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There’s a lot to like about the JBL Clip 2. Perhaps it’s best feature is its portability – it’s got a carabiner clip (hence the name) on the top making it super convenient to clip to your backpack or anything else when you are on-the-go. It is a JBL product so you know the sound is on point and it gets surprisingly loud given its small size. The Clip 2 is also IPX7 rated meaning you can submerge it in water down to a meter for 30 minutes, which is a nice. You don’t have to worry about spilling a drink on it or accidentally leaving it in the rain for a little bit. Price is also right with the Clip 2 coming in at around $60, although we have seen it as low as $35 before.
Another great speaker from JBL. The Charge 3 is a favorite among consumers and for good reason. It has amazing sound quality – great bass and it gets pretty loud without much distortion. The battery life is awesome at around 19 hours and it also a built-in power bank in case you need to charge your phone. Like the Clip 2, it is IPX7 certified so no worries if you spill some water on it. The other cool thing about the Charge 3 is that you can connect up to 3 other JBL Connect enabled speakers to amplify a room as well as control it from up to 3 devices so you and your friends can take turns playing songs. We think it’s the best mid-range Bluetooth speaker on the market right now at around $110-$130.
Don’t let the vintage rock ‘n’ roll looks of the Marshall Kilburn Bluetooth Speaker fool you, it’s the real deal. The sound quality is awesome and it’s definitely one of the loudest Bluetooth speakers on the market. What’s especially cool about the Kilburn is that the knobs on the top of speaker allow you adjust the bass and treble to your personal preferences. It also has insane battery life at right around 20 hours of playback. The only downside (besides price) is that it’s pretty heavy at around 7 pounds, although the durable carrying strap helps with portability. Overall, if you don’t mind spending a little extra, we think you will be impressed with this bad boy.
The UE BOOM 2 has been Jeff’s go-to speaker for years now. It’s very intuitive to use – typical large UE buttons for track management and volume controls. It’s super durable and rugged. I’ve seen Jeff drop this speaker many times with no issues. We also really like the sound quality – solid mids, lows and highs with very little distortion even at those higher volumes. Battery life is also pretty good at around 15+ hours and it charges via MicroUSB, which is always nice. If you want some more sound, you can pair the speaker with another BOOM 2 to amplify your listening experience. Overall, it’s just an awesome mid-range speaker. It will go toe-to-toe with the JBL Charge 3 any day of the week. At around $120-$150, it’s definitely worth a look.
I know what you are saying – “Really, another JBL speaker on this list”. Just to clarify, we are not sponsored by JBL (haha), we just really like their speakers and they are decently priced. There’s a reason why JBL is one of the top dogs in the industry. The Flip 4 is still compact, portable and durable and we think the sound on it is actually better than the Flip 3 and UE WONDERBOOM, although the bass could be a little deeper. The Flip 4 is now IPX7 certified, meaning you can submerge it in water down to 1 meter for 30 minutes – something you couldn’t do with the Flip 3. You can also now pair the Flip 4 with up to 100 other JBL Connect enabled speakers (not that you would ever need that) but still kind of cool if you are having a party. We think its the best Bluetooth speaker under $100 so far in 2017.
We really like the Polk Audio BOOM Bit. It’s super lightweight and has a clip on the back so you can literally wear it or of course just attach it to a backpack or waist pack. Jeff uses it cycling pretty much every weekend. It’s also super convenient for trail running, hiking or simply working in the yard. Now yes, we admit it doesn’t have the best sound in the world but it actually does get surprisingly loud given its tiny size. Another cool thing about the BOOM Bit is that has a built-in male USB so its super convenient to charge on-the-go. On the downside, battery life is a little disappointing at around 3 hours. But at a price point of $30 the BOOM Bit is definitely worth your consideration, especially if you are a pretty active person.
We simply couldn’t leave the Bose SoundLink Revolve off this list. We almost had it as our high-end pick but at under $200 (with discounts coming in the future I’m sure), it just didn’t feel right. Regardless, this is our favorite Bluetooth speaker from Bose to date. In terms of build quality and design, I think you will be hard-pressed to find a better speaker out there. It’s got an elegant, aluminum body and soft-touch bumpers on the top and bottom to protect against drops. Battery life is awesome – Bose claims up to 12 hours of playback but we went well beyond that in our tests. Now getting to audio quality – the SoundLink Revolve sounds great and it gets surprisingly loud. Very crisp and super clear sound with balanced mids and highs as well as solid bass. Overall, it’s just an awesome Bluetooth speaker that we had to include. If you don’t mind the price tag, we are confident you will be impressed.