel safe recommending. Either of them would make great stocking stuffers and there may be even better pricing on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.

XLeader:

The XLeader sells for about $16.  It received 4.5 stars from over 4700 reviews. It comes in black and rose gold. Some of the common reviews say that it is easy to set up, it’s small with big sound,

The biggest con I could find is that the speaker is on the bottom of the unit, which is fine when placed on a hard surface. This reviewer laid it out pretty well:

“Speaker is at the bottom of the unit so you cannot keep it on your couch or bed or any fabric. It has to be on a solid surface, or else the sound will be muffled.”

Oontz:

The highest-rated Bluetooth speaker in this price range is the Oontz Angle 3. It’s got a whopping 38,000 reviews with an average of 4.4 stars.  It has a long range – 100”, great sound, and is water-resistant. (Not waterproof!) It’s available in pink at this price, or you can pay a little more to get it in black, red, white, and orange. The biggest knock on this one is that the sound is not what you would get out a high-end speaker.

Bluetooth Speakers we don’t recommend:

Just for grins, I checked out the JBL Go and the Sony XB01 speakers.  Both are in the price range, and both have above 4.5 stars.  After reading the reviews though, I just can’t recommend either of them.

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